An amazing eleven tries were scored at Hatrick Park where Rainey Old Boys destroyed South Dublin visitors Seapoint 45-33.
Rainey played some great rugby at times and had the points in the bag long before the end,but they lost their focus in the dying minutes to allow Seapoint to snatch an unlikely bonus point and then make the scoreline even more respectable with another try in the final play of a hugely entertaining contest.
With several players either injured or unavailable, Rainey can feel well pleased with what, for the most part,was a very impressive display, but they will have to watch the video of the game to find out how Seapoint managed to score five tries after spending most of the afternoon in their own half of the field.
South African hooker George Fritz took his place in a Rainey pack which slipped into overdrive straight from the kick-off. Taking the first scrum against the head, they drove on to force a penalty and opt for the corner. Unfortunately they conceded a penalty a yard short, but kept the pressure on to earn a penalty which was missed.
But ,after seven minutes, the deadlock was broken when Stirling and O’Connor countered across field for Campbell to sell a delightful dummy and place Damien McMurray for a lovely try which O’Connor converted.
Seapoint missed an opportunity when a disputed decision went their way and they were immediately on the retreat when Fritz tore through the middle to force a close range penalty which O’Connor goaled.Left-wing Stirling and lanky lock McGowan made good ground as Rainey would have been out of sight had they showed a touch more composure.
Young prop Kirk sailed through a lineout with O’Kane in support before Stirling was ushered into touch,but a second try came when O’Kane and Heaney combined and Jody McMurray snapped up the loose ball. Their joy was short-lived as Seapoint scored on their first visit to the home 22’.
Rainey replied with Fritz and Mulholland working a little move at the front of a lineout and Stirling again showing his sharpness and O’Connor made it 20-7
More great work from the front five took them to within striking distance,but the passing was not accurate enough.Seapoint,however,had no answer when Fritz took a great line to storm through when ruck ball was popped up to himon the burst.O’Connor’s kick left Rainey 27-7 up at the interval..
Rainey resumed where they left off, an outstanding back-row causing havoc and supplying quick ball. After a number of phases, O’Connor went through a gap for Stirling to fly in for the bonus point try.Rainey’s fringe defence then went awol to present Seapoint with the softest of tries,but they quickly re-established their control despite making switches.
Seapoint amazingly scored again on a rare visit across the halfway line,but an O’Connor penalty helped ease any Rainey doubts and they exploited space on the left after breaking from their 22’ for Damien Mc Murray to score in style.
A touch of cramp forced Fritz to retire. The 22 year old has been playing since March for East London based Border Bulldogs in the Vodacom Cup and in the Currie Cup First Division,the second tier of South Africa’s premier domestic rugby union competition.
Campbell, O’Kane and then Shiels had Seapoint reeling once again and hard-working No.8 Mitchell crossed to make it 45-19, a fair reflection of Rainey’s superiority on the day. In the last two minutes they went to sleep to concede fourteen points.
Rainey: M. O’Connor, A. Campbell, J. McMurray, D. McMurray, N. Stirling, M. Pyper, P. Kidd, A. Kirk, G. Fritz, N. O’Kane, P. Boyle, P. McGowan, P. Heaney, C. Mitchell,S.Mulholland. Replacements: R. Hall, K. Moore, M. Shiels, S. Sufferin, T. Woods.
DIVISION 2A RESULTS
Banbridge 13 Queen’s 21
Bective 3 UUC 13
Galwegians 32 Old Wesley 13
Highfield 8 Ballymena 40
Barnhall 18 Derry 23
Naas 25 Cashel 23
Old Crescent 17 Bruff 9