18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Former Ireland international Eddie Halvey jetted back from playing Sevens in Dubai to help Division One leaders Shannon to a 27-0 victory in Dungannon on Saturday.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, December 3
Dungannon 0 Shannon 27, Stevenson Park
Scorers: Dungannon: -
Shannon: Tries: Brian Tuohy, Eddie Halvey, Dave Keane; Cons: Andrew Thompson 3; Pen: Thompson 2
Shannon racked up their fifth straight league win with a degree of ease at Stevenson Park as an under-strength Dungannon side struggled to cope with the champions' firepower.
Jeremy Davidson's home side were not helped by some poor handling and they took a full 20 minutes before entering the Shannon half. Indeed, 'Gannon fly-half Gareth Steenson had just one penalty opportunity in the entire first half, which he missed.
Ulster and Ireland winger Tyrone Howe was also held up close to the visitors' try line, but Shannon's defence was watertight throughout.
Two early penalties from league top scorer Andrew Thompson saw Shannon ease 6-0 in front, and two tries before the break saw them push 20-0 ahead.
On the half-hour, a chip kick ahead by right winger Ian Dowling was raced onto by centre Brian Tuohy and he was first to the touchdown for try number one. Thompson, who had a 100% kicking day, converted and also turned Halvey's effort, created off a close-in scrum, three minutes into first half injury-time.
Halvey had shaken off some jet lag to start - the strong-running flanker playing Sevens rugby for the Wooden Spoon charity side at a tournament in Dubai up until Friday. A Shannon delegation picked him up at Dublin airport on Friday night.
Ten minutes into the second half at Stevenson Park, Shannon lock Dave Keane was on hand to take on recycled ball after a 30-metre burst from prop Tony Buckley and score Shannon's third try. Thompson added the conversion to take his season's tally to 69 points and with the win secured, a rather patternless half-hour followed to the full-time whistle.
Buccaneers 16 Clontarf 10, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Buccs: Try: David Greene; Con: Tom Cregan; Pens: Cregan 3
Clontarf: Tries: Breffni O'Donnell, Paul Whately
Buccaneers are sixth after former Shannon winger Tom Cregan, now playing at full-back for the Pirates, kicked them to a 16-10 victory against Clontarf on Saturday.
Cregan landed four out of five kicks to help Buccs to their third win of the season and claim the One Direct man-of-the-match award. The losing bonus point for 'Tarf - their sixth bonus point in five games - was scant consolation for Phil Werahiko's side who outscored their hosts by two tries to one.
Tries from centre Breffni O'Donnell and hooker Paul Whately helped 'Tarf back level at 10-10 but fly-half Peter O'Brien's two missed conversions and a penalty attempt that should have been slotted proved costly.
After Cregan had missed a first-minute penalty from the ten-metre line, Buccs regrouped well and following a well-marshalled maul and good hands from Conor O'Loughlin, Mark Bruce and Conor Hartigan, Kiwi fly-half David Greene crossed for a fourth-minute try.
Cregan converted but Geoff Moylan's men failed to initially build on that score. On 21 minutes, they conceded a poor try. Both captain Garrett Halligan and Greene failed to find touch and 'Tarf countered and moved the ball along the backs and out for O'Donnell to score.
O'Brien missed the conversion and Buccs held on for a 7-5 half-time buffer.
Six minutes after the break, Cregan kicked the home side five points in front, however six minutes after that, their lead was quashed as 'Tarf's left winger Derek Keane, the top flight's leading try scorer (5), created a gap down his flank and recycled possession saw scrum-half Fiach O'Loughlin, one of Moylan's former charges at Shannon, carry forward twice before Whately went over for the visitors' second try.
O'Brien then proceeded to miss the conversion and a subsequent penalty, which he really should have put through the posts.
Cregan then took centre stage and turned match winner as he dinked over two penalties on 62 and 79 minutes. In between, full-back Daragh O'Shea, who had assumed the kicking duties for 'Tarf, missed a difficult penalty from halfway, and Buccs hung on through five minutes of injury-time.
However, 'Tarf's sixth bonus point keeps them in fifth place, just above Buccs.