Dublin City Exiles RLFC

Slow Start Proves Costly

Columba Kelly

Leo Kelly

Brian McGuire

John Rhatigan

Jordan Tapley

Paul Bkay

Adam Cox (vc)

Barry Treanor (c)

Wayne Kelly

Dan Byrne

Denny McCarthy

Alex Duff (vc)

Jordan Miller

Cliff Newton

Sean Douglas

Richard Egan

Eoin O’Faharta

“Time waits for no man,” or in this case, Galway didn’t wait for us to get off the bus
The game can be summarised with the cliché, the match was a game of 2 halves. Galway Tribesmen dominating the first and Dublin City Exiles edging out the second in a thriller.

We arrived late which rushed our warm up, and we marched onto the pitch to face a sizeable Galway team. Galway won the toss and chose to give the Exiles the wind in the first half. McCarthy put in some very nice restarts pinning the Tribesmen back in their half. Both teams threw the kitchen sink at each other, with all props choosing to run it straight to test each other. It made for a very physical first half with neither team giving an inch. Both teams had about the same amount of chances on the opposition lines with the Exiles playing the most parts in both, in that sloppy handling on their line gave them an easy out, while a staunch but unsustainable defence kept the Tribesmen out until about 20 minutes.
The Tribesmen eventually crossed the whitewash after the Exiles started to fall off tackles. The same story followed where the Exiles bottled the handful of chances to score but the Tribesmen had evolved their game and started converting their scores. The Exiles found themselves behind their try line, struggling to rally and find a way to crack the opposition defence. We also lost our talismanic playmaker Wayne Kelly to a neck injury early on which pulled the plug on our technical attack which we had worked on all week. Half time loomed and the score was around 5 tries to 0 in favour of the locals.

A call to get more physical in defence and to simplify our game was roundly received and Exiles came out with a renewed outlook on the game. Unfortunately the first half aurora hung around and Galway got a couple of more scores. It only took 50 minutes before Rhatigan took it upon himself to start carrying hard into the heart of the Tribesmen. The little ball of power kept barrelling in and eventually found a few soft shoulders to roll over under the posts, to score against his home county. We suspect that his fading Galway accent (it’s been diluted by the south Dublin twang that he’s acquired) that turned off the Tribesmen defenders. Big Dan led the attack with some monumental carries allowing the Exiles to get on the front foot.

A few injuries to some key backs resulted in probably Rugby League Ireland’s longest serving member, Richie Egan, to enter the fray, despite his family pleading with him to not bring his boots. Richie demonstrated that it takes more than size and speed (he’s a bit of those, or so he says) to play the game. Richie entering the game meant that he has played 22 consecutive rugby league seasons, quite an achievement for the old timer. His influence allowed Bkay to wriggle through the middle, and push McCarthy over on the left hand side in a very powerful try. Douglas had a big input in running the ball out from our try line after restarts.

The last score of the game when Egan set up Treanor to force his way over from short range, and the game ended with the Exiles pounding the try line to eventually be held out by the Tribesmen and the time to expire.

Special mentions go to Eoin O’Faharta (Egan took your name down, we know it’s definitely not spelled like that) for stepping in and putting in some monster hits. Miller also played his first rugby league game and got absolutely rattled in the first 2 minutes, which would have put most people off but he stood back up and continued to throw his body into the mix, he should be proud of that as a debut. The Kelly bro’s covering the wings and tail had an excellent game in tracking down players that had broken through, stopping several tries. Our player of the match has to go to Rhatigan who got that all important first score and never stopped carrying, even into players 2-3 times his body weight but always coming out on top. Our next game is against the newly formed Barrowcudas in Terneure this Saturday, where the lads will be looking to bounce back. Final score was 48-22 to Galway.  

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