Moli Faiva scores for Rainey

AIL 21st October 2023
Scorers: Faiva(2*Try), Donaghy(1*Try), A.Montgomery(1*Try), McLean(4*Conv)

Instonians were the visitors to Hatrick Park at the weekend, as they continue their long march back to top flight rugby. Having marched unbeaten through AIL 2C last season, they are continuing their upward trajectory through 2B, emerging 28-61 winners from this encounter.

Although they started brightly, Rainey were soon under intense pressure as Inst strung together the phases. They almost scored in the corner, but for a great piece of defending by centre Faiva as he prevented the grounding.

With Rainey barely getting a sniff of the ball, they were forced to tackle like demons as wave after wave of Instonians crashed into them. They broke the siege through another piece of individual brilliance from Faiva as he jumped to intercept a floated pass about 10m out, then showed the pursuit a clean pair of heels to go the length of the pitch and score close to the posts. Out-half McLean’s conversion was a formality.

The home side’s jubilation was short-lived however, as the visitors resumed their assault and were rewarded when they eventually sent their fullback in for a score in the corner following a sweeping move along their backline. The conversion rebounded off the posts.

With Instonians keeping the ball alive at every opportunity, and showing great handling skills, Rainey were forced to put in tackle after tackle, but it couldn’t last. The Shaw’s Bridge men added their next when ex-Rainey player Paul Pritchard forced his way over at the posts, and a few minutes later they added another, almost carbon-copy of their first. The conversions were both good.

Right on half time the home supporters finally got something to cheer about as an excellent 50-22 fullback Regan gave the home side the perfect opportunity to make it a 1 score game at the break. They won the line out and got their driving maul going but sadly Inst came up with a great jackal to win the penalty and end the half.

Rainey’s woes continued as the second-half resumed, when they lost replacement winger Donaghy to the bin for impeding the visitors’ scrum-half. Choosing the scrum option, Inst marched the Rainey scrum back over the line, but the defence just managed to hold the ball up. From the drop-out, Inst immediately ran the ball back, but again, a last gasp intercept from the home defence spared them the try as they cleared to touch. Inst were not to be denied and from the lineout mauled their way over for their bonus point try.

Running riot, they added four more as the game turned into a rout, but to their credit Rainey never gave in. A great break from No8 A.Montgomery took play to the Inst 22’ and McLean sent a long miss pass to Donaghy on the right wing. Handing off the opposition, he broke free to cross the whitewash and run round under the posts, making McLean’s conversion straightforward.

A second driving scrum from Inst was once more held up over the line, but from the drop out they went through the phases before Anton Lupari, another ex-Rainey player, eventually crashed over to the right of the posts.

With just 10 mins left, Rainey finally got camped in the visitors 22’. A series of penalties eventually saw Inst reduced to 14 when their centre was given yellow. Taking the tap, the Rainey pack worked A.Montgomery into position to power his way over and McLean added the extras.

With fulltime beckoning, a lineout on the Inst 10m line allowed McLean to deftly chip the on-rushing defence. The ball bounced up perfectly for Faiva to again show his pace and outstrip the defence to score the crucial 4th try just to the left of the posts, earning a bonus point. The conversion was good.

This was a hard day at the office for the Magherafelt men, but this Instonians team is looking good for another perfect run through the league. Few teams in 2B will be able to cope with them this season.

TEAM: T.O’Hagan, D.O’Neill(c), A.McSwiggan, M.Lee , R.McCusker, M.McCusker, B.Hall, A.Montgomery, L.Quinn, S.McLean, R.Spiers, J.Hastings, M.Faiva, M.Mulholland, L.Regan.
SUBS: M.Nevin, A.Nevin, T.Hutchinson, L.Montgomery, A.Donaghy


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