Skipper Paul Cunningham rises to contest a ball at the lineout

Tallaght R.F.C. 42

Tries: Ciaran Rudd 2, Stephen Heaney, Jack Russell, David Clarke
Con: Morgan Farrell 4
Pen: Morgan Farrell 3

Navan R.F.C. 20

Metro League Division 7
Tymon Park

Tallaght returned to winning ways with a comprehensive defeat of Navan at Tymon park in Division 7 of the Metro League. After struggling to get going in the previous week against UCD, Tallaght hit the ground running this time and scored their first try after ten minutes. Navan were turned over in Tallaght’s twenty-two and the ball was spun wide. Adam Nolan put Ciaran Rudd away down the line with a sweet pass and Rudd skinned his man and ran 70 metres to score under the posts. Morgan Farrell converted and swiftly added on a penalty to make it 10-0 to Tallaght.

Navan tried to get back into the game but Tallaght’s defence was excellent with flanker Mitchell McGrath and centres Stephen Heaney and David Clarke putting in several big hits. Then after 24 minutes Tallaght ran the ball out of the own half with Nolan finding fellow back row Jack Russell with a fine pop pass. Russell in turn put Clarke into space and he put Heaney away down the middle. The centre sold a couple of dummies on his way to scoring a magnificent team try. Farrell converted and added on another penalty to make it 20-0 to Tallaght. Tallaght still weren’t finished though and from a botched Navan lineout, Russell snapped up the loose ball and drove forward. The ball was worked wide and Ciaran Rudd again skinned his man to score his second try, which Morgan again converted to make it 27-0 to Tallaght at half-time.


Simon Collie leads a counter attack

With such a big lead and a raft of substitutions, Tallaght lost focus in the second half. Navan first kicked ahead and when Tallaght full back Simon Collie took a boot to the face trying to gather the ball, they pounced to score the try in the corner. Then they got their big, experienced pack going and after a series of pick and drives, they got over the line to make the score 27-10. Tallaght responded well though when Collie made an excellent counter-attacking run to bring the ball into the Navan twenty-two. Scrum-half Andrew Rudd spotted Paul Cunningham on the blindside and the skipper nearly made it but Russell followed up and showed his strength to get over the line to make it 32-10 to Tallaght.

Navan kept coming though and they scored two more unconverted tries, first when their pack drove over again and then when their full-back scored in the corner. That made it 32-20 and Tallaght were annoyed at themselves to have allowed Navan back within two scores. However they responded superbly to finish the game off on a high. First a strong Sean Judd carry helped to earn a penalty which Morgan Farell kicked to make it 35-20. And then David Clarke put the finishing touch on a man of the match display by breaking away to score a fine try under the posts. Farrell converted to make it seven out of eight from the tee in an excellent display of kicking which yielded 17 points. The late rally made the final score 42-20 to Tallaght.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was pleased with his team’s display. “The first half was excellent with some great tries and superb defence. I was delighted with the intensity we brought from the start and our set-piece was rock solid. The second half got a little bit sloppy and there’s some things we’ll need to work on in training, but overall there was a lot of positives. We’ve two weeks now to prepare for our next game away to DLSP but this win has put us in good shape in the league and gives us something to build on.”


Man of the match: David Clarke


Tallaght RFC

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

8. Adam Nolan
7. Jack Russell
6. Mitchell McGrath
5. Paul Cunningham (Captain)
4. Joe Ivers
3. Tony McManus
2. Ken McGovern
1. Nigel Foster




16. Andrew Caswell
17. Stephen Kelly
18. Alan Sower
19. Liam Kenny
20. Sean Judd
21. Willie Lambe
22. Karl Seagrave


Jim O’Connor ©


Photos: Anne Kavanagh


Ken McGovern and Andrew Rudd combine to make a tackle