Emerald Warriors 1st(24) v (22) Gorey
Saturday 10th November
St. Mary’s RFC, Templeogue
Following success against Malahide RFC the weekend previous, the Emerald Warriors hosted Gorey at their home grounds in Templeville Road looking to continue with the momentum in the division 9 league. With both teams sitting mid table and Gorey only losing out by three points in a previous game to the league leaders, this wasn’t going to be an easy contest.
We opted for Gorey to kick to us first to provide us with possession. From the start, we brought it to them riding on a wave of confidence from our last game. We attacked strong, however Gorey were quick to get into the ruck to try and contest possession. Early, they turned the ball over and attacked us in our own half where we gave away a penalty for a high tackle. Gorey opted for the penalty but missed the kick. This was a rude awakening that we needed to up our game. Gorey were a big strong team looking to carry the ball to the line where possible. They played aggressive, looking to rattle us, however we were more than up for the challenge. We worked their team tactics out early and set up to try and counter act this. We broke quicker to eat up their space and tackled strong, even in pairs if necessary.
The Emerald Warriors struck first with a well worked try involving the whole team. Forwards carrying the ball to eat up space and forcing the opposition to commit players in the ruck. This left gaps in their defence for our backs to run at Gorey. Both teams shared moments of dominance in the game, with the Emerald Warriors taking a slim lead into half time with two tries each and only a conversion separating the scores.
The second half started with Gorey stepping up their game looking to take advantage of our more tentative start. They scored a try and took the lead in the game. Each of us knew we had to bring up the intensity of our play to get back into the game. Forwards were demanding the ball to attack their defence with John notably leading this. Positioning of the backs exploited the space and spreading it to the wings where Kevin fought his way through for the try. With this momentum, we reset and went again to increase our lead. Again the forwards ran the ball up to draw their defence tight to give the backs a bit more space. Gary carried the ball forward for the backs drawing their defence in and at the right moment, popped it off and we were in again. This left the score at 24 – 22 to the Emerald Warriors with around 15 minutes left of the game. These were a tough 15 minutes of play were we received a yellow card and Gorey were awarded a penalty. They opted to kick and thankfully missed. Nearer the end of the game we received another yellow and were down to 13 men.
Throughout the game there were high tackles and late challenges which went unnoticed, however in the dying minutes, the referee called the game to an end due to the direction of dangerous play the game was steering to. The game ended 24 – 22 to the Emerald Warriors for their second win in two consecutive games in the D9 league.
F. Ryan (2 tries)
K. Pollard (1 try)
O. Sweeney (1 try, 2 conversions)
Man of the Match:
Our next game takes us to Newbridge on Saturday 24h November, kicking off at 2:30pm.