Old Belvedere delivered a convincing 33-12 victory over Buccaneers on Sunday, running in five tries to move one point clear of Young Munster at the top of AIB League Division 1B.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Sunday, January 31
OLD BELVEDERE 33 BUCCANEERS 12, Anglesea Road
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: David Mongan 2, Chris Keane, Richie Leyden, John Kennedy; Cons: Andy Dunne 4
Buccaneers: Tries: Troy Nathan, Alex Hayman; Con: Alex Hayman
The final scoreline may have been a touch flattering for Old Belvedere but they showed some fine pieces of attacking rugby throughout and the Dublin side will be pleased with their five-point reward, coming a day after Munsters struggled to see off Dungannon.
Old Belvedere got off to a dream start when in-form winger David Mongan used his silky footwork to beat his opposite number and fly around the outside for the opening try and his 13th of an outstanding league campaign.
For a while it looked like the home side were not going to build on their lead, conceding multiple penalties and allowing Buccaneers to get some good phase play going.
Buccs began to grow into the match, threatening the ‘Belvo defence, however, their inexperience was exposed at the breakdown when they conceded a second try after 27 minutes.
A loose ball at the back of a ruck was not dealt with and ‘Belvo’s alert number 8 Leo Auva’a made a fine break, eventually offloading to centre John Kennedy who set up the platform for Leinster scrum half Chris Keane who did well to beat the last tackle and finish under the posts.
Just before half-time, Mongan added another try to his enviable tally when he finished in the corner after a nice back-line move.
Buccs had their chances in the first half and they did use the ball well, spreading it out wide regularly, but the final execution was not clinical enough against a strong ‘Belvo outfit.
At the start of the second half, ‘Belvo were in their comfort zone – leading 19-0 – and they secured the bonus point after just 48 minutes when flanker Richie Leyden took the ball at pace and calmly broke through the tackle to dive over the line.
The try of the match came from centre Kennedy who started in place of Fergus McFadden who was lining out for Ireland ‘A’ against England Saxons.
With a quick side-step, Kennedy broke through the line of defence near the halfway line and his quick turn of pace allowed him to beat the covering tackle and race over for the hosts’ fifth and final try.
Towards the end of the match, ‘Belvo noticeably eased off the pace and their defence turned somewhat lethargic, conceding two soft tries to Buccs centre Alex Hayman and Connacht-capped full-back Troy Nathan.