Rathdrum intensity too much for visiting Naas
RATHDRUM RFC’S Senior men took on Naas RFC at the Ivy Leaf Grounds in Rathdrum on Sunday. This was lined up to be a big game for Rathdrum after having secured a home win the previous week, a win against Naas was vital to see Rathdrum well positioned going into the Christmas break with one more remaining home game to come.
The match kicked off at 2pm with a strong breeze blowing. After the kick off, both forwards packs were in quick action with a scrum to Rathdrum pushing well into the Naas half. A quick ball out of the scrum by Rathdrum’s Steven Dowling allowed Rathdrum to drive forward towards the five-metre line. Unfortunately for Rathdrum, they conceded a penalty allowing Naas to kick to touch for the first line out of the game.
The ball spilled from the lineout, and Rathdrum’s speedy scrum half made a quick play for the ball, but, unfortunately, the whistle to the blown and the play brought back for a scrum.
Naas applied good pressure to Rathdrum and a quick ball from their scrum saw their winger making a break the full length of the pitch to the Rathdrum line, only to be stopped in his tracks by Rathdrum’s out half Conor Parsons who denied the Naas winger from crossing the line.
From this period of play, Naas were rewarded for their pressure with a scrum.
With Rathdrum defending their own try line, their defence held strong resulting in a penalty to Rathdrum which was chipped out of play on the half-way line.
Naas fought back hard, marching their way back into the Rathdrum 22 and Rathdrum soon found themselves defending their own try line again.
With great pressure applied by Rathdrum and big hits put in by Rathdrum’s Ciaran Phelan, Rathdrum drove Naas back into neutral round on the half way line. Eventually, Naas’ hard work and pressure was rewarded with a penalty which was slotted over the posts for the first score of the game.
From the re-start, Rathdrum knew they had to apply more pressure to Naas to secure the next score of the game.
Rathdrum camped in the Naas half and played quickly and accurately off the scrum to see more big hits put in by Rathdrum’s Dennis Heffernan, Liam De Hora and Ciaran Phelan. Discipline was key here for Rathdrum, and conceding a penalty here allowed Naas to clear the ball out of their own half.
This didn’t stop Rathdrum, who immediately pushed back and regained territory in the Naas half.
From a scrum, Rathdrum played quick phases of ball with good discipline that then allowed for scrum half Steven Dowling to find a gap and bolt his way over the try line under the posts. The try was converted by Conor Parsons giving Rathdrum a 7-3 lead.
Rathdrum continued to apply unrelenting pressure to Naas from the re-start and soon saw themselves pushing again towards the Naas try line.
Rathdrum stole a Naas lineout in a perfectly executed move which saw captain Matt Binions drive his way over the try line for Rathdrum’s second try of the day in the corner.
Naas continued to apply the pressure and were eventually rewarded with a try from a chip over the heads of the Rathdrum defence to put them back in the game.
Approaching half-time, Rathdrum kept their heads and continued to apply pressure to Naas and drive into their half being rewarded with a penalty which was easily put over the posts by Rathdrum.
Naas were then on the attacked a bulled their way back to the Rathdrum try line, seeing them go over for their second try of the game. Rathdrum fought back quickly and secured another penalty in front of the posts which was easily slotted over by Conor Parsons.
In the second half Rathdrum came out fighting. Keeping up the intensity, they soon found themselves driving into the Naas half once more with will drilled phases and big hits being made. Rathdrum’s winger Brian Burke snuck into the corner to secure another Rathdrum try.
Rathdrum dominated much of the second half with another try coming from Ryan Carter off a rolling maul which showed huge control and dominance by Rathdrum, the try was converted by Conor Parsons.
Scorers - C. Parsons 3 pens, 2 cons, S. Dowling 1 try (try converted), M. Binnions 1 try (conversion missed), B. Burke 1 try (conversion missed), R. Carter 1 try (try converted).
Brian Burke, Brian Hanlon, Calvin Swords, Ciaran Phelan, Conor Parsons, Dan Dowling, Denis Heffernan, Henry Bradshaw, Ian Snell, Kevin Sheehan, Liam Dehora, Matt Binnions, Noel Cross, Ryan Carter, Ray Cooke, Shane Burch, Shane Byrne, Stephen Fennell, Steven Dowling.
next match for Rathdrum sees them at home to UCD this Sunday, December 9.