LPRFC 43 SS Irish 31
Two late Irish tries in the final minutes of this encounter gave Park a little cause for concern, but it was in the end a well deserved win. There is certainly room for improvement in the coming games as Park struggled a little at the breakdown with the Irish causing constant disruption, but when they procured quick ball, Park looked dangerous in attack.
Griffin and McDonald added physicality to Park’s pack in the early stages with strong running and some bruising tackles and new flyhalf Carso was effective in controlling the tempo of the game.
Park started well with a try from McCann after just 10 minutes, the center making a smart break up the middle before veering to score under the posts. His center partner Husselbee added to the lead with a clever chip and chase down the left sideline.
With perhaps Park’s best team score of the match, Long scored his first of two tries, appearing in support wide on the left to complete a score that involved multiple players.
Despite resolute goal-line defence, Park were unable to keep out the Irish for their first try as their pick and drives eventually found space for a score.
When Melody replied in similar fashion in the last action of the first half, Park held a comfortable 26 – 7 lead.
A converted try and long range penalty kick inside the first 15 minutes of the second half gave the Irish momentum. Park were starting to look a little shaky and handling errors and penalties were giving the Irish a platform from which to attack.
A 40m penalty by Jahner edged park back into a 12 point lead before two tries in 4 minutes gave Park the cushion they needed to see out the game. A long Finnegan run was finished by Long in support and a 60m Thomas interception try put Park over 40 points.
Two late Irish tries gave them a little hope but Park held on for victory.
Team: Melody, Long (Mulholand), Kirby (Sowa), Moline (Foley), McDonald (Debacker), Griffin (Carey), Laux, Jahner, Nolan (Scully), Carso, Anderson (Caccappolo), Husselbee (Daley), McCann, Thomas, Finnegan
Try: Long 2, McCann 1, Husselbee 1, Melody 1, Thomas 1
Con: Jahner 5
Pen: Jahner 1