Our second team had it tough going into this game as we had lost both the previous games versus TMR, including a 31-19 defeat just seven days earlier.
The pre-game instructions were simple: we had to come out hard and knock people on their asses. TMR has a number of really good athletes on their team and, given the time and space, they have burned us in the past.
The script was simple and the 2nds dedicated themselves to it right from the opening kickoff, with our forwards dominating the rucks, mauls and scrums in impressive fashion.
Standing at 10, Emily had some great probing kicks that pinned TMR down in their end for much of the first 20 minutes. But the Town held firm and we were unable to capitalize on several early chances.
Our first try came on the heads-up play of Julie who took advantage of a slow-to-organize TMR defense by taking a quick penalty and bursting into the end zone virtually untouched. Game awareness. 5-0 Irish.
But TMR fought back and scored their first try on a long kick and chase. Minutes later, they capitalized on our passive defense with another long try. 10-5 TMR.
Our ladies didn’t panic and stuck to the game plan, driving the ball downfield and coming within inches of scoring the equalizer before the halftime whistle blew.
The second half began where the first half left off – with the Irish pack dominating the TMR forwards in much of the play. When TMR did win the ball, our backs tightened up defensively and shut down the Town attack before it got started.
The forwards got rewarded for their effort midway through the half with a five-meter scrum that they drove to the goal line before Irene picked the ball for an easy try. 10-10.
We regained the lead a few minutes later on a beautiful run by Emily who split their centres and out-sprinted everyone else to score between the posts. Chrissie’s convert made the score 17-10.
Our last try was setup by a nice counterattack by Amy who had just come in on the wing. Fielding an ill-fated clearing attempt, she took the ball hard, evaded a few tackles and set it up for our forwards. Another 5-meter scrum, another drive, another easy try for Irene. Final score 22-10.
A great effort by our 2nds who, aside from the five-minute blip that gave TMR 10 points, didn’t let up from whistle to whistle.