23 November 2023
'Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?'
A quote from Maximus Decimus Meridius when challenging the crowd in the Colosseum! However it could equally have been said at the end of last week’s 1st XV match against Naas RFC.
Naas came to town with their gladiators – none less than the battle ready Sean O’Brien, but they were met and stopped in their tracks. Another tough, gritty performance upfront combined with some really ambitious back play in the first half had us all confident and starting to relax, but no – not with this side. They’re not done until they provide heart-stopping entertainment, and this they did in spades.
Naas fought back bravely and secured a penalty try which resulted in us dropping to 14 men, although at times the ref had so many people on and off the pitch it was hard to keep up with numbers! The atmosphere became very serious and the nervousness became palpable. It looked as though we could be heading for a heartbreak but no – not this side. This particular group of resilient players dug deep to secure the win and get a bonus point to keep us 2nd in the table with a big match on Saturday week against Garryowen away followed by the showdown against St Mary’s up in Templeville Road.
I would take this group anywhere and be confident in the performance so let's get the numbers up again. Last week was a big improvement but something special is happening here and you’re only depriving yourself if you don’t get to these matches. At the very least we need everyone, and we mean everyone who has ever set foot in Blackrock RFC, to join us on December 16th for the last AIL match of 2023 against a resurgent Buccaneers. Book in for the Hasbeen’s Lunch and hang around afterwards for the party. This team, players, coaches, and management deserve your support for the incredible entertainment they are providing us.
While this was going on in Stradbrook our Women’s 1st XV were up in Cooke RFC doing battle. This is another extraordinary team and with the return of some of our Internationals in Sarah Delaney, Dorothy Wall, Christy Haney, Aoife Wafer and Meadbh Deeley the women overcame Cooke by 65-0. The gulf in class is too big when these women are on form. A hat trick for both Aoife Wafer and Catherine Martin really capped this display. The J1s were free last weekend but on against Mullingar this Sunday at 1pm. This will be followed by a double header away to Railway Union on December 2nd. 6 players have been included on the Irish 7s squad including Alannah Fitzpatrick who has been rewarded with a National Seven’s contract for the first time.
So, that’s it for this week but don’t miss out on the upcoming matches, you won’t regret it. And make sure to book your table for Dec 16th – this is going to be special.
See you out there.
Blackrock College RFC