Adam Nolan

Guinness R.F.C. 22

Tallaght ‘A’ R.F.C. 22

Tries: Adam Nolan 3, Jack Russell
Con: Aaron Shanahan

John Madden Cup (J4) – Group C
Iveagh Grounds

Tallaght’s men’s A team travelled to Crumlin for their first match of the John Madden Cup. This season it’s a round robin format and Tallaght will also play AIB in two weeks time. Guinness had the wind in the first half and they used it well to pin Tallaght in their own half. Tallaght’s discipline was once again atrocious and they lost skipper Jack Russell and prop Tony McManus to the sin bin within five minutes of each other. They also conceded multiple penalties and the excellent Guinness kicker took full advantage with three kicks from three attempts to run up a 9-0 lead.

To their credit, Tallaght defended well when they were missing men and once they were back to full numbers, they finally got into the Guinness half after a great break by Simon Collie. They kept the pressure on and eventually number eight Adam Nolan powered his way over for a try to make it 9-5. However poor passing and indiscipline continued to hamper Tallaght’s efforts as Guinness tagged on another penalty to take a seven point lead. They doubled that margin when they grubber-kicked through and beat Tallaght to the ball to score a try which they converted to lead 19-5 at half time.

Despite the scoreline, Tallaght knew most of the damage had been self-inflicted and playing with the wind, they set about reeling in Guinness’s lead. They were helped when Guinness got a yellow card of their own for a high tackle on Karl Segrave. Tallaght took advantage when the excellent Adam Nolan broke a tackle to score his second try of the match in the corner. Then skipper Jack Russell showed his power to battle his way over the line to make it 19-15. Simon Collie then took a short pop pass from a ruck to make a break. He offloaded to Nolan who speed away to complete his hat-trick of tries. Aaron Shanahan converted the try and Tallaght led 22-19.

With the wind behind them, Tallaght just needed to play it in Guinness’s half but they unwisely attempted to play out of their own half instead. They got turned over and conceded a penalty that Guinness kicked to tie the match at 22-all. They was still time for Tallaght to win the game but once again their horrendous discipline let them down as they conceded more penalties in their own half. The Guinness kicker had one long range penalty attempt into the wind but that went well wide. However Tallaght gave yet another penalty away much closer to the goal and their hopes looked lost. Remarkably though, the Guinness kicker hooked the kick just wide and the game finished in a draw.

Coach Tom Leigh admitted they were let off the hook with the late miss. “We got lucky there and if we had lost, it would have been our own fault. Our discipline was poor all day. We outscored Guinness four tries to one. In any normal rugby context, we should be winning that game. But we kept gifting them easy points from penalties. We had the same problem last season and until we sort it out, we will always be fighting with one arm tied behind our backs. On the plus side, we fought back well in the second half and took it to their pack physically. Adam Nolan led the charge and he was excellent for us today. Our scrum was very good and Joe Ivers and Jonny Allison both put in a big shift in the second row. It’s our first competitive game of the season and we’re still getting our understanding between the combinations back. We were in the final of this competition last season and we want to win it this year, so we need to work very hard in the next two week to make sure we beat AIB in a fortnight.”


Man of the match: Adam Nolan


Tallaght ‘A’

15. Simon Collie
14. Karl Segrave
13. Ciaran Rudd
12. David Clarke
11. Aaron Shanahan
10. Stephen Heaney
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Nigel Foster
2. Simon Gaskell
3. Tony McManus
4. Joe Ivers
5. Jonathan Allison
6. Alan Sower
7. Bernard Russell
8. Adam Nolan


16. Stephen Kelly
17. Sean Judd
18. Emil Wyrebiak
19. Dave Kelly
20. Kevin Quinn
21. Darryl Keogh

Jack Russell scores his try

Report: Jim O’Connor

Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Simon Collie makes a break