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Naas’ Van Zyl Reacts To Energia All-Ireland League Defeat

Naas’ Van Zyl Reacts To Energia All-Ireland League Defeat

Naas’ newly-appointed head coach Dan van Zyl says an inferior kicking game and first phase possession on the day were behind his side’s 13-7 defeat to City of Armagh in Division 1B of the Energia All-Ireland League.


CITY OF ARMAGH 13 NAAS 7, Palace Grounds
Scorers: City of Armagh: Try; Andrew Smyth; Con: Cormac Fox; Pens: Cormac Fox 2
Naas: Try: Fionn Higgins; Con: Peter Osborne
HT: City of Armagh 0 Naas 7

It was a tightly-contested hit-out at the Palace Grounds with Naas leading 7-0 at the break. Full-back Fionn Higgins got the try, winning the race to his own 24th-minute hack-through, and captain Peter Osborne converted, but City of Armagh knew they had more to offer in the second half.

“They’re a side that play good rugby and if you’re going to give them ball they’re going to hurt you,” van Zyl told Irish Rugby TV in the above post-match video.

Naas fielded a youthful and inexperienced team and were without the services of injured captain Paulie Tolofua, while Johne Murphy has moved on from his role as player-coach.

“We’ve had a huge player turnaround and quite a few experienced players out,” said the former Springbok who also spoke about facing Old Wesley – another side he has coached – in the Cobras’ first home game next week.

Willie Faloon’s Armagh outfit equalised through replacement hooker Andrew Smyth’s maul try and the boot of Cormac Fox. Talented out-half Fox also stroked over two penalties either side of a missed effort from Osborne.

CITY OF ARMAGH: Tim McNeice; Andrew Willis, Chris Colvin, Jonny Pollock, Shea O’Brien; Cormac Fox, Harry Doyle; Paul Mullen, Jonny Morton, Philip Fletcher, Josh McKinley, Oliver Millar, James Hanna, Nigel Simpson, Robert Whitten (capt).

Replacements: Andrew Smyth, Eoin O’Hagan, Barry Finn, JJ Scheepers, Stuart Lester.

NAAS: Fionn Higgins; Craig Adams, Ben Swindlehurst, James Hawkey, Eoin Walsh; Bryan Croke, Peter Osborne (capt); Jack Barry, Graham Reynolds, Conor McCormack, Paul Monahan, David Benn, Ryan Casey, Ruadhan McDonnell, Mike Russell.

Replacements: Conor Doyle, Peter King, Andrew Sweeney, Matt Stapleton, Mark Sutton.