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Tries: Rob Hudson, Andy Rudd 2, Ken McGovern Con: Rob Hudson 2 Pen: Rob Hudson
Leinster League Division 3 Sydney Parade 04/10/2020
The Tallaght men’s first team took on the Dublin Dogos in their first competitive match in seven months. After winning Metro League Divisions 6 & 7 in consecutive seasons, the Tallaght first team have joined the Leinster League for this season which means Sunday rugby.
With the heavy rain in the morning, there was a fear the fixture might not go ahead but the pitch was in excellent condition. Tallaght started slowly and were stuck in their own half defending for most of the first quarter. After five minutes Tallaght looked stretched on the flanks but left winger Rob Hudson intercepted the ball and showed his pace to run the ball back 80 metres to score a try.
The Dogos should have hit back three minutes later but their penalty attempt in front of the posts went wide. Finally after twenty minutes Tallaght got into the Dogos half for the second time. Skipper Adam Nolan made a powerful burst and linked up with Simon Collie who was only denied a try by the last defender. But Tallaght were awarded a penalty which Hudson converted to make it 8-0.
Josh Sweeney (son of former Tallaght player and coach Simon) and Jordan Corrigan were both making their first starts for the 1sts. Sweeney made several big tackles and Corrigan carried impressively. The Dogos were the next to score though when they worked the ball wide and broke through for a deserved try after 30 minutes. They missed the conversion though and another penalty attempt in front of the posts which really should have levelled the game.
Instead Tallaght took advantage when winger Ciaran Rudd caught a punt in his own half and kicked it long. He was taken out as he chased his own kick but his brother Andy was following up as well and he skilfully gathered the ball and touched it down for the try to give Tallaght a 13-5 lead at half-time.
In the second half Tallaght dominated possession more but their lineout let them down a number of times. The Dogos seemed to tire and they conceded a lot of penalties. With twenty minutes left, the referee lost patience and they were shown a yellow card for persistent offending. Tallaght went for the lineout and though the maul was collapsed the forwards picked and drove a number of times. Eventually Andy Rudd spotted a gap and sniped over for his second try of the match which Rob Hudson converted to make it 20-5.
The game was Tallaght’s now but for the first time ever they had a four-try bonus point to go for. Previously they’d always played in leagues where there was only losing bonus points. Their cause was helped by the Dogos getting another yellow card for a high tackle. A superb kick from Rob Hudson from his own twenty two to the Dogos twenty two put Tallaght in a great position to score.
Once again they attacked from a lineout and after another series of picks and drives, hooker Ken McGovern forced his way over for a try to earn the bonus point. Hudson converted and the final score was 27-5 to Tallaght.
Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was satisfied with the game. “We started slowly and they dominated the ball early on. But we got a couple of opportunistic scores and in the second half, we were a lot better. There’s lots to work on, like our lineout and our protection of the ball at the ruck. But we defended well and played some decent rugby in tough conditions. The Dogos are a fine team who finished fourth in this league last year. So to come here and get a win and our first ever four try bonus point is an excellent day’s work. It was also great a to see a number of young players make their debuts for the first team and they fitted in seamlessly. We have the Dogos again next week and we’ll be looking to improve but overall we’re delighted.”
Man of the match: Adam Nolan
1. Alan Sower 2. Ken McGovern 3. Andy Grace 4. Alan Moore 5. Colin Morrison 6. Josh Sweeney 7. Jack Russell 8. Adam Nolan (Captain) 9. Andrew Rudd 10. David Clarke 11. Rob Hudson 12. Jordan Corrigan 13. Nick McGuinness 14. Ciaran Rudd 15. Simon Collie 16. Andy Caswell 17. Padraig O Ciardha 18. Joe Ivers 19. Darryl Keogh 20. Karl Segrave
Welcome back! Tallaght RFC are back in competitive action this weekend.
With the current Covid-19 restrictions in Dublin most junior rugby matches are off. But the Tallaght men’s firsts are permitted to play their first Leinster League Division 3 fixture of a season.
Originally Tallaght were due to travel to Clane for their opening match but in a fixture switch to stay within Dublin they will instead play the Dublin Dogos on Sunday. Kick off is at 3PM in Monkstown’s ground in Sydney Parade.
Due to restrictions they game will be played without spectators but we will do our best to provide score updates on Facebook.
Tallaght RFC has originally planned to run from Thomond Park in Limerick to our home pitch in Firhouse on Saturday the 22nd of August. The plan was for 40 runners from the club to cover the trip running 4-5km each over a 24 hour period from midday on the Saturday through to midday on the Sunday. The run in aid of the mental health charity Aware was originally launched in July.
Initially there was a target set of 10,000 euro. However when the run was announced in July just on social media by the club and the individual runners, the response was frankly astonishing. In just two weeks, the target of 10,000 euro had been donated. A revised target of 15,000 euro was set.
However because the route would take taken us through counties in lockdown, the plans had to be changed on Thursday. Instead Tallaght would attempt to cover the same distance by running for 24 hours doing laps on our home pitch in Firhouse. So they started at 12 noon on Saturday and kept going despite the wind and rain. The good thing about the re-arrangement was that the runners’ children, friends and pets were able to join them for a lap or two. Passing motorists beeped in support as the teams ran through the night in prearranged shifts. On Sunday morning the youths teams and their coaches joined in to keep the running going.
The runners covered closer to 300km in the end and the final laps were completed by coach Gary Brennan and the IRFU director of rugby development Colin McEntee. All of this drove the fundraising on and the target of 15,000 euro was reached early on Sunday morning.
The club is hugely proud to have generated this much money for such an important cause. We want to thanks everyone who made a donation and all our runners and their friends and family who supported them. We want to thanks everyone at Aware and also Alan Quinlan, Donncha O’Callaghan and everyone in the media who helped publicise the run.
We want to thank everyone at the club who helped organise the event and who volunteered to man the station to support the runners on the day. A special thanks must go to PRO Emma-Louise Doyle who’s ninja level social media skills drove the fundraising on. Anne Kavo Kavanagh was no only one of the runners but also supplied great photos of the event, a selection of which you can see below.
Last but not least, everyone at the club wants to thank our Chairman Luke Tyrrell who originally came up with the idea and put in a huge amount of work with Aware to make it happen. There are still ambitions to do the run from Limerick to Tallaght next year should it be possible. But this was still a wonderful day when the club pulled together for a great cause.
The donation link is still live for another week so it’s not too late to donate here.
Everyone at Tallaght Rugby was greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Mary Curtis, the mother of our long-time player, coach and director of rugby Brian.
In accordance with the government guidelines in the Covid-19 crisis, a private funeral Mass for family and friends took place in St Joseph’s Church, Kilnaboy, on Thursday, 6th August, with burial afterwards in Kilnaboy Cemetery.
Our deepest sympathies go out to Mary’s children Anne, Michael, Pat, Brian, Sile and Kate, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, brothers, sister, extended family and friends.
Tallaght RFC will be running from Thomond park in Limerick all the way to our home ground at Firhouse in Tallaght on the 22nd August 2020 in aid of Aware Ireland – your supporting light through depression.
Tallaght rugby’s season started in late July of 2019 with great expectations that we were going to kick on from last year. At the end of the 2018-2019 season, we finished with two trophies; the John Madden cup and the Metro League Division 7 trophy which was the most successful season to date for Tallaght Rugby Club. When we started preseason training in July there was a huge increase in numbers attending. We had returning players like Denny McCarthy, Ciaran Rudd, Shane Maguire, Wayne Stewart, Jordan and Michael Corrigan and Brandon Wilson. We also had new players coming in like Niall Mahon, Shane Mooney, Ben Flynn, Padraig O’Ciardha, Leigh MacDonald, Declan O’Neill, Gary Kinsella and Scott Hyland. At the same time there was an influx of younger players in the likes of James Carr, Keith Fitzsimons, Mark Keatinge, Cameron Byrne and Sean Gardner joining again. In August with a limited side we travelled again to Youghal in County Cork for a preseason tournament and that set the tone for the year and we had another enjoyable experience in Cork.
We won a couple of preseason games against Guinness and Clane RFC before we commenced competitive action in the John Madden cup. In the first round we faced Seapoint who we have beaten previously in the league final last April. After a very hard battle throughout the match we went to extra time and then in the unusual circumstances we had to win a penalty shoot-out to progress to the next round. In the semi-final we beat Guinness 17-6 to reach the final.
Numbers at training were excellent and our squad depth was getting bigger which was to prove key as the season progressed with players unavailable and injured. Unfortunately we lost a number of players to long-term injury through the season like Declan O’Neill, Sean Gardner, Ben Flynn, Leigh McDonald, Ciaran Keane, James Carr, Rob Carthy and Mick Corrigan. Despite these losses lads kept stepping up to take their place and maintain the quality of performance.
The league campaign commenced in October with a hard fought win against Seapoint at home in Tymon Park. The next match was against Terenure in Lakelands Park which seen as a important match against one of the most established clubs in Leinster. In a tight battle Denny McCarthy’s late try was the key moment in the match and we came away with a 12-10 victory. The next match away to Coolmine was going to be a huge challenge having not beaten them in a long time. The key moment in the match came before kick off when the referee made a decision that the home team had to change their jerseys because they clashed with ours. This had them all over the place for the first 25 minutes and we took our advantage and came away with the victory.
The next fixture was to be the key fixture of the season when we lost to Dublin University at home by a single point in a match where the opposition were better on the day. The result focused the mind for the rest of the season and we didn’t lose again. This resulted in wins over Barnhall, Seapoint, Terenure and Coolmine. Then the last 3 wins came against Dublin University, Barnhall and Guinness in the worst conditions we have seen in a long time and more importantly only conceding 5 points in 240 minutes. This put us a great position going into our home final in Tymon Park against second placed Terenure.
The final was cancelled because of the Covid 19 situation and we were gutted that we couldn’t play a Leinster rugby final in Tallaght for the first time. The final was going to be very tough having just beaten Terenure twice during the season by small margins. The Leinster Branch awarded the league to Tallaght because we had finished top of the table by a 9 point margin. This is another huge achievement for Tallaght RFC to go back to back league winners. This is a credit to all the players and everyone involved with Tallaght RFC.
We really want to kick on again next year both on the field and off the field to keep improving and challenging ourselves. It is an honour to be involved with Tallaght RFC and their commitment to their team and community is second to none. We are not only developing great rugby players but wonderful people for their community and families.
This has been proven many times this year as the team and the rest of the club raised money for the Tallaght Hospital frontline staff during the present pandemic and also helped support one of our men’s team Wayne Strewart who sadly lost his father Paul recently. We also increased our Tallaght RFC family this year with newborns from a number of players that included Al Moore, Tony McManus, Shane Maguire, Nick Hearn, Mark Keogh and Daniel Pomares. I want to congratulate all of the above and their partners and wish them the best of luck in their new adventure with their families. There are also a few weddings coming up this year for a few players. I would also like to wish them the best of luck for their big days and not to forget Al Sower who was married in December to Laura and the very best to them in their new life together.
The rugby season is finished for another season but we still have a few nights to celebrate our success when we are allowed and restrictions are eased. We can look forward to being presented with the Division 6 trophy from the Leinster Branch, our awards night, AGM and then to plan for next year when hopefully we can keep improving on and off the pitch.
I want to thank a few special people who made this season such a success again. Simon Gaskill, Padraig O’Ciardha and Colin Keogh were the driving force behind the second team and looked after them on match days. They were denied a final in Division 11 due to the restrictions and I know they want to get back to that level again. Many of the issues most people don’t see on a weekly and monthly basis are sorted by people within the club who just get on with it. Our Chairman Luke Tyrrell is always there willing to solve a problem and support us and I want to thank him on behalf of every player in the club for the work he does. I also want to thank everyone on our committee for all their hard work over the season to put the club on such a solid footing.
Adam Nolan captained the club again this year and was outstanding in supporting the team on and off the pitch. He also coached the under-16’s boys team which shows his commitment to the club now and into the future, many thanks Adam for all your support this year. On the day of the matches Ciaran Keane stepped into the role of manager and was always there to help and support the players and coaches in whatever we needed, many thanks Ciaran. I also want to thank Jim O’Connor for all his hard work with the fixtures and the match reports throughout the year, many thanks Jim.
Colin Keogh and Niall Mahon took over as coaches of the women’s team and it was great to see their commitment to bringing through new players and thanks again to the women’s captain Martina Fitzpatrick for the leadership she shows on and off the pitch. Our youth’s teams have continued to grow and the Bisto’s team won the under-18’s girls shield final on a great day in St. Mary’s. So thanks to Aileen McGovern, Audrey and Gerry Fanning and all the other coaches and parents who are helping to create our stars of the future.
I also want to thank the Leinster Branch especially all the referees who we could not play without and Dermot O’Mahony for administration of the Metro Leagues and Leinster Coach Development Officer for Tallaght RFC and the Metropolitan Area Damien McCabe. Our own Audrey Fulham is going from strength to strength in her refereeing career and it’s great to see her representing the club so well in that area.
Also huge thanks to Gary Brennan who again this year has been such a great inspiration to all the players. He challenges them every week to improve and we have really seen his work come through with the backline on both the men’s teams. Gary has also been involved with Richie Murphy coming down to take a kicking session and Colin McEntee taking a couple of sessions for Tallaght RFC and all of us have learned from these training sessions. Many thanks Gary for all your work this year. It is very much appreciated.
Last but not least I was to thank all the partners, family and friends of all our players and coaches who come out to support the team in all kinds of weather. They also support the club through buying tickets, attending fundraisers and looking after children when players train. Without their support, we’d be nowhere so thanks to everyone in the TRFC family.
After the domestic season was halted due to the Covid-19 crisis, the Leinster branch have declared the Tallaght first team champions of Metro Division 6. As the final against Terenure cannot now be played, the table topping Tallaght team were declared champions and have been promoted to Division 5 for next season.
Tallaght would have much preferred to win the league by beating Terenure in the final which would have been the first ever to be hosted in Tallaght. But after finishing nine points clear having only lost one game all season, they are worthy champions.
The flip side of the coin of the branch’s decision means that the Tallaght seconds team will have to settle for runner-up spot in Metro Division 11 as table toppers Clondalkin were declared champions. However they should be commended for finishing second in what was their first season as a team. The second team introduced several new players to the club this season and they’ll be raring to go next term.
Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh was proud of his squad’s achievement. “Last year was the most successful season Tallaght RFC had achieved, so we knew this year was going to be a huge step up. We had to improve both as individuals and as a team unit to be competitive in this new league. As early as August the momentum was building with huge numbers at training. There was a desire to get better, to have our own seconds team.”
“At this stage we knew that, not only would we be competitive, but we could actually win the league. Our belief was backed up with a couple of pre-season matches where we played well and won quite convincingly. Then we reached the John Madden final, which was another great achievement. The standard at training was improving all the time with the new players blending into the club and enjoying the learning environment.”
“The new players Niall Mahon, Ben Flynn, Scott Hyland, Leigh McDonald, Nick McGuinness, Brandon Wilson, Jordan Corrigan, Michael Corrigan, Wayne Stewart, Gary Kinsella, Shane Mooney, Padraig O’Ciardha and the returning Denny McCarthy and Ciaran Rudd all added value to the rugby club. We also saw an influx of younger players like James Carr, Marc Keatinge, Daniel Byrne, Keith Fitzsimons, Cameron Byrne and Sean Gardner who we hope will make a big contribution to the club in years to come.”
“The key strength this year was the squad. We used a lot of players over the season so the success is to be celebrated among the whole squad. Our league record was almost 100% but for one off-day versus Trinity but in fairness on the day they played well and we only lost by a point. We had loads of tight matches but always had the belief and hunger to get the result. We went unbeaten away from home which is rare in any league and shows the mental strength of the squad. “
“But the key was the last three games which were all played in terrible conditions as the various storms raged in January and February. But we won all three game and only conceded five points combined. We were building towards the final and beginning to peak for that. Unfortunately the final didn’t get played and it would have been a huge battle against our local rivals Terenure having only beaten them narrowly both times in the league.”
“But we’re delighted the league season wasn’t declared null and void so that we have something to show for all our hard work over the last seven months. I want to thank the coaches and managers Gary Brennan, Luke Tyrrell and Ciaran Keane for all their hard work and guidance this season. I also want to thank our amazing supporters who still came out in big numbers over the whole season, especially in some of the worst weather I ever saw for rugby. While it was hard on the seconds team to not get a chance to play their final, they still had a great season and I want to thank Simon Gaskell for all the hard work he put in over the season.”
“I also want to thank our many sponsors The Old Mill, The Maldron Hotel, Origina, Welltel, Ashley Ford, Jones Engineering, Firetrade and Landscape Depot for their fantastic support this season. Finally I was to wish the whole Tallaght RFC family good health at this tough time and I can’t wait until the time comes that we can get together to celebrate a second league win in a row.”
Whenever normality resumes, Tallaght will have the awards night and the team will be presented with their trophy and medals along with the normal awards for all the teams. Until that happy day please all stay safe and well until we can all come together again as a club.