22 Feb Match Report: CI give Queens no quarter
After a bye in the previous round of the McCrea cup, CI traveled to the dub to play QUB 2nds.
The Belmont cup holders were looking to restore a level of confidence and performance that had been lacking in recent league games.
The CI pack showed some early promise with an impressive catch and drive from the first line out of the day.
After a period of solid defence from the students, Andy Hodgen went on a rampaging run from the 22 and stretched over the line for the first CI try.
A short time later an attacking CI scrum saw Ross Hackney pick and go before Neil Wallace, standing in at scrum half, barged over for the second score. Stephen Foster added his second conversion of the game to give CI a 14-0 lead.
The students continued their energetic approach when in possession, looking to move the ball at every opportunity. Shortly before half time, Queens spread the ball to the left flank and a missed tackle provided an opportunity that was well finished to leave the score at 14-5 at half time.
Half time: Queens 5 CI 14
The second half started with the supporting crowd knowing that the next score was crucial. After a long period of stalemate, Foster used a series of ruck penalties to pen the home side back in their own half.
Quick ball from a resulting CI line out provided the opportunity for the backline to put the ball through the hands until Robin Brown touched down for the score on the right.
Queens responded with some lively play and almost reached the CI line before being repelled.
The CI communication in defence was much improved on recent outings and a series of turnovers provided relief and kept the home side in the middle of the park.
A turnover on the right wing saw the ball moved to Ross Hackney who set off on a lung busting run for the corner. Despite getting caught by the chasing defender, he managed to touch down for the final score of the game.
The conversion was missed to leave the final score 24-5 at the final whistle which saw CI progress to the semi-finals.
Full time: Queens 5 CI 24
CI will look to take the positives from this game into crucial upcoming league games and the latter stages of this cup.
Photo taken from the Friday night squad social.