Fixtures 12th January 2014
Dundalk u12 sharks put out and 2 sides against Suttonians on Saturday afternoon in the metro league . A white and black shark side put in fantastic performances against a north dublin outfit that put out a strong and weak side against the sharks . Undaunted, the chaps ran , tackled and rucked like demons from the deep and both sides had a win and a loss. Coaches & parents alike commented on how the U12’s attacked and attacked , unlike the Ireland team against the Australians the week before. Run , pass tackle was the order of the day and these kids did it in plenty. Mini rugby is about running with the ball and passing it wide. We are on a great road forward . Next week will bring a trip to Virginia and there after into european cup with a clash against our metro friends , Wanderers RFC. The Bus on the 14th Dec is nearing full .
The thirds travelled to Athboy on Sunday afternoon. Dundalk kicked the game off and put Athboy under pressure with a long kick forcing a knock on. Dundalk’s first scrum of the day set the tone for the scrums for the rest of the day as they forced Athboy back and were able to provide fast ball from the scrum. Dundalk kept piling on the pressure with great runs by centres Mike Doyle and Aaron Mulligan to create space for Gerry Lawless on the wing who caused problems for the Athboy back three.
Dundalk allowed the Athboy forwards to come into the game by giving away silly penalties allowing them to kick for touch on a few occasions. Athboy started to come into it and a lapse in concentration with a high kick resulted in them getting the first try of the day, which they were unable to convert.
Dundalk again from the kick off forced another knock on and from the resulting scrum a switch pass from Brian Tansey to Doyle opened up the Athboy defence with Doyle bumping two Athboy players to release Lawless into the corner for Dundalk’s first try.
As the game went on Dundalk’s pack put some serious pressure on the Athboy scrum with great scrummaging from Andrew Holmes, John Kerr and Steven Smyth. A pick and go from Chris Brady at the base of the scrum put Athboy under pressure, and from the resulting ruck Doyle again bounced another two players out of his away for Cathal Myles to pass to Lawless who skipped past three Athboy defenders for his second try of the day under the posts.
An Athboy lineout late in the first half saw McCabe steal the Athboy ball and allowed Dundalk to attack once again and after a few picks from the back of the ruck saw Brady stroll underneath the posts to leave the score 19-13 to Dundalk at half time.
The second half started off strong with once again the Dundalk forwards putting immense pressure on the Athboy back with numerous lineout steals from Kennedy, allowing the backs to stretch their legs and attack Athboy!
Mid way through the second half it started to get scrappy with both sides conceding a number of penalties.A Dundalk lineout saw Gavin Mullen, Myles and Tansey combine to open pull off a training pitch move to release Pearse Campbell into space and dance pass four Athboy defenders to score a try, unfortunately the referee deemed it held up.
Dundalk’s heads started to drop and started to allow Athboy come back into the game, the saving grace was some magnificent tackling by French student Vincent who put his body on the line resulting in Athboy going nowhere! With a minute to go and Dundalk feeling the effects of the big hits going in a moment of tiredness saw Athboy get a try, which thankfully were unable to convert and the game finished 19-18 to Dundalk.
Everyone played well with the pack performing well in the scrums and lineouts and the backs moving the ball well and tackling hard in defence!
1) A Holmes 2) J Kerr 3) S Smyth 4) T Thornton 5) C McCabe 6) G Mullen 7) Vincent 8) C Brady 9) C Myles(c) 10) B Tansey 11) B Callan 12) M Doyle 13) A Mulligan 14) G Lawless 15) G O Hagan 16) N Kerley 17) N Brown 18) A Kennedy
Dundalk 2nds 44
Tullow 2nds 10
Dundalk 2nds were looking for their second win in a row on Saturday when they faced Tullow 2nds. Captain Simon Byrne had a strong team at his disposal with number eight Greg Whately making a welcome return from his American adventure. Dundalk had a huge pack out and it was great to see Bryan Crosbie starting, who was awarded for his strong performances with the thirds. The forwards dominated all day and this dominance resulted in Dundalk’s backline running riot with Robbie Shields and Joe Olaoye getting over for two excellent tries. Byrne got over before the break for Dundalk’s third try while Tullow’s only score came from a penalty.
Dundalk started the second half in the same manner and also had the comfort of emptying their experienced bench with Errol Boyle and Sam Mulligan making their return. Dundalk played some excellent and open rugby and added four superb second half tries with Laurence Steen, Michael Crawley, and Conor Williams getting a try a piece while Olaoye crossed over the line for his second try of the match. James Shields and Donal Clare shared the kicking duties and both kicked a number of conversions between them. In fairness to Tullow they stuck at it and were awarded with a converted try for their efforts. But Dundalk totally dominated and deserved their win. Byrne and Clare controlled matters all day at 9 and 10, while Crosbie, Johnny McGahon and Stephen Soraghan shone in an impressive pack. Kieran Lenehan and Olaoye were stand out performers in the backs. Club Coach Ene Faatau will be delighted with this performance and will also be delighted with the strength of depth at his disposal. Dundalk seconds face top of the table Coolmine 2nds next weekend, who are currently unbeaten.
C Williams, D McGuinness, S Soraghan, C Kane, B Crosbie, L Steen, J McGahon, G Whately, S Byrne (Capt), D Clare, K Lenehan, R Shields, M Crawley, J Shields. Subs: D Laide, T Thornton, E Boyle, S Mulligan
Dundalk were looking to get to back to winning ways on Saturday when they entertained Tullow at the Mill Road. Tullow themselves were looking for their second win on the trot after a good win over Enniscorthy the week before. Dundalk were without influential player coach Ene Faatau due to injury but that didn’t stop the Mill Road men starting off the stronger. Dundalk applied pressure from the get-off and after having several phases of play were awarded a penalty which Ultan Murphy converted. This seemed to spring Tullow into action and they soon replied with a penalty off their own. Tullow built from this and soon scored a soft try down the blind when a miss-read by Dundalk’s defence allowed the Tullow winger to score in the corner but failed to add the conversion.
Unfortunately for Dundalk it sometimes seems they have to go behind before they can play their best rugby. For the remainder twenty five minutes of the first half they did this and played some of their best rugby all year. Their first try came off a set piece move when a solid scrum from Dundalk allowed Jonathan Williams to pass to Isasia Petelo who bashed his opposite number to score under the posts. Murphy converted. Dundalk added a second try soon after. After several phases of play and good running by openside Brendan Hadden and Rory O’Hagan out wide, gaps started to appear in the Tullow defence. James McConnon was able to find one of these gaps with one of his trademark runs and he got over for his first try of the day which Murphy converted again. Dundalk’s pace and tempo was causing all sorts of problems for Tullow and Dundalk’s policy to tap penalties and continue to apply pressure was awarded when from one of these penalties and after several phases of play Stephen Martin got over for their third try and Murphy added the extras again.
The second half began like the first with Dundalk continuing to play a fast brand of rugby. The Mill road men were eager to get their fourth try and the all important bonus point. This soon happened when from a lineout 10 metres from the Tullow line, Dundalk drove the lineout and hooker Johnny Gray, who had another fine display, powered over for their fourth try. Murphy failed with the conversion. Similar to the second’s game Tullow never gave up and credit must be given to how they responded. For large periods of the half they controlled possession and were able to build phase after phase. This was matched by Dundalk’s defence but it eventually gave in when they conceded a try in the corner which was converted. Dundalk were able to respond with another two tries,one from impressive McConnon and another ,an excellent try, from Stephen Murphy but yet again Tullow came back with an unconverted try of their own after laziness in Dundalk’s defence allowed Tullow to score with a huge overlap on the blind. However it was not surprising that McConnon had that final say in the match when he superbly stole a ball before diving over for his third try. Scrum-half Thomas Campbell kicked the conversion to wrap up another win in front of the home crowd. Faatau will be pleased with how his team responded to their lost the previous week and how well the lineout functioned with Mike Bentley and Chris O’Hanlon dominating. He will also be pleased with the general shape of his side. Best for Dundalk were Gray, McConnon, Hadden and the returning Stephen Martin in the pack while in the backs Williams, Petelo, Rory O’Hagan and Murphy stood out.
Dundalk are away to Coolmine this weekend.
U Murphy, O McNally, I Petelo, MJ McKevitt, R O’Hagan, J Williams, T Campbell, J McConnon,
B Hadden, S Martin, C O’Hanlon, M Bentley, R Farrell, J Gray, C Brannigan
J Smith, D McGuinness, L Steen, S Murphy, J Shields