Kilkenny Norman’s v Emerald Warriors
Saturday 17th February 2018
After what has felt like an eternity not playing on grass or having the opportunity for full contact, the Emerald Warriors travelled to Kilkenny for the second game of 2018. Weather conditions were great, however the soft dug up pitch maybe not so much. A pitch short ‘a few meters’ in length and breadth meant that exploiting space and attacking the wings would be a difficult task.
The atmosphere on the bus journey to Kilkenny was that of excitement; players looking forward to playing a game after a long break and little contact. After a marginal defeat to Tallaght at the start of January, progress has been slower than expected due to weather conditions in Dublin, available training facilities and player commitment. The large squad on match day of 30+ players is great; however this is not reflective of the training sessions which took place in-between said matches. ** (Update: Monday’s numbers were great).
The game started positively with the EW’s on the attack from the start. This lead to KN’s conceding an early penalty which was converted to give the EW’s a few points on the board. With both teams defending strong and trying to counter attack quickly with little success early on, kicking from score able positions was an approach taken by both team. A number of penalties were given away by us which lead to the KN’s increasing their lead. This is something we will need to focus on in our next games; we need to be more disciplined.
The second half started well, within what felt like a few minutes we were deep into the KN’s half putting them under good pressure. A penalty was conceded by the KN’s to which a conversion was slotted over. On reflection, we should have gone for the try in this scenario to heap the pressure back on them. However, from my view our setup was not quick enough, we were bunched together not ready with the KN’s already set in a defensive line in front of us. We need to be smarter in these scenarios.
As the second half progressed, the game felt very start stop. We defended well, made good ground into the KN’s half, then made mistakes to take away our own advantage. With the KN’s scoring a try we did reply with one of our own. It’s a sign of what our team can do when things click together. A line out working effectively, ball spread through the hands picking the right passes and exploiting the space in behind the defence. It shows what we are capable of as a team…we just need to do it on a more consistent basis and be clinical. Our recent matches have all been very close affairs which we have been on the wrong side of, we need this to change.
Final score of 19 – 14 to Kilkenny Normans.
Man of the Match went to Phil for a much stronger display at pivot dictating the game. Mentions to Gary and Tony A also for some great play on the day. Queens as discussed in the bar.
Tonight see’s us take on Revenue in a challenge game. We have had one game to blow off the cobwebs and rustiness combined with a full contact session on Monday. I want you to tackle with the ferocity and play with the intensity that you did on Monday. I want you to counter ruck with accuracy and discipline. I want you to call for the ball in attacking positions while setting up support runs off you. I want you to be alert, switched on and positioned effectively to defend and attack. All these things we have talked about in training and have the ability to deliver!
Kick-off is at 7pm; please arrive at 6pm/6.15pm.