Tallaght 26 Bective 29

Andy Rudd celebrates scoring his try
Andy Rudd celebrates scoring his try

Tallaght R.F.C. 26

Tries: Aaron Morgan, Karl Seagrave 2, Andrew Rudd
Con: Morgan Farrell 3

Bective Rangers 29

O’Connor Cup Quarter-final
Pitch 100 Firhouse
25/02/17

Tallaght took on Bective Rangers in the quarter-final of the O’Connor Cup. Tallaght started as favourites against their opponents from Division 9 of the Metro League. Unfortunately that status seemed to bring some complacency to the Tallaght ranks and they made a horribly slow start to the match. They gave away two soft penalties which the Bective full back converted superbly and then Tallaght conceded an intercept try to gift Bective a 13-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Aaron Morgan
Aaron Morgan

Playing into a strong wind, Tallaght needed to keep the ball in hand and after strong carries from Ken McGovern and Jack Russell, Aaron Morgan broke through to make it seven tries in his last seven games. Morgan Farrell converted and it was back to 13-7. However Bective hit back with another penalty to increase their lead to 16-7 but then had their winger shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Tallaght responded with a fine try from winger Karl Seagrave to reduce the deficit to 16-12. Bective had Tallaght under considerable pressure shortly before half-time but Dave Clarke saved them from conceding try with a well-time intercept. The referee had been playing an advantage though and Bective kicked another penalty to lead 19-12 at half-time.

Ciaran Rudd
Ciaran Rudd

With the wind at their backs for the second half, Tallaght were confident they could turn things around. They started pinning Bective back in their own half with some smart kicking from Adam Nolan and Morgan Farrell. Then Karl Seagrave combined superbly with Jack Russell with a smart offload and he took the return pass to speed home for a try under the posts which Morgan Farrell converted to make it 19-all. They then went ahead when, after a series on rucks on the Bective line, scrum-half Andrew Rudd squirmed his way over the line for a smart try. Morgan Farrell kicked an excellent conversion to make it 26-19 to Tallaght.

David Clarke
David Clarke

Playing into the wind, Bective were struggling to get out of their own half and it was hard to see Tallaght losing at this stage. They just needed to keep Bective pinned down and take advantage of their mistakes. Unfortunately, Tallaght’s atrocious discipline came back to haunt them as they gave away a series of utterly senseless penalties to let Bective gradually move up the pitch. Tallaght paid the price when Bective broke through for a try with only a minute left and they converted it to make it 26-all and bring the tie into extra time.

Jack Russell
Jack Russell

Bective had the wind for the first half of extra time and their kicker converted his fifth penalty of the day to give Bective the lead at 29-26. Tallaght’s cause wasn’t helped by Andrew Rudd getting shown a yellow card as the referee lost patience with Tallaght’s constant infringing. In the second half of extra time, fatigue was catching up with Tallaght as their play became panicky and fragmented. They did earn one final chance to win the match and were driving hard on the Bective line, but the referee penalised them for offside and Bective hung on to win. It was a cracking cup-tie but Tallaght will be deeply disappointed to lose a match in which they outscored their opponents 4-2 on tries.

Ken McGovern
Ken McGovern

Tallaght’s coach Tom Leigh: “I’m very disappointed with the result. It was own discipline that cost us the game. We gave away too many penalties, I think it was over twenty that we conceded. We cannot expect to win matches and especially cup-ties giving away that many penalties. Our general play wasn’t up to standard and small errors were crucial. We were losing ball in contact from going in too high and support was not there quick enough to secure our ball. We also didn’t upset their lineout enough. I couldn’t fault the effort level in very difficult conditions though. Our bench was probably not as effective as usual because of the short turnaround from the B’s match on Friday night. But although we lost today, the seconds game was important for the progression of the squad”.

Man of the match: Jack Russell

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Karl Seagrave
13. David Clarke
12. Adam Nolan
11. Ciaran Rudd
10. Morgan Farrell
9. Andrew Rudd

8. Jack Russell
7. Simon Gaskell
6. Aaron Morgan
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Sean Judd

Replacements

16. Alan Sower
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Willie Lambe
19. Gavin McKeon
20. Nigel Foster

Jim O’Connor ©
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Tony McManus
Tony McManus

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