Bective Rangers R.F.C. 20

Tallaght 1st R.F.C. 16

Tries: Jack Russell, David Clarke
Pen: Aaron Shanahan 2

Metro League Division 7
Donnybrook Stadium

Tallaght’s men’s A team travelled to Donnybrook for their first league game of the season. Tallaght were missing several regular starters and it showed with a disjointed beginning to the match which saw Bective take a 3-0 lead. However with skipper Jack Russell leading the way, Tallaght began to dominate possession and it bore fruit when they earned a penalty which was converted by Tallaght fullback Aaron Shanahan to level the scores.  

Padhraig Jones made a superb break through midfield for Tallaght but when he tried to link up with Shanahan, the ball went forward and the chance was gone.  Bective hit back and looked certain to score a try but Jack Russell saved the day by ripping the ball from the Bective player on the line. On the next play Tallaght took the lead when Russell showed great power to get over the line for a try which put Tallaght 8-3 up.  

The final ten minutes of the half didn’t go so well for Tallaght though.  Bective put them under pressure and from a maul they got over the line for a try in the corner which was then changed to a penalty try after dissent from a Tallaght player.  That made it 10-8 to Bective and it got worse when a speculative kick to the corner was regathered by the Bective wing.  Shanahan made the tackle but the winger offloaded and the referee ruled it wasn’t forward and gave the try.  The excellent Bective kicker converted to make the halftime score 17-8 to Bective. 

Tallaght came back into the match in the second half.  Out-half Stephen Heaney was running hard and offloading well and he set up a chance which yielded another penalty for Shanahan to make it 17-11.  But Tallaght were once again guilty of playing too much rugby in their own half, going through needless phases for the sake of it and getting turned over.  From one of these turnovers, Bective kicked a penalty to make it 20-11. 

Then Aaron Shanahan fielded a kick and took off on a counter-attack.  He beat several defenders before offloading to Dave Clarke who scored the try to make it 20-16.  Tallaght were dominant and Bective were becoming increasingly desperate, conceding several penalties.  With five minutes to go Tallaght had a penalty in front of the posts but they decided against kicking and when they tapped and went, they got turned over and Bective cleared their lines.  

Eventually the referee lost patience with Bective’s cynical tactics and he yellow-carded two of their players for blatant infringements. Tallaght were two men up but they needed a try to win having turned down the simple points earlier.  In a tense finale Tallaght kept making basic mistakes including being driven off their own scrum and making a mess of the lineout which was their final chance.  They left the field a frustrated team as they knew a limited Bective team was there for the taking.  

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was pleased with his sides performance in the circumstances.  “We were missing nearly a dozen players through injury or unavailability but we’re coming off the field gutted that we lost.  That’s a measure of the standards this team sets for itself.  We lacked composure at the end and we could have nicked it, but I was delighted with the effort the lads put in.  We played most of the rugby in the game and there was nothing in it.  We’ll learn from this and will improve as the season goes on”.


Man of the match: Aaron Shanahan



15. Aaron Shanahan 
14. Gavin McKeon 
13. David Clarke
12. Ciaran Stewart
11. Padhraig Jones
10. Stephen Heaney
9. Andrew Rudd

1. Nigel Foster
2. Simon Gaskell 
3. Alan Sower   
4. Joe Ivers 
5. Paul Cunningham
6. Kevin Quinn
7. Jack Russell (Captain)
8. Sean Judd


16. Stephen Kelly
17. Mark Keogh
18. Jack McLean
19. Dave Molloy
20. Aodhan Tinney