Shannon v Naas
Thomond Park 08/10/2016
The rain remained at bay for the match this weekend, as we were back in Thomond Park after two weeks on the road. Added to the injury list for this week was Conor Glynn with Conor Fitzgerald still missing from action too. Having never met previously; it was looking like an interesting day for the two clubs, with the match kicking off at the later time of 4pm.
An unlucky knock on from the kick off saw Naas in immediate possession with a scrum. From this, hey spread the ball through the backs and kicked the ball straight to Darren Gavin
who took the ball up and linked well with Shane Mullally
, who was coming through at pace. Shane made a great break just tackled short of the line. Lee Nicholas
came around the back of the ruck screaming for the ball and barrelled over scoring a well worked try. Ronan McKenna
landed the conversion and we were 7-0 up after one minute.
Naas kicked off and we recovered, getting the ball to our backs and kicking for touch. Naas t mauled from the lineout but gained no ground and Shannon were awarded a scrum as the ball was held up. Our pack again showed its dominance at scrum time and we were awarded a penalty. Opting to tip and go, Ronan McKenna
made great ground. The ball went through the hands and we were unlucky to knock on just inside the Naas 22. Naas got backs ball off the back of this scrum and play was brought up as far as half way when they knocked on. We went back for an earlier penalty which saw Shannon offside and Naas kicked to our 22. After a dropped ball and a knock on, we were in possession in the scrum and Naas were again penalised. Ronan McKenna
took an unsuccessful shot at goal leaving the score 7-0 at ten minutes.
Play continued with each team gaining a penalty apiece and kicking for touch. John Foley
was alert at the breakdown forcing turnovers. As the minutes ticked on, a Naas knock on saw them shove forwards and win a Shannon scrum. Their kick was returned and they used the forwards to attack our left wing. They launched a relentless attack but Shannon were strong in defence making the first up hits and forcing the knock on in contact. James Vaughan
did well to recover the loose ball and made a great break, gaining good ground. We launched an organised attack with our forwards going on in pods and our backs supporting at pace. Naas turned the ball over here and in their haste passed the ball forward. After some pushing and shoving the ref pinged Shannon for an incident at the breakdown and Naas kicked a penalty. The ball hit the posts and we were unfortunate to knock the ball on as it came down at an awkward angle. With 23 minutes on the clock, we scrummed down on our 5 with Naas in possession. Their 8 picked and went but was well marked and Naas knocked on in the next phase. Shannon then took possession of the scrum still on our 5. Two resets saw us awarded a penalty and Ronan McKenna
kicked us out of danger to the safety of the half way line.
Periods of scrappy play followed from both sides turnovers aplenty and penalties awarded for high tackles and other infringements. Shane Mullally
was dominant in attack and new comer Nathan Randles
was dangerous each time he got a hand on the ball. Naas were daring at the breakdown and were making a nuisance of themselves, sniping in and turning over any exposed ball they could get hands on. Ty Chan
put on a solid display, linking up well and getting into a good attacking position for phases off the lineout. At 40 minutes Naas were in possession in a scrum and got clean ball to the backs. Their winger broke the line with the centre running a support line. A nicely timed pass saw the centre powering over the gain line. The Shannon defence was fantastic here. Each man made the required hit and remained patient until James Vaughan
intercepted and ran the gauntlet unfortunately the ball was lost forward in the motion of passing, signalling the end of the first half.
After kick off, a twist of fate saw Naas take their chances and go over the line for a first minute try in the second half. They recovered their own kick off and a miss pass saw Shannon shoot the line. The scrumhalf gathered and chipped through the gap sending his winger in hot pursuit and touching down over the line. This was converted levelling up the score 7-7.
Play passed much like the first half in the following ten minutes; we were awarded a penalty for a tip tackle on John Andress
and kicked to the Naas 22. Play continued on and after Naas took a scrum from a crooked Shannon lineout, Shane Mullally
was up and off the mark getting stuck into rucks and managed turn over the ball, sending us back on the attack. Ty Chan
kept up the momentum from the first half and did very well defensively. Two knock on’s – the first being from Shannon saw Nass in possession with a scrum on the half way line. They went blind and shipped the ball to the centre who took his chances up the wing. A Naas penalty saw them run it through the backs and a knock on saw us scrum down on our 5 meter. Ronan McKenna
got us to touch and Naas threw in the following lineout. Naas dropped the ball back here but recovered and picked and went. Shannon came up in defence and little ground was made but Naas kept hammering away at the line, crashing on from the back of each ruck. They spread the ball wide eventually and were penalised for holding on in the ruck as Robbie Deegan
was fighting for a turnover. A kick to touch and a lineout saw the ball spread wide and unfortunately knocked on. Naas took back possession knocking the ball on themselves in the next phase. It was a Shannon put in on the half way line and John Foley
again displayed a great carry. Naas weren’t quick enough at getting out of the ruck and we were awarded a penalty at 68 minutes for Naas not rolling away. Ronan McKenna
slotted this over to leave the score 10-7.
Naas kicked off, recovered and made a break down the pitch. Fionn McGibney
, who had only come on, did fantastically well to chase and made a great cover tackle. Naas reorganised and changed the direction of the attack sending their centre through a gap to go over and score. This was converted bringing us to 14-10 at 71 minutes.
We recovered from the next kick off and kept our attack tight. We kicked on and the Naas 9 recovered bringing it back into cover, closely supported by his winger who was waiting for the offload. We turned the ball over and Shane Mullally
broke the first tackle and made good ground, offloading to Ronan McKenna
who chipped and chased. He got a second boot to the ball and looked to be on for a try unfortunately tripping over in the muddle of bodies all giving chase. The ball went dead and we reset for a Naas 22 drop out. Will Leonard
recovered and returned the kick; the fullback got hands on the ball and brought the ball in. Naas kept the attack tight to the side line, utilising their 12 as much as possible. Any attacking player was coming onto the ball from deep and at pace. A knock on saw us back in possession in the scrum on our own ten as the minutes ticked away. We attacked strongly from the scrum and John Foley
made solid carries as we launched a relentless attack. Space was used wisely but we just got caught out wide getting held up and brought into touch.
Naas fumbled the ball back in the lineout and the backs got the ball out as far as the wing where the winger took a cut. Again Fionn McGibney
put in an awesome tackle and we won a penalty for Naas holding the ball in. We kicked to half way and got the ball out with our forwards following on in support. Unfortunately a knock on saw Naas recover and kick the ball out signalling the end of the match. It was a disappointing end to a match that started fantastically for Shannon. Handling errors on the day cost both sides and it was Naas who came out the better in the end. All was not lost however and we won another losing bonus. We will now take a two week break from league action. We are by no means taking a break from rugby though, as the Munster Senior Cup sees us in Tom Clifford Park this weekend to take on Young Munster. Kick off is at 2:30pm. See you there!!