Tallaght 36 UCD 21

Adam Nolan returns a kick
Adam Nolan returns a kick

Tallaght R.F.C. 36

Try: Willie Lambe, Ciaran Rudd 2, Simon Collie, Jack Russell, Rob Hudson
Con: Willie Lambe 3

UCD R.F.C. 21

Metro League Division 7
Tymon Park
12/11/16

Tallaght took on league leaders UCD at Tymon Park knowing a win would put them top of the table. Tallaght started the brighter but UCD got the first score of the match when they seized on a loose kick to race home for a converted try. However, Simon Collie made a great counter attacking run and then Willie Lambe went through the gap for an excellent try to make it 7-5. Tallaght then went ahead after a great run and pass from Jack Russell put wing Ciaran Rudd in for a try to make it 10-7 to Tallaght. Then UCD scored off a kick again after the ball was let bounce in the Tallaght half and the UCD winger seized on the ball to race away for another converted try to make it 14-10 to UCD. Ciaran Rudd nearly had a second try for Tallaght but the ball was knocked from his hand as he was putting it down. That blow was compounded when UCD intercepted a pass from Stephen Heaney to race in for a try to lead 21-10. It could have been more for UCD but great defence by Heaney and Collie prevented a try. Then UCD finally had a man sin-binned after one too many offsides just before half-time.

The message at half-time was not to panic as Tallaght had been the better team and UCD had only scored off their mistakes. This was shown emphatically in the second half as Tallaght dominated. First a great pass from Adam Nolan put Ciaran Rudd away for his second try of the game which Lambe converted to reduce the deficit to 21-17 to UCD. Tallaght’s bench was strong and Aaron Morgan, Sean Judd and Mitchell McGrath were all making strong carries. In the tight five Ken McGovern, Joe Ivers and Tony McManus were all putting in a big shift and after several good carries Adam Nolan put Simon Collie away and the full back showed his gas to race home for a try under the posts which Lambe converted for Tallaght to lead 24-21.

Tallaght kept the pressure on and there was some great tactical kicking from both Lambe and Adam Nolan to get them in position. UCD’s discipline was starting to desert them, in stark contrast to Tallaght, whose discipline was excellent with no cards and very few penalties. From one penalty Tallaght kicked to touch and they formed a perfect maul which powered over the line with Jack Russell getting the touch down. It was well deserved try for the pack and though the conversion was missed, Tallaght were now two scores clear at 29-21. Tallaght still weren’t finished though, great defence from the likes of Mitchell McGrath and Dave Clarke put UCD back on their heels and then Tallaght finished the game off when Adam Nolan showed great hands to put substitute winger Rob Hudson away for a try in the corner. Willie Lambe kicked a sublime conversion to make it 36-21 and the comeback was complete. UCD spent the final minutes desperately trying to score a try but Tallaght held their defensive shape to win the second half 26-0 in possibly their finest display in club history.

After the match Tallaght coach spoke of the contribution of the extended squad towards the victory. “It was a magnificent display from the boys out there, but I want to thank the lads who didn’t get on today, their contribution in training has pushed everyone on to a new level. We were behind at half-time but we showed great character to keep our heads up. We believed in our game plan and each other and to outscore the league leaders six tries to three was just sensational. We’re top of the league now, but it’s only early days and we’ve a long way to go. But with the squad we have I think we’ve as good a shot at the silverware as anyone.”
Man of the match: Adam Nolan

Jack Russell gets a pass away
Jack Russell gets a pass away

Tallaght RFC

15. Simon Collie
14. Morgan Farrell
13. Stephen Heaney
12. David Clarke
11. Ciaran Rudd
10. Willie Lambe
9. Andew Rudd

8. Adam Nolan
7. Alan Sower
6. Jack Russell
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Stephen Kelly
1. Ken McGovern

Replacements

16. Sean Judd
17. Nigel Foster
18. Mark Keogh
19. Mitchell McGrath
20. Aaron Morgan
21. Rob Hudson
22. Gavin McKeon
Jim O’Connor ©
Pictures: Anne Kavanagh

Willie Lambe makes a break
Willie Lambe makes a break

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