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  U15 SEL 02/10/10
Kilkenny 31-5 Tullow

Kilkenny’s first Under 15 game of the season produced a win for the home side, a first half with plenty of good rugby and a second which deteriorated into a series of individual bursts and enough bad decision making and poor ball handling to leave their coaches frustrated on the touch line.

Some incisive early running from centres Matthew McWey and David Jordan brought Kilkenny to within 15 metres of the Tullow line where they were awarded a scrum. Lively scrum half Ian Buckley fed McWey on a burst and when he was tackled a couple of metres from the line, second row, Tom Cuddihy was quickly on hand to pick up the ball and dive over just to the right of the posts.

From the kick off hooker Ben Devlin launched an attack up the right wing, the ball was swiftly passed across the pitch to full back Kevin Mullen who scorched up the left touch line to the Tullow 22. Centre Jordan straightened the line again, drew two defenders and popped a lovely pass to out half Jake McDonald who was a running a great angle and shot in under the posts. McDonald converted his own try to bring the score to 14- 0 to Kilkenny.

Kilkenny were full of confidence now and even more so a minute later when big second row Tom Cuddihy caught the ball from the kick off and juggled with it for a moment before storming 70 metres scattering would be tacklers like confetti at a wedding and scoring a fine individual try.

In fairness to Tullow they shrugged off the 21 point onslaught and started driving the game into the Kilkenny half. After 25 minutes they forced a penalty 10 metres out from the Kilkenny line, a quick tap and a determined burst from their powerfully built No. 7 saw him crash over for a try by the corner flag.

Just before half time Tullow were again attacking down the left wing through their try scoring back row but this time he was stopped in his tracks by a great tackle from left wing Luke Rafter. Kilkenny number 8 Daniel O’Connor pounced on the loose ball and whipped it out to full back Mullen who raced to the half way line and kicked ahead before being obstructed by the Tullow hooker as he went to regather his kick. The Tullow No. 2 was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes where he joined Kilkenny captain McWey who himself had been yellow carded for foul play a couple of minutes earlier. Kilkenny tapped and ran the penalty and again fed the pacy Kevin Mullen and this time there was no stopping him as he raced 50 metres to score the try which left the half time score at 26-5 to Kilkenny.

The home side started the second half as they had finished the first when a fine tackle by prop Johnny Hoyne turned the ball over on the half way line. Scrum half Buckley spun a lovely pass out to David Jordan, Kilkenny’s top tackler on the day, and he blazed through two tackles to score the try that his overall display richly deserved. Jake McDonald was unlucky to see his well struck conversion attempt come back off an upright and Jordan’s try proved to be the end of the scoring in this game.

Perhaps because of a series of very heavy showers the standard of play for the remainder of this game was quite poor. Second row Shane O’Carroll, Kevin Mullen, David Jordan and replacement back row Daniel Rafter put in some excellent tackles but it’s fair to say that the decent sized crowd weren’t sorry to hear the referee’s whistle for the end of the game.

Squad: Johnny Hoyne, Ben Devlin, Mark Carrigan, Tom Cuddihy, Shane O’Carroll, Aiden McDonald, Daniel ‘Doc’ O’Connor, Sean Brennan, Ian Buckley, Jake McDonald, Matthew McWey, David Jordan, Luke Rafter, Michael Ryan, Kevin Mullen, Daniel Rafter, Shawn Fitzgerald, Declan McCarthy, Paddy Ryan, Jim Moore, Daniel O’Connor, Luke Hassan

Anyone born in 1996 or 1997 and who would like to experience the thrills of the great game of rugby is more than welcome to come training any Monday or Wednesday evening at 6.45pm sharp at Kilkenny Rugby Club or contact coach Noel Devlin on 087 2831174 for more information.

Niall McDermott, 3th October 2010