Tallaght R.F.C. 26

Tries: Aaron Morgan, Simon Collie, David Clarke, Sean Judd
Con: Morgan Farrell, Adam Nolan 2

Railway Union R.F.C. 25

John Madden Cup (J4) Semi-final
Tymon Park


Tallaght beat Railway Union in a nail-biter of a semi-final of the John Madden Cup in Tymon Park. The game took a good while to ignite though and the first twenty minutes were scoreless. Tallaght were flat at the start and they struggled badly at the breakdown and a young and quick Railway backline were finding gaps. Railway looked to be in for a try midway through the first half, but Tallaght wing Ciaran Rudd intervened superbly, first making an ankle tap tackle and then hitting the ruck to reclaim the ball. Unfortunately when the ball was recycled, Morgan Farrell’s clearance kick was charged down and Railway followed up to touch down for a try. The conversion was missed but Railway led 5-0.


Tallaght’s response wasn’t long in coming though. First wing Gavin McKeon chased up and charged down a clearance kick. He regathered and got close to the line but his pass was knocked on. Then from the restart, Tallaght went close to a try again but Adam Nolan’s pass was knocked on with the line begging. Finally, substitute Simon Collie caught a loose clearance kick and stepped inside his man to break the line. He offloaded to replacement flanker Aaron Morgan who powered through two tackles to score the try. Morgan Farrell kicked the conversion and Tallaght briefly led 7-5, however Railway kicked a penalty to make the half-time score 8-7 to the visitors.


Tallaght continued to struggle to win ball in the second half. They were continually being penalised at the breakdown and they couldn’t get their lineout working. Too often Railway were breaking first up tackles from Tallaght that were too high and they increased their lead with another penalty to take it to 11-7. But then Tallaght turned the game on it’s head with two tries in three minutes. First Stephen Heaney’s deft inside pass put replacement back Emil Wyrebiak into space. He made great ground and then offloaded over his head before he was caught and Simon Collie took the pass perfectly and stepped the Railway full back to score a great try under the posts. Nolan added the extras and Tallaght led by three. Then deep in Tallaght’s half Collie showed his class again. He took the ball from the back of a ruck and sped away. He made it deep into the Railway 22 before being caught but he offloaded to the supporting Andrew Rudd who kept his cool and passed the ball across the line for centre David Clarke to finish off a fantastic score under the posts. Nolan converted again to make it 21-11 to Tallaght.


Once again though Tallaght’s poor discipline let down and after they were repeatedly penalised at the breakdown, Railway got over for a converted try to make it 21-18. Tallaght hit back though with the bench making a big impact, as first Karl Seagrave took a great line on the inside to make the break and Andrew Rudd took another excellent supporting line. The scrum-half broke clear and expertly drew his man to put Sean Judd away and the prop showed great determination to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but Tallaght now led 26-18 with five minutes left. Railway fought to the end and scored another converted try to make the final score 26-25 to Tallaght, who progress to the final where they’ll meet Coolmine in the final next year.


Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted with his side’s resilience. “There was lots that didn’t go right today in our performance today and we know we can play a lot better, but we showed our character and came up with quality scores when it mattered against a very good team. We’ll park this tournament for now and we look forward to the start of the league next week away to UCD. On behalf of the players and the coaching team, I want to thank the many friends and family who came down to support the team today. Their support drove our boys on and contributed to a fantastic match.”


Man of the match: Simon Collie


Tallaght RFC

15. Gary Doyle
14. Gavin McKeon
13. Stephen Heaney
12. Dave Clarke
11. Ciaran Rudd
10. Morgan Farrell
9. Niall Casey

8. Adam Nolan
7. Mitchell McGrath
6. Jack Russell
5. Joe Ivers
4. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
3. Tony McManus
2. Simon Gaskell
1. Declan Malone


16. Sean Judd
17. Andrew Caswell
18. Aaron Morgan
19. Karl Seagrave
20. Andrew Rudd
21. Emil Wyrebiak
22. Simon Collie
Jim O’Connor ©