DCU’s senior rugby team suffered a heavy defeat on Wednesday at the hands of IT Carlow, going down 83-12. The match, which took place in St Clare’s, didn’t even look close once Carlow took control.
The Carlow wings tortured a sometimes frail DCU defence, their strength and speed too much for them to handle as they were constantly bombarded throughout the game.
Weather conditions for the match weren’t great, with an elusive wind blowing against the DCU team in the first half curtailing out-half Peter Wright’s kicking.
The scoring opened in the 10th minute with the Carlow wing running through to touch down after some good build-up play. They showed tenacity to win the ball back after turning it over a few minutes earlier.
DCU responded quickly with a try of their own. Scrum-half Cormac O’Leary spotted a gap in the Carlow line and dodged through the defence and into space to touch down.
The game looked to be even at this point, with Carlow showing more of a threat on the run. However, when Carlow battered through for their second try of the game, they came into their own and began to run away with the game.
For much of the first half DCU were on the back foot, and even as Carlow suffered injuries they had the strength and depth to allow other players to step up and carry the ball through the DCU defence, touching down another five times to leave the score 36-5 at the end of the first half.
Worryingly, DCU lost number eight James Puthaaree to injury late in the first half after going into a hard tackle with two Carlow players.
As at the start of the game, it took a while for both teams to settle down after the break. DCU looked to be gaining a foothold early as they pressed high in Carlow’s half but the ball soon changed hands and the emphasis was switched to defence again as they were hard pressed by the Carlow forwards.
The Carlow team eventually opened the scoring for the second half after they were awarded a penalty near DCU’s end line. Taking it quick they dove through to touch down and resumed the precedent they had set in the first half.
DCU looked tired compared to the energetic, efficient Carlow side and held on to the ball longer than was necessary. They worked, however, to get the ball into the Carlow 13 but this rare attack petered out as the ball was knocked on.
As in the first half, Carlow began to assert themselves as they settled and held much of the possession for the last twenty minutes. They scored a flurry of tries as DCU gave away loose balls and allowed Carlow to run through to touch down a further six times before the end of the game. David Feelan grabbed a consolation try for DCU near the end but it was not enough to soften the score line.
Image Credit: Aidan Broletti