Irish Rugby Football Union
Lansdowne Dominate St Marys to take Full Points
March 17, 2013Lansdowne Football Club
St Marys 6
Ulster Bank League
A dominant Lansdowne pack was the key to victory today against St Marys. The win mantains Lansdowne's lead in 1A at 14 points over 2nd placed Clontarf with 4 games left to play.
In a tight first half St Marys had the better start to the game and capitalised on some basic handling errors from Lansdowne to move into an early 3 point lead with a penalty from their full-back Gavin Dunne. With hailstones pouring down the weather was having a major influence on proceedings and Lansdowne were guilty of trying to force things a little too much in such conditions. Common sense prevailed and Lansdowne tightened things up to good effect with the home scrum in particular looking to have the upper hand.
The scrum pressure finally took its toll when Lansdowne were awarded a penalty try after St Marys had collapsed a scrum close to their line for the second time. Craig Ronaldson easily converted and added another couple of penalties with St Marys only able to manage another penalty from Dunne somewhat against the run of play.
As has been in the trend in recent games Lansdowne started the second half with a great intensity with Tadgh Beirne taking a great catch from the kick off and with the help of Tom Sexton drove back Marys 20 yards. Marys finally resorted to collapsing the maul and Ronaldon's penalty left Lansdowne firmly in the opposition 22 with the throw in. Beirne was again to the fore securing the lineout which lansdowne mauled. Simon Morrissey, who had a huge game in the centre, crashed over for a try after some strong driving play from the lansdowne pack had put the Marys defence on the back foot. The conversion drifted wide but Lansdowne kept their foot on the petal and Ronaldson added another penalty to make it 21 - 6.
With Morrissey a little harshly sin-binned for another of his trade mark pummelling hits St Marys came back into the game but a proud and defiant defence stood firm and did not concede a point.
With Lansdowne now restored to their full compliment Lansdowne were now in complete control of the set pieces and there was no respite for St Marys as Marty Moore replaced Darren O'Reilly to good effect in the Lansdowne front row. Lansdowne pushed St Marys off their own scrum five yards from Marys own try line, Lansdowne went for the jugular and kept on driving the scrum and Ron Boucher got the touch down to a huge roar from the Lansdowne faithful. A fitting reward for Boucher who was celebrating his 100th AIL appearance for Lansdowne - only the 6th Lansdowne player to complete such a feat.
In the dying minutes Lansdowne nailed down the bonus point try when another clinical lineout maul yielded a converted try for flanker Charlie Butterworth.
Next for Lansdowne a difficult away trip to UL Bohemians who desperately need a win to lift themselves off the bottom of the table and avoid relegation. This is a focussed Lansdowne side who won't be distracted by talk of greater things and will look no further ahead than this game and see where that leaves us. See you next Saturday in Limerick.