Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Leinster took their chances, say Paula & Suzie Downes

foreword by Big Joe Shep

Paula and Suzie Downes are Leinster & Ireland rugby loving sisters who previously enjoyed watching rugby, but up to recently didn’t fully understand aspects of the game. They have spent recent times on a journey, learning everything from what positions are what numbers to the inherent differences between the forwards and the backs and to how the respective roles bring a team together. They have now decided to have a “crack” at writing (harping?)on rugby but only…..for the “craic!”

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors – RDS 23rd October 2015

scrum downes

It was one of those nights when you thought the referee would never blow the final whistle.  You just kept expecting Glasgow to come back.  Not that we’re saying that Leinster didn’t deserve the win but the same could equally be said for Glasgow.

Glasgow started the game in a dominant attacking position although five minutes in, Ben Te’o executed a choke tackle and won the turnover.  The thirteenth minute saw the young prop Zander Fagerson cross the line with a successful conversion by Weir. McFadden quickly followed this up with a penalty from the ruck and put three points on the board for Leinster.

With further points being added on both sides through penalties, the Warriors were leading 13 – 6 with a minute to go before half time.  In the final minute as Leinster were on the attack, a reckless tackle on Aaron Dundon resulted in a yellow card for Pat MacArthur. McFadden failed to capitalise on the penalty awarded to Leinster.

On the resumption of the game, with James Tracy replacing a concussed Aaron Dundon, Leinster took full advantage of having the extra man.  A great run forward by Gary Ringrose led to a Luke McGrath try, which was converted by McFadden.  Following an onslaught by Glasgow, their dogged determination was rewarded with a try by Naiyaravoro, the conversion was missed by Weir with the score at 18 – 13.  A replacement of props, Dooley and Furlong together with Tracy, made an impact on the remaining game, resulting in stronger scrums.

Isaac Boss, replacing Luke McGrath, further impacted on the game by contributing to the second try for Leinster.  A pass to Isa Nacewa, subsequently followed by another to McFadden on the left wing, led to a penalty try, which McFadden converted with the score now 20 -18.  The try was awarded as Naiyaravoro was deemed to have deliberately slapped the ball dead, resulting in a yellow card for the number 14.

A further penalty missed by Weir just inside the Leinster half on the 69th minute and a strong finish by Leinster with a third penalty successfully taken by McFadden, ended the game with a score of 23 -18.

All things considered, a number of positives for Leinster to be taken from the game, namely a solid performance from the backs.  Okay, there were a couple of poor passes and knock-ons, but on the whole, we thought we saw some good forward runs from the centres and Ringrose was the well-deserved Man Of The Match showing some great insight at times.  When called on in defence, they were all eager to get stuck in and try and play whatever ball came their way.  We think Te’o and Reid worked well together, despite a few sloppy passes from the latter.  The replacement first row made up of three young players, significantly impacted on the game, giving further hope that we can function effectively when key players are missing.

Some will say that Glasgow lost the game due to a lack of discipline. We would say that Leinster took their chances, applied pressure when necessary and secured the win.

23 – 18………..job done (For Leinster AND our first ever piece......PHEW!!)

@paula_downes & @suziedownes66


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Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019