Wicklow too powerful for visiting Tullow side McKellar receives warm welcome at Ashtown Lane
WICKLOW RFC TULLOW RFC 56 12
WICKLOW RFC’s under-15s had their first outing in the Leinster league on Saturday last against Tullow at Ashtown Road.
Wicklow kicked off with a strong breeze at their backs and applied pressure on Tullow straight away.
After just five minutes Wicklow took the lead when Niki Moelders drove through the Tullow defence to score a try which Tom hodgkinson converted.
Tullow had a good chance to get off the mark but failed to capitalise on some good play.
Wicklow were a bit wasteful with their possession until Sam O’Connor picked up the ball at the back of a ruck and drove his way over in the corner.
Tullow came back at Wicklow and secured their first try after moving the ball quickly they opened up space on the wing to score.
Both teams then had chances but failed to capitalise until Conor Hunter took off from his own 22 and left the Tullow defence in his wake to score a brilliant individual try.
But Tullow came back at Wicklow and scored another good try which was converted to leave just five points in it approaching half-time.
Wicklow then produced another very good try from Scott Fitzpatrick who showed some great foot work running through the Tullow defence to score. Half-time and Wicklow were leading 22-12.
Wicklow were now facing a strong breeze which seemed to get them in the mood to play and they started the half very strongly.
After some dominant play by the forwards the ball was sent to Conor Hunter on the wing and he left the Tullow defence for dead to score his second try.
Wicklow were now putting the Tullow team under pressure all over the pitch and Scott Fitzpatrick was again released down the middle to cross the line. Now Wicklow had Tullow on the rack and were completely outplaying them when Jake Law popped up with a powerful try which Tom hodgkinson converted.
Tullow heads were now down and Wicklow ran riot on their opponents scoring three more tries in quick succession through Scott Fitzpatrick, Conor Hunter and Conor luddy.
This was a great second half performance by Wicklow to leave the score at full-time reading 5612.
Wicklow: Conor Hunter, Aleksander Richardson, Scott Fitzpatrick, Niki Moelders, Callum Gibney, Tom Hodgkinson, Sean O’Meara, James Fleming, Liam Nicholson, James o Donnell, Michael Byrne, Sam o Connor, Zach Callery, Ivan Mackey, Jake Law, Jordan twomey, Oisin Clare, Kyle Corrigan, Thang Tran Quoc, Joshua Reynolds, Conor Luddy, Finn Fitzpatrick, Charlie Clarke. Coaches: Mark Kinlan, Markus Moelders, Graham AN old friend returned to Wicklow RFC on Friday, with the visit of former Wicklow head coach and current ACT Brumbies Head coach Dan McKellar.
McKellar came to Wicklow in 2002 as player coach. He was a powerful and mobile prop forward who led from the front on the pitch. Off the pitch he demanded high standards from the players and attendances at training were higher than ever.
Wicklow had a fantastic season that year and won promotion to the Leinster League’s top division for the first time in the club’s history.
Dan briefly returned to Australia before returning to Wicklow in February 2005.
He left Wicklow when he was offered a playing contract with Super Rugby side the Queensland Reds. When he finished his playing career, he began to coach full-time with Souths in Brisbane, a spell in Japan, the Vikings in Canberra before being appointed defence coach for The Brumbies. Following the departure of Stephen Larkham in 2017, Dan was appointed head coach of the Super Rugby side and is thought of as one of the very best coaches in Australian rugby.
There was a great turn out of his old Wicklow team mates and friends in Ernies bar on Friday night.
Dan had spent the week shadowing Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster in Leinster rugby as well as a visit to London Wasps. Dan is still in close contact with his friends in Wicklow and has always been grateful to the club for giving him his first start in what has become a highly successful coaching career.
Wicklows senior men had a week off this week and return to action with the visit of Boyne RFc on Saturday. Seconds kick off at 1.30pm with the firsts at 3pm. The senior womens team also had a weekend off and will travel to Garda/Westmanstown on Sunday at 1pm for their Leinster League clash.Support Welcome.
The Wicklow under-15 team who lost out to Tullow.
Pictured from left to right are three former Wicklow RFC player coaches: Dan McKellar, Ben Armstrong and Niall Smullen.