Well, We’re off.
The first run out of the Bruff First XV saw a very changed and experimental side lining out against U.L. Bohs last Monday night in the Limerick Charity Cup.
The pace of the game was extremely fast right from the start and Bohs’s couple of runs already this season really showed. It took a long time for the Bruff side to settle into the game and after twenty minutes they ended up 20 points to nil down following two fairly easy tries by Martin McPhail, both converted by Fergal Lawlor with only a single missed penalty by Full back Paul O’ Brien as a Bruff attack of any consequence. Another try by Bohs Prop Kevin Flanagan on 40 mins and it looked like becoming a rout before Eoin Cahill touched down on the stroke of half time to go in 25 points to five down at the break.
The second half was a much different affair with Bruff really settling into the game finally and it was nip and tuck all the way. Bruff finally settled into a routine but some missed passes going astray cost them dearly when in front of the try-line. Another brace of tries for Bohs and a return from Eoin Cahill saw a final score of 35 to 10.
The new ELV’s didn’t seem to cause any major problems for all concerned, the tactic of kicking to outside the 22 preventing both sides from returning kicks to touch, the mauls were pulled down almost straight away, we’ll see a return to the Old fashioned “Rolling” maul in an effort to get momentum in the forwards, both sides seemed to get caught in the rucks a couple of times but this rule is always going to be very much down to referee interpretation and when the season is in full flight we’ll see how the rules end up panning out in “real time”.
All in all, a good blow out for the first run of the season. When the full squad gets back together coming closer to AIL time we should see some major improvements. Eoin Maher was also a bit of a revelation stepping up from the Twenties squad as scrum half, while maybe not getting to grips with the pace fully at the outset (and he wasn’t alone in that) he settled in very quickly and had a good game. Good game from Alfie Laffan overall as well.. It was also great to see Peter Malone back in the yellow and maroon for the first time in a few years.