Very disappointing defeat for Arklow
ARKLOW travelled the width of Leinster to Birr with hopes of imitating last year’s two good performances against the Co. Offaly club.
But the Co. Wicklow side never got out of the starting stalls in this game. Arklow started this game brightly enough applying pressure in the Birr 22-meter area.
The pressure paid off to a degree with a well kicked three points and the lead. This was not to last too long as Birr were awarded a penalty which they took very quickly, and the visitors’ defense were not prepared, and Birr crossed the try line and added the conversion to leave it 7-3 in favour of the home side.
In machine gun fashion Birr were awarded three more penalties all within five meters of the Arklow try line, all of which were successful, and conversions were added to each try to leave Birr 28 points to three ahead of Arklow’s.
Arklow could not get the ball at all and for long periods manfully defended the line but were unable to prevent Birr almost scoring at will. Arklow crossed the Birr try line for a good try and conversion but found themselves down 31-10 at half-time with a long second half to come.
The visitors needed a good start to the second which they got but couldn’t score and eventually Birr took control of the game and ran from all over the pitch with confidence that they could score at will.
Birr continued in this fashion until the end of this game. Arklow were not prepared from the start and thought this game was going to be a stroll in the park.
The Co. Wicklow side lacked commitment and determination and the will to win. If they possess any ambition to be in contention at the end of this league next March, they must reload their determination that no other team will beat them so easily.
Arklow players gave away far too many penalties at their own line and were not prepared for a quick take by Birr.
Arklow also managed to antagonise the referee which was not helping their cause. Two yellow cards were the direct result of constant nagging to the match official.
The elementary basics of rugby were missing but as this is just the first game in a long league Arklow must lift the carpet up and sweep this game under it and start afresh next Sunday versus North Midlands as Arklow are a better team than this score line suggests.
Arklow: 1. John Louth, 2. Eoin O Scannail, 3. Anthony O’Donnell,
4. Joseph Bulmer, 5. Luke Bulmer,
6. John Furlong, 7. Adam Slater,
8. Colm Doyle, 9. James Lamden,
10. Dean McCormack, 11. Patrick Phelan, 12. Micheal O Scannail,
13. Jonathan Butterworth, 14. Billy Slater, 15. Shane Nalty, 16. Gavin Dunne, 17. Ben Byrne Diaper, 18. Michael Donoghue, 19. Tim Byrne,
20. Benjamin Kavanagh.