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Luck On ‘Tarf’s Side As Bohs Lose Out

Luck On ‘Tarf’s Side As Bohs Lose Out

Bad luck seems to stick to teams who are at the bottom of the table and this was certainly the case for Ian Costello’s UL Bohemian side on Saturday as they suffered a disappointing 21-12 defeat to Clontarf in AIB League Division 1A despite dominating much of the play.

UL Bohemians found themselves 14-0 down at half-time on the back of two soft tries – one intercept try and another which came from a dropped pass.

As the Limerick men trudged towards their half-time team talk, it was clear that their confidence had taken quite a pounding.

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However, UL director of rugby Ian Costello must have offered some inspirational words because Bohs came out with a reinvigorated attitude in the second half.

After five minutes of attacking the ‘Tarf try-line, the visitors were rewarded with a nicely finished try when number 8 Kieran Essex pounced on out-half Fergal Lawlor’s clever chip through. With the scoreline at 14-5, it was not looking like such a mountain anymore.

A difficult pitch at Castle Avenue meant that scores were going to be hard to come by and thus, one expected that Bohs would need to up the intensity after the try. But they seemed to do the opposite.

They fell off the pace and once Clontarf winger Michael Keating went over for his second try of the afternoon and ‘Tarf’s third in the 64th minute, it seemed that Bohs were resigned to their fate.

“They took their chances better than we did,” Costello told IrishRugby.ie afterwards.

“We had three or four chances down in their half that we didn’t take, so we didn’t convert the pressure and territory that we had into points.

“I was disappointed with how the first half went. We handed an intercept and a drop pass for two tries.

“We were comfortably on top in most areas of the game and I thought that was most disappointing. When you go in 14-0 down after having played reasonably well, it’s obviously going to be tough.”

Deservedly, Costello offered praise to his men who battled hard but simply left themselves with too much of a battle in the second half.

“In terms of things that we did well, I thought we played quite good rugby, I thought we kept the ball moving.

“I thought our intensity was good, huge honesty, huge commitment there from the lads considering the situation we’re in. Fantastic character, just credit fell down a little bit with some of our execution.”

To make matters even worse for Bohs, this defeat means that they are down to last place in Division 1A, three points behind Garryowen who have a game in hand. But the league campaign is by no means over for Costello.

“We’re obviously in a very difficult situation now. We’ve got to win the majority of our remaining games,” he added.

“It’s still six games left, it’s not like it’s one or two games left. But that’s in our own hands now. So we’ve just got to tick off each game as it comes.”

For Clontarf, this victory could be the catalyst for getting their season back on track. Their position in the league looks considerably better as they move up two places to fifth and are level on points with fellow Dublin side Blackrock College.

Admittedly for assistant coach David O Siochain, there was an element of luck involved in the win.

“You make your own luck and you’ve got to take advantage of it,” he said.

“I think we forced the defence quite well, we marshalled them, we put them under a little bit of pressure and then fortunately enough for us the ball bounced our way and we kind of read it well for two of the tries.”

However, on general reflection, credit was due to a strong ‘Tarf side for a dogged performance.

“The guys stood up well and they worked very hard. We should have a lot to work on in terms of where we’re trying to get to.

“But I think the effort was definitely there and the commitment was there and it’s definitely a building block going into the next game,” added O Siochain.

“Tarf have a real make-or-break game on their hands next weekend, playing away to ‘Rock at Stradbrook.

A victory there could bring them right into contention at the business end of the table, but they cannot be counting on luck to see them past their tough Dublin rivals.