23.01.2010 1st XV v Dolphin (A)
Dolphin RFC V St Mary’s College RFC
Saturday 23rd January 2010
AIL Division 1 A
It is the unpredictability and diversity of human physiology, psychology and reactions that make sport viable and interesting; that make it breathtaking and then again bitterly disappointing. So having beaten Dolphin convincingly and deservedly in a marvellous game over the Halloween weekend we travelled with optimism to sunny, calm Musgrave Park. In fact over the two games we scored three tries, one today, to Dolphin’s one, but left today with a loss. Overall, today we did not deserve to win and again showed signs of lethargy, added to which, the loss of several players before and during the game did not help. We did show odd glimpses of quality, as when we scored a really fine try, and for the final six or seven minutes when we pressed hard and showed some nice variation; but in the event we lost by 21 points, from seven penalties, to 13, from a goal and two penalties. Paul Nash in the pack worked hard with commitment and skill, Phillip Brophy did likewise behind the scrum and for me Phillip (although he had to go off injured 12 minutes into the second half) just shaded it as our man of the match. Generally, our pack was under some pressure, our lineout erratic and our usually aggressive fast rucking game was not in evidence. On the credit side, it must be acknowledged that the defence was strong and fast and that ensured that we were the only ones who crossed the line and in fact, our backline looked more balanced and potent than theirs. A considerable part of the time was taken with kicking and Dolphin kicked better. Although a grave disappointment, with our high quality squad and coaching team, there is little doubt but that, with some adjustments, we can get back to ascendant ways. We have given ourselves a slight cushion, with the earlier results and so it is important that we all stay positive; we have Shannon next Saturday. Our president leads the way in optimism and enthusiasm, as once again today his voice could clearly be heard, as he led our mini rugby group, who were down for a tournament, in chants and cheers for Marys.
We started the game well enough, putting pressure on Dolphin and they conceded a penalty, that Gavin Dunne, playing at ten today, converted; but their rucking game put us on the back foot and after nine minutes they equalised when we conceded a penalty. They went ahead on 14 minutes when we failed to clear from a high kick ahead and gave away the penalty. It was 25 minutes when we got a penalty near half way, which was given 10 metres further on, due to their dissention, and we put it towards the corner, won the lineout and mauled well, when it went down we took it on with pick and drive in twos and threes and then ten metres out, it came back to Cormac Quinn, he gave it to Darragh Fanning coming in at real power-pace and at an exquisite angle. Darragh does not fail from there and he didn’t, he went in under the posts and Gavin converted so we led 6 – 10.
We came under considerable pressure then and on 28 minutes, we conceded another penalty under that pressure and their young outhalf Cormac O’Flynn once again converted from in front of the posts and they were only a point behind. Unfortunately another Dolphin penalty saw the score go to 12 – 10 and the time to half time.
Within one minute of the second half we had gone in front again with another Gavin Dunne penalty. At 14 minutes they took back the lead and on 23 minutes they increased it to 18 -13 with two O’Flynn penalties and his final contribution with nine minutes to go saw the score move to 21 – 13. Meanwhile, Jack Mc Grath and Gareth Logan had gone off injured and Conor Mc Phillips who looked sharp, had come on at scrumhalf. At this stage we showed some hunger and worked hard to get something back but, although on the line for several minutes, they held out and saw the game out. It ended 21 – 13.
Team:- 15 S Mc Carthy, 14 R Doherty, 13 S Grissing, 12 P Brophy (M Sexton), 11 D Fanning, 10 G Dunne, 9 C Quinn (C Mc Phillips), 8 H Hogan (Capt), 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 P Nash, 5 R Copeland, 4 G Logan (S Bradshaw), 3 J Mc Grath (R Sweeney), 2 D Kilbride, 1 K Carroll (C Mc Mahon).