Arklow lose out
RUGBY LEINSTER LEAGUE ACTION
Arklow R.F.C. 11, Kilkenny R.F.C. 37: The scoreline might suggest a different match, than was the case with the real match, as this was Arklow’s best game so far this season.
Arklow players played above what we have seen up to now and hopefully are now putting a team together that will compete with the best in the league.
Arklow lost this match mainly due to meeting a good Kilkenny side with the ambition to play in the higher division next season. The referee was no help to Arklow as he caused the Arklow forwards problems with many technical decisions going against Arklow.
The home side were not in anyway overawed by their opponents and in particular the Arklow pack tackled with great commitment and never allowed Kilkenny to gain any advantage in any facet of play.
After only six minutes Kilkenny were awarded a soft penalty in front of the posts having got into the Arklow 22 by being awarded a series of penalties. Kilkenny’s young backline ran at Arklow with each ball and Arklow while tackling manfully could not prevent Kilkenny scoring in the corner the try was not converted, Kilkenny 11, Arklow 0.
Arklow now lost their scrumhalf Simon Tyner due to a hamstring injury and he was replaced by Chris Hughes who transferred from the wing to take over the number 9 job.
Kilkenny were awarded another penalty in front of the posts which was turned into three points. Arklow were in this game all the while Kilkenny were ahead on the scoreboard, the Arklow pack and the backs were not outclassed at all by their opponents.
Arklow were applying pressure of their own by now, and were granted a penalty from 30 metres or so which Michael Kavanagh sent between the posts beautifully. Now Arklow were in the ascendant and were awarded another penalty after continued pressure in the Kilkenny 22. This was put over the bar with ease by Michael Kavanagh again.
Arklow attacked the Kilkenny backline again and were reward- ed with a well executed try with great handling by the Arklow backs and finished by none other then Michael Kavanagh. The conversion was missed.
We now had a game and Arklow played their part but after 47 minutes in the first-half Kilkenny ran in a good try which was converted. The scoreboard was slightly distorted with Kilkenny 21 points to Arklow’s 11 points.
The second-half started off badly for Arklow with a mix up from the Arklow forwards receiving the ball gave possession to Kilkenny in the Arklow 22.
Arklow withstood the pressure and cleared their lines.
From a line-out which Kilkenny clearly knocked the ball on but was not spotted by the referee and ended with a try in the corner without the conversion. This gave Kilkenny the encouragement they needed and they started to run the ball from all phases of possession.
Arklow’s pack constantly disrupted Kilkenny pack scrum and Arklow turned over ball time and again from Kilkenny. Arklow’s fitness was weakening, and they allowed two more tries in before this match ended.
The Arklow pack deserves great praise for this performance, it would be unfair to single out any individual player but as a unit they performed magnificently.
The Arklow backs were no less impressive and deserve every praise for their tackling and their attacking flair and the whole team and subs are to be congratulated. Arklow are starting to show small signs of recovery and are starting to play as a team and they can look forward to a good finish to the season if they continue to train and play like this.
This was the final match at home for Arklow this year and Santa must have known this as he arrived to give out presents to all our under-age teams from 14 years of age down to under-8s.
He entertained these youngsters with great patience and care and made them all happy. They ate crisps and drank their fill of soft drinks ‘ til their mothers and fathers took them home late in the evening.
A special thanks is due to all who helped organise this Christmas party. Ophelia Byrne, Barney Hynes, and the committee who helped her in every way to put this party together as a lot of organising went into the preceding days to get it together. Finally a special thank you to Santa Claus for making the day special for so many kids.
Stephen Duffy in action for Wicklow R.F.C. against Garda.