Sat 28th March 2015.


Dundalk beat Instonians 15-11 in the first game of the All Ireland league qualifiers on Saturday last in the Shaws Bridge Sports Complex, Belfast.

In a close, nail biting game rugby supporters were, for the second Saturday in a row, holding their breath as this game went down to the final whistle. For the full 80 minutes there was never a score in the difference between the two sides and the much fancied Instonians had home advantage.

With a strong breeze to their back Dundalk started the game with the dogged determination that has come to be the trade mark of the side.  Back row forwards of James McConnon, David Whately and Ene Fa’atua were straight into the tackle and stopped Instonians from gaining any significant ground.  For the first 10 minutes of the game Instonians attacked in the channels close to the break down with repeated ‘pick and go’ drives into the Dundalk lines.  Mike Bentley and Paul Meegan blocked with the initial tackles while support from Robbie Farrell secured turn over possession for Dundalk on more than one occasion.  Dundalk’s scrummaging was powerful and more than the Instonians pack could handle.  Dundalk prop Johnny Grey must now be ranked amongst the best in Junior rugby as he continues to dominate front rows, game after game.  Loose play throughout the game saw Tu’ipulotu Nuku make inroads into the Instonians defence and gain ground.  Thomas Campbell distribution insured that Jonathan Williams, at out half, had plenty of good clean ball. Instonians did try and use the wind during the game kicking the ball but Stephen MC Gee at full back fielded the ball well and attacked every time he won possession.  In a difficult wind, ball distribution in the backs was always going to be difficult and Ultan Murphy and James Shields, on the wings, did not perhaps see as much ball as they would have liked.

MJ McKevitt and Chris Scully in the centres had their hands full in defence, while in attack Scully would find gaps     and his way through Instonians first line of defence _IGP5245on more than one occasion.
The opening score went to Instonians when their scrum half picked a ball from the base of a ruck and went blind, the pacey no.9 fly kicked the ball forward and a favourable bounce saw the ball pop up for him to run onto and race to the line. The wind made the attempted conversion too difficult and Instonians were 5-0 up.  Dundalk were not unduly concerned and played the style of rugby that had gotten them to the playoffs. Ene Fa’atua, playing at no.8, was having a great game, linking well with forwards and backs and knocking the opposition back. With three penalties with the wind, and certainly two well within Ultan Murphys normal range, Dundalk had the opportunity to kick their way back into the game but none were landed.  _IGP5144However, a well worked attack from both forwards and backs, through four phases of play, saw Thomas Campbell pass to the waiting Jonathan Williams just 8 metres from the tryline. Williams took on the defence and breaking three tackles powered his way over the try line to score Dundalk’s first try.  Soon afterwards Ultan Murphy kicked a penalty and Dundalk now had a 8-5 lead going in at half time.

This was a very exciting game with little between the two sides.  The breakthrough for Dundalk came when Instonians strayed off side just outside their own 22 and Dundalk kicked to the corner.  Dundalk’s line out had been impressive all day and despite the wind Tu’ipulotu Nuku’s throwing found its mark. Thomas Campbell marshalled the forwards and orchestrated the attack from the base of the ruck.  Good interplay between forwards and backs eventually gave Tu’ipulotu Nuku the ball 4 metres from the line and the powerful Dundalk hooker drove over the line to score Dundalk’s second try.  Converted by Ultan Murphy Dundalk now has a 15-5 lead.  _IGP5220As the battle raged there was little between the sides.  David Whatley, Ene Fa’atua and Mike Bentley were excelling in defence while it took all of Instonians efforts to contain Chris Scully.  Two successful penalties with the wind in the second half brought Instonians to within four points of Dundalk.  The last ten minutes were spent in the Dundalk 22 as Instonians tried everything to get over the Dundalk line.  With the clock rapidly running down a penalty was of no use to the homeside.  A succession of line outs and scrums gave Instonians hope. Dundalk’s defence held firm and with the self confidence that this team has built in itself, over a long hard season, were able to hold out the opposition and secure a really hard fought victory. After the game an exhausted James McConnon said ” we are delighted with the win against such a tough side”.
Next week Dundalk play Enniscorthy (again) in towns cup semi final on Sunday in Naas, while the All Ireland playoffs resume the following Saturday when Clonmel visit the Mill Rd.
Team: Stephen McGee, James Shields, Chris Scully, MJ McKevitt, Ultan Murphy, Jonathan Williams, Thomas Campbell, Johnny Grey, Tu’ipulotu Nuku, Robbie Farrell, Mike Bentley, Paul Meegan, David Whatley, James McConnon, Ene Fa’atua.
Subs: John Smith, Enda Murphy, Derek Williams, Stephen Martin, Tiernan Gonnelly.

3rd’s fixture updated


Dundalk RFC extends it’s sympathy to Sean Martin, our Director of Rugby and our Youths Coordinator, on the death of his beloved mother Maureen, (nee McKeever).

Reposing at her residence in Fatima Park from 7pm this Wednesday evening.
Removal on Friday afternoon at 1.40pm, proceeding on foot to Saint Joseph’s Church, Castletown, Fatima, arriving for Funeral Mass at 2pm, followed by burial in Bridge-a-Chrin Cemetery.

May she rest in peace.


This WeekTables


To all Members, Players and Friends of Dundalk RFC:

This season has been an incredible one so far.

Our First XV have secured the McGowan Cup and the All Ireland Junior Cup (for the first time ever in our history).  We top the Div.1A League by four points going in to the last game on this coming Saturday against Enniscorthy, our challengers for the title.

This outing to Enniscorthy is probably the biggest day for our Club in its entire history because not only are our 1st’s playing in “a winner takes all” match but so too are our 2nd’s.  They too have the opportunity to win their Div.1A League in a “winner takes all” match.

It is very rare rugby occurrence that a Club has the opportunity to win both League titles in the same season, yet alone on the same day!

Both our senior teams are also still in contention for their respective Towns Cups, but this Saturday’s games are simply huge for them.

We need as much travelling support on Saturday for the lads as we can muster.

The turnout of support for the recent All Ireland Junior Cup final in Portadown against Bangor was incredible and was hugely appreciated by our coaches and players.  It would be great to recapture some of that support and enthusiasm this weekend.

Buses are being organised from the Club and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many of you as possible to come and support us on the day.

To reserve a seat simply call 087-2795429.

Many thanks for all your support to date, and I look forward to seeing you in Enniscorthy.


Larry Steen


Dundalk RFC

Congratulations to:
Oliver McCaul from Dublin Rd, Dundalk.

Winner of TWO tickets to the England match this Sunday in the Aviva.

Hope you have a great day Oliver and that we get the right result to make it even better.

Get a photo or two for us and we’ll get them up here.       From all in Dundalk RFC.

And remember this Saturday (28th) we have Coolmine in the penultimate league game at home.

The 1st’s KO @ 3pm while the 2nd’s go @ 1.30.

March 7th

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