Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Senior Cup "Team of the Round" from Facebook

Senior Cup Fantasy Team.

Note I did NOT make this team.
This is from the "Leinster Schools Senior Cup Facebook Page"

I certainly do not disagree with the choice of players, I do however think that there are many players forgotten in the Line up. In the St Michales Match against Castleknock College, flanker Jack O'Neill played exceptionally well, withstanding the fact that he was injured from the first phase almost, he is a stereotypical flanker, being at the right place at the right time, and intelligent in his decisions he made. Obviously not enough ? In the Clongowes match versus St Gerard's, outhalf Fergal Cleary orchestrated well his backline. His passing was on form and decision making correct.
Above all my biggest surprise was, the performance St Michaels hooker Richie Allen, he had a fantastic match, making a number of breaks and some tremendous tackles. That said, Andy Roche had an even better performance, although I do think Allen could have been mentioned as the tighthead rather than McKeever...
Gary Ringrose really did outplay his main contender Harrison Brewer, although he will be hard to come out on top next round I think. Had there been a "best player" chosen, I think this would have been too tight to call. Having many players put in superb efforts, the final contenders would be in my opinion Andy Roche, Billy Dardis or Gary Ringrose between them it would be too tight to say...

Monday, 4 February 2013

St Marys vs Kings Hospital Junior Cup First Round

Rolling Forwards dominate the game

The game was exciting, with many breaks and hits. Both teams displayed great determination with every opportunity being fought for. Usually in junior level scrums are competitive, but not as physical as those in senior level. Today this was different, having a huge amount of talent from both sides front row. Every scrum was won on the head, however maintaining the momentum was another challenge in itself. Having the ball being drove and won against the head more than once. This was down to the front 5 themselves. Today the ball was not suitable for stretching line attacks but more persistence with stronger ball carriers hitting tight and gaining the extra yard. Tackling was of very high standard, having very few line breaks but more an extra step in their drive. When given the chance, some players wove through tackle after tackle until brought to a hault. However it was unforgiving to anyone with the pitch being very slippy and water logged in parts.
                                   The game was of little tempo until a Kings Hospital try by Andrew Gibson was scored in the opening minutes. This was a poor start for Mary's, but they slowly but surely compensated up the pitch with a solid try out on the wing after many lengths of the pitch. Mary's first got the possession rolling with a break in the oppositions 10 meter line. This was what they needed to have loosehead prop, Ruadhan Fanning break the icing into Kings Hospitals try line. This gave the break even attitude to which many of the Marys players were fighting for, now it was an aspect of punishing the opposition for the upset to their victory. This was only the beginning and a lot could happen in the next 20 minutes until half time. At half time Marys were in the lead by only a try, if they wanted to win they had to keep up the intensity...
                From the very start of the second half at the kick off, karma was in Marys favor. The ball was being knocked on by the opposition, basics mistakes were made and passing was becoming flustered. This was only the start, with intelligent decision making from scrum half Derry O'Connor suffocating territory and   applying pressure at the weakest points. On the back foot, Kings Hospital began making handling errors and stupid mistakes. This was going to their advantage as it was being knocked backwards, until Marys second center Alexei Schuster made two heroic tackles on players in their own try line and deep in their own half, this is what in my opinion was the heart breaking end for Kings Hospital. After many phases of attacking the defence they coped well considering what little moral they had. Persevering till the bitter end it could only go one way, Marys had won many penalties but were unsuccessful to convert any of them. A lineout on the Kings Hospital 5 meter line set up second row Niall Curran push over to seal the win for them. Having the score brough to 18-5, at a difficult angle Derry O'Connor was very skillful to have got the ball through the posts considering the conditions. At this stage chances were very little of a comeback being possible. Marys forwards had began their quake and weren't stopping until the final whistle. Without failure the pack made tackle after tackle, bringing Kings Hospital shuddering into their own 22 once again. Seconds were left on the clock and Kings Hos were doing whatever they could in effort to fight for their pride, Marys were being awarded free kick after free kick, because of persistence and consistency in their effort to the line. However this was not to be as a penalty was blown and the final whistle announced...
                        In my opinion Marys have a very strong pack, and front row. Very fast and mobile backrow, but outstanding pace and hard running in their centers, with a consistent scrum half to link the two together. If somebody were to be named the man of the match, it would be too close to call, with Forward Niall Curran (the captain) leading and securing the win. but heroic efforts made by Alexei Schuster in my opinion the title is shared between the two !

Well done to the lads and good luck in the next round, and commiserations to the Kings Hospital team.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Ireland vs Wales

6 Nations Ireland vs Wales 1/2/13

Match Timeline

1 min-Kick off to Ireland, caught by Gilroy. Well gained space.
10 mins-Simon Zebo try, offload from O'Driscoll. 5-0 to Ireland.
11 mins-Jonathan Sexton conversion 7-0 to Ireland.
12 mins-Penalty to Ireland, high tackle from Wales on the halfway line.
13 mins-Matthew reese subsituted for Ken Owens, due to injury.
13 mins-Lineout lost against the head with bad dart from Best.
18 mins-Irish 5 meter scrum.
19 mins-Drop goal attempt missed by Sexton, but penalty awarded to Ireland.
20 mins-Penalty scored by Sexton.
21 mins-Knock on by Ireland, Scrum down to Wales.
22 mins-Free kick to Wales, turned over by Conor Murray
23 mins-Charge down by Rory Best and well caught by Zebo from a poor pass.
23 mins-Try scored by Cian Healy 15-0 to Ireland
25 mins-Sexton converts try to have a 17-0 lead.
26 mins-Turn over and box kick from Murray to go into opposite 22 meter touch.
27 mins-Penalty to Ireland, from crossing over by Mike Phillips.
28 mins-Penalty slotted by Sexton to give a 20-0 lead.
29 mins-Ball caught from kick off by Kearney and good yards gained in break.
29 mins-Penalty to Wales because of not ball not being released in the ruck.
31 mins- Ball passed out into touch, and all momentum gained lost. Line out to Ireland.
32 mins-Penalty to Wales, ball not being released from Healy
33 mins-Penalty scored, 3-20 to Ireland.
34 mins-Ball lost in lineout, and Wales gain posession.
36 mins-Great break from Wales George North, to get into Irelands 22
38 mins-Penalty to Ireland on their own 5 meter line.
38 mins-Blood injury Gethin Jenkins goes off.
41 mins-Penalty to Ireland, Sexton scores to have the score 23-3 to Ireland at the end of the first half.
                              Half Time
40 mins-Penalty to Ireland, scrum down.
42 mins-Kearney fails to reach the try line, but scored in the next phase by O'Driscoll. 27-3
43 mins-Conversion scored by Sexton, 6/6 so far. The score 30-3 to Ireland
44 mins-Gordon D'ary subbed for Chris Earls
44 mins-Penalty take quick by Wales, due to holding on in the ruck
46 mins-Penalty to Wales, Sean O'Brien not releasing the tackled player on the ground.
47 mins-Wales lineout on Irelands 5 meter line, Wales then score a try by Alex Cuthebert.
48 mins-Leigh Halfpenny converts the conversion
50 mins-Great break by Wales sub Scott Williams
51 mins-Penalty to Wales, O'Driscoll knocked the ball out of Mike Phillips hands from the ruck
51 mins-Wales substitute, Matthew Rees for Ken Owens,
51 mins-Ireland substitute Chris Henry for Peter O'Mahoney
53 mins-Conor Murray knocks the attempted interception ball on, Scrum to Wales from Irelands 22.
54 mins-Penalty Wales, Irish tackler not rolling away. then punted for touch
55 mins-Lineout to Wales, on Irelands 5 meter line.
56 mins-Welsh penalty taken quickly, on Irelands 5 meter line.
57 mins-Huge tackle from Craig Gilroy leaves Welsh player Leigh Halfpenny winded on the floor
57 mins-Rory Best shown to the sin bin, because of not rolling away in the ruck
58 mins-Leigh Halfpenny scores a try in the corner after many phases on Irelands line.
59 mins-Conversion missed leaving the score 15-30 to Wales.
62 mins-Good overlap play by Alex Cuthbert
62 mins-Penalty to Ireland, punted to touch by Sexton
63 mins-Mike Phillips subbed for Lloyd Williams
63 mins-Knocked on by Scott Williams, and caught by O'Brien
64 mins-Free kick to Ireland due to taking too long in the lineout,
65 mins-Welsh player calls Mark in own 22.
66 mins-Penalty to Wales as player was tackled off the ball
67 mins-Lineout by Wales lost and cleared by Ireland
67 mins-Scrum Wales as ball was knocked on by Kearney in effort to catch a kick
67 mins-Rory Best returns from the sin bin into a scrum.
68 mins-Penalty to Wales, the scrum collapsed. Leigh Halfpenny finds Irish 5 meter touch
68 mins-Mike Ross subbed for Declan Fitzpatrick
69 mins-Yellow card awarded to Conor Murray
70 mins-Welsh scrum on the Irish 5 meter line
71 mins-Another Welsh penalty, but taken quickly on the Irish 5 meter
72 mins-Irish scrum on their own 5 meter line
72 mins-James Hook comes on for Dan Biggar, Craig Mitchell on for Adam Jones
74 mins-Welsh lineout inside the Irish 22
75 mins-Try awarded to Craig Mitchell, the score 20-30
76 mins-Conversion scored by Leigh Halfpenny having Ireland leading by 22-30
78 mins-Possession turned over to Irish play by Zebo catching a way ward ball.
79 mins-Brian O'Driscoll awarded Man Of The Match
79 mins-Scrum down to Wales
80 mins-Forward pass from Wales scrum half, Lloyd Williams.

Full Time Whistle !
Final Score Ireland Wales 22-30 Ireland