On a wet and blustery spring Sunday the Irish troops assembled for 2 games against fierce rivals Beaconsfield RFC. This should have been a trip to the West Island for the Irish but due to postponements and field unavailability the “Away” game was played at our ground in St Julie.
With growing numbers of supporters braving the elements, the 2nds started their preparations.
Beaco II v Irish II
The men in Green started brightly and looked to move the ball wide at any opportunity despite the conditions. As the half progressed the pack started to assert it’s dominance and the Irish were playing some nice rugby. Only stoic defense and the occasional offside stopped any number of tries being scored.
One of those offsides did lead to Cormac Long slotting over the resultant kick for a 3 point lead.
As conditions worsened ball handling became more difficult and as a result the Irish’s determination to play enterprising rugby and keep the ball alive was only rewarded with multiple opportunities to practice their scrummaging.
A period of tighter play with the forwards and inside backs, typified by one bullocking run from Aurelien enabled the Irish to dominate possession, just as we thought that this was going to go unrewarded some superb free flowing interplay was rounded of by Matt Harris crashing over for a try beside the posts. Cormac added the conversion.
Half Time: Beaco 0 – 10 Irish
In the second half, the weather deteriorated even more and at times the rain was coming horizontally across the pitch!
Obviously possession was at a premium and holding onto the ball in contact became more and more difficult. This meant both sides were doing their fair share of defending, many solid tackles were made by the Irish but once again Aurelien lead the way with a bone crunching hit on one of the opposition back row forwards, driving his man back several yards and initiating a turnover.
Eventually to the relief of all involved the ref blew his whistle for full time after a scoreless 40 minutes
Full Time: Beaco 0 – 10 Irish
As part of our new development program 2 young Welshmen have joined the club for the summer,Callum Stronach made his Debut for the club replacing Butch at Loose Head Prop and he was preceded by fellow countryman Thomas Williams who had started the game at fullback. Both acquitted themselves with aplomb and are excellent additions to the club.
Beaco 1st XV v Irish 1st XV
Having seen the conditions and their club mates secure a victory in Pemiere Reserves the 1st took the field determined to secure another victory. Right from the start the Irish put Beaconsfield under pressure and were rewarded with large chunks of territory and possession.
Considering that this was the 1st game of the league season there was a surprising fluidity to the play of the Irish. Hard work and endeavor were rewarded after 12 minutes as a sweeping move was finished nicely by Clinton Toffa playing in his new position of Right Wing.
An unfortunate injury saw Rich Spence have to leave the field after 26 minutes, causing a re-shuffle in the front row with Stephen Albers making his 1st grade Debut.
The rain and wind eased a little after the score and Beaconsfeild seemed content to kick possession to our Back 3, generally considered a mistake with Morgan, Clint and Michel working excellently as a unit and always running the ball back with interest.
Unfortunately on one of these occasions a crossing,(accidental obstruction), call cost us more than just the certain try Morgan would have scored. He rolled his ankle after the whistle and had to leave the field bringing Thomas on for his 1st grade debut just an hour after his maiden start with the club.
The rest of the half saw the Irish pushing hard but not crossing the line
Half time: Beaco 0 – 5 Irish
The second half saw a confident and invigorated Irish continue to pressure the Beaco line and only be denied by some solid defense combined with flagrant offside,(hmm didn’t that appear in the previous game report ?), from a resulting penalty Huw Roberts taped and exposed the frailty of Beaco’s wide out defense by crossing for a 5 pointer. Conversion missed as was the 1st half attempt.
This seemed to have a deflating affect on Beaconsfield and their respite only came in the shape of a Scott Gill penalty. From the resultant kick off the Irish were quickly back pressuring their line , after several phases of play some superb work by scrum half Andy Plimer put Dave Crandall through a hole and in for a Try, converted by Huw Roberts.
With a 14 point cushion and wanting the bonus point for 4 tries the Irish looked to attack from all parts of the pitch. This lead to a poorly executed miss two inside their own 22 that was picked off by a Beaco center who dashed over for a try that was converted.
With only 10 minutes to play and ahead by 7 the Irish were determined to achieve 2 goals. Firstly halt the comeback and secondly get that bonus point.
From a scrum on halfway the Irish loaded the openside and executed a blindside backrow move the was expertly finished by Clinton and his Flying in goal Swandive. Huw made the conversion.
The whistle blew for full time and cheers and smiles broke out all over the st Julie Terrace,(most spectators where sheltering from the rain.
Full Time: Beaco 10 – 24 Irish
Next Games: Sat 12th June. Men 1/2/3 v St Anne’s Women 1/2 v Quebec City All @ Home