Rath­drum in­ten­sity too much for vis­it­ing Naas

Wicklow People - - SPORT -

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).

RATH­DRUM RFC: 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.

THE next match for Rath­drum sees them at home to UCD this Sun­day, De­cem­ber 9.

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