David Clarke

Tallaght R.F.C. 34

Tries: Jack Russell, Adam Nolan, Dave Clarke, Rob Hudson 2, Ciaran Rudd
Con: Rob Hudson, Adam Nolan

Bective Rangers 0

O’Connor Cup
Tymon Park

The Tallaght men’s first team took on Bective Rangers in the first round of the O’Connor Cup. Having lost to Bective in the quarter-finals of the tournament last season, Tallaght had revenge on their mind. Despite having not played for eight weeks, Tallaght started brightly and were creating chances out wide. But it was the pack who made the first try with powerful carries from Ken McGovern and Andy Grace putting Jack Russell in position to drive over the line for a try to give Tallaght a 5-0 lead. A good run from centre Simon Collie then put Tallaght in a good position and from a scrum number eight Adam Nolan showed his power by rumbling over a couple of tackles to score a fine try. Rob Hudson converted and Tallaght led 12-0.

Bective didn’t offer too much in attack but in a rare sortie into the Tallaght twenty two they had the home team under pressure. But a strong tackle and turnover from Ken McGovern relieved the pressure. Tallaght effectively sealed the game when Russell and Nolan showed good hands to put out-half Dave Clarke over for a try to make it 17-0. There should have been another score when Simon Collie broke free and only had the full back to beat but his pass to Andy Rudd went to ground and the chance was gone. But Tallaght responded by scoring one of their best tries of the season.

It was started in the Tallaght twenty two when Aaron Morgan took off on a powerful run. He made it to halfway before offloading to Simon Collie. Collie put full back Aaron Shanahan away with Rob Hudson and Ciaran Rudd in support. The Bective cover defence was closing in to cut them off, but Shanahan offloaded to Rudd who drew the last defender before offloading to Hudson who went over for the try. Hudson missed the chance to convert his own try but at 24-0 up at half-time Tallaght were firmly in control.

Bective had a lot more of the ball in the second half but Tallaght’s defence was excellent with Simon Collie putting in several big hits and the second row pairing of Paul Cunningham and Joe Ivers putting in a massive shift in both attack and defence. The big difference from last year was Tallaght’s discipline as the gave away very few penalties. The driving rain and wind made playing attractive rugby much harder but Tallaght got on the score-sheet again when the ball was kicked through and Rob Hudson showed great pace to touch it down for a try, although he unfortunately injured himself in the process.

Tallaght rounded off the scoring when Jack Russell ripped a ball in the tackle in his own twenty two. The ball went wide and Aaron Morgan got up to the halfway line before putting Ciaran Rudd free to canter over for the try. Adam Nolan took over the kicking and he converted to make the final score 34-0 to Tallaght.

Head coach Tom Leigh was delighted with his side’s performance. “After the long break we had, it was an excellent all round display. We played smart, heads-up rugby in the rough conditions and scored some cracking tries. We’ve got Trinity in the next round but that’s not until the end of March so we’ve got a league to win in the next two months and if we play like we did today, we’re more than capable of doing that”.

“It was a very difficult task to pick a man of the match with so many players going so well. Dave Clarke and Andy Rudd controlled the game very well and Aaron Shanahan and Rob Hudson were a constant danger out wide. Our front five all went well and Adam Nolan and Aaron Morgan were both immense. But I’m just going with our skipper Jack Russell who was massive for us in both attack and defence”.


Man of the match: Jack Russell


Tallaght RFC

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

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


16. Tony McManus
17. Daryl Keogh
18. Daniel Pomares
19. Andy Caswell
20. Sean Judd

Jim O’Connor ©
Photos: Anne Kavanagh

Ciaran Rudd

Tony McManus