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U-15's too strong for Tullow

Tullow - 7
Kilkenny - 43

Having had nearly four weeks break due to match cancellations, weather etc., Kilkenny Under-15's were back in action on Saturday in this South East League tie away to Tullow RFC. With this resounding victory, Kilkenny now top their section with only one game left (Arklow - 14/11/09) to play having beaten all contenders to date. They will then enter the playoff rounds for the Leinster League.

Kilkenny used this break in fixtures to practice on the more technical aspects of the game. It was evident on Saturday that all the hard training had paid off. However, the young Kilkenny men were quite rusty in the opening ten minutes and it took them this time to stamp their authority on the game.

The opening try came on the 12 th minute when Sean Moran broke through the Tullow defence on one of his signature side-stepping runs to score under the posts. Directly from the re-start, Kilkenny spread the ball wide to winger, Dean Conlon who ran the length of the pitch but was tackled short of the line and sent into touch. Tullow won the lineout but the ball went loose and the ever improving, Tommy Cuddihy dived on the ball to score. Kilkenny piled on the pressure from then on but failed to add points on the board and they went into the break 14 - 0 ahead.

The second half started better for the Cats. Kilkenny took control of the game from here on in and scored five tries through Cormac Connolly, Gary Dunne, Craig Murphy and Sean Moran who scored two to complete his hat-trick. Kilkenny lost their concentration for a second and Tullow capitalised on this and scored a consolation try.

The Kilkenny backs and forwards combined well and the support play was magnificent. The forwards rucked like professionals and this was definitely their best game to date. The scrums were solid and they won five against the head. The back-line played very intelligently and inventively. The use of the up-and-under worked very well and they ran hard at the opposition linking up with the forwards magnificently. It is hard to pick a man-of-the-match as everybody played equally well but the return of captain Gary Dunne from injury was a major boost to the team.

Kilkenny are at home to New Ross on Saturday, 7th November, in a friendly. New Ross are steadily improving and Kilkenny will have to perform as they did against Tullow if they want to maintain their clean record.

- Padraic Treacy - 02 November 2009