Header2014 IRFC

1st XV win 50-5 at Sundays Well


Some photos from the Sundays Well report:

Match Report – The Official Site of Sundays Well RFC

On Saturday 5 November 2022 Instonians played Sundays Well on the superb 4G pitch at Musgrave Park looking to continue their winning form and maintain their position at the top of AIL 2C. The presidential party started the day with a swim at Myrtleville Beach to celebrate president Owen Lambert’s birthday. Great to see Ger Burke from the Club Scene Podcast joining us. Then following a warm welcome from the affable Sundays Well president Diarmuid Hallissey we were ready for kick off in glorious sunshine with hardly any wind.

14:30 – Instonians kicked off long and following the first passage of play a scrum was awarded to Sundays Well on their own 10 metre line. Instonians immediately set their stall out and attacked the scrum with a great push giving them a penalty in front of the posts. They declined the kick at goal and instead kicked to the Sundays Well 22 metre line on the left hand side of the pitch and used their driving maul to march right up to the try line.

14:34 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 5

When Sundays Well were penalised for bringing down the maul the Instonian travelling support knew what was coming and another kick to the corner 10m metres out gave the platform for another driving maul which powered over to give hooker Neil Saulters his 9th try of the league campaign (all from driving mauls). Jonathan Milliken missed the conversion from the touchline.

From the kick off Instonians lost the ball in the sun and when no 8 Andrew McGrath went to gather the bouncing ball he suffered an accidental bang to the head and left the field not to return. James Welling came on in his place.

14:39 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 5

Sundays Well immediately went on the attack with hard running in the midfield testing the Instonian defence and then it was their turn to kick to the corner and use their own driving maul which made reasonably ground and a penalty opportunity which went just to the left of the posts.

Undeterred Sundays Well continued to run hard at Instonians and test their defence which held firm. A tactical kick from their 12 Denis Hurley was cleared to just inside the Instonian 22 metre line and great opportunity to attack. Mark Mairs had other ideas however and soared skyward to pluck the ball out of the air. Half backs Rhys O’Donnell and Ruari O’Farrell completed the exit to 10 metres outside the Instonian 22 when yet again Instonians won the opposition line out. Ruari O’Farrell kicked for territory and a good chase and even better jackal by wing Matthew Keane gave Instonians the penalty.

14:48 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 5

The kick to touch gave Instonians a good platform to attack on the Sundays Well 10 metre line. This time Instonians threw to the back but the ball was lost forward and back came Sundays Well with their hard and direct runners off the 9. When Instonians were caught offside Sundays Well kicked to the Instonian 10 metre line on the right hand side. A steady and controlled driving maul resulted in a penalty and kick for a line out 15 metres out and the platform for an equalising score. Instonians had not read the script however and yet again took the opposition line out and this time Rhys O’Donnell and Matthew Keane completed a good exit.

At this point the influential Harry Gallagher came off injured and a reshuffle saw the versatile Bevan Prinsloo going onto the pack at 8 and Sam Fryars coming on in the centre.

Bevan’s first involvement in the pack saw Instonians attack another Sundays Well scrum and a relieving scrum penalty followed.

14:54 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 5

With a quarter of the game gone and the contest evenly contested despite Instonians dominance at scrum and line out there followed the first bit of sheer quality in the match when Rhys O’Donnell had his trademark show and go on his own 22 metre line to break clear straight up the middle of the pitch into the opposition half followed by a clever kick deep into the Sundays Well 22. The last line of Sunday’s Well defence did not release and Instonians now had a penalty 10 metre out from the Sundays Well line.

From the resulting line out Instonians battered away at the Sundays Well but heroic defence kept them out. The penalty count was high against them however and Instonians gave up 3 penalty opportunities in front of the posts for scrum options. After the 3rd scrum penalty in a row right under the posts the referee showed a yellow card to the Sundays Well tight head. Just when Instonians were expecting a try or penalty try from the next scrum they were pinged for early engagement and the relief from the Sundays Well players and supporters was palpable.

15:05 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 5

Harry Gallagher now came back on to the field with Sam Fryers coming off and Bevan Prinsloo restored to the centre position.

Instonians then continued their set piece dominance with a line out against the head and a scrum penalty.

To their credit Sundays Well continued to attack at every opportunity and tested the Instonians defence which was up to the task and were awarded a penalty. A great relieving kick Matthew Keane took play back to half way.

15:10 –Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 12

In stoppage time at the end of the first half Sundays Well looked to move the ball quickly away from their scrum on the half way line and see if they could launch an attack for perhaps an equalising score. Rhys O’Donnell shot out and pressurised the Sundays Well out half who lost possession and looked on in horror as the bouncing ball was gathered by Bevan Prinsloo who sprinted half the length of the pitch to dot down under the sticks. The simple conversion by Jonathan Milliken gave Instonians a 12-0 lead.

15:14 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 12

Mark Mairs had a great return kick from the restart to the half way line and yet again Instonians stole the opposition ball. On the last play of the half Rhys O’Donnell kicked the ball out to signal the end of a very well contested first half with no quarter asked or given. As the players regrouped at half time and took in some liquids you felt that the first score of the second half really needed to go to Sundays Well.

HALF TIME – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 12


Sundays Well knocked on the kick off but Instonians were penalised for not driving straight and Sundays Well had the early opportunity which their coaches would have been dreaming of as they kicked for a line out 5 metres out. The same coaches would have been tearing their hair out when the throw was crooked and this time the Instonian scrum was back to normal and a pick up from Mark Mairs set up the platform for Rhys O’Donnell to clear his lines.

15.31 – Sundays Well 0 - Instonians 17

Within minutes Instonians were putting severe pressure on the Sundays Well line with the penalty count still in their favour and the driving maul to the fore. Eventually the referee’s patience ran out and the Sundays Well no 6 was sent to the bin. A great kick to the corner by Ruari O’Farrell just 10 metres out on the left and once the line out was caught cleanly you did not need a crystal ball to predict Neil Saulter’s 10 try in the 5 league games from the tried and trusted driving maul. Jonathan Milliken missed the conversion from the touch line but the crucial early score had gone to the visitors.

Sundays Well showed great character to come straight back at Instonians and refused to take a backward step. They ran hard again at Instonians who continued to defend well. Sundays Well were then reduced to 13 men following a tackle at a ruck which was deemed dangerous.

A great kick by Matthew Keane gave Instonians a line out on the opposition 10 metre line and a great line break by Mark Keane almost resulted in a try on the right. The ball was recycled and Ruari saw the space out wide on the left but his kicked was just overcooked and the chance was gone.

15.42 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 17

With a quarter of the game to go Sundays Well gave themselves a lifeline. They had 1 player back from the bin and following a period of intense pressure on the Instonian 22 the numbers were levelled up at 14 each when James Welling was sent to the bin. By this stage Harry Gallagher had gone off for the 2nd time (this time not to return) and Instonians were using the whole of their bench.

Sundays Well attacked left and then with the Instonian defence stretched they moved the ball back right and took advantage of the overlap to score in the righthand corner. The conversion was missed.

15.45 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 22

Any hopes Sundays Well had of snatching an unlikely victory were vanquished within minutes with another scintillating break from scrum-half Rhys O’Donnell right up the middle of the pitch again. This time the resulting penalty was capitalised on with great hands putting Mark Keane in the clear to score in the far right hand corner. Although the touch line conversion was missed by Jonathan Milliken, Instonians had their 4th try and bonus point and there was no way back now for a gallant and determined Sundays Well side.

Bevan Prinsloo was now back at no 8 and Sam Fryars was making some telling tackles in the centre as Sundays Well refused to throw in the towel.

15.49 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 29

The fitness of this Instonian squad has been evident all season and they were clearly intent on adding to the scoreline in the remaining 10 minutes of the game. The ball handling and continuity between forwards and backs was great to watch and following a great movement out of defence instigated by another Bevan Prinsloo break from deep, a ruck was formed on the Sundays Well 22 metre line and Rhys O’Donnell scooted across the pitch to the right and then threw a no look pass behind his back to Bevan Prinsloo who went through under the posts without a glove laid on him. The simple conversion from Jonathan Milliken followed but more interesting was the combinations starting to evolve in this backline with Rhys O’Donnell, Ruari O’Farrell, Bevan Prinsloo and Mark Keane proving very difficult for the Sundays Well defence to cope with.

15.57 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 36

Sundays Well to their credit kept going right to the end and it took a great jackal by Paul Pritchard to relieve pressure in the Instonian 22.

Instonians were clearly on top now and intent on adding to the score line. Following another sweeping move Instonians had an attacking scrum on the Sundays Well 22 on the left. The ball was moved initially right but Mark Keane cut back against the grain with a fine break left right up to the line. When the ball was recycled back right Rhys O’Donnell picked out Shalk Van Der Werwe and there was no stopping him from 5 metres out just to the left of the posts. Jonathan Milliken provided the extras.

16.01 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 43

Instonians did not want the game to end and were throwing the ball about at every opportunity now. A great break out of defence from Bevan Prinsloo was taken on by Ruari O’Farrell with great supporting runners it was the impressive Mark Mairs who dummied the last man and went in under the sticks giving Jonathan Milliken another easy conversion. This was the pick of the tries today with such slick handling, support running and the right options taken.

16.02 – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 50

From the kick off the ball was moved wide put a rare loose pass saw the ball hit the ground. On the 4G pitch however it bounced up kindly for Bevan Prinsloo who gave a nice pass to Matthew Keane on the right wing to sprint down the touch line and then pass inside to the supporting Rhys O’Donnell who side stepped the last man to dive under posts and get the try his performance deserved. The easy conversion brought up the 50 points for Instonians.

FULL TIME – Sundays Well 5 - Instonians 50

The score line is harsh on Sundays Well given the effort and commitment they put into this game and bear in mind the half time score was only 12 – 0 and could easily have been just 5 – 0. It does however show the clinical nature this Instonian squad is starting to build.

This was an excellent all round team performance so there are 2 MOM’s today. The forwards were again exceptional at the set piece and very good at the break down too but for his part in the set piece , his carries and his defence the forward MOM goes to Shalk Van Der Werwe.

The backs MOM goes to scrum half Rhys O’Donnell who has now gained his match fitness and is showing the form he produced over the last few seasons for Ballynahinch in Division 1A of the AIL.

Instonians have now 5 wins from 5 and all with bonus points but will be aware that Bruff come to Shaws Bridge next Saturday 12 November on the back of a big home win against Ballina so we will be expecting a tough battle with the team from Limerick. All support welcome.