UCD 7 Tallaght 29

Aaron Morgan on the way to his try
Aaron Morgan on the way to his try

UCD R.F.C. 7

Tallaght R.F.C. 29

Tries: Andy Grace, Ciaran Rudd, Aaron Morgan, Simon Collie, David Clarke
Con: Morgan Farrell 2

Metro League Division 7
Belfield
18/02/17

Tallaght took on third place UCD looking to keep pace with leaders DLSP at the top of the table. The match started somewhat scrappily with errors from both sides. Tallaght were conceding a lot of penalties and from one of these, UCD kicked to the corner five metres out. It was a great chance to open the scoring but flanker Aaron Morgan first disrupted the lineout and then took off on a powerful carry that got Tallaght out of trouble. This seemed to galvanise Tallaght and they got into UCD’s half. They were awarded a penalty fifteen metres out and UCD also earned a yellow card for a cynical breakdown foul. Rather than kick to touch, number eight Jack Russell took a quick tap and nearly got over the line. After a couple more phases, prop Andy Grace powered his way over the line for Tallaght to lead 5-0.

Dave Clarke gets a pass away
Dave Clarke gets a pass away

Tallaght lost winger Karl Seagrave to injury but they had an able replacement in Aaron Shanahan. Tallaght’s scrum was excellent with Tony McManus, Ken McGovern and Andy Grace giving UCD a torrid time. However their lineout was struggling for consistency again. Tallaght’s defending off first phase was solid but they were getting exposed from broken play with UCD finding gaps around the rucks. It was from just one of these situations that UCD scored their try, bursting through the middle and several tackles. Eventually the ball went wide and UCD scored in the corner and converted for a 7-5 lead. Tallaght nearly hit back when wing Ciaran Rudd burst clear, but he was tackled by the full back and his offload was intercepted by UCD. Tallaght did get their second try shortly before half time, when Adam Nolan and Dave Clarke combined to put Ciaran Rudd away again. This time the winger skinned his man and raced away for a try under the posts. Morgan Farrell converted and Tallaght led 12-7 at half-time.

Paul Cunningham puts Simon Collie away for his try
Paul Cunningham puts Simon Collie away for his try

Tallaght came out strongly in the second half and were attacking UCD out wide. They earned another penalty near the line and again opted for a quick tap from Willie Lambe and he put Aaron Morgan over for his sixth try in his last six games. Unfortunately the referee pulled a hamstring during the move for the try and couldn’t continue. Tallaght were faced with the prospect of having to replay a match they were now leading 17-7 as enough of the game hadn’t elapsed for the result to stand. However Tallaght stalwart Eugene Ryan, a schools referee, stepped in to save the day and the match could continue.

There was still a half hour to play and Tallaght’s rhythm was disrupted and they wasted a couple of good chances. Frank Doyle came on in the back row and won a big turnover and made a couple of smashing tackles. Finally skipper Paul Cunningham make a great run and put Simon Collie away and the full back scored a try which Farrell converted to make the game safe at 24-7. UCD tried to hit back but their handling in the backs let them down, which it had all day. Tallaght finished the game on a high with Collie making another great break and offloading perfectly to Dave Clarke who took a perfect supporting line and showed great strength to get the ball down to make the final score 29-7.

Tallaght’s coach Tom Leigh was delighted with the way his side bounced back from their disappointing defeat to DLSP last week. “We played very well and we’re delighted with the way the whole squad contributed. We trained well this week and we really stuck together as a team. We had some sloppy spells today but we defended our line very well and scored some quality tries.”

 

Man of the match: Aaron Morgan

 

Tallaght RFC

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

8. Jack Russell
7. Sean Judd
6. Aaron Morgan
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Alan Sower
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Andrew Grace

Replacements

16. Aaron Shanahan
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Andrew Rudd
19. Frank Doyle
20. Andrew Caswell
21. John Burke
22. Nigel Foster

 

Photos: Ann Kavanagh

Willie Lambe kicks through
Willie Lambe kicks through
Adam Nolan makes a break
Adam Nolan makes a break

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