Match Report v French Police 2013
Ireland Police 19 - 9 French Police
The Ireland Police Rugby Team continued their winning run with an excellent victory over a French Team who were eager to avenge their defeat to the Irish in Paris in 2012.
This match marked the 10 Year Anniversary of Ireland Police Rugby and was the first home fixture played with the support of new sponsors, Stanley Security Solutions. The fixture had been arranged for the R.D.S. but heavy overnight rain saw the fixture being changed to the AVIVA Stadium Back Pitch with the assistance of the I.R.F.U. and Lansdowne Football Club.
The Irish Team again started slowly and were knocked backwards by some ferocious French tackling in the opening 15 minutes and one such tackle in the French Half saw the visitors launch a counter-attack which yielded a penalty opportunity for their out-half who was wide with the attempt.
In spite of the huge intensity displayed by the French, the Irish dominated possession and this pressure led to the French Open-Side receiving a Yellow Card for a late tackle on Batt Duggan. The Irish Team upped the ante again took the lead on 29 minutes through a Penalty by Paddy O’Toole.
The first clear Try-Scoring opportunity came on 33 minutes when excellent build up play got the ball wide to Kevin Dingley who was only stopped by an excellent tackle at the corner flag. The visitors continued to live off scraps but managed to tie the scores at 3 – 3 on 38minutes through a penalty by their Out-Half.
The Irish Team were quickly out of the blocks in the 2nd Half, with Adrian Hanley launching a counter-attack which brought play deep into the French Half and led to a Penalty which O’Toole again converted to take a 6 – 3 lead.
The next 30 minutes saw the Irish continue to dominate possession but failing to convert it to a clear lead. The Out-Halves traded penalties to leave the Irish holding a slender lead at 12 – 9 but the decisive moment was to come in the 72nd minute.
The Irish pack launched a brilliant driving maul from their own half which gained 40metres before a number of surges by Adrian Hanley, Ger Moore and Man of the Match, Stephen Rutledge brought play deep into the French 22’. Quick ball was released to the backs and quick hands by O’Toole and Ivor Scully got the ball to Kyle Corrigan who drew the last defender to send John Moore in for a brilliant Try in the corner.
This brought ecstatic celebrations from the large crowd who were still cheering when O’Toole rubbed salt into the wound by kicking the conversion from the right hand touchline.
The Irish Team were comfortably able to defend their 10 point lead through the 7 minutes of injury time for a memorable, well-deserved victory which shows that the result in Paris was no flash in the pan. The intensity of effort and commitment that this group of players has continued to show is a joy to behold and the next 10 Years promise to bring many more great events like this.
Ireland Police, (1 – 15):- Stephen Rutledge, Batt Duggan, Declan Lavery, Dave Houston, Stephen Kinneavy, Adrian Hanley, John Dever, Damien Broughall, Eoin Gardiner, Paddy O’Toole, Kevin Dingley, Andy Hamlin, John Moore, Kyle Corrigan, Ger Brady, Subs:- Ger Moore, Ray Roche, John Condron, Dave Kenwell, John Bogle, Jamie Cardwell, Jamie Gogarty, Ivor Scully.