Rainey Old Boys RFC Notes: I XV 22 v Nenagh Ormond RFC I XV 16: AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH: Report & Actions Shots LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Two long range penalties from full-back Mark O’Connor helped Rainey Old Boys over the line and open their AIL campaign with a much sought after victory, but a dogged Nenagh Ormond side threatened to spoil their day. It looked good for Rainey when they led 13 – 0 after 20 minutes at Hatrick Park, but in the end they were happy to hold on for a 22-16 win.
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Rainey started well with their pack gaining an early edge in the tight and O’Connor put them in front with an eighth minute penalty. Nenagh missed a chance to draw level, but were encouraged as Rainey’s lack of composure twice put them in trouble. Scrum-half Mc Cluggage kept Rainey on the front foot with some well-directed probing kicks and O’Connor struck again after pulling an earlier attempt just wide.

Two minutes later the home crowd were cheering a brilliant try. From deep in their own half, Rainey moved it wide with a lovely long pass for left-wing Clarke to find O’Connor, loop around the outside and race down the line for a great score which O’Connor converted.

Nenagh’s comeback started with a silly penalty conceded in the lineout after Mc Cluggage had put a kick straight into touch. Late in the half, some controlled forward play enabled Rainey to put width on the ball and bring it back infield for big second-row Barker and his support to drive on towards the posts and win a penalty which O’Connor kicked. But there was still time for out-half Nenagh Fogarty to make it 16-6 with the last kick of the half.

Some good work was undone by Rainey’s tendency to throw the ball away at times and they conceded a soft try when O’Connor opted to go it alone on the counter with support outside him and was dispossessed. Seconds later Fogarty was touching down at the posts and it became a different ball game. Replacement No. 8 Shiels, returning from hamstring problems, soon made his presence felt, but Nenagh’s fringe defence remained solid.

Rainey had chances to put the ball behind the opposition, but their tactical kicking was not accurate enough on the day, while it must be said that the bounce did them no favours on occasions. Fogarty kicked a close range penalty, but O’Connor restored Rainey’s lead with a great kick. Nenagh looked menacing and it took crunching tackle from Shiels to halt a promising attack. Rainey were becoming more anxious as two Nenagh penalties sailed wide and when Shiels broke into the visitors’ 22′, a penalty decision stopped them in their tracks.

Another super kick from O’Connor helped Rainey breathe a little more easily, but Nenagh kept plugging away and Harbinson twice forced turnovers to the relief of the home crowd. Rainey captain O’Kane was yellow carded for pulling down a maul as his side exerted pressure in the dying minutes. Centre McMurray was guilty of holding on too long with support on the outside and a good chance was lost. Nenagh had to take chances and six minutes into time added they had the home defence scrambling across to prevent a breakaway score.

TEAM : M.O’Connor, A.Campbell, D.McMurray, M.Pyper, A.Clarke, G.Martin, A.McCluggage, S.Rutledge, S.Sufferin, N.O’Kane, P.Stewart, T.Barker, A.Harbinson, D.Dawson, C.O’Neill.
REPLACEMENTS : M.Shiels ( Dawson 45 ) P.Boyle ( Stewart 58 ) N.Amos ( Rutledge 68 ) S.McDowell ( Sufferin 68 ) M.McClelland ( Campbell 72 )

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