Belfast Harlequins RFC Notes: III XV 51 v Lisburn Rugby club III XV 5

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A changed Quins 3s dream team took to the field in Lisburn due to a long list of injuries. This change did give (the mini Chabal) Francoise the opportunity to fulfil his life-long ambition to wear the Nr 7 Shirt for the dream team which he did extremely well as you would expect.
The fifteen players who took the field controlled the game from the start with solid work from the front row, Dave Thompson regularly making breaks & acting as great link man on several occasions. Ben gave a lesson on perfect lineout throwing all day with a 100% hit rate. Marko defended like a legend until an unfortunate early departure due to injury just before half time. Pete Scott was like a salmon in the lineout, making many hard probing runs and as usual playing more like an open side flanker than a second row. Ritch “too tall” was his usual solid self, also ‘salmon like’ in the lineout, & doing all the hard graft expected from a forward. Trimble was back at his old stomping ground in the back row and tackled all day carried the ball extremely well & most importantly managed to stay on the pitch!! Francoise as expected was everywhere and at the last count had made over fifty tackles (he was counting, not me…), however it was noted that when in open space a Lisburn forward managed to catch him, perhaps when you move from the wing to the back row you also lose some pace!!!! The return of Johnny Carey was great to see after missing approx. 6 weeks due to injury. Johnny tackled his socks off, carried the ball well & made a number of great breaks; however he did have a break of 10 mins due to a yellow card at half time.
Josh McKee is improving week by week, his pass has improved no end, special mention must be made of the pre-planned move (emmmm???) where from a short line out close to the Lisburn line Josh passed the ball past the back row who were standing at 10 (obviously as dummy runners???) straight to Ricky Mckee at the centre to score under the posts. Josh also made a number of great breaks keeping the Lisburn back row & scrum half thinking about what he was going to do next. Cabbage controlled things really well at ten, kicking well & kept the back line going forward, Cabbage was also seen making a few tackles!! Batman was solid on the wing making several good runs into what was actually a solid Lisburn ‘back 3’. Ricky Mckee (Capt.) as usual led by example, and is now renowned for his solid defence & hard running. Steve Armstrong at outside centre took a few touches to get into the game but once he found his mojo there was no stopping the new ‘slimmer’ Steve who along with Ricky caused chaos in the centre. A special mention must be made of Steve’s support play when Francoise made his break running half the length of the pitch (but being caught by a Lisburn forward); Steve was there to help win the ball to allow Francoise to score in the corner. Steve also made a great break of his own & was tap tackled just short of the line but managed a great pass in the tackle to Cabbage in support allowing Cabbage to score under the posts. Gibbo made a number of great runs along with several ‘chip & chases’, and as usual Gibbo did not allow any opposition players to pass him. Last but by no means least Ollie at full back, had a number of great probing runs, kicked extremely well in fact one of his kicks from his 22 went the length of the pitch to the opposition 22 & came down with so much snow on it that the opposition player underneath the ball could only knock the ball forward into touch.
Try’s scored by: Steve Armstrong, Ricky Mckee, Francoise Fay, Dave Thompson, Ollie McDonald, Andy Gribben, Neil Trimble, Cabbage, along with 4 conversions & one penalty by Cabbage.
There was no ‘man of the match’ 1-15 were excellent! The only down side from this match was what appears to be a serious injury to Marco McCartney who is the cornerstone of the 3s. Get well soon Big Guy!!
Lastly great to see so many supporters & injured 3s players make their way to Lisburn.

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