As with practically every previous year, IRFU Volkswagen Tag teams are weather-blessed on All-Ireland day. Suttonians was the place to be as B Grade and D (or Beginners) Grade got proceedings underway. In the B Grade Cup, the Bowl Final was contested by No Woman No Try (who play at Lansdowne FC) and Negligent Inchargers (Highfield RFC) with the former emerging as victors in a close game, 7-6. The Plate Final saw Lurgan Lions (Malone RFC) defeat Tag R Ducks (Tallaght RFC) 13-8. This was Tag R Ducks' first All-Ireland outing, as it was for many new teams this year, and they played some great tag rugby throughout.
Meanwhile the Beginners Grade also delivered some very competitive league games, shaping the Quarter-Finals for three trophies. D Bowl winners were local team, 52 Slices of American Cheese (Suttonians RFC) who beat Try Another Day, 4-3, in a tight final. .
D Plate winners were Taggy Sitties, who featured in the Irish Times recently, overcoming Bad Mother Ruckers (St Marys College RFC). The D/Beginners Cup saw Tagtanium beat Equiendo Wildcats (Old Belvedere RFC). Tagtanium hail from Galway Corinthians RFC, Ireland's largest tag venue which has expanded even further still to 80 teams.
As these two grades began to build up to their final battles, Higher Grade and C Grade kicked off their own groups across the 8 pitches. The C Grade quarter-finals sent teams into well-matched competitions. The Star Taggers from Highfield defeated No Woman No Try from nearby Clontarf, 9-3 in the first Spoon Semi-Final while TaggleRock of Lansdowne FC lost 5-3 to Tagonists of Suttonians RFC in the other. Star Taggers emerged as Spoon winners in a taut final with Tagonists 5-3.
For the Plate, Credible Hulks (Clontarf RFC) beat Tag's Most Wanted (Old Belvedere RFC) 7-6 in first semi-final and Cooke RFC (Malone RFC) overcame the sombrero-wearing handlebar-moustachioed chicos e chicas of Los Mexicanos (Malone RFC). Hay caramba, que es finale! Cooke RFC won the Plate 5-3 against the Hulks. Great game to watch.
Flying Turtles (St Mary's College RFC) having defeated Absolutely Friesian (Clontarf RFC) in their semi-final, came to face Awasted Potential (Clontarf RFC) who beat Oh Jesus! (Old Belvedere RFC) in their own semi-final. Final result was Turtles nipping Potential 5-4. Another fantastic match to watch.
The battle for the Paul Flood Memorial Trophy and IRFU Volkswagen Tag All-Ireland title saw a newcomer to the grade title in Cobra Kai who ply their tag trade in Old Belvedere RFC. As it transpired, awaiting them were reigning champions, Mengal Taggers, who, given the tightness of the group, scrapped for every point in the group stages. Before this was the Plate final however, and Malone's Misfits came up against local strong team, Tic Tags. Misfits' early scoring set platform for their eventual 9-3 win but not without the tension involved in close contests. A special mention goes out to the other local team, Donkeys, who just went for it in this grade. The experience of playing this level will no doubt prepare them well for next year's competition.
We thank Suttonians RFC, McAllister Volkswagen, Volkswagen Ireland, all the volunteers, players, and their supporters for everything that has made this IRFU Tag season grow even further, to Ireland and Leinster international, Kevin McLaughlin, Stephen Hilditch, Chairman of IRFU Domestic Games Committee, Scott Walker, Director of Rugby Development and the Club Game and to anyone else who has supported us this year.
Special gratitude from all goes to each and every one of our fantastic referees who were specially selected from around Ireland to run games for these tournaments. Images and Video will be released on the IRFU and IRFU Tag Facebook pages as well as on Twitter (@irfurugby)