CRFC U15s-34 Co Cavan RFC U15s-7
Pictures are below the report
Whilst the Federation Francais Rugby spiraled downwards into the abyss that was their own French Fiasco on Saturday night at Stade De France Carrick U15s wisely surrendered the advantage of playing at Tom Simms Memorial Park and decamped to the pitch at Downshire School.
It was there that they welcomed their visitors from Co Cavan RFC U15s in a league playoff quarter final.
Carrick went into the game with several positional & personnel changes and although there was the odd to be expected blip in places the home side posted an impressive six tries to one victory.
Cavan were fairly strong up front and although Carrick did join in the arm wrestle it was when they freed the ball up to strike through the backs that the true nature of their abilities were shown.
Carrick got in to their stride early on mounting a series of attacks through the forwards & backs, big carries by Magill Turner & McBurney saw Wallace go close on the right. From the recycled ball the out half received going left to slice between two defenders for the opening try.
As the game progressed the contact zone became a lottery with visiting forwards not releasing, not rolling away & generally fringing at the side of the ruck.
The forward tussle continued in similar vein throughout with players, coaches & supporters alike becoming increasingly confused & frustrated by lack of clarity & communication as to what the breakdown interpretation actually was.
John Stewart shook all of that off as he charged off in a mazy run for one try & blasted over from close range for another. Wallace converted one of these scores.
A series of penalties & free kicks allowed Cavan to mount an attack which was thwarted by a magnificent Wallace ankle tap. The visitors then had a number of close in charges before scoring through the forwards for their out half to add the conversion.
Half time arrived with Carrick ahead by 17 points to seven & looking to kick on in the second half for a comprehensive victory.
The home side struck early when after good lead up work by the pack the ball was shifted to left wing Dylan McDowell , the speedster put on the gas to burst away from 40 meters out to score under the posts. Wallace added the bonus points.
The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Daniel McBurney who capped yet another all action performance with a hallmark on the full charge for his try.
This was a stage where Carrick was on the cusp of cutting loose but once again indifference as to the conduct of the breakdown allowed Cavan to actually come back into the game & once again upped the ante in levels of frustration all round.
The best wine however was reserved for last when Carrick controlled the ball for some time with forwards hitting up hard giving the increasingly influential Conor Cambridge time & space to conduct the orchestra.
From this series of drives the Cavan defence was put under immense pressure & when the time was right the ball was smartly transferred to Jake Porter who attacked the twelve thirteen channel for a great outside break score.
All in all a decent day at the office in what is now a knock out phase of the season and if the performance was stymied by frustration & confusion several players took their contributions to a high level.
Up front it was Rory Magill Daniel McBurney & Cody Surgeoner who caught the eye, a Jordan Devenney cameo appearance also impressed as usual.
Behind the scrum Conor Cambridge was huge with Michael Whitall & Evan Sloan showing some good touches, Andrew Campbell with an understudy appearance on the wing supported well & had a wonderful tackle on a large Cavan forward.
A large home support including the Club President & Senior Vice President was on hand to applaud & congratulate both teams on what was a fast & furious “cup-tie” with Carrick worthy winners.
The coaching staff & players would like to thank Mr Willie Whelan, Downshire School for his kind permission to use the school pitch.
Next week Carrick face Ballymena U15s at home (actual venue to be advised) & this should be a test for both teams who are undefeated in competition rugby this season.