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Costello Praises Bohs After Dogged Display

Costello Praises Bohs After Dogged Display

UL Bohemians director of rugby Ian Costello was very pleased to leave capital with a hard-fought 17-13 win over Lansdowne last Saturday. Back-to-back victories over close rivals in Division 1B have Bohs nicely positioned in fourth.

“On the balance of it, we deserved (the win). That’s my feeling,” admitted Ian Costello, as he spoke to IrishRugby.ie afterwards.

“Where maybe we struggled in the past, would be having the ability to close out a game like that.

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“We obviously have a very young side and we struggled with our confidence at the start of the season. Just being able to go from being a point ahead to closing out a game or maybe getting a late drop goal, hopefully is a sign of us developing.”

In a game which saw three penalty misses for Lansdowne and a sin-binning for Stephen Keogh as they drove towards the UL line with five minutes to go, Lansdowne player-assistant coach and former Leinster and Ireland back rower Aidan McCullen summed up the feeling within the dressing room.

“We’re all bitterly disappointed. We were going strong, we had the momentum, but we gave a silly penalty away and maybe let them (UL) off the hook,” he said.

Lansdowne lacked some cutting edge in the back-line with David Kearney away with the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds, but McCullen was making no excuses.

“We were beaten by a better side on the day. You have to plan with the players you have and take into account that the players are with the provinces whenever they need them. That isn’t an issue.

“Now, we have to pick ourselves up again. There are still three more games left (before the end of the month) and we have to prepare for them. We have to take the positives from the game and build on it over the next few weeks.”

UL owed a lot of their attacking quality to their half-back pairing of Cathal Sheridan and JJ Hanrahan whom Costello singled out for praise. Out-half Hanrahan kicked the clinching drop goal in injury-time, adding to his two first half conversions.

“Obviously it was a huge moment for JJ (Hanrahan) and a huge moment in the game was getting that drop goal. He is 18, but he is so mature in the way he approaches the game,” explained Costello.

“His attitude, his understanding of the game. He is just so thorough in whatever he does. He’s a pleasure to work with and he has a good level head.

“Munster haven’t produced a good out-half for a while now – we don’t mind saying that. We hope that he will be one of the key players going forward.”

With both Bucaneers and Clontarf almost beyond reach at the top of the table, Costello has set Bohs’ sights on making that third position their own. They could go a step closer to achieving that by beating Bruff next Saturday.

“We knew playing Dungannon, who were fifth last week (we were sixth), that we had to beat them. We knew this week that Lansdowne were third and we needed to beat them and next weekend we play Bruff who are fifth at the moment.

“We knew if we had any chance of getting that third spot, we had to beat those three teams and to see what happens after that.

“Our mini goal was nothing to do with promotion. It was to beat the three teams above us. We have won two tough games now and I’m sure Bruff will be just as tough next Saturday.

“At Christmas time, the talk would have been would we avoid relegation? Now, we have got ourselves into a position where third is the best target we can reach. We have set ourselves the target of going for that third spot.”

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