RUGBY SCHOOLS’ CUP QUARTER FINAL
RBAI V MCB Saturday February 22 2014.
From the very onset of the game the dominance of the MCB maul was evident and provided an extremely powerful asset gaining them much ground early on and putting considerable pressure on the RBAI defence.
RBAI however entered the game forcefully in attack, catching the MCB defence off guard, gaining important territory and camping on the five metre line for a short period.
A poor kicking performance from the MCB scrum half Fraser Wallace, allowed RBAI to continue their attacking pressure, however the skill of the MCB lineout made it very difficult for RBAI to gain good ball to initiate a set piece move.
A missed penalty kick by RBAI was a huge relief for MCB who looked shocked at the difference of the team they had beaten earlier in the year. This poor kicking performance would continue on through the game and would overall cost the RBAI team dearly, losing a possible 12 points that would have seen them clear winners.
The weight of the MCB forward pack was clear at scrum time, as Michael Lagan led his team forward with an impressive performance, but was stopped by RBAI prop Josh Lyness who also had a stand out performance.
A late try in the first half by MCB`s Conor McKee meant that MCB led at the end of the first half by five points to zero. This however was in contrast to the statistics of the game in which RBAI seemed to dominate both possession and territory.
Good handling by the RBAI backline allowed them to increase their pressure in attack, led by out half Fraser Wright the handling and communication of the backs was exemplary but was unable to gain any points due to the impressive defensive performance of MCB, led in the backline by inside centre Conor McKee.
The second half kicked off with another impressive display from Fraser Wright, leading to an MCB lineout deep in their own 22. A further missed penalty by Fraser Wright increased the pressure on his side, who continued to trail 5:3 on the scoreboard. However he would later relieve the pressure, with a penalty bringing the score to 5:6 in RBAI`s favour, but this lead was not long lasted.
MCB immediately fought back into the game, closing in on the Inst try line only to have a try disallowed by the brilliant defence of RBAI wing Conor Field. But a penalty Kick from Josh Bingham brought the score to 8:6 in MCB`s favour.
The dominance of MCB was clear until Saul Herdman, MCB number was sent off for foul play on RBAI`s Lewis McNamara. This gave RBAI a last chance of salvaging the game and coming away with a victory but the penalty kick was missed and RBAI heads fell down.
Overall, RBAI dominated most aspects of open play, although the MCB maul and lineout were essential to their victory they did not deliver the performance that would have been expected from them. RBAI played a very good game and were perhaps the better team on the day, having not lost so many chances in terms of penalties they would have come away victorious. MCB took their chance of the of the game and came away with the win.
By Matthew Young Year 13.