On the 11th August the Warwick 2nd XV came up against an impressive Rathkeale College side. The game was played with real determination since it was the last game on tour for Warwick and also the last game of the season for Rathkeale. This resulted in some fine displays of rugby by both teams.
In the first half Warwick played with real finesse from Evan Cook and shows of strength and power from Hales and Burgum. Due to a combination of solid defence from Rathkeale and some errors from Warwick the points scored remained very low. However the set plays from Warwick soon started to cause the Rathkeale defence to start to be tested. This was proven after a scrum which nearly ended up with Evan Cook getting over the whitewash. The power element of the Warwick attack was soon weakened after Hales had to go off with a sore head, after being sent sprawling backward from a monstrous carry by the Rathkeale prop. More defence and excellent breakdown work by the likes of Robinson and Dunleavy put Rathkeale on the back foot and created huge sums of pressure. This eventually paid off as Smith reads a scrum move with precision charging down the kick. As well as showing his excellent turn of pace Smith also showed off his footballing skills to flyhack the ball down field and eventually score the first try of the match. Mauchlen added the extras with a commanding kick. Rathkeale demonstrated their perseverance as they continue to press hard with a good carry but it comes to nothing as the player is tackled in to touch. The half ended 7-0 in Warwick’s favour.
The second half kicked off in the same way as the first: neither side wanting to back down. The Rathkeale attack proved to be reignited as they seemed to carry harder but Warwicks defence remained firm. The accumulation of pressure lead to Rathkeale being pinned in their own half and having to clear. The kick however did not find touch, instead finding the arms of Aston. Aston then performing an illusive step beating the first defender and then passing to Evan Cook who was in support on the inside. The final Rathkeale defender was drawn in and the ball moved again to Rippon who finished with elegance. The score turned 12-0 as Mauchlen slipped when taking the conversion. Warwick spirits were high causing Rathkeale accuracy to drop. This was evident for Warwick’s final try when Rathkeale, in their own 22, made an error in the lineout which Robinson swept up and finished off. This caused Warwick to relax slightly and allowing the opposition back in the game as a lack of concentration meant that many tackles were missed and lots of ground was made and resulted in try making the score 19-7. The opposition with re-found excitement caused Warwick to be on the back foot. This finally paid off when a switch from a scrum move caught the Warwick defence off guard and sliced open Rathkeale scored again. 19-12. The pressure resumed after the kick off but Warwick managed to deal with this pressure and saw the game out resulting in a Warwick win with the full time score being 19-12.