Old Christians 10
Clonmel RFC 1st XV travelled to Old Christians in Cork last Sunday to rack up their second win of the season in the Munster Junior League. This was an excellent team performance by Clonmel with forwards and backs combining well to defeat Christians by 22 points to 10.
Clonmel’s four tries were the result of good forward work setting up the ball for the elusive backline.
The first try came after five minutes when Jacko Oosthyusen broke from the base of the scrum, presented the Christians outhalf with a dummy, avoided two tackles and offered another dummy to the full back to score the try. Although Clonmel were dominant for the first half it took them another 35 minutes before Oosthyusen freed up Mark Jenkenson on the wing to score the second try, this time closer to the post. Unfortunately the conversion hit the upright and went wide. So with Clonmel having most of the possession and clearly the better side they were only 10-0 ahead at halftime.
To add more to Old Christians woes, just on the stroke of half time, one of their second row players received a red card for illegal use of the boot. However, is was Christians that started the second half full of vim and vigour and within ten minutes their pressure yielded them a well taken penalty by out-half Conor Mangan. It took Clonmel another fifteen minutes or so to display their upper hand with another Oosthyusen try. A carbon copy of his first half try.
Seven minutes later, the heavy, but powerful Christians pack overwhelmed the Clonmel forwards to allow their second row player, Rob Stapleton, score a try. The try was converted by Conor Mangan. With the score now 15-10 in Clonmel’s favour and five minutes remaining, it was all to play for.
However, it was Clonmel that finished the stronger with a super backline movement that David Lonergan put the finishing touches to by scoring a try. Conor Cooney converted the try to give Clonmel a winning margin of 12 points.
This was a great team performance, and after two wins with two bonus points this puts Clonmel at the top of the table with Richmond who had a massive 51-15 win over Crosshaven last weekend.
2nd XV get another walkover
It is definitely a sign of the times when clubs are having difficulty fielding two adult teams on the same weekend. Last weekend saw Clonmel 2nd XV getting their third walk-over in the Gleeson League.
The Clonmel U7 & U8 juggernaut rolled into Tipperary town last Saturday morning to take on the might of Clanwilliam. The morning air filled with excitement as many of the fans arrived early to bask in the pre-match build-up and catch a glimpse of these famed young rugby players. Thanks to laundry skills of Zac Ryan’s mum, the team took to the pitch looking crisp and clean. The sound of the opening whistle broke the morning silence like a gunshot and the Clonmel team attacked.
After a few early tries by the Clanwilliam side - despite excellent tackling by the likes of Liam Maher, Jack Lane and Harry O’Keeffe – Clonmel settled into their stride and started piling on the pressure through John Green, Marc Hickey, Michael Connellan and William Farrell. There was no doubt that this was a much more physical game than that experienced by the side only six days previous but through pure determination, and the medical assistance of Deidre and Grainne, the team worked through the pain barrier as it progressed up the pitch.
The attacking prowess of Even Spelman and his cousin Tadgh Walsh was a welcome addition to team this week and was once again accompanied by the quick feet of Ben Hannafin, Ralph Kerry and Cianan Power. Zac Ryan tackled with his usual ferocity and with the game on a knife-edge, the referee signalled the last play.
There was an audible intake of breath by all who watched as young Ben O’Dwyer took possession of the ball and threaded the white wash of the side-line as he took off for the corner flag. The stunned silence was broken by the roars of encouragement from his proud dad and was soon accompanied by a chorus of cheers as Ben touched down to score the final try of the game.
A big thank you to Clanwilliam for being such great hosts and to Liam Maher’s mum for volunteering to wash the jerseys.
The u-9s last Saturday morning had an away blitz in Clanwilliam, The sun was shining brightly as our warriors took to the pitch against an extremely strong and organised Clanwilliam team. Right from the off Clan came at us hard, and inevitable pressure resulted in an early try for Clan.
Clonmel were not to be outdone and Jack broke the speed limit is he flew up the pitch to score a try. There were some tenacious tackling from both sides as neither side was willing to give an inch. Big tackles from Harry, Zac, Sean, Adam, Cian O’D ensued as Clonmel traded tries with Clan.
Clan were overwhelmed by the quick tackling from tip offs from Paddy, TJ, Jack and Fionn with Cian P and Culann covering the wings. Clan scored some outstanding individual tries despite some big tackles from Adam, Sean and Zac (The Bull) O‘Loughlin. But the support cover from all Clonmel players at the breakdown was excellent and resulted in outstanding team tries from Paddy, Jack and Cian P.
As the blistering sun beat down and both teams starting to tire, we saw one of the best moves of the match. A big tackle from Zac, Paddy, Harry on our own line, with follow on support from Sean, Cian O’D, Fionn saw quick ball out to Ciann P who interchanged with TJ who passed out to Adam, who burst up past half way taking out half of the Clan players on his way when he was eventually grounded. Who pops up only Jack and with a dazzling display of body swerves, twists and turns that had us all dizzy just from watching him and over he goes for another try in the corner.
This was a great display from the whole team, who came away with a well-deserved draw. Big credit to Clanwilliam for one of our toughest competitions this season. There were a lot of contenders for MOM this week, but Man of the match this week was Jack O’Neill, his blistering pace, fleet of foot, twisting and turning and try scoring dazzled all on the day .
Big thanks to all the parents and to Adrian for the photos, See you all on Saturday
Next Saturday 13 all minis are back to training at 10.30am sharp at the clubhouse
All Weather Pitches
Clonmel RFC has re-launched its state of the art All Weather Pitch. Sportslawn Ireland have installed a FIFA 2 star VT60 product that meets the necessary performance requirements for top level football.
The pitches are also now fully enclosed with overhead and side netting.
Bookings are now being taken on 087-3724394 and at office @clonmelrfc.com
So please come along and enjoy this wonderful modern facility
1st XV play St. Mary’s at home on Sunday in the third round of the Munster Junior League. Kick-off, 2.30pm.
2nd XV play in the fifth round of the Gleeson League away against Newcastlewest on Saturday 13th October. Kick-off, 6.30pm.