Scotland Club International slumped to a 28-3 defeat in a very wet Cork tonight against the Ulster Bank Club International (Ireland).
The pitch was subject to a late inspection after some heavy rain in the few hours that led up to kick-off, but it was deemed playable.
In the opening minutes the Scot’s looked like they were reacting to the conditions well, but unfortunately it was Ireland who struck first, with full-back Danny Riordan touching down after 22 minutes. He scored a brace on the night.
For the Scot’s they only managed one penalty from the boot of scrum-half Peter Jericevich, this followed the only real threatening attack at the line from the visitors that saw winger Craig Gossman coming within inches of the whitewash.
Head coach, Phil Leck, said: “The conditions tonight were really really difficult, with the swirling rain, and Ireland played a much more direct and physical game that we didn’t cope with.
The lads stuck in well, but were worn down before the Irish and at times missed key tackles that ended up meaning we were chasing the game, and tonight wasn’t a night to be chasing the scoreline.
“We did some good things in bits and the players always tried to remain positive and kept trying to play, but we defended naively.”
The remaining Ireland points were scored by scrum-half Gerry Hurley and replacement prop Declan Lavery with tries. Stand-off David Joyce also scored two penalties and a conversion.
Scotland Club International will next be in action v France Federale at Old Anniesland in Glasgow, in one month’s time, Friday 7 March, kick-off 6.45pm.
In the opening minutes of the game, with the rain lashing down, it seemed Scotland were reacting to the conditions better, and showing a little more sensibility.
However, Ireland were first on the score sheet after 22 minutes when full-back Riordan touched down. The conversion was missed by stand-off Joyce. 5-0
A couple of minutes later, Ireland added to their tally after Scotland were punished for an infringement at the scrum. This time Joyce hit the target. 8-0
Just before the half-hour mark, Riordan was in again for his second try of the night, after being set up by some clever play in the centre. Joyce converted. 15-0
Following, a dangerous attack from Scotland that almost saw Ayr winger Craig Gossman in for the Scots’ first try, on 34 minutes, a penalty was awarded that saw Gossman’s club teammate, Jericevich kick a penalty and give Scotland their first points. 15-3
However, Ireland responded almost instantly, wrapping up the first-half scoring with another penalty from the boot of Joyce. 18-3
Half-time: Ireland Club International 18-3 Scotland Club International
Another bout of rain came early in the second half and it was ten minutes before any points were scored. This time it was Ireland captain, Hurley who touched down. 23-3
For the next 20 minutes Scotland rung the subs with a number of players coming on for their first caps, including hooker Lindsey Gibson, props Struan Cessford and Rory Sutherland, stand-off Stuart Edwards and centre Ewan Scott, but they still struggled to find the line.
Then, with just under nine minutes to go the hosts concluded the scoring with one final try from replacement prop Lavery. 28-3
Full-time: Ireland Club International 28-3 Scotland Club International
Ireland Club International team: Danny Riordan (Old Belvedere RFC); Cian Aherne (Lansdowne FC), Stuart Morrow (Ballynahinch RFC), Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC), Mick McGrath (Clontarf FC); David Joyce (Clontarf FC), Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution FC) (captain); Colm McMahon (St. Mary's College RFC), Tyrone Moran (Lansdowne FC), Christy Condon (Dolphin RFC), Dean Moore (Old Belvedere RFC), Fergal Walsh (Terenure College RFC), Willie Earle (Lansdowne FC), Charlie Butterworth (Lansdowne FC) and William Ryan (Cork Constitution FC).
Replacements: Andrew O'Driscoll (Cork Constitution FC), Ian Hirst (Clontarf FC), Declan Lavery (Old Belvedere RFC), Sean Walsh (Cashel RFC), James Ryan (Cork Constitution FC), Neil Cronin (Garryowen) / Sam Cronin (Clontarf FC), Ritchie McMaster (Queens RFC) and Barry Daly (UCD).
Scotland Club International team: Nyle Godsmark (Edinburgh Accies); Erlend Oag (Aberdeen Grammar), Chris Auld (Gala / Edinburgh Rugby), Dean Kelbrick (Ayr), Craig Gossman (Ayr); Richard Mill (Melrose), Peter Jericevich (Ayr); George Hunter (Ayr / Glasgow Warriors), Fergus Scott (Ayr / Glasgow Warriors), Nick Cox (Ayr / Glasgow Warriors), Murray Douglas (Heriot’s), Callum Templeton (Ayr), Andrew Nagle (Melrose), Will Bordill (Stirling County / Glasgow Warriors) and Jamie Swanson (Stirling County).
Replacements: Lindsey Gibson (Hawick) [for Scott, 60mins], Rory Sutherland (Gala) [for Turner, 51mins], Struan Cessford (Aberdeen Grammar) [for Cox, 60mins], Andrew Redmayne (Glasgow Hawks / Glasgow Warriors) [for Templeton, time unknown], Gary Graham (Gala) [for Swanson, 40mins], Greg Cottrell (Hawick) [for Jericevich, 64mins], Stuart Edwards (Stirling County) [for Mill, 65mins] and Ewan Scott (Gala) [for Kelbrick, 51mins].