Leinster League Division 1B
De La Salle Palmerston 19
By Harry Shorthose
A RUTHLESS Tullow side cruised to a very comfortable 33-point win over the Dublin outfit to go into second place ahead of a tough trip to Longford next weekend.
They were in control from the start and kept the visitors scoreless until just before half-time. They had the bonus point wrapped up well before the break too.
On the surface, it may seem like just a solid win over the side at the bottom of the table. But when you look at the results through the season, this was the highest number of points any team has scored against De La Salle Palmerston this season.
Within three minutes, Tullow had their first try of the game when a Tullow scrum 20m out was driven right to the line. It was played into John Hanbidge who went over near the posts. Paul Canavan converted easily.
Five minutes later, they added their second from a similar position. The scrum from the same place was won and they played through the phases out wide, dragging Palmerston with them, before recycling the ball back to the middle where William O’Brien was waiting to go over near the posts. Canavan again easily converted.
Tullow were cruising and looked set to kick on and score big. The third try came in the 15th minute when James O’Brien broke down the left-hand side and went over in the corner. From a tricky angle on the touchline, Canavan converted with relative ease.
The bonus point came on 29 minutes. A kick from the middle found Sean Doyle on the left-hand side who went over. Canavan again converted from the tricky angle on the far touchline. With five minutes to the break, they scored their fifth try of the game as a lineout on the right-hand side was mauled towards the line where Stephen Smith just had to touch down with De La Salle crumbling under the pressure. Canavan failed to convert with the wind. On the verge of half-time, Palmerston went close on several occasions and from a penalty from close range, Michael Cooke went over. They missed the ensuing conversion.
It took Tullow just eight minutes to score again after the break with some good work down the right-hand side leading to Jordan Leybourne going over. Canavan missed the penalty. On the hour mark, Palmerston got their second try of the game which was converted. Tullow should have had another try when their winger found himself in space down the left but the final pass from the middle let them down. Palmerston took advantage of this blip and with 10 minutes to go, grabbed their third try of the game which was converted to give them hope of a losing bonus point.
However, Tullow put those hopes to bed with three minutes to go as they scored try number seven. They played the phases and James O’Brien went down near the posts for his second of the day.
William O’Brien took the kicking honours with Canavan off and he converted with ease. With what was to be the last action of the game, Mavae Muru Teutau got on the end of a pass and broke down the left-hand side to go over in the corner for try number eight. O’Brien converted easily from a tricky angle.
Tullow: William O’Brien, Phillip Deane, Mavae Muru Teutau, Keiaho Bloomfield, Sean Doyle, William Canavan, Ryan O’Neill; Scott Caldbeck, Jordan Leybourne, Louis Kilcoyne, Martin Cole, John Hanbidge, Kyle Hanbidge, James O’Brien, Stephen Smith. Subs: Sam Corrigan, John Fitzgerald, Shane Rohan, Jack McDonald, Dylan Leybourne.
After the game, Seán O’Brien confirmed that he is recovering well from the hip injury that kept him out of the World Cup in Japan recently and he is hoping to get his London Irish career up and moving in the near future.