Well . . . This wasn’t in the script.
On Saturday Clontarf did a pretty good impression of the big bad wolf and huffed and puffed to no avail against a Garryowen side, who like the three little pigs, had a defensive plan and stuck to it. This game was won and lost in the first half as the home side dominated possession and territory but failed to register a try. Unfortunately it was not just a story of a strong defensive effort by the visitors; Clontarf struggled throughout the game to generate any penetration of the Garryowen line and seemed to run out of gears with every effort. Too often the ball was ushered sideways where the outside rush swallowed up man and ball and stalled the home side’s momentum.
As always in these situations anxiety creeps in, followed by speculation, followed by errors, all grist to a Munster side’s mill. So when a dink went awry Garryowen countered. A missed tackle compounded the defensive flap and the visitors scored the first of two inelegant tries which, despite their lack of ascetic, are still worth 5 points.
So Clontarf have some work to do and have three weeks to do it before our next game against a resurgent UL Bohemians side. This is a setback, not a crisis and we have granite layers of experience both on and off the pitch well capable of re-engineering the situation.
There is nothing like the clarity that adversity brings as exemplified by this story from the Korean War.
Lt General Lewis Burwell “Chesty“ Puller commander of the 1st US Marine Regiment at the battle of Chosin Reservoir was renowned for his aggression and valour. It was during the battle against 69,000 Chinese that he made the famous report.
“We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now.
“We’ve finally found him.”
“That simplifies things”
“They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us by 29:1 . . . They can’t get away from us now!”