Tallaght Rugby Club face into their biggest match in club history when they take on DLSP in the Metro League Division 7 Final. It would be the first time Tallaght has ever won their league and would cap a hugely successful season. They already came close to silverware this season when they lost the John Madden final to Coolmine by just a kick of a ball and will hope the experience gained from that disappointment will stand to them this time around.
They face a tough task in beating DLSP though. Tallaght won ten, drew one and lost four in the league this season, but three of those defeats came against DLSP. DLSP actually lost the match points from two of those fixtures because of fielding illegal players but there’s no doubt they’re a very strong team and they will fancy themselves on home turf.
Tallaght will be looking to attack them with the sort of expansive rugby that has seen them score 74 tries across all competitions this season. Australian full back Simon Collie is the top scorer again with 14 tries but plenty of other players have stepped up to the plate this season. In the backs winger Ciaran Rudd has 9 tries and centre David Clarke has 7. The forwards haven’t been shy in scoring either and back rows Adam Nolan and Aaron Morgan have both got 8 tries to their name.
It’s not just about the tries though, the likes of Jack Russell and Paul Cunningham in the pack have been models of consistency and don’t forget the unsung heroes in the tight five like Sean Judd, Ken McGovern, Stephen Kelly, Joe Ivers and Tony McManus. There are many others who deserve a mention too but what’s been most pleasing for Tallaght this season is how the extended squad has stepped up when needed and kept the standards of performance up.
Head coach Tom Leigh is looking forward to the final. “For the last four weeks we have been totally focused on the final and on improving all aspects of our game to give our best possible performance. It has already been an excellent season for Tallaght Rugby Club so I hope the whole community can get behind us for the final. This final is for all the club members both past and present, so I hope there’s another big turn-out from the supporters, just like there was for the John Madden final. We are under no illusions as to the tough task we face, but we know that if we put together an eighty-minute performance, we can win the final and take the trophy back to Tallaght.”
The lads were looking sharp in training and were boosted by a surprise visit from Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt, who took time to wish them well for the final. The match is on Saturday the 29th at 3.00 in Kirwan Park in Stepaside and we hope a big crowd will travel across from Tallaght to cheer the boys on.
Photos: Anne Kavanagh