Match report: MIRFC vs Club de Rugby Québec

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MIRFC 26 vs 24 Club de Rugby de Quebec

In their first home game of the season Montreal Irish were relieved to escape with a 26-24 victory, following a missed penalty kick by Club de Rugby de Quebec during the last play of the game.

Montreal Irish began the game in fine form, dominating possession and the contact area to play with a tempo that stretched the Quebec defence throughout the first quarter. The pressure told as Irish ran in three tries through centre Josh Leach, openside flanker Dave Keane, and wing Clinton Toffa during the early period. Centre Yannick Fortin added two of the three conversions. However, a series of poor Irish possessions and conceded penalties allowed Quebec to spend the second quarter in the Irish half, during which a midfield break in open play saw the ball offloaded to close support as Quebec went in under the Irish posts, Quebec’s goal kicker adding the extras. From the subsequent kick off, another penalty allowed Quebec to kick to the corner for a driving lineout, from which they barged there way over the Irish line. This time their goal kicker couldn’t convert.

The second half began in much the same way the first had ended, with Irish struggling to build any continuity and Quebec taking their chance to kick for the corner from the large number of penalties that were awarded their way. The pressure eventually told as they crossed for a third try following repeated ‘pick and go’ attempts from a well defended driving lineout, again the goal kicker missed. A fairly uneventful second half took a turn with ten minutes to spare as Quebec took a 24-19 lead, picking their way to the line once more, this time the goal kicker did convert. Irish responded with a series of long possessions in the Quebec half, although an inability to find the same pattern and width they began the game with meant they failed to score. However, following an Irish handling error Quebec kicked the ball downfield for Clinton Toffa to collect and counter, breaking the first line of defence and linking with his support allowed two quick passes to put fly half Rob Law in space and sprint in to score from twenty metres out. Yannick Fortin adding the all important conversion to give Irish a 26-24 lead with minutes to go. The tension continued as Irish failed to exit cleanly from the subsequent restart giving Quebec one last chance to attack, from which they were awarded a penalty twenty metres out in front of the Irish posts. Shockingly Quebec’s goal kicker missed his opportunity to win the game, and Irish were relieved to walk away as winners.

 

-Josh Leach