Jan 122008

The battle of the Somme had lots of similarities with what went on in Galway today. Trench warfare in bloody awful weather and obvious confusion as regards his interpretation of the rules (regarding rucking in particular). They all conspired to keep this match low scoring and to be honest this was a great result on the day.

I for one cannot understand how a team which has had only four penalties scored against them in the previous seven games could have fourteen penalties given against them by the time I stopped counting about five/ten minutes into the second half (The lads will have the final stats I’m Sure) . Eugene also received a yellow card early in the first half and had to watch from outside the fence. Cathal was binned, One of their guys was binned, to be fair they (Corinthians) could do nothing right in the last twenty minutes either, it was just one of those days really.

Anyway Bruff’s pack was sitting pretty and dominated 90% of the game. The beefing up of all and sundry really showed today with the first try coming within ten or eleven minutes from driving a Corinthians Scrum back fifteen metres over their own goal line winning the ball in the process and Mikey Carroll getting a touch down from the resulting ruckus. Afters by Brian and that was it as regards scoring until five minutes from the end when Braq went over in the corner to make it safe at 12 to nothing. Yet again the Bruff line held firm despite being put under serious pressure by the penalty count in the first half, Corinthians foregoing the chances to kick and at least four or five penalties being kicked for Five Metre Lineouts.

To be honest, someone should have copped that Bruff had only twenty four points scored against them in All seven AIL games prior to the kickoff, and you can’t have a brilliant defensive record like that and think you’re going to go bully over against them. This was tactically extremely poor decision making on Corinthians behalf and to be honest it cost Corinthians the game. Now it wasn’t the best day for kickers by any stretch of the imagination but four of those fourteen would have drawn the game for god’s sake (I didn’t count how many were actually in range but there was at least five in the first half kicked for 5 meter lineouts and they missed one in the second). Anyway after today Bruff maintain their crazy best overall AIL defensive record with only 24 points against them (Before I get loadsa comments, We know it’s only twenty two, that the second conversion was a miss according to everyone but the meeedja but anyway we’ll let it slide) and have the Second highest score in the complete AIL with two hundred points (Instonians lunatic Seventy-odd points score over Midleton having upscuttled our record on that front but we haven’t played them yet.)

Today’s results overall finally caused a bit of a shake-up Tablewise. Banbridge’s win over Instonians has added them to the mix at the top on 31, Instonians on 33 and Bruff creating a little daylight at last on 37, Queens are not that far off with 28 points butnicely clear to Sunday’s Well on 20. The Games against Instonians on Feb. 9th and the last game of the season away to Banbridge will both be bloody crackers. Banbridge have the second best defence record of the Division (Third Best in the AIL overall) with only 65 points against and they’re not too far behind us scorewise on 179 for. They’ve lost two games but have seven bonus points. They look like a fairly serious outfit this season. The last Seven games show a real tussle going to take place between the bottom four with only Seven points separating the “Auld enemy” Nenagh (13) at fourth from bottom and City of Derry on the bottom with 6.
League Table

Table taken directly from AERTEL, Heres the link (Apologies RTE).

I’ll get a photoset up in a while when I get a chance to see how bad they are (Again it was bloody dark, the floodlights had to be put on in the second half) and the photos were taken from the comfort of the top floor of Corinthians Clubhouse with a loooong range lens and my bad shakes………

In Division Two Thomond and Crescent are stinking on the bottom on 8 and 7 points respectively. (Harlequins gave Crescent a 53-nil drubbing today in Belfast, Thomond lost 18-3 to Wanderers). One of these, if not both, look like they’re coming down next season. Did you ever think you’d see it? Bruff gunning to replace one of these in Division two?
It looks like UCC and the Cookies for promotion to Division 1, Former Bruff backs coach Mick Lynch has changed the fortunes at Young Munster big time this year.

Finally Division 1 is more of the same with Shannon and Cork Con pulling well clear (Shannon winning today’s top table clash 3-0), Clontarf and Garryowen making up third and fourth 5 wins out of 8 has Garryowen in 4th position, U.L. Bohs are snapping at their heels. Looks like Div. 1 is still wide open at the top.

Terenure, Landsdowne, Greystones and Dungannon find themselves in another 4 way tussle at the bottom of Division 1 with only 6 points separating bottom and fourth from bottom. I know it’s still early days and I’m going to be accused of being well premature with seven tough games left in our season but but it’s beginning to look like we could find ourselves playing any of these four next season.

By the way one more bonus point win puts us completely mathematically safe (for those who doubt 🙂 )


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