City Of Derry Rugby Club Notes: I XV 38 v Terenure 38: Report

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City of Derry Rugby Club travelled to Dublin on Saturday last for their All Ireland League Division 2A Round 5 Fixture against Terenure College and were comprehensively beaten when they were outscored by six try’s to one. Derry were down by 19pts to 3 pts at half time after playing with the advantage of the strong breeze but the loss of two defensive lineout throws on their own throw gifted 14pts to the Dubliners. Derry had a powerful start to the second half which was nullified by having to revert to uncontested scrums for twenty minutes when Terenure had two props sent to the sin bin in quick succession. There was no advantage to Derry with a fresh front row sitting on the bench unable to go to war.
It was a beautiful sunny day in West Dublin on Saturday and Derry started with an intensity to their play that almost produced an early try with David Houston, Brian Prue and Adam Bratton all going close but the only reward was a penalty in front of the post which Richard McCarter kicked on seven minutes for a 3pts lead. Terenure came back strongly at Derry from the kick off and it took a couple of penalty infringements to keep them at bay but in the process it resulted in the Judges Road men loosing Tom Patton to the sin bin. Terenure showed their intent by kicking to the corner from 10 meters on three occasions but terrific defence from Chris Barber, Ryan Campbell, Stephen Corr and Sam McAuley saw Derry clear their lines.
Terenure out half Willie Staunton was becoming more influential with accurate line kicking and linking nicely with backs and forwards. A Derry overthrow in the lineout on twenty two minutes saw Terenure wing forward James O’Neill make a fine break inside the Derry 22 before touching down for a try and it was 7pts to 3 pts for the Nure. O’Neill made another fine break four minutes later and offloaded to left winger Terry Jones to touch down for an unconverted try in the corner and the lead was 12pts to 3pts.
Derry had prop Paul McFeely who received and ankle injury replaced by Gareth Beattie on the half hour mark. Another miss throw in the line out from Derry on thirty two minutes this time gifted good possession to Terenure and Staunton spread play quickly across the pitch for full back Ian Hanley to touch down for a try which Staunton converted and Derry were behind by 19pts to 3pts.
Derry thought they were in for a try on thirty five minutes which could have changed the game. Peter Henderson created space to release winger William McCleery who was a late replacement for injured Simon Logue, McCleery chipped the last man from 30 meters and seemed to touch down for a good try but the referee was behind play and consulted with the linesman who unfortunately deemed the ball was not grounded. McCarter and Staunton both hit the posts with kickable penalties in injury time which kept the halftime score at 19pts to 3pts in favour of Terenure.
City of Derry Coaches Mark Nicholl and Ashley Blair had their players primed from the off in the second half. It was incessant pressure on the Terenure line with Chris Shields, Sam McAuley and Gareth Beattie dominating at scrum time and Terenure infringing to defend their line. It was seven minutes of pressure that led to Terenure prop Conor Mofatt being sent to the sin bin but with no front row replacement due to an injury in the warm up it went to uncontested scrums. This was of no advantage to Derry with a full front row of Steven Jefferson, Cathal Cregan and Gareth Beattie on the bench. The pressure eventually told on fifteen minutes when Andrew Semple touched down for a try and with McCarter converting the deficit was down to 19pts to 10pts.
Terenure eventually got out of their own half after twenty minutes and from a lineout Man of the Match Willie Staunton worked his magic in front of the posts and a quick dummy pass allowed him to touch down between the posts and when he converted Terenure were in front by 26pts to 10otts with the bonus point secure. Derry lifted their game again from the kick off and when another Terenure front row player reserve Jonathan Barretto was sent to the bin on twenty three minutes it was back to another ten minutes of uncontested scrums and advantage to Terenure. Staunton produced again on twenty eight minutes with an exquisite 40 meter cross field kick on the Derry 22 which saw winger Terry Jones collect in fill stride to touchdown for a try in the corner and Staunton added the extras for a 33pts to 10pts advantage.
Right winger Conor Kelly finished off the scoring for Terenure on thirty eight minutes when he touched down in the corner for an unconverted try and a deserved victory by 38pts to 10pts. This was a disappointing result for Derry who travelled to Dublin with high hopes but Mark Nicholl and Ashley Blair will be unhappy with the performance of their charges more than anything else. They will be hoping to get some of their injured players back on the pitch for their visit to Ballymena next Saturday in the First Trust Senior Cup Semi-Final.
City of Derry Team V Terenure; Chris Shields, Sam McAuley, Paul McFeely, David Houston, Brian Prue, Adam Bratton, Tom Patton, Stephen Corr, Andrew Semple, Richard McCarter, William McCleery, Ryan Campbell, Chris Barber, David Graham, Peter Henderson, Replacements; Cathal Cregan, Gareth Beattie, Steven Jefferson, Johnny Lyons, Adam Parke.

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