This season’s Seapoint U-20s continue to wait for their first league victory after being comprehensively beaten 47 points to nil by a well drilled and accomplished Buccaneers side. Seapoint never gave up for the entire 80 minutes and had their opportunities, but a poor start, poor discipline, and failure to execute their game plan prevented them from registering a score.
For the third match in this league campaign, Seapoint started with the wind in their favour. From the kick-off they managed to keep Buccs confined to their own half for the first few minutes and exerted good defensive pressure, eventually forcing the Buccs out-half to kick. Arthur Hoade fielded brilliantly but was penalized for not releasing in the ensuing ruck, despite the fact the opposing player never appeared to have his hands on the ball. From the ensuing penalty and lineout, Buccs secured possession and with significant pressure managed to drive over for their first try after only 10 minutes. Their out-half converted to leave the score at 7 points to nil.
From the next kick-off again Seapoint managed to keep Buccaneers in their own half for some time but failed to secure possession for any significant period. Then Oisin Horan was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on after a genuine interception attempt. With only 14 players on the pitch Seapoint defended resolutely but ultimately conceded a second try (unconverted) to leave the score at 12 nil about midway through the first half. The half continued like that with Buccaneers maintaining possession, Seapoint defending and any opportunities they had to build pressure were lost through poor handling or poor decisions. Buccs scored a third converted try from first phase possession in a lineout which was disappointing given how well Seapoint defended throughout the first half. Just before half time Seapoint did manage to gain a really good attacking opportunity from a 5-yard lineout but crucially conceded a turnover and lost the opportunity. That left Seapoint trailing 19 -0 at half time.
Seapoint had a tough job facing into a breeze which had strengthened in the second half and made life considerably harder for themselves when they knocked on the restart to give Buccs an attacking scrum inside the 22. From the ensuing scrum Buccs were awarded a penalty and from the subsequent lineout in the corner began the second half with another converted try. 26 nil. The second half continued in that pattern. Seapoint tackling bravely and defending honestly but with minimal possession and against a strong breeze they were unable to prevent the home side scoring a further 3 converted tries to leave the final score at a comprehensive 47 – 0 defeat. Crucially big Jack Reynolds came off with a bruised shoulder in the second half and will be a big loss for next weekend.
There were some positives within the performance. In terms of courage and commitment the team never gave up and the entire 22 fought bravely until the last minute. Lineouts were reasonably secure albeit we turned over the critical one when we had a real scoring opportunity. Scrums were unusually poor, and we were at a disadvantage in an area where we expect parity at a minimum. Hugh Ross led from the front throughout the match and Conor McCaul put in some big tackles. In the second half against the wind Reynolds and Sheehan put in some good carries when we had possession. Harry Whelehan had a fine debut and played the full 80 minutes for Seapoint at scrum half. All in all, however the overall team performance needs major improvement when we travel to Naas next weekend.