Arklow much too good for Portarlington
Visitors in complete control
A WATERY winter warm sun did add a little brightness to this game.
Arklow were the far fitter and a more attacking side, had almost 80% of all the possession from scrums, and their own lineouts.
Arklow’s pack gave their backs loads of ball and the backs attacked on all fronts and were soon ahead having pounced on a loose ball from a Portarlington line out at the home side’s own try line.
Quick reaction saw the Arklow player first to react and score the first try in the corner.
The conversion was difficult and did not cross the bar. Five minutes gone, Arklow were 5-0 ahead.
Arklow continued in the energetic mode, running at their opponent’s backs and in another five minutes added a further try after a great break by the Arklow thirteen and finished off by the number eleven winger. Again the conversion was missed. Arklow 10-0.
It took Arklow until the 35th minute to score again.
Arklow won ball aplenty again the good finish was the centre thirteen and the winger eleven.
During this period Arklow seemed to be too anxious to score and constantly knocked on and lost the ball on too many occasions or chose the wrong option.
This is not a fault or criticism but there will be games that will be far tighter than this and a cool head will be needed and adhere to the game plan.
Another great break by the winger and centre to score another great try saw Arklow fifteen points to nil in front approaching the half way mark.
From the kick off by the home side Arklow claimed the ball and went straight for the try line after continuous pressure by the Arklow pack on the Portarlington line. Arklow were awarded a penalty try. Bonus point and twenty two points ahead at the break.
Personnel changes at half-time had an immediate effect, with a great move from Arklow’s lineout, and a great break by Arklow backs.
The Arklow wing forward number 7 finished off a great move by the Arklow team.
The conversion was good giving Arklow a twenty nine point to nil lead.
At this point of the game it was if the Arklow team became deflated and lost their direction.
The home side started to get a grip on this game and the game became scrappy and unfocused by the whole Arklow team.
Eventually the referee gave the home side the benefit of most decisions which put Arklow under pressure.
Arklow did another personnel change and sent on the remainder of the squad on.
But Arklow came back once more with a well taken try.
The conversion was wide. leaving Arklow 34-0 ahead.
At the last minute of this deflated half the home side ran one of their many penalties and scored under the post and added the conversion.
Final tally Arklow 34-7, a good win in a tough league.
One lesson Arklow must learn is you keep playing as a team to the final whistle not as fifteen individuals, each one trying to score a brilliant try from the most impossible parts of the pitch.
Stick to the disciplined game plan no matter which fifteen are on the pitch.
Heads up rugby and keep in mind the game should be played as a team.
Good day for Arklow, away from the security of home, with a bonus point win.
Well done to all who donned the jersey.
Arklow RFC Panel from: Ben Byrne Diaper, Cathal Louth (capt.), Eoin O Scannail, Anthony O’Donnell, Jack Joyce, Joe Bulmer, John Furlong, Colm Doyle, Dave Mulrooney, Tom Scarff, Richard Murphy, Michael O Scannail, James Ellis, Ben Kavanagh, Peter Lynch, Shane Mc Allister, Patrick Phelan, Brogan Koetz, Patrick Ryan, John Louth.