Dec 11, 2018

3rds stay top with Lansdowne win

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Metro League Division 2 – Old Wesley 11 Lansdowne 8

Report by Michael Kearney

The reverse of this fixture earlier in the season made me believe that Old Wesley’s 3rds could win something this year. Wesley were up against it at scrum time and in the lineouts that day, against a beefy Lansdowne pack, but walked away with a bonus point win.

With a meeting time of 3.45pm on Saturday, it was evident from early on that this wasn’t a day for free-flowing rugby. Although down a few players it was clear from the warm up that we were up for it. Not even the losses of Gav (wedding no.12) and Lukey (TV appearance no.12) could disrupt our prep.

When the game kicked off Wesley started with a strong wind behind us. Early pressure from Lansdowne was eased by Jack, (fresh from cosmetic surgery to make himself look more like a forward) poaching on the ground for the first of his 4 turnovers. The monster boot of Balance put us deep in the Lansdowne half and after a few phases of carrying Lansdowne gave away a penalty, 3-0.

For the rest of the half Lansdowne had a big problem. Every relieving kick seemed to be sliced into touch for no gain and if they tried to carry out of their half they were met by a wall of Wesley, led by our returning captain, Jeff, who seemed determined to tackle himself into concussion. This defensive pressure led to Wesley’s next score. A strip in a tackle inside the Lansdowne half was quickly spun wide to one David Priestman and, as they say, “the rest is history”, 8-0.

As Lansdowne started to tire the Wesley coaching ticket, containing the newly appointed assistant coach Monty, rolled on the subs. Before the half ended, Wesley added another penalty and went into the huddle 11-0 up. Wesley’s defence in the first half could only be compared to Monty’s new gilet; functional and efficient but no what one would ever call pretty to look at.

The second half was more of the same defensive effort. With the wind against us the pressure was on. The only attack of note for Wesley came from a Jamie Boyd break, but for the rest of the half we defended as if our lives depended on it! There was no sign of Balance saving himself for the touch rugby as he flew into tackles all over the park. Parf clearly took his own advice and got his drinking done early in the week, and making hits like a man possessed, Priesty moved even further ahead in the race to be top try scorer for the club. When one of the multiple Lansdowne possessions on the Wesley line was repelled, the Lansdowne coach was visibly in awe by our massive defensive effort. 

Pressure told and, through a penalty and a try 11-8, Lansdowne got within a sniff of the game.  But with the clock in the red Lansdowne turned down a tricky shot to tie the game and   kicked to touch for a 5m lineout. Pick and goes were stopped at source again and again until Boydy was rewarded a penalty…for what?  He doesn’t even know.

This win puts us top of the tree at Christmas, and hopefully, the new year will bring with it the same old determination from Wesley to win. After such an effort, and after Only Fools and Horses was sung by all to a satisfied Monty, recovery with rest and protein shakes was on everybody’s minds…..

The reverse of this fixture earlier in the season made me believe that Old Wesley’s 3rds could win something this year. Wesley were up against it at scrum time and in the lineouts that day, against a beefy Lansdowne pack, but walked away with a bonus point win.

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