Senior XV 7 Kanturk RFC 19 (AIL 2C - 21/01/2017)

An air of gloom permeated around the grounds of Boyne Rugby Club at Shamrock Lodge on Saturday last when they lost a vital bottom of the table clash to fellow strugglers, Kanturk.
There was no doubting the result and the Cork side fully deserved their important win. They approached the game with discipline, a positive attitude and played to their strengths with shrewd decisions and an excellent general in their out half, McCauliffe, who also had an unerring boot, taking all of the chances he was presented with from placed kicks to notch a personal scoring tally of 14pts.
Boyne, on the other hand, were lacking in discipline and conceded numerous penalties as well as taking wrong decisions in open play at vital times which meant promising moves came to nothing. Their task to remain in AIL rugby is now a monumental one based on their performance in this game.
The Boyne back division had to rely on possession from speculative kicks from the opposition to set up their attacks but the visitors were containing the Boyne offensive with excellent defence to deny them scoring opportunities.
The Kanturk side were content to suppress the Boyne attacks and avail of any slip ups to utilise the boot of their out half McCauliffe. The first of these came on the 7th minute when Boyne were penalised for holding on in the tackle and the out half obliged with the first score of the game when he slotted the resultant penalty for 3pts.
Following this score Kanturk put together a fine passing movement and it took a try saving tackle from Boyne full back, Eoghan Duffy, to prevent the visitors increasing their lead. Boyne backs, Duffy and Howell had some fine runs but their efforts ended with handling errors and bundled into touch. The Kanturk wing forward, Dan McCabe, suffered the wrath of a touch judge’s intervention when he alerted the referee to an incident which resulted in a yellow card. This didn’t prevent the Cork men increasing their lead to 6pts coming up to the half hour with yet another penalty by McCauliffe when, once again, Boyne didn’t roll away in the tackle at the breakdown.
Kanturk were managing to contain Boyne’s forays with good defence and were content to take their own chances. Another penalty ensued when Boyne out half Niall Kerbey was yellow carded and penalised for a high tackle coming up to half time. McCauliffe landed a fine kick from the 10’ line to bring make the half time score 9pts to nil to Kanturk.
Boyne’s first opportunity to register a score came just after half time when Kanturk conceded a rare penalty within kicking range. With Boyne out half Kerbey in the sin bin the kick was entrusted to winger Brodigan. His attempt never got airborne and was easily cleared by Kanturk.
Hopes were raised when shortly after Kerbey’s return he powered his way over for a try following a Boyne scrum for accidental offside. He converted his own try from in front of the posts for 7pts to leave two points between the sides. Boyne were having their best spell midway through the second half but failure to exert control of their possession at times was the undoing of some good work. At a crucial stage of the game Boyne managed to force a penalty on their own 10’ line. Kerbey found a superb touch deep in the Kanturk 22’ for a Boyne lineout. In what was the turning point of the game, the throw was crooked and Kanturk cleared beyond the half way line from the resultant scrum.
Kanturk resumed control for the remainder of the game and Boyne suffered another blow when once again they were penalised at the breakdown. McCauliffe once again delivered the ‘coup de grace’ with a good strike to send the ball between the posts for a 7pts to 12pts lead.
Boyne were clinging on to a precious bonus league point going into the closing stages but also let this slip when they failed to control a speculative kick into their 22’and conceding a scrum. Kanturk completed the task when they controlled the scrum deep in the Boyne 22’ and their out half and ‘man of the match’, McCauliffe, wrong footed the Boyne defence on the blind side before delivering a delightful reverse pass to his winger who made the line for the decisive score of the game. McCauliffe finished off a fine afternoons work with the conversion to leave the score 7pts to 19pts and send his team and a sizeable Kanturk support on the long journey home to Cork in a happy mood.
There are still seven games left to play in this league with Boyne now firmly rooted at the bottom of the table. They have a herculean task to gain enough league points to survive. Saturdays effort fell some way short in a number of aspects. Their propensity to concede penalties cost them dearly and the failure to utilise their backs to any effective attacking ploy is another frustrating aspect of their tactics. Basics such as lineouts, ruck clear-out and retaining possession are other facets which need to be improved.
Boyne XV & Repls; Eoghan Duffy; Robbie Brodigan, Brian Howell, Ronan O’Brien, Adam Brodigan; Niall Kerbey, Nick Smith; John Kinsella, Padraig Mongey, Hugh Carolan; Richard Shuttleworth, Ciaran Smith; George Cooney (Capt), Ben Dunphy, Rory Hennessy. Repls all used; Patrick Shuttleworth, Jerry Onianwa, Keith Keogh, Sean Woods, Shane Campbell.