Seapoint happy as pigs in … mud as 2011s dig deep against Clontarf on Super Sunday
By Jaime McKeown
Epic day of challenges sees U11s also secure hard fought victories against bowling pins, fellow laser taggers, pizza and ticket-spewing machines
Sunday 06 February 2022 @ Fortress Kilbogget
In the first of a trinity of home fixtures, Seapoint welcomed the vikings of Clontarf as they took their longboats across the Liffey from Dubh Linn to Seapoint RC on a typical Sunday morning when the weather gods set their phasers to “sunny, cloudy, wet, dry, blustery, still, cold and warm” – just your usual four-seasons-in-a-day fare as the Seapoint faithful are well accustomed to!
And making a welcome return to the hallowed turf for a 2022 debut were water-logged and muddy sections of pitch, much to the initial horror swiftly followed by sheer delight of the mud-magnets that are the 2011 squad. Washing machines from Shankill to Clontarf sensed a disturbance in The Force while Tesco down the road restocked the washing powder aisles with impressive pace…
Following strong performances against Terenure two weeks previously, the 2011s had been working hard in the intervening period, even taking some precious time out of their schedules to volunteer their services to help coach a former All-Black who was still hunting down the RWC 2015 medal he gave away to a pitch invader…
With the promise of a team social at Bray Bowl to come that afternoon, the first in a long time given “you know what”, the squad were giddy with excitement and keen to get to work…
Team Blue were fast out of the traps, starting the morning with three well executed tries without reply. Many performances of note on the day included the strong contributions of Matthew with extraordinary handling and relentless tackling and Amaury popping up everywhere, more often than not dotting the ball down on the opposition’s tryline for some fine individual and team scores.
Paddy and Charlie also added to their season’s try/tackle tally, combining well all morning, running different lines and making many tackles count. Mohammed in only his second ever rugby game made a clear break out of nowhere covering at least 20metres, with a desperate opposition defence hanging on for dear life as they tried to slow him down. Tom and Oscar B offered reliable support and had runs of their own, bursting up the pitch with speed and determination!
During all three matches, Harry, Ciaran and James covered the wings and worked well under pressure. Oscar Carron had a great overall game, tackled so bravely and contributed well, at one stage driving his opposite number a good 10metres back while somehow Sam was there covering his every move (must be school pals!). James K was pinched to shore up another squad but made a great impact scoring early.
In advance of the team bonding session that afternoon, it was heart-warming to see the guys exchange the ball on the try-line to ensure fellow teammates got a score – just reward for great support play!
Tackling was one of the stand outs from the boys on Team Black, starting perhaps not surprisingly with Dexter consistently crunching bones (he said himself he sometimes hears the tacklees groaning before they hit the ground), and generating a few oohs and ahhs from parents on the sideline looking on!
Rory M found his carry form once again, steamrolling through opposition and while he took a knock in Game 3, he came back on like a lumber jack literally felling every Clontarf player that was unfortunate to win the ball in his vicinity.
Sean C showing his pace with end to end runs and tackling like a man on a mission. Luca decided to play out on the wing today (a change to his usual front and centre) and as always didn’t disappoint when he got the ball, racking up yards, carries and offloads in offence and never shying away from tackles.
On his Seapoint debut, Malcom too put in some immense tackles for someone who’s not had much game time and got stuck in whenever needed. Daniel K & Matthew B captained for a game each and were great communicators for their team and lead by example. Dylan H had some brilliant play making creating tries for both James and others to run in before he injured his “Roblox thumb”…”luckily it wasn’t the bowling hand” said he!
From the ref’s perspective, in Game 1 they started on fire and had three tries racked up after 2mins and continued to link up and keep the ball alive. Game 2 was a bit messy with a couple on injuries but some decent attempts at spreading the play on a small pitch while Team Black all really fronted-up in Game 3, having to make a lot of ‘low’ big tackles and poaching against tough opposition. Along with great defence, Sean C’s try came from great hands across the line and a mesmerising run beating defenders with ease!
An introduction to winter rugby today, cold, wet, windy, sunny…..Irish! A super team performance taking inspiration from Ross and how he led the team throughout but especially in the first game, a phenomenal all-round performance.
The challenge was set and the team rose to it in Games 2 and 3 – lovely passing through the hands with Alex, Daniel, Matthew and Alessandro getting on the ball and making the hard yards. James Martin was a man on a mission making a nuisance of himself in defence and covering the pitch.
Alfonso scored a beauty of a try, powering through tackles and touching down in the corner despite his cold Islas Canarias Hands (I think he hoped they counted as an injury….). Sam Byrne was angry about something and that was bad news for Clontarf, breaking tackles and having the awareness to pass when it was on.
Luke continues to be the biggest hitter on the pitch, creating momentum for the team in defence – what a weapon – while Oscar Urell was busy looking for the ball and breaking through gaps. Bobby Cave playing in the front row scored 3+ tries, says it all, we lost count, he ran the pitch twice (and outside of the Chris Ashton swan dives), combining power with pace to be a constant threat.
Eoghan Collins led from the front, and in space, doubling up as Captain for the day, making and breaking tackles in equal measure. Tom Quinn was industrious as ever, getting stuck in, with some lovely kick offs and always looking for a blind-side move when it was on.
So yet another milestone on this season’s journey from boys to bigger boys! A marked-improvement in handling on a blustery day and despite the conditions underfoot going from soft to swamp-like, there was still plenty of fast-paced running rugby so well done all involved.
The afternoon’s social/team-bonding session was another story altogether and we’re all still recovering from a manic but marvellous two hours of overdosing on pizza and collecting paper tokens by the truckload (take a bow Paddy O’B!). Suffice to say, the WhatsApp messages and photos said it all but a special and honourable mention to Garrett Q for pulling it all together (and hope he’s not too scarred by the experience!) – was a great way to round off an excellent morning’s work.
Well done all once again and keep an eye on the WhatsApp chat for details of the next team social – it promises to be magnifique…!