Young Munster Under 15’s League v Bruff

November 7, 2018

We welcomed back David Benn after a long-term injury and he showed no ill effects of the long lay-off. The opening exchanges were evenly contested and we struck early, with Dean Garvey slotting over a penalty after 10 minutes when Bruff were penalised in front of their own posts.

The physically bigger Bruff pack began to gain the upper hand in tight exchanges, and pressure eventually told after 25 minutes when Bruff crashed over for a try after several surges by their pack. A lapse of concentration by us saw Bruff cross for a further try on the stroke of half time, leaving the score at10-3 to Bruff at the break. Our opponents started the second half in determined mood and a well worked move off the base of a scrum close to our line saw them cross for their third try.

We gradually began to come to terms with the physicality of the bigger Bruff team, with Andrew McNamara a revelation at full back (his first outing in this position). Indeed several of our players featured in unfamiliar positions and did extremely well.

On 45 minutes, we managed to get a foothold in the Bruff 22, and second row Eoghan Carey crossed for a try from close range. Further sustained pressure saw us begin to dominate proceedings with Bruff lucky to avoid losing a player to the sin bin after being penalised for persistently infringing at the breakdown.
Calvin McDonagh had his first outing at No.8 and proved to be a constant thorn in Bruff’s side, ably assisted by Jack Finucane, Shane O’Connell and Jake Fitzgerald who gave a great display, particularly when switched to hooker. Our centres were really causing problems for the Bruff defence, with newcomer Enis Xiahiaj scoring a brilliant individual try on his debut for the Cookies. With the last kick of the game, Dean Garvey was agonisingly just wide with the conversion attempt, which would have given us a well deserved draw.

Although we were very disappointed to come away empty handed, the performance by the team is improving considerably with each passing week, and with some players due back from injuries and other commitments, the future bodes well.

Team: Andrew McInerney Tadhg Enright, Enis Xiahiaj, David Benn, Seamus Rainsford; Dean Garvey, Josh Fitzgerald; Jack Finucane, Emmett Connolly, Jake Bennis; Eoghan Carey, Shane O’Connell; Jake Fitzgerald, Calvin McDonagh, Brendan Kelly. Subs: Damien Benson, Anthony Shaw, Caylum O’Dwyer.