One of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, dreaded by Students throughout the English speaking world “Beware the Ides of March” could not be more apt for the students from Queens, having to return northward without even a bonus point to show for their trouble today. Yet another complete shut-out, this time against a team, even still in the running for a promotion place. That was Queens first shut-out all season, a team that has run in 279 points in 12 games until today.
Now that scoreline doesn’t really reflect the game as a whole however. This was one of those days that you have to love this “Beautiful game” of ours. Even though the Bruff pack dominated their opposition in the scrums to the extent that it looked like they were going to have to bring in heavy tracked machinery to dig them out of the hole they were plowed into on a number of occasions, right until the end you were afraid that the Speedy students back line were likely to rip open from just about anywhere on the park.
The students back three and Number 7 between them always looked ominous, Anytime that Queens managed to get a ball out of a scrum retreating at a rate of knots it was their No. 7 that brought it away. The Full back and No. 11 seemed to have glue on their hands any time the ball was kicked down to them and were well able to return with interest from the boot whenever they were called upon. For the first 10 minutes or so Bruff seemed to be doing the usual storm weathering but finally after a sustained bout of pressure in the tight from the pack, Brian Cahill romped home for what turned out an easy enough run in under the posts for try No. 1 after sixteen minutes. Converting it himself put the home team 7 nil up. A strong cross field wind didn’t really help either side with proceedings but it was always going to be Bruff’s day. At times the Queens backs were running back and over, back and over with some fabulous handling skills but never seemed to make any headway against what is now a defence that is not just feared but dreaded. The Second half began with the wind slightly favouring the visitors but they failed to make any impact with only a very occasional foray into Bruff territory. The Bruff pack seemed to get stronger and stronger as the game went on to the extent that you began to fear for the safety of the players in some of the scrums. Just the one Blip when Bruff’s own scrum went around on their own ball and the scrum was turned over, only for Bruff to do the same to the resulting Queens scrum.
Tony Cahill added try No two just at the hour mark with Bruff really piling on the pressure at this stage and camping in the Queens 22 for stretches at a time. Again though you always had the feeling that the students were capable of running in a brace of tries if they got away with one at all, but the lads finished off the game with one last penalty to wind it up at 18- Nil a couple of minutes from the end. It was only then with four or five minutes to go that you finally thought the home team was safe. Right until the end though the youngsters always looked fit and fast, and able to dodge around tackles and there isn’t too many teams that can do that after the pummeling they received.
Today was another of those Huge defensive displays right from one to fifteen. How often do you hear a full back who, after taking in the ball, can be heard screaming at his winger from the bottom of a ruck to get across and cover the hole he had left by being there? This is a team of guys who play for each other, know what they need to do, when they need to do it and know where the holes have to be plugged. Backs become forwards and forwards become backs as the need arises. From one to fifteen they were just brilliant today and to be fair the students put up a great fight. If they’d had a stronger pack things might have been different but while for the last few years the Bruff back line has been our strength, this year the pack is really coming into it’s own to make the team a complete unit.
Anyway this leaves us needing 2 points from two games to wrap the thing up and guarantee promotion. A bonus point win gives us the League complete on score difference even if Instonians get the max. ten points out of their last two,
Top four are as follows:
We’re sitting pretty with 56 points and two games left (Max 66), Instonians on 51 points with two games left (Max. 61), Banbridge on 47 with two games left (Max 57) and Queens on 43 with three games left(Max 58).
To think that 11 wins won the league the first year we were promoted, huh?
Roll on Forenaughts on the 22nd of March. The travelling hordes will mass in Naas.