Phoenix Defeat Irmo in MSIRL
Jan. 14, 2017Updated Monday January 16, 2017 by Niall Fenton.
Phoenix Defeat Irmo in MSIRL
Phoenix travelled to Columbia, SC to match up with Irmo in the second MSIRL game in the new league. Anxious to start 2017 on a winning note, Phoenix with a strong squad despite the absence of injured prop Jake Ibarra and the late withdrawal of lock Corbin Shanklin.
The game was a good contest, thankfully played on a fine day after all of the poor weather. Phoenix opened the scoring after some early pressure with a penalty from Ollie Kennett after 10 minutes. Irmo immediately responded with an unconverted try but Phoenix rose the challenge. Griffin Tucker went on a terrific break from outside the Irmo 22, rounded the cover with great speed and determination to touch down in the corner. Ollie Kennett, who had his kicking shoes on for this game, slotted a great conversion from the sideline to move Phoenix 5 points in front. The visiting team really dominated the majority of the half, trapping Irmo within their own 22 but electing to go for posts when the opportunity presented. Ollie Kennett converted two more penalties to build a 11 point lead but then lost concentration. Irmo drove to the Phoenix 22 at the end of the half and their 8 man walked through 5 missed Phoenix tackles to score under the posts. Half time came with Phoenix leading 16 to 12.
The second half began with Phoenix again conceding a soft try to give Irmo the lead but Alpharetta was far from finished. Despite losing star hooker Elvis Pressley and Blake Bibb to head injuries Phoenix drove into the Irmo 22 and stormed the Irmo line. After several unsuccessful attempts, Kyle Rogers dived over to reclaim the lead. Once again, Ollie Kennett was true with the conversion. In similar manner, rookie JB Favors took his maiden try five minutes later with a strong galloping run to the line. Kennett rounded out the score and it looked like the game was in the bag with a 9 point Phoenix lead and 10 minutes to play. Irmo came storming back against a Phoenix group that appeared to be tiring. After being denied a try in the corner they finally breached the Phoenix line at the very end to leave the final score at Phoenix 30; Irmo 26. Ollie Kennett was named Man of the Match for a terrific kicking performance.
It was certainly good to depart Columbia with a solid first MSIRL win but it is also clear that this young team needs to improve if further MSIRL wins are to be achieved. There are terrific individual performers on this team but the group seems disjointed as a team at times. Clearly they need practice as a group to gel as a team at game time. Tackling needs to the skill most worked on in the coming weeks
Next up is a friendly against Greenville at North Park next Saturday followed by the biggest Phoenix MSIRL game of the year on Saturday the 28th against old rivals Charlotte Tigers at North Park.
For additional photos: http://phoenixrugby.siplay.
Video of the match: