In the wake of a positive game against Stillorgan a week before, both hopes and nerves were high among the starting 15 heading on to the pitch. The first ten minutes saw a solid Warrior’s defense in the face of pressure from an aggressive Clondalkin side. However, as the clock wound down in the first half, a number of tries slipped through, in no small part due to missed tackles and clustering in defense. Despite overall defensive issues, a number of notable tackling games were seen, particularly from Vincent Kabongo, Michael Menton and Joe Ward. An impressive series of backline moves and strong pod work led to a penalty kick and the possibility of Noel Noblett putting some points on the board, but unfortunately the kick was just wide. Big improvement seen during the first half in lineout success, with Rob Medina stepping up to throw in as hooker, and strong performances from jumpers Stephen Carroll and Daniel McFadden.
The second half saw a Warrior’s side revitalised, firing from all cylinders. A line break early in the second half led to a great opportunity, with forward pods testing Clondalkin’s defense, but ultimately unable to cross the line. Consistent pressure, particularly at kick off led to mistakes on Clondalkin’s part, offering further opportunities for points. Impressive ball carrying was seen from Noel Noblett, Marcus Connolly and Cesaire among others, but no trys made in the second half. Attacking play saw Warrior’s making use of the full width of the pitch, a real first for this season. The last ten minutes saw a slip in the defensive game again, due to exhaustion from a highly offensive half played largely in Clondalkin’s half.
Despite a number of issues, the game was overall positive, with a spirited Warriors side playing an offensive game against a strong team. The match highlighted a number of areas requiring improvement, particularly in clustering in defense, tackling and hammering in our defensive line.
Man of the match: Vincent Kabongo
First XV: David McGinley, Brian Healy, Vincent Kabongo, Daniel Mc Fadden, Marcus Connolly, Rob Medina, Conor Noble, Stephen Carroll, Joe Ward, Noel Noblett, Gary Lynch, Philip Brereton, Michael Menton, Cesaire Bwaah, Joel Loll McKeever
Subs: Ioan Hughes, Stephen Walshe, Andy Nyugen, Daniel Howard, Andrew Donovan, Leo Guerrero