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B&I Cup - Leinster Away

By Corporalcarrot
October 27 2014

Leinster "A" in Dublin on a wet & wild night in late October was ultimately too big a challenge for Jersey and the home team deserved the win although the final points difference between the teams in my opinion didn't reflect the balance of the game and I see no reason why we cannot beat them back at St Peter. 

Unusually I found that the team were on the same flight as me heading to Dublin via Southampton and luck was with me as I didn't end up sitting next to a prop or second row who generally fill one and a half seats on a small plane. The five or six hour hold over at Southampton has been well recorded elsewhere but ultimately we made it to Dublin Airport by 4pm and I hurried through passport control (they are clearly not fussy in Dublin as one senior team member before me in the queue had forgotten his passport but managed to blag his way through on the strength of a driving licence) and a taxi got me into Dublin City Centre before 5pm.

Dublin would not be the same without Guinness and Oysters so I dropped my bag off at the hotel and within minutes was walking through Temple Bar when I bumped into Ed Dawson's Dad - Dublin must be very small place or Jersey supporters have similar tastes. A pint of Guinness was enjoyed in the Temple Bar Pub enjoying the cracking live music and then I walked up to St Stephen's Green and had a dozen oysters and a couple of more pints of Guinness at the Shelbourne. It was chucking it down with rain by now so it was a taxi down to Donnybrook for about 7.15pm. Kick off was delayed until 8pm but the ground has a huge stand so I worked my way under cover to Old Wesley Rugby Club which was Jersey's base for the night and more Guinness. It was good to meet Michael Noone's family and his young niece seemed well pleased when I gave her a Jersey scarf which she wore with pride despite the result.  

The filthy weather meant the crowd was sparse but the 3G or maybe it is 4G pitch was immaculate and is surely the future avoiding the mud baths which we often get in Winter.

The wind was blowing straight down the pitch and the torrential rain was almost horizontal and Leinster took advantage of the conditions to build a 20 point half time lead thanks to three great penalties by their fly half, one very soft try and a second try which on another day would have been disallowed for crossing. Robling hit a brilliant penalty against the fierce wind but the talking point of the match was the 15 minutes overtime at the end of the first half where Jersey were camped on the Leinster line and we saw a series of scrum resets and penalties which had me and the small travelling support screaming for a penalty try. On another day a penalty try would probably have been given but I was right by the action and in the bar afterwards the referee confirmed that his reason for not awarding one was that the scrums were going down but not forward. The comical thing about this whole episode was that it consumed all 10 minutes of the two yellow cards which the Leinster front row players were given so they ended up suffering no real penalty for their persistent offending. The Leinster Hooker did not immediately leave the field following his yellow card and seemed to be involved in the next phase of play but presumably the video will clarify and resolve that. Jersey's game management failed at that point particularly the initial decision to "tap and go" by Locke who otherwise had a cracking game. We had been generally dominant in line outs and driving mauls but it's easy to make better decisions in hindsight.

The wind eased in the second half and we chose to kick into the corner on three occasions when three points were on offer. Our approach was always positive but the additional points may have put more real pressure on Leinster and were probably the better option. Leinster used the conditions better than Jersey on the night but there is no reason at all why we cannot beat them at home and top this B&I group if we take it seriously. I am looking forward to Plymouth next Saturday as we have won at the Brickfields in each of the last two years and they also have great beer - so bring it on. 

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B&I Cup - Leinster Away
Discussion started by Jersey Rugby , 27/10/2014 08:59
Jersey Rugby
27/10/2014 08:59
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jerseynick
28/10/2014 14:03
Thks CC, always good to read.

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