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Saturday 15th October 2022

Metro League Division 2

Naas RFC 3 – 5 Lansdowne FC

There comes a time in every match reporter’s career when s/he comes up against a brick wall; a creative block, so to speak. This is one of those times.  It’s possible to write about the significance of this victory by the J2s … away to J1 team Naas … keeping us near the top of the league … best start to a season in 5 years … but try as we might, there’s very little interesting we can say about the game itself!

In summary: after 8 minutes they kicked a penalty making it 3 – 0.  Seventy minutes later, we scored a try, making it 3 – 5.  And then the whistle blew.

In fairness to Rob Kelly and his men, they did very well to keep the first half deficit to just three points. They played against the slope and the wind and into a low, late autumn sun for the first half making it very difficult to work their way out of their own territory.  Nor were we lucky with injuries, as iconic prop Paddy Butler and flying full back Rory Dempsey were carried off in the first 10 minutes, each with hamstring injuries.  And, not for the first time we faced a far bigger pack.

But when second half came, we might have hoped to unlock our talent and see a better turn around in our fortunes – certainly sooner.  Our decision making was a bit suspect and we allowed their seasoned backline defence rattle us and scupper any flowing rugby before it ever got going.  Even when we gained numerical advantage 20 minutes into the second half, after a Naas forward was red carded for a grave offence, we struggled to impose any authority on the game.

However, we did show some real grit and tenacity to keep peppering the Naas line in the last ten minutes. And it was perhaps a fittingly curious end to a strange encounter that the man who “crashed” over for the decisive try was pint sized substitute outhalf Stephen (“Stewie”) Morris!  That was Stephen’s hattrick for the weekend, having scored a brace the night before for the J3’s against Terenure. (See elsewhere for that slightly longer match report!)

Some say winning isn’t everything, but on an afternoon that offered precious little else, it was absolutely fabulous!

Roll on Enniscorthy!


Match Report: Brian Whelan

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