Newbridge RFC vs Portlaoise RFC – MATCH REPORT:
Newbridge were dominated in many aspects of this game in very wet conditions. The heavier Portlaoise pack got the upper hand in both the lineout and scrum. It was a game where the back rows dictated almost all the play and proved to be a dour struggle throughout and with the referee’s whistle stopping any open play for both sides. Portlaoise won with a try and two penalties to Newbridge’s converted try and a penalty.
In the opening 10 minutes Portlaoise set out their stall with the forwards dictating the play. A penalty from their outhalf in the 12th minute saw their 10-man game paying dividends. Newbridge now began to open out the game at every opportunity. An incisive run from team captain Ronan Mangan saw him pulled down just short of the line. After a series of 4 penalties in a row No. 8 Mark Doyle got over for a try. The conversion by outhalf Ronan Skehan was good to leave Newbridge ahead. A Portlaoise penalty from 35 metres rebounded off the post to leave the half time score at 7 points to 3 for Newbridge.
The second period was only 6 minutes old when both Mark Doyle and the Portlaoise outhalf were sin binned. Portlaoise began to power through the territory and a series of encounters close to the Newbridge line saw them score a try from a pushover scrum in the 58th minute. Niall Duggan substituted for the injured Karl Darragh in the 59th minute. In the 61st minute the Portlaoise prop was red carded for a foul on Mark Doyle. This was followed shortly after with a yellow card for Newbridge prop Tomas Munita as the game developed an over aggressive dimension. Matt Duggan substituted for hooker Ian O’Rahelly as Portlaoise continued to dominate the lineout. Newbridge worked their way up the pitch and were awarded with a penalty 25 meters out to the left-hand side. Skehan converted to push Newbridge 10 to 8 ahead with 2 minutes left in the game. A series of Newbridge errors however gave Portlaoise the opportunity to get upfield and they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts on 80 minutes.
Best for Newbridge were wing forward Jeff Draper and second row and team captain Ronan Mangan while outhalf Ronan Skehan and Liam Donovan did well.
Newbridge: Billy Gainey, Ian O’Rahelly, Tomas Munita, Oisin Howell, Ronan Mangan (Capt), Denis O’Callaghan, Jeff Draper, Mark Doyle, Conor Dolan, Ronan Skehan, Liam McGovern, Billy Delaney, Karl Darragh, Liam Donovan, Robbie Browner. Substitutes: Paddy Commane, Matt Duggan, Donal Cashman, Niall Duggan.
Newbridge are at home to New Ross on Sunday the 9th December in Rosetown with kick off at 2.00 pm.