D’Arcy stars for Lansdowne as they see off brave Greystones
RUGBY AIB LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Lansdowne 25, Greystones 5: The scoreline in this game in no way reflects just how well Greystones played in the encounter at the RDS.
The first-half performance and most of the second period, saw the visitors create most of the good rugby on a day when many other fixtures were cancelled due to the wet conditions.
Once again the injury list saw Stones travel to play top of the table Lansdowne, who were augmentented by Irish international centre Gordon D’Arcy and it was he who ultimately proved the differance between the teams.
Greystones were certainly up for the game and on five minutes they had a penalty awarded to them on their tenmetre line however backchat saw the penalty reversed. The resutant kick from Lansdowne wing Charli Oosthuisen was on target to give them an early lead.
From the kick-off by James Power, the ball was knocked on by Lansdowne No. 8 Aidan Mc Cullen and a scrum awarded to Greystones. The visitors moved the ball well to their right and with the Lansdowne cover bearing down on him, out-half James Power put in a delightful high cross kick to his right which just about elued right wing Stu O’Connell for what would have been a fine try.
A Lansdowne line-out five minutes after that, saw Greystone No. 7 Burchi Wojner take a miss throw and set off and then unloading to Power, who with a good kick down the line saw the ball go into touch five metres from the home team’s line with right wing Lorcan Kavanagh conceding the throw in to Greystones.
Stones won the line-out with wing-forward Johnny Downey taking the ball but as he went for the line he was tackled, however the following on pack went over the top with a penalty awarded to the home team who cleared their lines.
Stones were playing some good football with Power driving his pack forward with some fine tactical kicking and only for some resolute defence from Lansdowne to keep the men in green and white at bay.
As with last week, the counter-attacking from fullback Eoin Toolin was proving to be a good weapon as he drove into the Lansdowne defensive line and with good support from his back row of Wojner, Downey and Mantle, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before it would get it’s reward but the tackling of D’Arcy and fellow centre Greg Stafford proved to be excellent.
With ten minutes to go Power tried a drop goal from just outside the twenty-two which skewed to the left, wing Stu O’Connell quickly saw the situation unfold and with the Lansdowne cover on the wrong side, he chased and almost got on to the end of it but once again it was that man D’Arcy who saved the day with a kick into touch.
From a high kick by Power, Lansdowne No. 10 Dave Hewitt, caught and should have cleared his line but decided to try and run out, only to see him tackled by Downey and the ball turned over.
However the referree decided that an earlier infringment by Greystones had occoured and a penalty was awarded which Hewitt decided to kick downfield only to see Stone full-back Toolin take it and start a counter, he made twenty metres before unloading to Power who took it on but after ten metres he was tackled and the move came to nothing.
With time ticking down the home team initiated an attack from halfway with D’Arcy taking a flat ball from Hewitt and setting off; he seemed certain to score but a good tackle from wing Stu O’Connell saw the ball knocked from his hands as he crossed the line.
With the last play of the game Greystones were defending on their line and a ball from a scrum was taken by No. 9 Frank Jones who had an opportunity to clear his line with a kick but he unwisely chose to pass to wing-forward Johnny Downey who was in a worse positon, he was tackled and the ball went loose with Hewitt taking the gift and with D’Arcy in close support the No. 12 took the pass and went over for the try which Oosthuisen had the easiest of kicks to put them into a ten points lead.
The second period saw more good football from the visitors but despite having the Lions share of possession they were not able to apply the finishing touches and a penalty early in the secondhalf saw Lansdowne extend their lead to 13 points.
A Greystones line-out on 15 minutes should have yielded a score after good pressure on Lansdowne’s scrum-half Matt Healy by Mantle and Downey but a knock on saw the chance lost.
A fine bullocking run soon after by Downey saw him make twenty metres but when tackled, once again over enthusiasm from the follow on, saw a penalty awarded for killing the ball.
With fifteen minutes to go and Stones now chasing a try and conversion to at least give them a losing bonus point it was Man of The Match D’Arcy who sealed the victory by setting up their two tries, firstly with a good run down the right and a delightful inside pass to fullback Johnny Meagher and five minutes after that with another incisive run he unselfishly gave the final pass to Oosthuisen to score under the posts with his second conversion of the day to put them into a 25-0 lead.
With the last play of the game, Greystones were finally, but alas too late to make a differance, on the scoreboard, when in broken play on the Lansdowne ten metre line, Power seeing that the Landowne defence stretched and faced with two forwards in his path, brushed them off and made for the line, with wing O’Connell in close support, he gave him the pass and altough tackled by Meagher his momentum carried him over for the try with Power narrowly missing the conversion.
The result was dissapointing for Greystones but they should take heart that as with last week they showed that after the unecxpected defeat against Instonians, three week ago they are finding good form, which when they return after the Six Nations will carry on to the end of the season.
Lansdowne and Greystones go head to head in a scrum.
Man of the Match, Gordon D’Arcy.