Slow start costs Coleraine Inst First XV against a dominant RBAI side

Scrum action as CAI faced RBAI on Saturday morning.
Scrum action as CAI faced RBAI on Saturday morning.

COLERAINE Inst travelled to play RBAI on Saturday to face a strong side who were at full strength for the first time this season with their eight Ulster players returning to the fold.

Coleraine got off to a very sluggish start and RBAI opened the scoring on five minutes when CAI failed to clear their lines, the ball bounced into the hands of the right wing who stepped two Coleraine defenders to score. The try wasn’t converted.

RBAI scored again on 8mins when shoddy CAI defence allowed the 13 to dance his way from the half way line to draw the last defender and put the left wing away.

CAI rallied and had some good possession deep in RBAI territory, however good work at the breakdown on 18 minutes allowed RBAI to turn the ball over. A clever kick behind the CAI defence allowed the right wing to hack through outpace the scrambling Coleraine defenders! Conversion was missed. RBAI scored again on half time when their number six rumbled over from short range. Conversion was missed.

CAI rallied at the beginning of the second half with Ally Corbett and Ollie McDowell leading the charge. After 45 minutes CAI were unlucky not to score, with Callum Smith making an excellent break, he fed Mark Gordon who then popped up to Brad Dempster who was stopped just short of the line.

Ten minutes later, after a succession of penalties, RBAI worked their way up the pitch. Another penalty was awarded 10 metres out after a collapsed scrum. RBAI tapped quickly and went over in the corner. Conversion not converted. On 60 minutes RBAI scored their final points with a try from a rolling maul. Try converted. This was a disappointing performance from CAI who never really recovered after their slow start.

CAI SECOND XV

CAI Second XV travelled to Belfast on Saturday morning to take on RBAI. The home side put early pressure on CAI and after 10 mins RBAI opened the scoring with a penalty.

The Coleraine side defended well against their Belfast counterparts but unfortunately conceded a try on 27 minutes when they were down to 14 men due to an injury on the 1st XV. An RBAI centre broke through the line to score in the corner, the conversion was not added.

CAI started the half well and had a period of sustained pressure, asking questions of their Belfast opponents, but for some big tackles CAI could have scored. Unfortunately for CAI they conceded second try when the home side capitalised on a mistake from a CAI lineout. The RBAI prop cross the line early in the second half. Conversion added.

CAI responded immediately putting attacking pressure on the home side and stringing together some flawless phases of play. However, CAI saw their efforts come to nothing when forward Andy Moore’s try was held up. CAI kept attacking but never managed to cross the line coming close with some superb running from the pack.

Despite the score line this was an excellent team performance that shows true potential for the season ahead with more challenges for the team in the coming weeks against Campbell and Banbridge.

MEDALLION

Coleraine Inst Medallion took on RBAI at home on Saturday morning. Unfortunately the home side lost Zach Hutchinson, Luca McClelland and Thomas Murchison through injury and unavailability through the week which led to a number of personnel and positional changes.

The boys fronted up well in the first half and showed great courage and commitment in defence and attack. CAI made a number of line breaks through Johnny Booth, Peter Wisener and Christy Hamilton but couldn’t find that final pass to take a deserved lead. RBAI got on the score sheet first with a try from their impressive left winger following some poor clearance work by the Coleraine Side.

CAI responded with a catch and drive from just inside the RBAI ‘22 and they walked their Belfast counterparts over the line for an impressive try by the pack. RBAI scored two tries late in the half both through poor clearance kicks, which is something the team will have to address this week. RBAI led 17-5 at the break.

RBAI started the second half very strongly and scored two very soft tries. Coleraine never gave up and looked dangerous going forward but silly errors and poor decisions put them on the back foot for most of the half. Johnny booth scored a great individual try to top off an impressive Man of the Match performance and he was well supported by the rest of the squad.

The final score was 34-12 to RBAI but the boys can draw a lot of positives from the game. The boys have another tough assignment away to Campbell College next Saturday but will go there with a lot of positives from this performance and with nothing to lose against one of the top four sides.

UNDER-14s

The U14 A team got back to winning ways with a 24-15 win against RBAI in a pulsating encounter on Saturday morning. Coleraine were sparked into life when the returning Jamie Kirkpatrick made a searing charge down the left wing, leaving a plethora of would be tacklers in his wake. From a lineout deep in RBAI territory Callum Beggs rose brilliantly to claim the ball in the middle of the lineout and went on a storming run, handing off a number of defenders. He then deftly offloaded to Max Baillie who charged through two more tacklers before dotting down in the corner for a great try.

The great defensive work of the first half was continued into the second, with RBAI unable to put together any coherent phases of play and Neil Graham putting them under pressure with his accurate kicking. A poor clearance kick from the RBAI 10 went straight to Jamie Kirkpatrick who once again showed his pace and power to surge into the opposition 22. The ball was then popped up to the supporting Hugo Mawhinney who handed off two defenders to score a great try. From the restart, a knock on by a CAI forward allowed RBAI to come straight back at the Coleraine boys. However quick thinking from Neil Graham allowed him to intercept a loose pass and he ran in under the posts for great opportunist try. Neil converted his try to make the score 17-0.

After some stern words from their coach RBAI struck back almost immediately, scoring a try after some sloppy work at the lineout. However this did not phase the Coleraine players and they knew they would have to continue to play rugby and stick to their game plan. The forwards went back on the attack and went through a number of phases, securing clean ruck ball from which to attack. The ball was moved wide where Neil Graham found his skipper Callum Beggs, who spotted a massive gap in the RBAI defence along the half way line. Callum burst through and showed the RBAI fullback a clean pair of heels, finishing off a fine individual try, with Neil Graham converting to make the score 24-5. RBAI then scored 2 consolation tries in the last 5 minutes to make the final score 24-15 to CAI.

This was a fantastic performance from the U14s against an opposition who were heavy favourites going into the game. It would be impossible to single out any player after this performance, as all 15 gave everything they had to the cause.

The U14 B team fought valiantly against an excellent RBAI B team. Evan Wallace, Ben McConaghie and the two Boydies had excellent games in the pack whilst Varun Chopra led the team brilliantly as skipper. The highlight of the day was an excellent try by Evan Wallace. However missed tackles cost the team badly and this is something they will be working on in training this week.

UNDER-13s

Two very spirited performances from the Under 13 A and B teams.

The A team lost 33-7. There were some excellent performances from Daniel McConaghy, Oscar Egan, Conor Potts, Marcus Poskitt, Jonny McKee and in particular Pierce Crowe. The try was scored by Daniel McConaghy and converted by Pierce Crowe.

The B team put up a very brave performance but lost 17-5. Stars were Matthew Henning for his effort and work rate and Jonah Lennox for three try saving tackles. All round a good team performance and everyone working together really well.