Aaron Shanahan

Tallaght 1st R.F.C. 47

Tries: Adam Nolan 2, Ken McGovern, Simon Collie 2, Aaron Shanahan, Rob Hudson
Con: Rob Hudson 6

Old Wesley R.F.C. 19

Metro League Division 7
Tymon Park

The Tallaght men’s 1st team took on top of the table Old Wesley on a wet day in Tymon Park. Tallaght were a little slow out of the gate and Wesley took advantage of some static defending down the Tallaght left flank to score an unconverted try to lead 5-0. After a strong run from Aaron Morgan, Tallaght got some good phases going but the chance went begging with a forward pass. Wesley hit back when their centre jinked his way through several poor tackle attempts to score a try under the posts. The try was converted and Wesley led 12-0. It could have been even worse for Tallaght when Wesley came at them again but skipper Jack Russell saved the day with a superb strip of the ball.  

At that point it looked like it would be a long hard day for Tallaght but then they started to turn it around. The catalyst for this was the more experienced Tallaght pack, led by the immense Andy Grace. They started to pick and drive and they set up a scrum five metres out from which number eight Adam Nolan found a gap to power through for a try. He rode a high tackle as he was putting the ball down and the Wesley centre was shown a yellow card. Rob Hudson converted to make it 12-7. The Tallaght pack continued to dominate with Jack Russell and Alan Sower carrying strongly and Joe Ivers working tirelessly as a support runner. Their lineout was working well too and from a five metre lineout they mauled the ball close to the line and eventually prop Ken McGovern showed great strength to burrow his way over the line. Rob Hudson kicked a superb conversion and Tallaght led 14-12 at half-time.

Tallaght came out stronger again in the second half and despite the wet conditions the backline started to come into play. Tallaght were awarded a penalty around the halfway line, but they smartly chose to run it and Dave Clarke and Ciaran Rudd combined well to put full back Simon Collie away down the line. The Australian cut back inside to score a try under the posts which Hudson converted to make it 21-12. The heads were starting to drop on the young Wesley team and Tallaght went for the kill with Andy Caswell coming on to turn the screw further in the scrum. It was Collie again who struck after being put away by a smart pass from a ruck from Andy Rudd. Collie broke clear and had too much pace for the Wesley defence. Hudson made the conversion and at 28-12 Tallaght were well in charge.

Tallaght were enjoying themselves now and winger Aaron Shanahan was put away on the wing by good passing from Padraig Jones and Paul Cunningham. Shanahan stood his opposing winger up and burned him on the outside to break away for another excellent try. Hudson’s conversion attempt just shaved the outside of the post but he made up for it minutes later by scoring a try of his own from an intercept in his own half. Hudson converted his own try to make it 40-12 to Tallaght. Still they weren’t finished and Adam Nolan went over for his second try of match after good work from replacements Willie Lamb and Daniel Pomares. Hudson converted to make it 6 out of 7 from the tee in a superb place-kicking performance. Paul Cunningham was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and Old Wesley took advantage by scoring the last try of the match to make the final score 47-19 to Tallaght.

Tallaght coach Tom Leigh was delighted with his team’s performance. “I genuinely can’t pick a man of the match today because everyone was so good. The scrum and lineouts were terrific, our discipline in defence was brilliant and everyone worked their socks off and made really good decisions with the ball. We had a bad start but we didn’t panic and we started to dominate though our pack who showed all their experience and quality. On a wet day we still trusted our skills and our backs scored some fantastic tries in the second half. Our kicking from hand and also from the tee with Rob Hudson was also exceptional. We’ve made a big statement to the league today with this result but we’ve got to back it up next week against Seapoint, which will be another tough match”.

With Seapoint winning away to Bective, Tallaght are now in second place in the table. But they have the chance to go top next week as they take old Seapoint away.


Man of the match: Everyone


Tallaght 1sts

15. Simon Collie
14. Aaron Shanahan
13. Ciaran Rudd
12. Padhraig Jones
11. Rob Hudson 
10. David Clarke
9. Andy Rudd

1. Alan Sower
2. Andrew Grace
3. Ken McGovern
4. Joe Ivers
5. Paul Cunningham
6. Jack Russell (Captain)
7. Aaron Morgan
8. Adam Nolan


16. Gavin McKeon
17. Andy Caswell
18. Kevin Quinn
19. Daniel Pomares
20. Willie Lamb


Report: Jim O’Connor
Photos: Audrey Fulham