Seapoint 15 Tallaght 1st 20

Joe Ivers

Seapoint 15

Tallaght 1sts 20

Try: David Clarke, Alan Moore, Daryl Keogh
Con: Rob Hudson
Pen: Rob Hudson

Metro League Division 7
Kilbogget Park
03/11/2018

Tallaght took on Seapoint in division 7 of the Metro League looking to maintain their place at the top of the table. Last season Tallaght had lost in the same venue in a defeat that effectively cost them a home final. Tallaght were slow out of the gate though and Seapoint scored the first try of the match after a series of pick and drives from their pack got them over the line. They converted to take a 7-0 lead.

It wasn’t long before Tallaght were level though. Seapoint were struggling to get their passing game going in the backs and when they knocked the ball on out-half Dave Clarke took advantage and scooped the ball up and raced clear from his own half for a try under the posts. Rob Hudson converted to make the game level and then he added on a penalty to give Tallaght a three point lead. Seapoint were struggling especially on their own lineout where Tallaght second row Alan Moore was terrorising them constantly either stealing or disrupting their ball. Tallaght had plenty of possession but they were not getting the ball out wide enough to give their dangerous backs the chance to have a run at Seapoint. They also rode their luck when Seapoint looked certain to score a try only for their handling to let them down with the line begging.

While Tallaght were struggling as a team there were some good individual moments and centres Padhraig Jones and Daryl Keogh combined well to put scrum-half Andy Rudd clear with just one man to beat. The Seapoint fullback made a good tackle though and the chance was gone. Shortly afterwards Rudd went close again from a blindside break from a scrum, but he was tackled into touch near the Seapoint line. However from the resulting Seapoint lineout Moore stole the ball again and was driven over the line by his pack for a try to make it 15-7 to Tallaght.

Tallaght were now in the ascendancy but they were almost immediately undone by a lack of concentration in defence which allowed the big Seapoint winger to waltz straight through for a try to make the half-time score 15-12 to Tallaght. The second half was a scrappy frustrating affair with long breaks in play as Seapoint suffered a succession of unfortunate injuries. Even though they now had the wind at their backs Tallaght were struggling to take advantage of Seapoint’s difficulties. They bafflingly refused to use their outside backs instead choosing to take the ball forward through individual carries from the forwards where they were inevitably turned over after two or three phases.

After repeated appeals from the exasperated sideline, the ball was finally moved wide and Dave Clarke and Rob Hudson combined well to put Daryl Keogh away.  He sailed through a gap to score a fine try to make it 20-12 to Tallaght. Tallaght should have kicked on and got the scores to finish the game as a contest but once again they reverted back to playing tight rugby that played to Seapoint’s strengths. This and a lack of discipline let Seapoint back into the match and earned them a penalty which they kicked to make it 20-15. In a game they should have been leading comfortably, they were now only one score ahead and they started panicking with some poor kicking and discipline letting Seapoint advance up the pitch. Eventually Seapoint’s handling let them down again and Tallaght hung on for the win but as a team they need to ask each other why they insisted on making it so hard for themselves.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted with the result but not the performance. “Twice now this season, we’ve come away to tough venues and have ground out wins despite not playing to the level we can. At the moment we’re training better than we’re playing and teams are targetting us, which is a compliment in itself. I believe the performances will come in time and it’s great to be unbeaten at the top of the table while not being at our best. In terms of individual performances Jack Russell and Ken McGovern carried well for us up front and Daryl Keogh and Dave Clarke went well in the backs. Once again we got a good impact from our bench with Nick Ahearne making some good hits and Sean Hanlon made a couple of crucial turnovers. But our man of the match was Alan Moore who destroyed their lineout and was also immense around the pitch making several big runs and tackles. Our focus now is on UCD at home next week and winning again but with an improved performance.”

Man of the match: Alan Moore

Tallaght RFC

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

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

Replacements:

16. Andrew Grace
17. Sean Hanlon
18. Mark Keogh
19. Daniel Pomares
20. Nick Ahearne

Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Jack Russell

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