Wick­low too pow­er­ful for vis­it­ing Tul­low side McKel­lar re­ceives warm wel­come at Ash­town Lane

Wicklow People - - SPORT -


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.

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