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  U15: Leinster League 09/10/10

Kilkenny 14 Wexford 52

A Kilkenny team made up of almost equal numbers of Under 14 and Under 15 players were given a harsh lesson in the standards required to compete in this Under 15 Premier South Division match. While Kilkenny competed manfully all through the game, and had plenty of possession and territory, a Wexford team full of pace and intelligent running ruthlessly punished any loose play by the home side.

In the first half Kilkenny carelessly surrendered possession from two rucks, a scrum and a loose kick for touch and on each occasion Wexford were clinical in scoring four tries to leave Kilkenny on the wrong end of a 26 – 0 half time score line.

The home team burst out of the traps from the kick off in the second with centre Matthew McWey at last using his abilities to avoid tacklers and make a lot of ground before kicking into the opposition half. What looked like a decent kick bounced a little luckily into the hands of the Wexford right wing who then showed wonderful acceleration to jink his way fully 60 metres and deliver a hammer blow of a try barely a minute into the half.

Undaunted, Kilkenny refused to bow down and ten minutes in, after good runs by prop Mark Carrigan and centre McWey, they forced a penalty inside the Wexford 22. A quickly tapped penalty saw the ball into the hands of full back Kevin Mullen and, having run with great menace all afternoon as well as being Kilkenny’s top tackler, Mullen got the reward he and his team deserved when he hared in for a try under the posts.

Poor defensive alignment in the centre of Kilkenny’s defence after 20 minutes left all the space that the razor sharp Wexford winger needed to race in for another score. Incredibly, Kilkenny again left room for the same winger to exploit 3 minutes later and even though full back Mullen made a superb tackle ten metres from the line he could do nothing to prevent the Wexford No. 12 from taking the offload and diving over by the posts for the try.

The teams traded one more try apiece in the final minutes to leave Kilkenny well beaten with a score line of 52 points to 14 and an idea of the work that needs to be done to get them up to the standard required.

SQUAD: John Hoyne, Ben Devlin, Mark Carrigan, Shane O’Carroll, Sean Brennan, Luke Hassan, Brendan McSorley, Daniel O’Connor, Ian Buckley, Jake McDonald, Matthew McWey, David Jordan, Luke Rafter, Michael Ryan, Kevin Mullen, Gareth Graham, Daniel Rafter, Declan McCarthy, John Hanrick, Shawn Fitzgerald, Peter Hutchison, Lyndon Brannigan

The Kilkenny Under 14 & Under 15 sides train together at the club every Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6.45pm sharp. Whether you’ve played rugby before or not you’ll get a warm welcome there if you were born in 1996 or 1997. Contact coach Noel Devlin on 087 2831174 for more information.

Niall McDermott, 10th October 2010