Scrum Down News:
Scrum Down News:
Fishead B's Make Strong Showing Against 1st Div Lansdowne
05 May 01
Rockaway RFC- 14
Lansdowne RFC - 24
Even before the game it was apparent the day would be difficult. Still plagued with injuries to key players as well as absences for important prior commitments for others, Rockaway's selectors were faced with severe difficulties. The largest of these was selection of a first 15, from mainly B-side players, to play a first 15 from a club in a higher division. Though new to rugby, Daniel Donohue, Peter Haggerty, Danny Geary and Peter Brady all dressed for the A-side on Saturday. With a few more B-siders stepping up as well, the day’s work was still ahead.
Six minutes after kick off things could have been ugly. Were it not for the quick-mindedness of scrumhalf Jarrod Gould, who used a sprawling dive between the ground and a Lansdowne forward in possession of the ball, Rockaway would have conceded 5 points. Three minutes later the opposition were at Rockaways 5 meter line again. Rockaway regained possession and gained 45m in three phases of strong rucking led by Flanker Donnchadh O'Sullivan. The ball was passed to the hands of center Tyrone Sperling and he was off for 50m and 5 pts. Jarrod Gould puts up the conversion for 2 more.
The greatest advantage Lansdowne had was in their pack; specifically, their vastly more experienced tight 5. Scrum downs awarded to the Fisheads weren't always going their way. There was a pitch fight for the ball between the 22's for the next 10 minutes. Rockaway would concede a penalty about 15m out in the 21st minute that the First Division visitors would exploit fully.
Lansdowne's forwards scored a try in the corner but failed to convert. In the 30th they would be back again for 5 more with their larger forwards playing a crash and ruck game, gaining 5m at a time. This was a tough thing to counter considering they had about 25 lbs on each of their opposite numbers. Shortly before the half Rockaway would concede another try, this time for 7 points, after an unlucky bounce off of the hard and dry pitch landed favorably for a Lansdowne winger. At the half some changes were made.
Despite the numerous successes in the first half--fly half Mike Getler routinely broke the gain line--a different strategy had to be used. A new defensive strategy was taken and the second half ended even. With a try from lock Mike Nash and another conversion from Aussie Jarrod Gould, Rockaway would be within 3 points for most of the second half. A late try and conversion from Lansdowne were the final points of the afternoon.
Though the point is to score more than the other guys, we left with some very valuable lessons, especially for our new players. Losing a friendly by 10 points to gain them is a bargain. Afterwards, everyone went back to the clubhouse and hilarity followed. After that everyone went to The Irish Circle for "The Century Club" and more fun stuff happened. See "Rugger Plugger's" for details.
Important stuff: Last Practice this Thursday and LI Tournament Saturday--early! Email Bob for details. The clubhouse will be open Sundays starting this week and through the summer for softball socials (I hope you like horseshoes).
Mark your Calendar for Aug 11. Huge (yes, huge!) beach party at Fort Tilden. 2 Bands, 2 DJ's, food and beverages - more details in the near future.
Rockaway RFC firsts - Eric Heym can't make game. Wants to go to college and has to take SAT's. Better excuse than Oakie's "cleaning the gutters". Tyrone trips over (your choice - Left foot, blade of grass, ego) and sprains ankle. Turns out Tyrone's brother Gerrard is a skilled lumberjack (I'm going to pass the obvious Monty Python jokes). Apparently he spent a day working for John McCann. That would also make him a skilled diplomat, or a saint.
The Century Club went well and was enjoyed by all who attended. Guests were treated to fine food and Bob Johnson's rapier wit. In attendance was the Egan-Courtney clan, the Johnson's, the O'Connor's, the McCann's, the Hermann's, and many other members, family, and friends. Big winner of the night was Past Fishead President and one of our few generous alumni - Kyle Reeves.