Westport Rugby Football Club

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As pre- season training begins, Connacht have revealed their 1st choice Front Row for the 2012-2013 Season.  The new IRFU approved headgear has had a mixed reception but the two versions on show here seem popular with the players.  Asked to comment on the size difference between the players a spokesman stated '...as long as Henry can lose the neccessary weight we don't see it as a problem...'

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End of Season Review 2011/2012

Our season started with 27 registered players and a winter that did not know how to stop raining for the first few weeks. The big change for us this year, was getting used to the full pitch and everyone having a position. We continued with our Wednesday night session, which proved helpfull as we missed a few weekend fixtures due to the bad weather. A special thank you to the players for turning up on those nights, when it was easier stay at home.

The League started with games against Sligo, Galwegians , Corinthians , Ballina and Castlebar to name a few. Then onto the cup, in which we got to the quarter final stages against Castlebar who beat us by 10 – 7 with a nerve racking last ten minutes! The players have worked hard at improving their rugby skills and have coped well with the full pitch. With more emphasis on getting the basics right we have improved our rucking and scrums.

At this stage our season would have been over, but we gladly accepted an invitation from Terenure Rugby Club to take part in their Inaugural U13’s Festival which took place over three days in May. They had teams from all over Ireland, one from France and one from Scotland making it a total of 20 teams. The standard of Rugby was a little above us, but it gave us all an insight into what we need to aim for in the coming seasons. The players were the perfect ambassadors for the club and their parents throughout their weekend away, and we should all be proud of them for their behaviour on and off the pitch. A great way to end a season!

Without the help of Simon Kavanagh Joyce and Eoin Fitzgerald our coaches, none of this would have been possible and a big thank you to Danny McLaughlin for helping us with the trip to Terenure. Thanks also to Des Reidy and Eddie Walsh for reffing our home games and Stanley Bourke the youths Co-ordinator. A big thank you to the parents who bring the lads down week after week. Thanks to all the parents who helped out on home games and a special Thank You to Michael Heneghan for all his time and effort that goes into looking after the pitches, organising the food for home games and keeping the club house clean and tidy.

Looking ahead to this next season I think we need to focus more on fitness. Stamina and strength were a big factor when we came up against some of the bigger clubs. We also need to use the abundance of knowledge we have in the club and get people down on a regular basis to specialise on different areas.

Looking forward to seeing you all back again next season.

Declan Currid

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Coaches John O'Grady, Joe O'Malley 

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Coaches Joe Lyons, John Ryan

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 Connacht League Final

Westport Bulls RFC U19s Report Season 2011/12

 

In August 2011 if we were told that we would compete in the U19s Connacht League Final and win the U19s Connacht Cup Final, have players capped for Ireland at both U19 age grade, (Jamie Dever) and U18 age grade, (Ruben Pepperhobbs) and five players capped for both Connacht Schools and Club we would think the fortune teller had indeed lost his senses.

In a nut shell, that is how the season panned out.

Initially, we had negotiations with Connemara RFC to see if would enter a joint team in the U19s league but it soon became clear that the logistics of travelling to either Westport or Clifden for training would not be palatable for either Club.

Eddie Walsh and Pat McCormack were charged with the duty of harnessing a group of genuine U19 players and players who were making the transition from the previous season’s U17’s team that had progressed to the semi-finals of both the league and cup campaigns. Tom Browne stepped in as Manager to bolster the coaching management set up.

There was a lot of debate during the early youth co-ordinator branch meetings at the Sportsground but eventually it was decided to run a 10 a side blitz on successive Sundays during September to establish the standard of each Club participating in the proposed A & B leagues. It was a novel approach and one that encouraged guys back from the summer holidays. We were lucky in Westport that so many players accepted the challenge and we went through that campaign unbeaten securing a position to play in the A grade league.

 

Before the league proper commenced, training improved in both numbers and participation and Eddie and Pat promised the guys that if they put in the work and training that they would earn a right to play at the business end of all competitions after Christmas.

The league was a tough arduous campaign with many ups and downs. We beat Buccaneers at home 21-20 but when Buccs were successful in an appeal we were forced to play them again at home. We were leading 11-7 with five minutes to go when we took the foot off the gas and Buccs rumbled up the pitch to score a converted try leaving the final score 11-14.  The flip side of that was our game against Sligo straight after Christmas. We were losing 14-8 and had lost Andrew McAleer to a bad shoulder injury. We never gave up and forced Sligo back onto their goal line and during the last play of the game Dwayne Corcoran intercepted a pass to score under the posts. We converted and won the game. Kevin Gill still has teeth marks in his knees from that days encounter!

 

We won all our other games, beating Monivea 30-0 along the way, but because of our loss to Buccaneers we had to play Monivea in a Play-Off decider as they had also lost only one game, to us!  With all our preparation for the play-off we still underestimated the tenacity of the Monivea team and though we could have won the game when we were lined up for a drop goal attempt that never materialised a draw in that game was probably a fair result. The replay was another tight affair when we were beaten by the narrowest of margins to a score line of 12 – 11.

It was particularly difficult for a lot of the players as in the middle of all of this they had also represented Rice College in the Schools Senior Cup semi final losing out in a replay to eventual winners, Marist College, Athlone.

Revenge was sweet though, when we beat Athlone’s Buccaneers in the Cup semi final which set up another meeting, on Easter Sunday, with Monivea on the Sportsground’s hallowed main pitch. We won this game comprehensively 12-5 with our forwards dominating collisions and the back line making plenty of yardage. Andrew McAleer and Kevin Hastings scored our tries.

Looking back, it was an extremely enjoyable season and just rewards were delivered to a group of lads who never quit when the going got tough and they backed each other up right through the season. They are indeed a credit to the Club and to themselves and we look forward to seeing them represent the Club at senior level in the coming years.

Many thanks to the Club’s Main Sponsors and also to T. Bourke’s Bar, Martin McNally, Sue O’Toole and the guys from the U17 squad who contributed hugely to our squad during both competitions.

We can only wonder, when August comes around this year what will the fortune teller predict for next season?

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A great display of heart and endeavour by both teams made it a memorable U17 Cup final.

Westport clinched the cup and completed a league & cup double in the Sportsground on sunday. A ding dong encounter that left supporters gasping for breath at the final whistle.

Tom McHale opened the score when he siezed a loose pass close in, D Corcoran added Conversion. Numerous penalties from both sides somehow slowed the game down , with Wegians scoring 1 to leave them trailing 7-3 at HT.

Wegians were winning a lot lineouts and putting pressure on Westport, they managed to take the lead in the 2nd half when their forwards got over for a try

Soon after a penalty was also added. Westport responded with a penalty and a try from 2nd row Rory Murphy when he powered over the line, the conversion was just wide. (15-13). Galwegians pinned Westport back again until

Dwayne Corcoran added a 3rd try, when he intercepted a pass in his own half, almost a replica of a similar try he scored when both these teams played the league final back in Febuary, Tom McHale added the conversion. (22-13).

Wegians didnt give up the battle, they got the ball out wide to score a 2nd try, the coversion made it 22-20. From the restart Westport gathered possession and Paddy Galvey kicking ahead raced over the line to grap the bulls 4th try.

FT Westport 30 Galwegians 20.

Scorers  for Westport

Tries; Tom McHale, Rory Murphy, Dwayne Corcoran and Paddy Glavey.

Pens ; D Corcoran 2

Cons; Corcoran and McHale 1 each.

Team;

Stephen Coughlan, Ruairi Ludden, Dwayne Corcoran, Paddy Glavey, Zak O’Toole, Sean Tobin, Tom McHale.

Cormac Groden, Niall McCarthy, Pat O’Toole, Rory Murphy, Ciaran Nolan, Kevin Hastings, Kieran Coughlan, Michael O’Grady.

Repalcements

Niall Feehan for Ludden,  Conor Burke for K Coughlan for Christian Pender for O’Grady, Dairmuid McGreal for S Coughlan.

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Welcome to the Westport Bulls new Website. It has taken us a while to get to this point but we are working hard during the close season to update the site with articles, photographs, match reports and general information.

 

If you are a visitor to our website or a club member and have a contribution to make please feel free to send it on to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are hoping to make the site more interactive with access to our online merchandise store, membership forms and a blog where club information can be emailed to subscribers.

 

We will also have a screen erected in the Portwest Store on Shop Street, Westport where all the most up to date information i.e. match times, change of venue, upcoming events etc. will be displayed.

 

These are exiting times for the Bulls with our Minis, Youths, Women and Senior teams involved in various Blitzes, leagues and Cup campaigns. We intend to ensure that all relevant information is updated and displayed to keep all our members, parents and supporters informed of up to the minute Club news as it happens.

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Westport U15's are looking forward to another exciting season.  Watch out for updates on Pre-Season training and registration.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/westportrugby/sets/72157630568690026/

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