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.  

Exiles See Off Athboy

A late, re-fixed KO, a brisk breeze, and an unknown, newly formed Athboy team...that’s what stood in the way of the Exiles on Wednesday 28th of May.

After a positive but disappointing opening loss to the Longhorns, the lads were chomping at the bit to get the league campaign back on track. We had been working hard on sorting out the nitty gritty details of why things didn’t go our way in the previous match up, and had tightened our attacking prowess.

We won the toss and chose to play against the wind, facing away from the Terenure club house on their state of the art 4G astro pitch. Athboy launched the ball down into the left hand corner to start the game off.

A few indiscretions from Athboy allowed the Exiles to move up the pitch into a promising position.

Tackle 4 came and Tapley wriggled over on the right-hand side to open the account for the Exiles. Conversion was missed leaving the score at 4-0. Kicking the back into Exiles allowed some of the big forwards to truck up the pitch. Some nice interplay put the industrious McCarthy to power over on the left hand side. Conversion drifted wide. 8-0 Exiles.

The account was opened again shortly after by Rhatigan, showing some great power and agility to dive over out wide. 12-0 Exiles. Pressure came back on from Athboy, making some big carries and chopping the big ball carriers. This forced the Exiles to run some attacking patterns. On tackle 3, Cox pulled the strings masterfully to put Treanor through a gap untouched to score just off the left-hand post. Conversion was good from McCarthy to push the score to 18-0. This didn’t stop Athboy coming out of the blocks fast, and only for some very impressive defensive displays, the attack was pressed out into sideline. Special mention goes to Gallagher for putting in some massive hits behind the gain line.

Against the run of play and from a turnover, C Kelly decided to put some of his ropey dance moves and step, pop, jive and twist over on the right hand side of the try line from distance, as opposed to the easy 2 on 1 pass that was on! Conversion missed, score 22-0.

The Athboy lads didn’t let their heads drop and kept the pressure on, eventually barrelling over under the posts with an easy conversion to get on the scoreboard. 22-6. The kickoff was re-gathered by the Exiles and some wiry running from the centres resulted in a offside penalty. We ran 2 big plays which allowed Treanor to get a long run at the retreating defensive line and barrel over in a on the left-hand side. Conversion was missed, score 26-6. Duff was instrumental in the build up with his lines and arm-cannon hand-off.

The final play of the half was another Exiles score as McCarthy forced himself over after some tidy dummy lines. Conversion missed, and half time was rang in. 30-6.
Athboy refused to lie down, and started the second half the stronger. The pressure they applied before halftime was back in spades and they crashed over in the corner. 30-10.

20 points was a big but not insurmountable difference to overcome. W Kelly led from the front with some excellent leadership and by marshalling the backs, allowed O’Callaghan to cut back inside and jink over the whitewash. This score was vital in curbing the comeback that Athboy were orchestrating. Moments later, our bulldozing Saffa Borchert picked a beauty of a support line off Rhatigan’s seemingly never ending run down the middle of the pitch to add to our tally, which was converted by McCarthy. 40-0.

15 minutes left on the clock, legs on both teams no doubt full of lactic acid, caused the game to become a little disjointed. Exiles were able to bring on some very experienced players off the bench and used their rolling subs shrewdly to allow Weaver to run riot on attack.

Numerous tackle busts from McCarthy and perfectly weighted passes from Thompson (with a glorious lid) let W Kelly sneak over the try line. We believe the move was planned but we can never be sure as the dialogue exchange between Coach Egan, Cox and W Kelly was incomprehensible.

The floodgates opened with O’Callaghan (fox) getting over for his second and the final play of the game show cased the finest try of the night straight from the kick off. Both sets of players bought the dummy that we reckon was shrouded from his grizzly beard, and McCarthy shuffled up the pitch. He showed an ability to change direction without slowing down and stepped the covering defence and went in under the posts. Final score 58-10.

A growing trend domestic rugby league is that it’s difficult to bring your strongest team on the away games. We know for a fact that Athboy have much more in the tank and we’re relishing the return fixture in a few weeks.

Special mention goes to our starting prop Ramsden. His first ever game of Rugby (in either code) was marked with a now patented bosh, his skills have developed very quickly over the last few weeks and he’s absorbed everything that he’s been told, and demonstrating an eager to learn attitude. W Kelly also showed his experience by leading the attack and bringing the best out of players around him, often the player who put others through for scores. Gallagher we suspect may need a vaccination of some kind as his hunger to bury opposition (and team mates in training) is almost rabid. A thing of beauty in rugby league and definitely one to watch this season! Player of the match goes to Denny McCarthy. Scored 3 tries, kicked beautifully and his experience in defence meant everyone around him knew what was going on, especially when Athboy turned on the pressure in around the half time mark.

    Team List:

Columba Kelly

Leo Kelly

John Rhatigan

Matt O’Callaghan

Jordan Tapley

Andrew Thompson

Adam Cox (VC)

Barry Treanor (C)

Wayne Kelly

Josh Ramsden

Denny McCarthey

Alex Duff (VC)

James Gallagher

Cliff Newton

Marc Keating

Ryan Borchert

Eddie Weaver

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