Virginia RFC Club Notes: U15 I XV keep 100% unbeaten record + I XV Start New Year With Win + Pictures

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Under 15’s keep their 100% unbeaten record against Dromore RFC
Virginia U15’s played at home last Saturday in a top of the table clash against Dromore. Once again this proved to be a very tough encounter with both teams playing some fine rugby on the day. Dromore were first to score but they failed to convert. This seemed to be the wake up call that Virginia needed to up their game and after some fine running by the Virginia backs it was Brendan Argue who scored Virginia’s first try. This left the team’s level at half time.

The second half continued at the same blistering pace with both teams trying to get the upper hand but once again it was Dromore who scored the first try. With Virginia now trailing by five points the pressure was on but with the help of the home support Virginia threw everything they had at this strong Dromore team and they eventually broke through with team captain Niall Farrelly scoring a great try which was converted by Ben Conaty to rapturous applause from the home support. This put the home side two points ahead and proved to be the winning score on the day. At the end of the bruising encounter Virginia eventually emerged victorious on a scoreline of 12-10, the tightest margin to date. This was another great team performance by this unbeaten Virginia side.

Team:Remigijus Ivaskevicius, Dylan Farrelly, Michael Nowak, Michael Faherty, Niall Yore, Darren Brady, Eoin Sommerville, Niall Farrelly, Jason Winterlich, Jason Mc Mahon, Daire Mc Enroe, Ben Conaty, Evan Doughty, Jack Faherty, Brendan Argue, Eric Shekleton, Peadar Doughty, Ian Goldrick, Dale Smith, Andrew Geraghty, Maliej Stolowski, Tristran Lotscher, Sean Ward, Karl Golden

Virginia 1st XV starts the year on a good note
On Saturday last, Virginia were hosting Londonderry YMCA in the Kukri Qualifying League 4 competition. With the memories of the trouncing received in the reversed fixtures still vivid in their heads the Ramor men were keen to prove themselves against tough opposition.
On a windy but dry afternoon Virginia started the game very well and put the visitors under pressure from the off. The Derry men resisted well in the opening minutes of the game until they were put under strain by fly half Chris Tully . Making the best of the wind behind his back Tully dished out a clever kick in the opposite corner. The Derry full-back poor return kick was gathered by hooker Gary Daly who kicked and chase. Once again YMCA’s rear guard couldn’t deal with the bounce of the ball. Daly who followed his own kick, managed to squeeze an old toe-poke to push the ball into the try zone and crashed down to ground the ball ahead of a scrambling defender. Tully added the conversion to bring the score to 7-0.

After a good start Virginia maintained the pressure on the visitors. The locals’ upper hand in the set pieces meant a steady flow of ammunitions for their back line. Unfortunately they didn’t manage to convert domination into points. And only 5 minutes after conceding a try, the visitors managed to be back level. The Londonderry men were awarded a scrum on Virginia 5 metres line after being held up. Despite their domination at scrum time the Virginia front row was outsmarted; the scrum was wheeled by YMCA pack allowing their number 8 to pick up the ball and crash under the post. The easy conversion was scored. 7-7 after YMCA only visit near Virginia’s try line.

Nothing else was score until half-time. Despite great ball possession and territory advantage Virginia couldn’t add to their score tally. The lack of score was mainly due to poor discipline at ruck time allowing the Derry men to get themselves out of difficult situations. At the break coach Brady stressed that the second win of the season was there for the taking with a bit more concentration and improved discipline.

Early on in the second half the hosts retook the advantage after Chris Tully kicked a penalty just right of the post to bring the score to 10-7. With the strong wind now behind them the visitors tried to kick their way into the game. But smart play form Virginia’s back three of McDermott, McLoughlin and McNally denied YMCA any opportunities. Strong running from the forwards in general were tiring away YMCA’s pack. They were consuming to many bodies at ruck time and gaps were starting to appear in their defensive line.

From one of those gaps came the second try for the home team. From a line-out on the right hand side of the pitch the ball travelled through the hands of the back line to found 1st centre Patterson. He fixed his defender and passed to John “the bull” McCabe who ran past the YMCA defense like a hot knife in butter. McCabe took the ball at full speed, with 20 meters left to the try line. He burst through the first two tackles, resisted a last charge from the full-back and crossed the line. Great score after great work from the backs. Against the strong wind the conversion was missed. 17-7.

At that stage of the game both team were aware of the importance of the next score. But Virginia had a real firm grip on the game. Virginia defense was well in place, Captain Pienaar relentless tackling was annihilating any hope of a score for the visitors. The host were putting the Derry team under huge pressure at ruck time with clever counter-rucking. The Derry line-outs were targeted too. Good jumping by lock Ben Gilmore allowed him to harvest few balls on opposition throws. And from one of them stolen balls came the next score. Gilmore disrupted the Derry throw and the ball was fumbled by their jumper, it was caught by Fintan O’Reilly who ran at the YMCA line. Following a couple of rucks the ball went through the hand to find winger Jamie McDermott. Mc Dermott flirted with the touch line but remained on the pitch, and following a good dive he scored in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed but Virginia were now 15 point ahead, 22-7.

The last try would come only few minutes before the final whistle following a quick penalty played by prop Damien Agasse. The French front row tapped quickly for himself on the half-way line and as props do, ignore the 5 men overlap on his right hand side only to run and crash in the nearest opponent. Sacrebleu! Nevertheless, the play bounced few times on the left hand side to end up once again on McDermott’s wing. The youngster was eager to redeem himself, since he had been sent-off in Derry for an alleged “dangerous” tackle. He didn’t disappoint and once again whizzed down the touch-line to score in the same corner for his second try of the day. No conversion, 27-7 final score.

A good start of the year for the Virginia team. Even though there is still a lot of room for improvements the team displayed great commitment and effort on the day. They were well rewarded with 4 tries and an enjoyable game!

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