Metro League Division 7 Final Preview

Seapoint v Tallaght 1sts
Metro League Division 7 final
Saturday 6th April 2019
Kilbogget Park, Killiney
Kick-off 3PM

The Tallaght men’s firsts team are hoping the third time is the charm.

They’ve made the final of the Metro League Division 7 for the third year running but they’re confident they can get over the line this time. They take on a Seapoint team in a rich vein of form though. Seapoint have had a curious season. They started off like they’re been playing for the last few seasons; solid but unspectacular winning just four of their first seven league games. However since January, they’ve been in an impressive run of form winning every match in a run to finish top of the table.

In their first seven games they averaged 15 points a game. But in their next five matches they averaged 42 points a game, a fairly remarkable improvement! One of those victories was a 38-10 win over Tallaght at Tymon Park in January. It was one of those games where everything went right for Seapoint and everything went wrong for Tallaght. However it served as something of a wake up call for Tallaght.

They had been winning games earlier in the season without playing all that well and after that defeat they had a honest team meeting and made a collective commitment to correct things. Since then they’ve won their last three league games in a row including a nervy winner-takes-all clash against AIB to make the final and Tallaght head coach Tom Leigh is looking forward to the final.

“To reach the final for the third year in row is a massive achievement for Tallaght RFC especially against all the bigger and more established clubs. The team had a solid start to the year and training was going well. But we weren’t playing to our normal standard even though we were getting results. But this caught us out in January when we lost back to back matches so we had to take a good look at ourselves and had to challenge each other both off and on the pitch.”

“The reaction has been so positive that you can see the progression of the team on a weekly basis and this has shown in results having won the last 3 games thus qualifying the team for the final. This year’s captain Adam Nolan has been a massive influence with his performance on the pitch and having a positive influence off the pitch. The addition to the coaching staff this year of Gary Brennan focusing on the backs has challenged the players and you can see the improvement levels with them every week. Luke Tyrrell’s role this year has seen him move into a management position and his influence on the team and the club is another reason we are competing in another final.”

“We went into a joint team with DLSP this season with our seconds team and it worked out really well but we’d be hopeful that with the numbers at training, we’d have enough players to go on our own in Division 11 next season. The commitment of the players continue to amaze me and I really hope we perform to our best ability on the day and make their families proud of them. Tallaght RFC is so proud and appreciative of our supporters so let’s enjoy the day and hopefully we get a massive crowd out to Seapoint to cheer us on.”

Seapoint are a tough team at home but Tallaght won there 20-15 earlier in the season so they will travel with confidence and hopefully as with last year’s final, there’s a big crowd of Tallaght supporters to cheer them on.

Dave Clarke
Adam Nolan
Jack Russell
Daniel Pomares 
Ken McGovern
Aaron Shanahan
Daryl Keogh

Old Wesley 32 Tallaght 1st 17

Adam Nolan

Old Wesley 32

Tallaght 1sts 17

Try: David Clarke, Adam Nolan, Ken McGovern
Con: Adam Nolan

Winters Cup
Donnybrook Stadium
30/03/2019

Tallaght took on Old Wesley in the Winters Cup in a re-match of last season’s Division 7 final. Before the match a minute’s silence was held in honour of Tallaght player Kevin Quinn’s mother Eileen, who sadly passed away on Wednesday. Wesley started the better and scored the first try of the match when their offloading game exposed Tallaght out wide. They converted the try to lead 5-0.

But Tallaght’s defensive lineout was good and it got them on the front foot. After Wesley conceded several penalties near their line, skipper Adam Nolan took a quick tap and passed to Sean Hanlon who spotted Dave Clarke in space and put him in for the try to make it 5-5. However Wesley took control of the rest of the half as Tallaght struggled with the home team’s high tempo offloading game. Wesley scored two more tries and converted one of them to lead 17-5 at half-time.

In the second half Wesley continued to score, getting the first two tries of the half to build a 27-5 lead. However Tallaght did play some decent rugby at times and they never gave up. Adam Nolan scored a try to make it 27-10. Wesley scored again but Tallaght had the last word with Ken McGovern going over for a try which Nolan converted to make the final score 32-17.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was disappointed to lose but pleased with aspects of his team’s performance. “First off, congratulations to Old Wesley. They were a good team last season and they’ve improved on that. It was good to see how we were able to compete with them and some of our attacking play was very good. However defensively we weren’t at the level required both in terms of individual tackles and our organisation. We need a good week’s training but if we can fix that, we’ll have a great chance in next week’s league final away to Seapoint.

Man of the match: Adam Nolan

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Ciaran Keane
13. Padraig Jones
12. David Clarke
11. Rob Hudson
10. Daryl Keogh
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Alan Sower
2. Sean Hanlon
3. Andy Caswell
4. Joe Ivers
5. Colin Morrison
6. Daniel Pomares
7. Jack Russell
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)

Replacements:

16. Tony McManus
17. Andy Grace
18. Alan Moore
19. Ken McGovern
20. Aaron Shanahan
21. Luke Brady
22. Kevin Quinn

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Weekend fixtures 30th/31st March

It’s cup action for all three senior teams on the final weekend of March.

After getting a walkover last weekend against Blackrock, the Tallaght men’s first team are in Winters Cup action away to Old Wesley is a re-match of last season’s Division 7 final. Old Wesley have kicked on since they won last year’s division and have made the Division 6 final this season against Old Belvedere. With the Leinster match at the Aviva in the evening, kick-off have been brought forward to 1.30 in Donnybrook stadium.

At the same time the Tallaght/DLSP combined team ‘Tallasalle’ play Stillorgan-Rathfarnham in the Guilfoyle-James Cup in Rockfield Park. Then on Sunday the women’s team play their first match in six weeks. They take on Arklow in the Paul Cusack Cup with a 1PM kick-off in the Oval.

In the youths there is training for Bisto’s ladies Friday at 6.45 at St Marys. Training for the minis and older groups have training in Firhouse on Sunday as normal.

Eileen Quinn R.I.P.

Everyone at Tallaght Rugby Club was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Eileen Quinn this morning. Peg was the mother of our long-standing player Kevin.  

Eileen will also be missed by her husband Kevin and daughters Tracy, Lisa and Sarah; her brothers Christy and Damian, sisters Anna, Chris, Teresa and Julie, brothers-in-law Kevin and Robert, sisters-in-law Katherine, Marion and Lorraine, grandson Frankie, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

Reposing at her home on Thursday from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Removal on Friday to the Church of the Assumption of the BVM, Walkinstown arriving for 10.00am Mass. Funeral immediately afterwards to Newlands Cross Crematorium. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross.

Tallaght RFC wishes to express our deepest sympathy with the Quinn family at this difficult time.

Weekend fixtures 23rd/24th March

Tallasalle take top billing this Saturday in the Metro League Division 11 final away to Clontarf. Kick-off is 3PM in Castle Avenue and you can read the match preview here.

At the same time, the Tallaght men’s first team are in Winters Cup action away to Blackrock RFC. The game has been moved to Blackrock school and this meant the kick-off couldn’t be brought forward as the pitch wasn’t available at that time. The Tallaght coaches had requested an earlier time to allow the firsts support Tallasalle in their final.

Update: Blackrock conceded the Winters Cup tie

In the youths there is training for Bisto’s ladies Friday at 6.30 at St Marys. The under 11’s have a blitz in Suttonians meeting there at 9.30am. The minis have a blitz in Old Belvedere, meeting there at 9am. The under 9’s and older groups have training in Firhouse as normal.

Please make your best effort to get out and support all our teams.

Metro League Division 11 Final Preview


The Tallaght men’s second team’s merged for the season with DLSP’s fourth team to compete in Metro League Division 11 as both were short of players and were unable to field full teams for fixtures. “Tallasalle” as they became known as started off with a narrow win at home to Swords. They followed that up by winning a thriller against CYM before thrashing the Emerald Warriors. They then had a bit of a dip losing narrowly away to both Swords and leaders Clontarf. 
 
They bounced back well though by winning another shoot-out against CYM before thrashing the Warriors again to seal their place in the final. Their last match was a dress rehearsal for the final when they hosted Clontarf and the game ended in a ten-all draw. Tallasalle have done remarkably well considering they don’t train together as a squad and often only meet each other for the first time when they’re in a team together. 
 
Tallasalle coach Damien Deegan has marvelled at how the two teams have come together. “I suppose the most important thing about the merger was to give both sets of club players game time but something special has developed from this bunch. They play for each other and have buckets of resolve but also they have proven they have real talent. To make a final in year one was way beyond everyone’s expectations but is a credit and testament to all involved.”
 
Clontarf will be tough opponents in the final but Tallasalle will put it up to them. 
 
Final details:
Metro League Division 11 final
Saturday 23rd March 2019
Clontarf v DLSP/Tallaght
Castle Avenue
Kick-off 3PM
 
 
 

Tallaght welcome Thérapie Clinic as sponsors

Thérapie Clinic is Europe’s No.1 Aesthetic clinic and offers an array of treatments from laser hair removal, anti wrinkle injections, dermal and lip fillers. They have come aboard as sponsors for the Tallaght women’s team this season and today the club presented a framed jersey to Lauren Nolan, the manager of the Thérapie branch in the Square. Honorary club President Jim O’Connor presented the jersey and several members of the women’s team also attended proudly wearing their new kit. The club looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial association with Thérapie and for more information on their services click here.

The club also would to thank Frames Etc in Clondalkin Village for framing the jersey at short notice and doing an excellent job.

Bective 8 Tallaght 1st 37

Ken McGovern

Bective Rangers 8

Tallaght 1sts 37

Tries: Adam Nolan, Andy Rudd, Rob Hudson, Jack Russell, Padraig Jones, Aaron Shanahan
Con: Rob Hudson 2
Pen: Rob Hudson

Metro League Division 7
Donnybrook Stadium
08/03/2019

Tallaght took on Bective away in their final regular league game of the season knowing that a win would guarantee them a place in the Metro Division 7 final for the third year running. After two minutes, Tallaght winger Rob Hudson took off on an electric run beating several defenders and was only denied a try by a fine cover tackle. However Tallaght recycled the ball and after several phases of constant pressure skipper Adam Nolan took a tap penalty near the line and went over for the try. Bective responded with a penalty to make it 5-3 but it wasn’t long before Tallaght were back on the score-sheet again.

It was that man Hudson again who was put away down his wing by a fine pass from Kevin Quinn. With the cover defence coming across he smartly chipped the ball ahead and when the ball took a wicked bounce that flummoxed the Bective full back, scrum-half Andy Rudd was there to take advantage and cross for the try. Hudson converted the try and added a penalty soon after to make it 15-3 to Tallaght. Bective hit back with some strong running from their centres and looked certain to score a try after they broke through the midfield but centre Padraig Jones got across to make a superb cover tackle in the corner and then Tallaght turned the ball over to end the threat. At the other end Hudson went agonisingly close to scoring again when he kicked a loose ball ahead but he couldn’t gather the ball with the line at his mercy and the half-time score was 15-3.

Tallaght were determined to keep the pressure on Bective to finish them off in the second half. Their pack was carrying strongly with Alan Moore, Ken McGovern and Al Sower making several powerful carries between them. Adam Nolan took a late hit off the ball that he wasn’t happy with but he responded in the best possible way. First he won a turnover on the ground and then he took off and showed great speed to break away and offload to Hudson who went over for the try his performance so richly deserved. This settled Tallaght down and five minutes later the game was ended as a contest when flanker Jack Russell powered his way through three tackles to get over the line for Tallaght’s fourth try which Hudson converted to make it 27-3.

To their credit Bective kept plugging away and they broke through off a scrum for a try to make it 27-8. But Tallaght hit back to confirm their dominance of the fixture with two more tries. First centre Padraig Jones put the seal on a fine all round performance by taking a great line and breaking away to score in the corner. Then full back Aaron Shanahan scored with the final play of the game after a fine pass from Daryl Keogh put him away. It made the final score 37-8 to Tallaght and guaranteed their place in the final. They now await the winners of the Seapoint v Clontarf match today to see who they’ll play in the final.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted for his team. “This is the third year in a row we’ve made this final but this one means a little bit more because we came through a crisis when we suffered a heavy home defeat to Seapoint. Because of the way the fixtures fell, we had four weeks to stew on that setback but we used the time to really have a long hard look at where we were going wrong. We’ve put the hard work in to improve and got the reward with three consecutive wins under pressure. I’m delighted for the squad and everyone who came out to support us on a cold night. But this year we want to repay our magnificent support and take home the silverware and gain promotion to Division 6. It was a really good performance tonight but we can still get better. If we can keep our focus we’ve a great chance in the final.”

Man of the match: Rob Hudson

Tallaght RFC

15. Aaron Shanahan
14. Rob Hudson
13. Padraig Jones
12. David Clarke
11. Ciaran Keane
10. Daryl Keogh
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
3. Andy Grace
4. Alan Sower
5. Alan Moore
6. Kevin Quinn
7. Jack Russell
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)

Replacements:

16. Joe Ivers
17. Andy Caswell
18. Colin Morrison
19. Sean Hanlon
20. Simon Collie

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Adam Nolan
Ciaran Keane
Daryl Keogh
Jack Russell
Alan Moore directs the maul
Rob Hudson

Weekend fixtures 8th/10th March

After their tense win last week against AIB the Tallaght men’s first team now just need to finish the job.

They take on Bective in Donnybrook on Friday night under the lights in a game moved a day forward because of the Women’s international in the stadium the next day. A Tallaght win would put them in the final and then they will be hoping for a Clontarf win the next day away to leaders Seapoint to give them home advantage for that final. Kick off is 8PM in Donnybrook Stadium.

In the youths the Under 11’s travel to Greystones, meeting at 9.00am Sunday. All other groups have training in Firhouse as normal. Next week is the St.Patrick’s Day weekend so no training, but the youths will be participating in the Tallaght parade and everyone is ready to join in.

Please make your best effort to get out and support all our teams.

Tallaght 1sts 10 AIB 8

Alan Sower celebrates his first try for the senior team

Tallaght 1sts: 10

Try: Alan Sower, Tony McManus

AIB: 8

Metro League Division 7
Tymon Park
02/03/2019

The Tallaght first team took on leaders AIB knowing they needed to win to have any chance to make the Metro Division 7 final for the third straight year. After two of the warmest weeks ever witnessed in Ireland in February, the weather took a cruel turn with high winds and driving rain making passing and kicking near impossible in the first half. AIB adapted to the conditions quicker and trapped Tallaght in their own half for the first twenty minutes with some smart tactical kicking. Tallaght’s discipline wasn’t great as they were constantly pinged for offside and eventually AIB took advantage to kick a penalty to make it 3-0.

AIB were testing Tallaght out wide but twice Simon Collie came to the rescue with textbook try-saving tackles. Tallaght finally got some territory off some good tactical kicking from Adam Nolan and Darryl Keogh. They tried to maul the ball over the line and when it was deliberately collapsed AIB had a man sent to the bin.

They went close to a try after the forwards had several pick and drives near the line but eventually they were turned over by AIB who were consistently good over the ball all day. Before half-time Tallaght came close again to scoring when Collie looked certain to score after a smart backline move only to be stopped by a high tackle. The ref played advantage and Tallaght got the ball over the line but the ref ruled the ball hadn’t been grounded and then forgot about the high tackle which merited a yellow card and blew for half-time with the score still at 3-0 to AIB.

Tallaght had the advantage of the wind at the in the second half and out-half Dave Clarke was pinging AIB back into their own half with a series of excellent kicks. Tallaght were dominating up front now and from a lineout won by the excellent Alan Moore the maul took off and rumbled ominously towards the AIB line. To everyone’s shock suddenly backrow Alan Sower broke away completely free from the maul and no AIB player noticed in time to stop him getting over the line for a try. It was his first try for the Tallaght first team and he celebrated wildly and was enveloped by all his team-mates who were delighted to congratulate him. The conversion was missed but now Tallaght led 5-3.

From the restart Clarke again put Tallaght in a good position deep in the AIB half with another fine kick. After some strong runs from replacements Jack Russell and Sean Hanlon, Adam Nolan threw a smart pop pass to put prop Tony McManus in for a try in the right hand corner to make it 10-3 to Tallaght. With only eight minutes to go Tallaght just needed to keep AIB pinned in their twenty two. However Tallaght’s discipline, which had been excellent since half-time, deserted them again as they conceded a series of penalties to allow AIB to advance up the pitch. Eventually Simon Collie was shown a yellow card for one team penalty too many and after more pressure AIB finally got over for a try in the corner with two minutes to go to make it 10-8, although the sideline conversion had no chance of making it in the wind. Tallaght got a massive break though when the restart was knocked on by AIB. Tallaght smartly wound down the clock with a series of pick and drives until Dave Clarke got the word from the ref that time was up and he kicked the ball out to signal celebrations from Tallaght.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted with the win. “That was a performance of real character against a bloody good AIB side who’s been a credit to the division since being promoted last season. We lost to them out in DCU by two points and we edged it here today by the same margin so there was very little between the two teams. We’re not in the final yet though as we still need to beat Bective away next Friday to guarantee it. But I can’t praise enough the character we showed to keep going even though we were behind for a lot of the game. Our captain Adam Nolan got hurt but stayed on and played through the pain to make some key contributions. Ken McGovern recovered from a bad start in the lineout to be man of the match making several big tackles and always carrying the ball with real menace. Simon Collie didn’t score today but he saved our bacon with his incredible defence on a couple of occasions and was a constant danger with his counter-attacking runs.”

“But I was particularly happy today that the two try scorers today were two of our unsung heroes in Al Sower and Tony McManus. Al is a coaches dream in that he can play anywhere in the pack, front-row, second-row or back row. He’s picked where the team need him to play and he never complains. He just quietly gets on with it and puts in the same consistent performance no matter where he’s asked to play. Tony is a feisty character but one of the mainstays of the squad and he’s similar in that he can play all across the front row and puts in a real shift every time out. It’s lads like this that are the foundation stones of a good squad.”

“We got some great news during the week when a really promising young player Luke Brady joined the squad. He wasn’t playing today but he took part in the warm-up drills with the squad and I’m really delighted he got to see a match which showed how special being a part of Tallaght RFC can be. I also want to express thanks on behalf of the squad and the coaches to all the friends and family who showed up today to support the lads in weather than you wouldn’t put a dog out in. They all got drowned wet but stuck with the lads when it was not looking good. We can’t express how much their support means to us and we share the win today with all of our supporters on the sideline. We just need to win next week against a Bective side who won’t be a pushover and then we can look forward to another final.”

Man of the match: Ken McGovern

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Karl Segrave
13. Daryl Keogh
12. Padraig Jones
11. Rob Hudson
10. David Clarke
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
3. Andy Grace
4. Alan Moore
5. Joe Ivers
6. Kevin Quinn
7. Alan Sower
8. Adam Nolan (Captain)

Substitute Positions

16. Sean Hanlon
17. Colin Morrison
18. Andy Caswell
19. Jack Russell
20. Ciaran Keane
21. Aaron Shanahan
22. Shane Guerrine

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Andy Grace (Happy 30th!) and Alan Moore await a lineout
Kev Quinn makes another strong carry
Tallaght celebrate at the final whistle