3rd XV win away to Academy 2s

Instonians 3XV 22 v Academy 2XV 15

07 April 2018



Match Report

The 3rd XV made the short trip to Roughfort to play Academy 2nd XV in what was to be their penultimate league match of the season.

Following a spell of unseasonably poor weather, the conditions at Roughfort were overcast and the pitch was in a reasonable condition.

As has been the case throughout the season, Instonians fielded a strong squad with a good blend of youth and experience, including Fred Pepper, making his first senior appearance for Instonians.

The first half got off to a frantic start, with both teams showing they were intent on playing an expansive brand of rugby, by running from deep at every opportunity.

An early infringement at a ruck led to a penalty to Academy. Opting to kick, and playing into the wind the attempt at goal drifted wide.

From the 22 meter dropout Instonians were awarded a penalty, and opted to kick deep into the opposition half for an attacking lineout. From the ensuing lineout the ball was won cleanly and after several phases of play from recycled ruck ball, Robert McGibbon crashed over for the opening try of the match close to the posts. With the relatively straight forward conversion missed the score remained 0-5.

Instonians continued to impose themselves upon the opposition, and following a clever kick to the corner by Wayne Kelly, the Instonians pressure forced Academy to concede another lineout close to their line as they carried the ball into touch. With the lineout functioning well, another accurate throw and catch set up an opportunity for a driving maul. The well organised maul resulted in Andrew Rolston crashing over for Instonians second try of the afternoon. With the conversion again drifting wide the score moved to 0-10.

Instonians were now in control of the game and with confidence high the ball was gathered straight from the kick off and moved wide to Sam Fryers, Sam burst through the Academy defence finding himself in acres of space. Showing great awareness, Sam offloaded to the supporting Robbie Kirk who in turn found the tireless Robert McGibbon on hand to finish off what was an excellent try combining forwards and backs. With the conversion in front of the posts, Tony Shek was heard to say from the touch line, “even I could get that”. Spurred on by the threat to his kicking duties Cameron Williams stepped up and successfully converted, leaving the score 0-17 as half time approached.

As the first half petered out, so began a period of sloppy play from both teams. With Academy beginning to enjoy some pressure and territory, they mounted several attacks which led to an unconverted try on the stroke of half time.

Half Time – Academy 5, Instonians 17

As the second half began, Academy continued to build on their momentum from the end of the first period, and enjoyed a continued period of possession, which was helped by the indiscipline, which was beginning to creep into the Instonians game. Eventually the Academy pressure told and their dangerous backs executed a well worked try from first phase possession. With the conversion unsuccessful, the score moved to 10-17.

Instonians continued to conceded possession, territory and penalties cheaply, and struggled to contain Academy whose confidence was growing. Eventually the pressure again told and Academy scored what was to be their third try of the match. This wasn’t a day for the kickers, and again the conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score 15-17, a one score match with ten minutes remaining.

Some home truths and harsh words from the senior members of the squad had the desired effect, and this young Instonians side responded with the determination to score next and ensure the victory, and they duly delivered.

From a scrum on halfway, the youthful Brian Wallace picked and drove at the Academy defence, showing all the skills and sleight of hand of an inside back, and to the delight of the coaching team, Brian completed his first pass of the season (some might say a number of seasons) to Robbie kirk. In similar fashion to the first try Robbie again combined with Robert McGibbon who scored what was to be his own hat trick, and the teams bonus point fourth try, once again the conversion drifted wide and the score moved to 15-22.

From the kick off Instonians again came under pressure and conceded another penalty. With Academy pressing for their own fourth try, and a potential share of the spoils, Instonians continued to defend their line, and some dogged defence forced a turnover. From the ensuing scrum, the ball was kicked to touch and the referee blew the final whistle.

Final Score 15-22

This was one of the 3rd XV’s toughest matches of the season, against an excellent Academy team, and for the second time we have scraped a victory against the same opposition. As it was in the first game the contest was played in great spirit, with both teams showing their intent by playing rugby the way it should be played. Thank you to Academy for hosting us on Saturday.

Thanks also to the referee, who managed to control the game and allow both teams to play rugby.

Saturday 14th April is the 3rd XV’s final league match of the season at home to Ballymoney, all support would be welcomed for what is hoped will be a successful finale to a long season.


Team 1 to 18: Peadair Meenan (C), Jonny Harding, Fred Pepper, Tom Matthews, Robert McGibbon, Andrew Rolston, ,Rab Brown, Brian Wallace, Cameron Williams, Wayne Kelly, Lewis Bodel, Sam Fryers, Robbie Kirk, James Corbett, Ashley Black, Tony Shek, Rhys Jones, Johan Markarian.