Saturday 24th November
The Emerald Warriors traveled to Newbridge in the division 9 metro league. With Terenure College RFC withdrawing from the division 11 league, only one game took place over the weekend for the Emerald Warriors. With illness, injury and absenteeism notable, a much changed squad travelled to Kildare to take on the opponents Newbridge. Six changes were made to the team compared to the previous game; five in the forwards and one in the backs. This provided a great opportunity for players to get their first experience of the division 9 metro league. Before the game each player was presented with a pair of rainbow laces to wear during the match to show our support to Gareth Thomas and the wider LGBT+ community.
Newbridge won the coin toss and opted to receive the ball first. The pitch was wide and there was a slight breeze in our favour in the first half. Newbridge received and attacked through their centre and full back pairing, making good ground into our half. Good work by our forwards turned the ball over and we were presented with the opportunity to attack. With the wide pitch there was a tonne of space on the wings to which we tried to exploit, however Newbridge playing with a good drift defence covered these areas. With some good work in the middle of the pitch, space was presented far out on the right hand side were Ryan and Phil combined, with Phil scoring the first try of the game. A well worked try which was great to get a score on the board to settle the nerves.
In the first half we dominated the play; however this wasn’t reflected in the score. Our defence stayed strong with some great work by Phillip, the two Kevin’s and a number of turnovers won by Este. We kept Newbridge scoreless in the first half going in with a slim lead of 5:0.
The second half started well, however we were pinned back into our own half for quite a bit of it. This was mainly due to our own errors and not fully taking control of the game. We were subsequently punished by presenting Newbridge with opportunities to get points on the board from kickable positions. For our second try, a break was made on the right hand side of the pitch again making good ground into the opponents half. Our forwards worked well to protect the ruck and draw their men in narrow. We exploited this again with some slick passing from Noel, Phil and Gary out to the left wing where Kevin struck for a try bringing the score line to 10:6. Newbridge were always in contention if they could get a try, however we held tight to the end of the match to secure the win. Our final try came from another break down the right hand wing where Ryan morphed into Quade Cooper beating numerous men with even more sidesteps. A thing of beauty up close.
We finished the game on a score of 15:6 making it 3 wins in 3 games for the Emerald Warriors. A huge well done to all players, however especially those who made the step up from division 11. Without you there, it would be doubtful if we could have fielded a full squad.
Phil (1 try)
Kevin P. (1 try)
Q. Cooper (1 Try)
Men of the Match
Our debutants to the Division 9 league, massive well done to you all!