07.03.2015 1st XV v Terenure (A)
Terenure College RFC V St Mary’s College RFC
AIL Division 1 A
Saturday 7th March 2015.
Unfortunately, from a Marys’ point of view this match went wrongfrom the start. All Marys’ supporters’hearts sank when they felt the strength of the gale blowing straight down thepitch and our lads with their backs to it on such pivotal match. It was, as we thought it would be, atentative start and indeed most of the first half both teams seemed a littlenervous and failed to build patterns or rhythm, giving a decided advantage tothe defending team. If we were toprevail we had to play in the Nure 22 and build scores. We were unable to do this. Although, after three minutes, we did get a penalty,well taken by Ray Crotty, who will be happy with his game today. Additionally, on 25 and 28 minutes he had penaltiesand on 63 minutes converted the penalty try.
A little over the half hour and the score 8 – 11 we lost aman to the sin bin and when the half ended we were 20 – 17 down at halftime. The second half the gale grewworse and so did our plight as we bravely fought against it. It was 27 – 17 on nine minutes of the secondhalf when we got the second yellow; and it was 34 – 17, ten minutes later. We then got on top and played with fire andfight, got that penalty try and were desperately unlucky not to get over theline again. It was in the last fewminutes that Nure again gained the ascendancy and scored a try in added time.
The Marys’ pack worked throughout the game and never flinched andShiner led his men and tried his all, carrying and covering. We were sometimes caught short in width andalignment in defence. Marcus O’Driscollcarried well and bravely and was our most potent weapon, he got a fine try too. When Christopher Lilly came on, he wasimpressive, with good hands, play variation, strength and speed of break.
Terenure, in the past few years has rebuilt its infra structure, itsrenowned spirit and its teams; all involved deserve credit. The team they have built at senior level is aformidable one with a big mobile pack, excellent at the breakdown and abackline that is slick and fast, that strikes hard. That is not to say that wewere overpowered. In fact for a considerableperiod in the second half we held sway and throughout, our set pieces weresuperior, especially the scrum, which won us a penalty try. We had no luck, with yellow cards receivingtwo at vital periods, both of which were for exactly similar offences committedby Nure that had only received penalties and warnings for the home team. That is not to take away from Terenure, theywere deserved winners and look in a good position to go all the way.
Where do we go now?
Let us be sanguine and honest, our young team has not lost its heartnor its ability. The players still havethe deep love of their club and their team, they have desire, courage anddetermination and are not down yet; and will not be. We have three fine young U20 players toreturn from Six Nation duty so we go forward with belief.
Unfortunately, we are back down to ninth, with 32 points, sevenahead of Dolphin, two behind Young Munster and three behind Old Belvedere. Youcan never depend on others, you must do it yourself and make your own luck.However, it has been SAD SATURDAY,with our loss and the three below us getting unlikely victories. The two clubs ahead of us now have what mightturn out to be easier games than we have, as they will be playing top teams butwith places already safe. Beingrealistic, we do really need to win both games to avoid direct relegation. The first is against Young Munster away on 28thMarch and final game against Dolphin at home on our Ladies Day 11thApril.
We must have confidence, in fact believe totally that we shallprevail. We will again have to tightenour defence, cut out errors and if possible, yellow cards. Our coaches and management have nearly threeweeks to refresh and mould the squad. The break is distractive but could be refreshing and reinvigorating. Thetwo teams we now face, although anything but one dimensional, have particularlystrong packs and will test our strengths and resolve. It is comforting to note the wonderful job,Peter and Jonathan have done with the set pieces where now our scrum andlineout can take on the best and come out on top.
Finally, remember the part the supporters have played in our fightback and now we must add our resolve to that of the squad and be there forthem. It is not a long journey to Limerick, so please, your club needs you; itreally does. Will you answer its call?
The Team (Rolling substitutions)
15 R Crotty, 14 CToolan, 13 M O’Driscoll, 12 M Sexton, 11 R O’Loughlin, 10 S Kearns, 9 DFanagan, 8 K Sheahan (Capt), 7 B O’Flanagan, 6 M Fallon, 5 S Bradshaw, 4 CRuddock, 3 B McGovern, 2 S Mc Carthy, 1 T O’Reilly, Robert Sweeney, RichardSweeney, D Frawley, P Starrett, C Lilly.