Womens Rugby
Connacht Women’s Rugby – Awards Preview
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:13    Print E-mail


Connacht Women’s Rugby – Awards Preview

The Connacht Rugby Awards are fast approaching, and another exciting season for Connacht Women’s Rugby will be acknowledged with awards to be presented in two categories.

Who will succeed last year’s winners Emma Clery (Connacht Senior Women’s Player of the Year) and Mar Sheridan (Connacht Women’s Club Player of the Year)?

Meet your nominees…

Connacht Senior Women’s Player of the Year

Tanala KehoeTK

The Portlaoise forward burst onto the interprovincial scene three seasons ago with her strong running, and even stronger defensive play. However, Kehoe came true to form this season with her dynamic play causing opponents headaches in defence. A stalwart for her club teams, Kehoe also capped off a wonderful college career helping her IT Carlow teammates to their first Intervarsity Division One title recently.

COCCiara O’Connor

The Tralee woman has been a fixture on Connacht teamsheets since she made her debut three seasons ago, but may have secured her future in green with her displays this season. The talented O’Connor who lines out in the front row but who can also play impressively at outhalf, proved pivotal to her club’s All-Ireland success later in the year when they claimed the Plate title against Queen’s University in Tullamore last month.

Claire RafteryCR

Raftery consolidated her place as Connacht’s first choice playmaker with her intelligent displays this season. Orchestrating attack after attack in Connacht’s campaign opener against Munster in particular, the Castlerea native demonstrated her value yet again. Raftery concluded her season with a second All-Ireland Cup title with her Galwegians teammates, contributing 11 points to her team’s final tally.

Connacht Women’s Club Player of the Year


McMahon started her rugby career last year with ruthless aplomb, contributing to NUIG’s second ever College League Final appearance, and culminating in her interprovincial debut this season, during which she earned three starts from three. A ferocious tackler, McMahon was also involved in Galwegians’ national cup title last month, competing flawlessly with her first division peers. A former inter-county footballer with Clare, the nineteen year old flanker has a colourful future ahead of her.

Ruth O’Reilly, Galwegians RFCROR

O’Reilly has had a season to remember. While her contributions to club and province have always been unquestionable, this season she has captained Connacht, received a call-up to the Ireland squad, and led Galwegians to a second national cup title in three years. Not bad going for the veteran prop who only improves in dynamism and strength with age. With the Women’s World Cup fast approaching, another call-up would be the perfect end to a momentous season.

CSCaroline Staunton, Castlebar RFC

Castlebar RFC have impressed since the women’s team was established a mere two seasons ago. Chief among those responsible for collective head-turning across the province is captain Caroline Staunton, who has led her team to the Connacht League title and to the Connacht Invitational Cup final. The flanker, also heavily involved in the administration of the side, has been acknowledged not just for her side’s remarkable achievements this year – their first competitive season – but also for her undeniable rollicking talent on the field.

The Connacht Rugby End of Season Awards Dinner takes place this Saturday, 26th April in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:20 )
Dominican College Taylor’s Hill TY Programme
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 08:04    Print E-mail

300PThe very successful Lep rugby TY programme was given this year in Dominican College Taylor’s Hill in Salthill. Students took the 5 hour course and were to then coach the first years and organize a blitz for them to play in. The blitz took place on the school’s Astro pitch on Friday April 4th, and it was a great success.  Mary Healy, former pupil of Dominican College Taylor’s Hill and scrum half with Galwegians RFC was also on hand with the AIL Cup to encourage girls to take up a new sport. “I played hockey for this school and never thought rugby would have been for me because of my size, but that’s one thing about rugby, it’s a sport for all. I gave it a go, and am part of the Connacht team as well as Galwegians women’s team who brought home the AIL Cup this year. It’s a great sport to be involved in, and you should all consider giving it a try!”

Emer O’Dowd, Connacht rugby development officer, delivered the course and was happy with the result. “The TY rugby programme is an excellent way of getting students involved in the sport. Most of the TY students had played Lep rugby in both national and secondary school, so through the course, they learned how to coach, plan for a blitz, and referee. Ms. Garret, PE teacher, was very impressed and has requested this course to be delivered to the TY’s for next year.”

Wendy Hickey, WCRO, is hoping more schools will avail of this course in the future. “This course is an excellent introduction to rugby on many different levels (coaching, refereeing, planning, etc). The feedback from both students and teachers has been fantastic.”

Anyone interested in girls rugby can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Final Round of Girls Youth's Sevens
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:21    Print E-mail

680 Girls7s2ndweek

Click on the image to view the gallery.

The Last Round of the Spring Youths 7's will take place in Connemara RFC on Saturday, kick off 12:30. After 2 rounds, Ballina are the leaders with 24 points, followed by Creggs with 15 points, Galwegians on 9 points, and Tuam and Connemara both with 6 points. After the last round of matches, the top 2 teams will complete for the final.
Wendy Hickey, WCRO, is pleased with the inaugural tournament. "This end of season tournament has served the clubs well. Many clubs would see players taking up other sports suchs as football and soccer at this time of year, so a 7 a side competition seemed ideal as you only need 7 to play.It is also played on a half pitch, so it suits all types of players."
Any queries regarding women's/girls rugby can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:27 )
Womens 7 Competition
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 14:19    Print E-mail


Warriors and Tullamore Triumph in Invitational Cup
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:09    Print E-mail

WomInvPlate300Tuam RFC 0 – 45 Canterbury Warriors

The provincial club season concluded on Saturday with two absorbing finals which decided this year’s Connacht Invitational Cup competition winners.

The first, the Plate final, brought together Connacht League opponents Tuam RFC – late entrants after Dungarvan’s withdrawl – and Canterbury Warriors – the amalgamation of Carrick-on-Shannon RFC and Longford RFC. The Warriors, no strangers to big occasions having contested this season’s league final, were to make amends for that defeat with a dominant performance.

Played at the stunning Dangan home of NUIG RFC, it was the Warriors who started with the most urgency, carrying strongly deep into Tuam territory, and settling there for the duration of the first half. Full back Carol Manning opened their account with a strong finish out wide, a lead which increased to 24-nil at halftime.

Tuam’s enduring defence efforts were highly credited but could not halt the inevitable. Incessant Warriors attack was mitigated only for a quarter of the game when Tuam turned the tables but failed to manifest a score. Ultimately, the Warriors’ organisation ensured they were not to be denied. Strong running from the likes of Emma Dardis, Natasha Pennamon, and Yvonne Dowd contributed to a doubling of their lead to bring the final score to 45-0.

PaulineWin300Tullamore RFC 5 – 3 Castlebar RFC

Meanwhile, Tullamore RFC and Castlebar RFC met for the first time in the Invitational Cup final, played in front of a large crowd at the Sportsgrounds. Those that attended were treated to an 80 minute contest of unbridled intensity usually reserved for the final phases of a championship game. Castlebar’s restricted foray into Tullamore territory for the latter 20mins of the first half resulted in a 3-0 halftime lead thanks to a well taken penalty from outhalf Darwyn O’Halloran.

The second half started as the first had ended – with Castlebar marginally in the ascendancy. But Tullamore ensured this was for a limited time; fantastic interlinking play between backs and forwards brought the Offaly outfit to within touching distance of the try line. Captain Ailsa Hughes obliged and crossed over to give her team a two point lead.

Thereafter, the intensity rose to fever pitch with promising attacks snuffed out by ferocious defence from both sides, with Tullamore centre Roisin Feighrey in particular giving a master class in defensive duties.

The end-to-end intensity and drama were a blessing for the neutral. However, relief and joy amongst the Offaly contingent were palpable when referee Jason Craughwell blew the whistle to end the game, crown Tullamore champions, and conclude a memorable day for women’s rugby in the region.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 April 2014 13:07 )
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