Wick­low get a taste of Divi­sion One against Port­laoise

Bray People - - Sport -

7, Port­laoise 20: Wick­low’s first squad got their first taste of what is to be ex­pected in Divi­sion One this year when they took on a big Port­laoise side in a friendly game on Sun­day in Ash­town Lane.

It was a dread­ful day for rugby with heavy rain fall­ing through­out Wick­low started this game slowly as the big Port­loise pack took them on up front at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

Wick­low con­ceded a big weight ad­van­tage up front but ag­gres­sive de­fence and hard work meant they com­peted strongly through­out. Led by Stu­art Dono­hue, Marc Gerety and Ben Arm­strong they bat­tled bravely against a much big­ger Port­laoise unit.

Ex­cel­lent line-out work from Liam Hughes and Brian Cof­fey gave Wick­low a good amount of pos­ses­sion, how­ever the tor­ren­tial rain made ball han­dling ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and suited the heav­ier Port­laise pack.

Port­laoise made the break­through af­ter a strong drive by their for­wards al­lowed their num­ber eight to pick and drive over from close range.

The con­ver­sion was added and Port­laoise led 7-0. An­other penalty gave the vis­i­tors a 10-0 lead.

Wick­low bat­tled back well and were un­lucky not to score just be­fore the break fol­low­ing pres­sure on the Port­laoise line. Marc Geraghty crashed over from a quickly taken penalty but un­for­tu­nately the ref­eree ruled that it had to be taken again.

Just af­ter the break Wick­low at­tacked from deep and fol­low­ing some su­perb link­ing be­tween backs and for­wards the ex­cel­lent Mick McNulty crashed over to score be­neath the posts.

Wick­low con­tin­ued to bat­tle hard and in­tro­duced seven subs in­clud­ing Colm Bonus, Conor Aylmer, Eanna Killeen, An­drew Geraghty, Niall Hig­gins, Chris Sillery and the ex­cel­lent Robert Hop­kins who was mak­ing his se­nior de­but for Wick­low.

This was an­other very young Wick­low side tak­ing the field but they showed no fear of their big­ger and more ex­pe­ri­enced op­po­si­tion.

An­other pleas­ing as­pect of this per­for­mance was the ag­gres­sive de­fence from the likes of Mick McNulty, Ben Arm­strong and Brian Sillery amongst oth­ers. Wick­low will know they have sev­eral ar­eas to im­prove how­ever this was a good per­for­mance on which this young squad will hope to build upon in the com­ing weeks.

Next week sees Wick­low firsts and sec­onds travel to Tullow for two im­por­tant South East games. Sup­port wel­come.

Wick­low’s Michael McNulty goes over for his try against Port­laoise

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