London Irish 64-0 Rugby Parma (30th October 2005)

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London Irish 64-0 Rugby Parma (30th October 2005)

by AlecW on Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:47 am

Match Report from London Irish v Parma, Madejski Stadium 30th October 2005.

The day started with an annoyed phonecall from the same crazy Kiwi as from the Bristol report, this time wondering where the hell I was, as I was late meeting her at the station. Actually no, she was 50 minutes early in calling me, having neglected to put her watch back!

A couple of beers in the Three Guineas was followed by a mercy dash to ferry the selfsame Kiwi’s Hallowe’en fairy cakes from pub to stadium, as she had left them behind…! This also gave me first hand experience of the “unsettled” weather that had been forecast – the bus dropped us at the bottom of the hill and the heavens opened – hail and torrential rain, with a gale behind it. Lovely. Many thanks to Ling for wielding his brolly so effectively. The warmth of the hotel bar was especially welcome and the fairy cakes were delivered safely. And delicious they were too – thanks Adele.

Irish won the match convincingly 64-0, running in 10 tries against a very limited, if spirited Parma side. In the run up to the start, we had much amusement at Gussie winning a cap for Canada and one or two other typos in the programme. The main action and tries came as follows:-

3 min Stan try under the posts after a break by Horak.
16 min Horak try disallowed for double movement after being tackled short.
18 min Murphy try 15m in from touch in NE corner after tap-n-go free kick on the Parma 22.
25 min Delon try in NW corner after Flutey & Franze scissors. Horribly missed conversion.
35 min Leguizamon under the posts after a break off the back of a lineout on the Parma 22. Bonus point!
37 min Dawson try: he fielded the Parma restart on the LI 22 in the SE corner and ran 75 metres to score midway between posts and NW corner. Luckily he just managed to slide over in the tackle, or he would have been utterly, utterly crucified by Brian Smith, Toby Booth, Corin Palmer and half the Irish side, having ignored 3 men on either side of him as he went into the tackle!

Half Time – Russell on for Flav, Rautenbach on for Skuse, Everitt on for Flutey, Mordt on for Catt & Hodgson on for Franze.

42 min Try by Horak in SE corner after pass from Everitt.
(48 min Gussie on for Leguizamon)
(52 min Horak binned for very silly kill-the-ball)
59 min LI try disallowed for a knock-on after right to left switch.
(62 min Strudders on for Murphy)
67 min Delon try just to right of posts after Irish stole a lineout and Staniforth kicked ahead and juggled the ball to Delon.
69-74 min Rugby ping-pong – several aimless kicks on both sides.
75 min Everitt try under the posts after a Mordt break from the 22 and selling a big dummy.
78 min Staniforth try 15 m right of posts after Horak break.
80 min Staniforth try under the posts after Mordt intercepted a pass on half-way and popped it up.

Crowd 5760, Man of the Match was Scott Staniforth.

The other points that were noticeable were these:-

 Riki Flutey had an awful day with his goal-kicking, missing several fairly straightforward attempts. Still, he had to miss sometime.
 London Irish’s support play was excellent, each man often having several options as he went into contact. Recycling was quick and efficient.
 Staniforth possibly deserved MotM, because he seemed to be at the centre of most of the good things Irish did.
 Leguizamon had a superb game. He was made more eye-catching by a bright white head bandage, but he has speed and surprising power, given that he is not massive. Plays like a younger Magne, which is very, VERY good.
 Scrummage efficient, though under no real pressure. Line-out the same several steals. Roche seems really to be seizing his opportunity after 2 seasons not really getting into the side
 Horak and Dawson had eye-catching games.
 Irish still seemed to knock on a lot of ball and chances went begging for what seemed to be snatched or hurried passes.
 If you look at the timings above, you’ll see that not a lot happened between 42 and 67 minutes. We had a slightly worrying drop in intensity and efficiency in this period. Parma managed to keep us in our half for long periods. Admittedly we were down to 14 for 10 minutes after Horak got binned, but we seemed to lose focus. Five replacements at half time may also have been a factor in disrupting our fluency.
 Hodge seemed to enjoy his time on the wing, when he came on at half time: he has good speed.
 Parma stuck at it well. They are a pretty limited side and coughed up ball very regularly, which was meat & drink to our back row. But they tackled everything they could lay hands on and were still trying hard, right up to the final whistle. They spurned 3 or 4 kickable penalties in attempts to score tries, which was noble, but not too bright, given that Roche & Casey were regularly stealing Parma line-out ball.
 The Parma numbers 11, 6 and 8 had excellent games. The left winger has speed and power, but had little opportunity to show his talents. The two backrow men tackled well and made several good breaks, though the Irish tackling usually held firm. The Parma 8, a chunky Samoan, would not look out of place in the Premiership.
 Overall, Parma appeared to be the kind of side that would be in the top half of League One, but probably would not get promoted to the Premiership.
 A word for the French officials, decked out in “old style” French national shirts. All three were efficient and largely anonymous – usually a good sign. They seemed to enjoy themselves. To be fair, it was not a very contentious game, but I cannot remember a single “bad” or “dodgy” decision, except for a massive Irish hand in a ruck on the West side, with the ref unsighted. He only played 2-3 mins of added time too.
 There was one hilarious moment when we thought the ref was a Maybank rather than a Lander, when he was engulfed by an Irish break from a lineout on 15 minutes – but he sensibly laughed, gave a scrum and the game continued. Luckily Charly Magne was not playing, or he might’ve had a little word!

So – a very satisfactory win. We have put a decent points difference between us and Agen and the two matches against them in December are clearly going to be crucial. It was a useful run-out and a chance to try new combinations, to get partnerships to gel and so on. But what it tells us about the price of fish, or more importantly, how we will perform against Bath next Saturday 5th is not clear. The hotel bar seemed slightly subdued after the game, perhaps the supporters were wondering the same. Credit to the Parma players who came into the bar for a drink afterwards. A very friendly bunch.

And credit to Parma’s one very vocal supporter (or maybe one of their coaches), who kept up a stream of loud encouragement (mostly in French!) from the back of West Lower. He will have had a sore throat and no voice today!

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by AlecW on Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:48 am

Yup - seems to've worked OK
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