Malone too strong for young Instonians 2nd XV 11/11/17

Malone made the short trip to Shaw’s bridge for their league game against a young Instonians 2nd XV.

Things haven’t quite clicked over the past few weeks for the Instonian side but with a few last minute changes they were prepared to face Malone 3’s.

The game started well for Instonians with defensive pressure on the Malone ball carriers, the line speed and tenacity of the tackles forced Malone back and Inst won an early penalty for holding on at the ruck. TJ Morris stepped up and slotted the early penalty. (Instonians 3 – 0 Malone)

The experienced Malone side started to bring their big ball carriers into the game and Inst struggled to bring them down with the same tenacity of the opening 5 minutes. This pressure resulted in a line out to Malone 5m from the Inst line. From the throw Malone got set very well and bundled over the line to make in 3-5. (Conversion missed)

Instonians rebounded well with a turnover on the half way line, strong carries from Jack Scott, Matthew Nelson and Micah Barker got Inst over the gain line and a half break by full back Ben Finlay brought Inst within the Malone 22. Hands at the ruck gave Inst another penalty and TJ Morris converted. (Instonians 6 – 5 Malone).

Malone finished the 1st half off by scoring a very soft 8-9-15 play from a scrum just outside the inst 22 to make it Instonians 6 – 12 Malone.

The talk at half time was that the offensive lineout was working well and when we stick to our structure we were scoring points. In defence more line speed was needed to disrupt the Malone ball carrying. Wayne Kelly left the field at half time with a knee injury and Dillon Lewis moved into the 2nd row with Micah Barber moving to 12.

The 2nd half was a scrappy affair with both sides playing mainly between the 22’s with no real conviction. Malone won a couple of back to back penalties at ruck time for not rolling away and this gave them field position for another 5m lineout. Mirroring the first half, Malone bundled over after poor maul defence to make it Instonians 6 – 17 Malone.

From the resulting Kick off Instonians starting to play to their structure. Big carries in the midfield from Micah Barber got inst over the gain line and more close quarter carrying from Jack Scott and Jordan McMullan gave real momentum. With the referee playing advantage for the Malone defence encroaching offside, TJ Morris put in a cross-field kick to Iain Jones who beat his man in the air and scored. TJ Morris slotted the conversion to make it Instonians 13 – 17 Malone.

With 10 minutes to go James Knox came on for Jordan McMullan. From the resulting kick off Inst gave Malone the ball back by a silly knock on. Malone started to bring their big ball carriers back into the game and were attacking the inst line. The Inst defence was slow to get off the line close to the ruck and Malone powered their way over and the conversion was missed. Instonians 13 – 22 Malone.

The last 5 minutes of play was all Instonians. They were parked on the Malone line with strong carries from the pack followed by darts by TJ Morris for the line. Malone proved too strong and forced a knock on to end the game 13-22.

There were positives from the game in an attacking sense but in order for the 2nd XV to grind out these wins they need to be more clinical when they get into the oppositions 22 and also keep the defensive intensity they showed in the first 20 minutes for the whole game.


1 to 17: Matthew Nelson, Jonny Harding, Richard Fannin, Jack Scott (c),  Robert McGibbon,  Micah Barber, Matthew Redmond, Jordan McMullan, Ross O'Donnell, TJ Morris, Iain Jones, Wayne Kelly, Paddy Bell, Jordane Emanuel, Ben Finlay, James Knox, Dillon Lewis.