Coleraine First XV maintain advantage

Thursday, 16 February 2017

COLERAINE maintained control of the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship with a bonus point win over Larne at the weekend.
The 'Cookstown' sponsored Bannsiders dominated the game but, despite the 52-5 winning margin, there were some lacklustre periods which coach Richard Boyd will no doubt address in training this week.
Larne played a spirited game but, in the end, they had no answer to the Coleraine scrum and attacking finesse.
The win also saw Coleraine retain the Emile Trophy, an annual award for the aggregate winner between Coleraine and Larne. The trophy, first played for in 1936, again sits proudly in the Coleraine trophy cabinet.
This week sees the second in a four-week home game stint and this time the visitors are fourth-placed Belfast side Academy. This will be another challenge for captain Mikey Poskitt's men and one that they will approach enthusiastically.
In the game on Saturday, Larne started strongly, attacking the Coleraine 22 and being rewarded with a penalty within five minutes of the kick off. The attempt drifted wide.
Coleraine were undeterred and launched a strong attack that was stopped temporarily at the Larne line before scrum-half Rhyss McAuley nipped over for the touch-down. Alan Clarke was on target with the conversion to make it 7-0.
Coleraine centre Bokkie Carstens pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Danny Ramage who relished his opportunity to play outside his normal forwards position.
With 18 minutes on the clock the Coleraine backline attacked deep into the visitors' territory. The supporting pack took over and rumbled across the line, Josh Christie scoring the try. Clarke again converted. 14-0.
*Read the full story in this week's Coleraine Chronicle.


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