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Clane Second XV 8
Kilkenny Second XV 22

By Padraic Treacy

Kilkenny Seconds travelled to Clane on Sunday and returned home with a well deserved victory and the bonus point in this Leinster League tie. On what was a cold and blustery afternoon, this game was a very one-sided event for the Kilkenny boys.

2 minutes into the game Rod Hogan crossed the line for the first of his two tries following an excellent individual run up the touch line to score in the corner. Battling a strong crosswind, Quentin Hearne attempted to add the conversion points but was unsuccessful. Kilkenny marched on from this point, however some very suspect decisions from the referee managed to prevent Kilkenny from scoring further. Clane missed a penalty kick opportunity on 8 minutes in front of the Kilkenny posts and this was actually all that they could produce for the rest of the half.

With the Kilkenny forwards working hard, in particular, Joubert Debertia, they harassed Clane up front and produced some excellent ball for the backline. Time and time again the referee denied the visitors scoring opportunities but this did not affect Kilkenny and on 29 minutes their hard work paid off when Brian Hanrahan, following a superb rolling maul, drove over the line and touched down to score a try. Keith Brennan stepped up to convert but just narrowly missed his target. Kilkenny kept up the pressure for the remainder of the half and went into the break 10 -0 in front.

The second half started with Clane having found a new lease of life and on 45 minutes they crossed the Kilkenny line and were awarded a very controversial try. The Clane second row player, took the ball on himself and supported by fellow team mates drove over the Kilkenny line only to lose control of the ball and failed to touch it down. The surprising thing is, everybody in the grounds could see it was a failed attempt except for the referee who, to the annoyance of Kilkenny, duly allowed the try. This spurred Kilkenny onwards and 3 minutes later following a move direct from the training pitch, the ball was floated out along the backline to the speedy Rod Hogan who superbly broke through the Clane defence to score the second of his two tries. Quentin Hearne failed to add the conversion points.

Kilkenny were now in the driving seat and directed the outcome of this game. On 66 minutes the forwards again drove forward and Conor Bass easily touched down under the posts with Hearne adding the conversion. Clane tempers began to fray at this point and Clane tried their utmost to upset Kilkenny with late tackles and other off the ball incidents. Surprisingly the referee failed to see any of these incidents but this did not discourage the Kilkenny team and the game ended 22 – 8 in their favour.

Kilkenny seconds are sitting snugly in 2nd position in the table, 4 points behind leaders Clondalkin, who have played one game more than Kilkenny. They are improving week on week and the newer players, such as Jimmy Dunne, Richie Connolly and Rod Hogan are starting to make their mark on this squad. It is great to see that the team are using the advice given them by their excellent coaching team of Enda Cantwell and Joe Walsh.

Although everybody played to the best of their ability, best for Kilkenny on the day were Joubert Debertia, who’s tackling and work-rate around the pitch is awe inspiring, Rod Hogan who demonstrated on a number of occasions his ball handling skills, side step and amazing turn of pace and prop-forward, Brian Nolan who upset the Clane forwards repeatedly during the game.

Kilkenny Seconds most likely have a free weekend this week as Wexford Wanderers are unlikely to field a team, but the coaching staff are busily trying to organise a friendly for them.

Kilkenny 2nd XV – Tom Corrigan, Richie Connolly, Conor Phelan, Vinnie O’Shea, Rod Hogan, Keith Brennan, Quentin Hearne, Conor Bass, James Blanchfield, Joubert Debertia, Brendan McIntyre, Johnny Corr, Kevin Oates, Brian Hanrahan, Brian Nolan.

Substitutes –
Jimmy Dunne, Dave Matthews, Conor Foley, Rory O’Brien, David Buckley.

Padraic Treacy, 10th October 2010