Today saw the U16s travel to Welwyn for a clash of arguably two of the three best teams in the Country. The third pillar in this is Southend RFC who beat us 7-5 in the first game of the season and then lost to Welwyn 13-12. For once we were at full strength in the backs but short some of our stars up front. Not that you would have known it!!!!!
[quote_left]Probably the highest standard of rugby ever seen at this level.[/quote_left]
For the record, this was, in my view and that of he referee, Welwyn coaches and spectators, probably the highest standard of rugby ever seen at this level. It was full of intensity, massive hits and real pace from both sides.
For our boys I have been asking for Academy level intensity all season and today we got it. Both sides had very quick right wings but Welwyn opened the scoring after about twenty minutes when their 14 scored an excellent try under the posts from a kick through that eluded our defence. This was converted 0-7.
[blockquote]Report from David FitzGerald[/blockquote]
As usual, London Irish responded straight from the kick off and really slick handling resulted in Mike Dean sprinting over in the left Corner. Ciaran McGann struck the kick perfectly for what was to prove a vital conversion from the touchline. Half time 7-7.
We made some changes at half time we immediately started to dominate territory. We also started to work our blistering right wing Tade Ojora into the game and one such opening almost created a try for him. However, we were then camped on the line for about 15 minutes. Eventually the defensive line gave way but Tade was held up. That didn’t stop us and sweeping move left resulted in Harry Roffey battering his way over. Joe Henry kicked a superb conversion from the touchline 14-7.
That was only the start of the drama. The last five minutes saw Welwyn camped in our 22 and eventually Joe Henry and Ronan Maloney were yellow carded. However, our defence was awesome all day and we held out to great relief from parents and fans.
I singled out the wonderful display by the back row of Demi, Mark and Mike Monaghan who tackled everything in sight all day long. I also wanted to thank Cameron and Thomas who didn’t get much game time but I had explained that to them beforehand. That would be a rare occurrence.
So thanks to everyone for a great day out. Let’s hope Lee, Joe and Mike recover quickly.
Thanks to all the parents for travelling such a distance.
Finally, keep your eye out for the squad and training times for the Bs team league match next Sunday.