Naas RFC

Founded 1922

Co. Kildare

Match Report from Naas V UCC - AIL Sat 9th December 2023

Download our mobile app to hear more about Naas RFC.

See More


UCC 29 – Naas 38

Match Report: Mark Herbert

Photos: Naas Rugby Photographs

For entertainment value alone, there are few more attractive teams in the 2023/2024 Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B to watch than Naas. Week in, week out, they are involved in high scoring thrillers and last Saturday’s game against UCC was no exception, with no less than 67 points scored. Thankfully the storms which were present in many parts of the country were non-existent in Cork and the game was played in fine conditions by the banks of the River Lee.

The home side started brightly and took just four minutes to register the first try of the game, when a fine break in midfield by Darragh French split the Naas defence apart. He passed out to James Wixted who finished in the corner. Cian Whooley added the conversion to give them a seven point lead. Within three minutes Wixted was almost in again, and it took a brilliant try saving tackle by Charlie Sheridan to stop him, but sixty seconds later Naas were on level terms. Nathaniel Edogbo coughed up a ball in midfield, which Tadgh Brophy gleefully accepted and the Naas scrum-half raced away to score under the posts. Craig Ronaldson tapped over the conversion.

The home side were back in front after 14 minutes when their pack won a penalty at a scrum which Cian Whooley successfully kicked, but they were rocked by a second Naas try on 20 minutes. After a line-out take by David Benn, the ball was moved out along the Naas backline to Donal Conroy. The winger still had a lot to do, but he put in a deft chip over the opposing defence, gathered the ball and raced away to score. Craig Ronaldson was again on target with the conversion to make it 14-10 to Naas.

The visitors were beginning to take a stranglehold on the game, but out of nothing UCC scored after 33 minutes. Naas will be disappointed with their defence on this occasion, which saw the home side attacking from deep and a series of missed tackles led to Louis Bruce racing away to score, with Cian Whooley adding the extras. However, the visitors finished the half in style with a truly magnificent try. From a scrum on their own ten-yard line, some sublime play by the backs sliced the home defence apart and a final pass from Charlie Sheridan to Bryan Croke put the Naas captain through for a breathtaking try. Craig Ronaldson again kicked the conversion to leave the visitors 21-17 in front, which proved to be the interval score.

Within ninety seconds of the restart UCC were back in front. A well worked move at the front of a line-out saw Luke McAuliffe sprint down the left wing into the Naas 22. When he was stopped the ball was quickly recycled and led to a series of phases, before the ball was returned to McAuliffe who crashed over from close range. The conversion by Whooley was missed, but UCC now led by 22-21.

Naas suffered a blow after 50 minutes when Michal Haznar received a yellow card for a no arms tackle, and the penalty for this offence was dispatched to touch. From the line-out a driving maul was set up which the visitors did well to contain, but the ball was then moved out wide to Jason Aherne, who managed to force his way over for a try. This time Cian Whooley did kick the conversion to make it 29-21 to UCC.

But that was to be the last score for them. From there until the finish Naas completely took over, to gain an important victory. They tore into the attack and asked serious questions of the UCC defence. It was no surprise when the stubborn resistance of the home side was broken on 59 minutes, when Charlie Sheridan took a great line at pace to power over. Peter Osborne now took over the kicking duties and his conversion reduced the margin to just one point at 29-28.

This was followed by another magical try created by the Naas backs on 75 minutes. From their own ten-yard line Jack Sheridan started a move and took play up to half-way, before passing to his brother Charlie. The latter then evaded a couple of tackles before passing to the supporting Tadgh Brophy and the scrum-half raced away to score. Peter Osborne kicked the conversion and the visitors were now 35-29 in front. The game was settled as a contest after 77 minutes. Jack O’Sullivan was penalised for a high tackle which saw him receive a yellow card, and Peter Osborne made no mistake with the resulting penalty. That concluded the scoring for the day with Naas victorious by 38 points to 29.

This was a vital victory on the road for Naas and they have certainly hit a rich vein of form recently. They are clearly a match for anybody at the moment, and this good form has propelled them up to fourth in the league and into the play-off positions. Next up for them is a home fixture against Highfield next Saturday afternoon in Forenaughts. Kick-off is at 2.30pm and as always, all support will be greatly appreciated.

UCC: David Cogan, Sean Condon, Louis Bruce (capt), Darragh French, James Wixted, Cian Whooley, Andrew O’Mahony, Michael Cogan, Luke McAuliffe, Daniel McCarthy, Conor Ryan, David O’Halloran, Jason Aherne, Nathaniel Edogbo, Jack O’Sullivan. Replacements: Adam Wrona, Alex Hamilton, Patrick McBarron, Jack O’Sullivan, Olvier Young, Billy Kiernan.

Naas: Fionn Higgins, Donal Conroy, Charlie Sheridan, Craig Ronaldson, Jack Sheridan, Bryan Croke (capt), Tadhg Brophy, Adam Coyle, Neil O’Hanlon, Stephen Lackey, David Benn, Conor McVerry, Cillian Dempsey, Jack Rodgers, Eoin Walsh. Replacements: Conor Doyle, Connie Campher, Gary Kavanagh, Michal Haznar, Peter Osborne, Derry Lenehan.

Referee: Stuart Douglas.

Download ClubZap

Get live information for Club on the ClubZap App

App Store Google Play