Paul Hosfort

Aug 132018

Cowboys 14-16 Rhinos


For the first time ever, the West Dublin Rhinos have their hands on silverware (it’s actually crystal) – but it didn’t come easy.

The Rhinos had to battle back from 14 points down against a Craigavon Cowboys team that looked rampant early on.

Receiving the ball, the Cowboys drove through Andy Herron on the ground and he finished his own move after just three minutes. Marty Dixon’s PAT made it 7-0. 

The Rhinos offence couldn’t answer immediately, but the D began to get to grips with the Cowboys somewhat, with Adam Skelly, Andy Meehan and Junior Groves all making big plays. 

However, it would be the Cowboys who would strike again. This time, Christian Cowan would throw a beautiful rainbow over the coverage of Pat Gahan and Luis Alberto would make a brilliant over the shoulder catch and accelerate to the house.

Backs to the wall, the Rhinos responded. Their next drive would see the offence go the length of the field, with QB and game MVP Paul Richardson lighting up the game with his hard-nosed running, with help from Ian Fanning, Robert Pops Chris Hutchinson and Paddy Roche.

Richardson would finish the drive with a 1-yard run and Paul Hosford’s PAT would cut the deficit to 7. 

A huge defensive stand before the break saw the Cowboys forced into a 3rd and 28 situation, with momentum starting to swing before an elongated half time.

After the break, it would be Richardson who got the Rhinos on the board again. His run, sprung by Hutchinson and David Hosford, would see him break away from despairing Cowboys before crossing the goal line. A botched PAT, however, would leave the Rhinos trailing. 

As the game ticked down, the Rhinos D stiffened and Barry Bolton, Darragh McDonnell and Nico Marrimpoey ensured the Cowboys impressive running game couldn’t chew up too much time. 

That left the Rhinos with the ball and a chance with 5 minutes left. Chewing up ground and getting down to the 11-yard line with 3.15 remaining, the Rhinos had a field goal opportunity. 

This time Bolton’s snap, Pops’ hold and Hosford’s kick were all perfect and the short field goal sailed between the posts to give the Castleknock side their first lead of the game. 

The Rhinos D still had to defend against a Cowboys O capable of scoring on any play – but it took just one play to do that, with Pat Gahan intercepting Cowan’s pass to give the Rhinos the ball on the Cowboys’ 41. 

Richardson would use three downs to gain 10.5 yards and a first down that allowed him kneel out the clock and seal a famous victory.

Thanks go to the Craigavon Cowboys for another spectacular game and to the Wexford Eagles for putting on a brilliant day.

Thanks as always to our sponsors Woolshed Baa & Grill and Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited.

West Dublin Rhinos – IAFL-1 Champions 2018


(Pics: Nicola Reddy Photography)

 Posted by at 22:15  Comments Off on Rhinos – IAFL-1 champions
Aug 032018
WITH THE RHINOS on the way to the IAFL-1 bowl, here’s a look at how they got there.
Rhinos @ Warriors W 27-0
The perfect start to the new season as QB Ethan Foster and rookie Chris Hutchinson open their season’s accounts before LB Paul Richardson and DT Nico Marrimpoey finish the job.
Ethan Foster:
“As the first game of the season we expected a lot of ourselves. We started out slow but the whole team kept their heads up and after the first half we played our football and walked away with a concrete win, and a massive confidence boost. “
David Hosford (WR): 
“Galway was a tough game, travelling with pretty much a new team, we weren’t sure what we had, even though training was outstanding you just never know until you play a game how it will play out. What we learned was that our D came ready to play, three massive turnovers leading to scores against a strong side was brilliant.” 
Rhinos @ Crusaders W 21-14
A come from behind win saw RB Ian Fanning, Hutchinson and QB Jonny Northcutt get on the board in what many felt was a bellwether for this season.
Chris Cullen (OL):
“The comeback against Kildare. The lads collectively pulled it out when the old Rhinos would have just given up.”
Sandis Buivids (OL):
“We were losing and everyone was losing their shit. We took a time out, talked it out and that’s when I think O-line clicked together for the rest of the season.”
David Hosford: 
“Kildare was the first time I thought we had something special. We were short enough when we travelled as it was, then we lost three massive players. We finished the game with (RB Robert) Pops playing on the line if I’m right, yet still gutted out a massive win having been behind at half time. To gut out a win there was simply outstanding.”
Rhinos v Eagles L 7-35
A late Jonny Northcutt TD wasn’t enough for the Rhinos who dropped to 2-1 at home to Wexford.
Paul Hosford (WR/K):
“Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. You’d have the usual things to say – lads missing, warm weather and that, but we didn’t start playing til the game was over and were deservedly beaten.”
Rhinos v Cowboys W 23-21

Bouncing back, the Rhinos won a game that changed as much as the weather on the day. Ethan Foster with two TDs and Ian Fanning with a 90-yard kick return put the Rhinos in position for Paul Hosford to slot a 37-yard field goal with 5 seconds left to claim the win.
Junior Groves (DE):
“This was a really tough game. Extremely hard hitting, really physical. Their running back was very hard to bring down. Nimble, fast and can really bounce with a really good line.”
Paul Hosford:
“When we got the ball back with 4 minutes left, I knew we had to do something special, but everyone was really calm. Ethan converted a fourth down run that kept the game alive. When we set up to kick, I was pretty nervous, but the second the Cowboys called a timeout, I was really calm. I knew Barry’s snap and Ethan’s hold would be perfect, so I just had to concentrate on getting the ball over the line. Thankfully it did.”
Rhinos @ Minotaurs L 7-10
Travelling to Westmeath confident, the Rhinos were on the end of their own medicine – losing ot a last minute field goal in a place where they had won by the same method last year.
Ethan Foster:
“At this point we had good wins under our belt and went in probably expecting a win. After the first drive that mentality sailed out the window. It was the most difficult game I’ve ever played and we just couldn’t figure out how to gain ground. The defense really stepped up for the team that game, and the offense got a serious wake up call.”
Rhinos v Pirates W 41-7

Darragh McDonnell isn’t letting go off this Pirate RB.

A slow start from the Rhinos saw them roar back to win this Dublin derby. TDs from Foster (2), Hutchinson, Paul Hosford, Paddy Roche and Richardson marking the win.
Junior Groves:
“The Pirates game was a good game. Their running backs were fast and I was coming up against an old u20s teammate (Oisin Dowling) who was their best player on the day. He had an unbelievable touchdown, but after that we really put the foot down and caused serious pressure on the line and got some sacks and some big tackles in the backfield for a loss.”
Rhinos v Jets W 42-7
Another home win, another 40+ points put up as the Rhinos secured a first-ever winning season. Scores from Foster (3), Hutchinson, Jimmy English and LB Rui Almeida secured the win.
David Hosford:
“The Jets was the Junior show wasn’t it? 3 or 4 sacks. I had my first run from running back, so that was fun, starting on the 1 yard line was terrifying but our line created hole after hole for us to punch through. I thought we finally showed how good we could be on the O that day after promising so much all season.”
Game MVP Junior Groves:
“The Jets game was the best game for me. Personally that’s when I knew that this was a season that we were going to be a serious, serious threat. 
“I think it was the first or second play I came off the edge with a bad humour blew through the tackle and made a sack think it was the first of three or four that day I made. From that play on it was just fun. In the second half the running back made a good play and I missed the tackle on the edge. I went back to the huddle fuming with myself I was so mad and I knew it was coming my way again. The running back ran out to the right and didn’t see me coming at all I think I just ran full speed through him like he wasn’t even there. For me that was my best moment of the season to come back from a bad play and make a play like that it was easily my best tackle of the season and he wasn’t getting up either. 
“From there on I played with aggression and a point to prove every single play and I haven’t looked back.”
Rhinos @ Razorbacks W 22-0
A half-time forfeit with the Rhinos 22 points up secured a 6-2 regular season finish. An Adam Skelly pick-six and scores from Foster and Hutchinson and a Paul Hosford field goal gave the Rhinos the win.
Ethan Foster:
“Coming off of two massive wins at home we were meshing as a single unit. We knew what we could do, and how to execute. After three touchdowns and a field goal on three drives (one defensive touchdown) the game was sealed away; nothing and no one was going to get us out of that groove.” 
Wildcard @ Minotaurs W 13-3
Travelling with revenge in mind, but down to the fourth-choice QB, the Rhinos were able to gut out a win on the back of two Paul Richardson TDs and an incredible defensive effort.
Paul Richardson:
“My biggest memories are from some great team plays. Our first touchdown in Westmeath was from a sneak and we just mauled our way into the end zone. It was the perfect way to sum up how the offensive line could dig in and drive people back.”
Semi-final @ Vipers W 24-8

Paul Richardson has a fist pump as he goes into the endzone.
Pic: Desmond Loughrey


A chance at a final awaited the winners and the Rhinos were ahead after just three scrimmage plays, capitalising on a Vipers fumble before Paddy Roche scored. Richardson would add another two along with Paul Hosford’s field goal to set up a final appearance.
Paul Hosford:
“This was a great performance in all three phases/ We scored two TDs where we marched the field against a really good Vipers D, we only conceded with 4 minutes left and we were excellent across the board of special teams. The team’s reaction and the atmosphere coming home was absolutely the best I have ever experienced in sport.”
Paul Richardson:

“Against Derry in our last touchdown, my biggest recollection is hitting the second level and seeing every Rhino on a block and hustling to the end zone. I couldn’t contain the excitement at the end of that play.”There has been a huge amount of passion and fight from every player in the post season and it proved on our big plays.”

 Posted by at 19:21  Comments Off on The Road to the Bowl: How the Rhinos Made it
Jul 302018

Vipers 8 – 24 Rhinos

THE RHINOS QUALIFIED for the IAFL-1 with a 24-8 victory over the Donegal/Derry Vipers on Sunday.

Travelling to Limavady, the Rhinos knew they would face a hard-hitting, fierce challenge from the IAFL-1 North winners. 

Before the game, head coach Barry Bolton told his side that “big-time players make big-plays in big-time games” – if that was the case, Bolton found big-time players across his squad.

The day could not have started any better for the Rhinos as David Hosford’s opening kick-off was spilled and the Vipers left pinned inside their own 10. A fumbled toss on the first play saw Bolton himself recover the ball, giving the Rhinos offence the ball on the Vipers 6.

It would take just two plays for the Rhinos to find the endzone, as Paddy Roche ran between left tackle Darragh McDonnell and left guard Finlay Dargan for a touchdown. Paul Hosford would tack on the extra to leave the Rhinos 7-0 up with scarcely a minute played.

That hard work from the Rhinos O-line – including Stephen Egan, Eric Fitzgerald, Chris Cullen, Bolton, Paul O’Donnell and Graeme Taylor – would see the unit named game MVP for the Rhinos.

That would be a lead the Rhinos would never relinquish, thanks in no small part to a mean defence that has shipped just 25 points in its last five games. Plays from Pat Noonan, Adam Skelly, Luke Ivers and Brian Martin meant that a strong Vipers running game couldn’t get a foothold in the game. 

The winning Rhinos team.

Skelly would create the next opening for the Rhinos offence after he wrestled the ball from a Vipers runner, allowing Rui Almeida to secure the ball. 

The Rhinos offence wouldn’t be able to capitalise, with Paul Hosford’s field goal drifting wide. 

The end of second quarter would see Skelly create another opening. He was quickest to react to David Hosford’s punt and downed the ball on the Vipers 2. Another solid defensive stand would see the Vipers punting from their own endzone and the Rhinos offence came out with not much time, but good field position.

Strong running from QB Paul Richardson and RBs Ian Fanning and Robert Pops would put the Rhinos just outside the redzone with time running out. That allowed Paul Hosford to hit a 44-yard field goal for a 10-0 half time lead.

Pat Gahan goes low.
Pic: Desmond Loughrey Photography

The Rhinos offence took the field receiving the ball and feeling confident for the second half. Again, Richardson, Pops and Fanning led the way, with David Hosford and Roche adding yards before the QB was able to force himself into the endzone. Hosford again hit the PAT for 17-0. 

The Rhinos D continued to hold fast with Karls McGlynn and Fanning covering the pass along with Gahan and Shane McKeogh adding pressure up front. That pressure would get the ball back for the Rhinos and two massive Richardson runs had them on the 15-yard line as the 4th quarter ebbed away. Richardson would break the line and rush into the endzone for his second TD of the day, with Paul Hosford again adding the PAT for 24-0.

The Rhinos D would be denied a shutout by the Vipers, who have shown this season they can pass on any team in the country. First a long pass was met with a high-point catch a run that McGlynn managed to end at the Rhinos 5. Then, after a number of stuffed runs, a well thrown and excellently caught slant put the Vipers on the board. A sweep for the 2PAT would make it 24-8.

The Vipers would attempt an onside kick, but it bounced into Bolton’s hands and the Rhinos O was able to salt away the ball to cap a brilliant victory.

Paul Richardson has a fist pump as he goes into the endzone.
Pic: Desmond Loughrey

Thanks to the Vipers for the hard-hitting, tough and fair game as well as their brilliant hospitality before and afterwards. After playing each other three times in a year, the Rhinos can say that the Vipers are a wonderful addition to the league both on and off the field. 

Thanks also to our sponsors Health Services Staffs Credit Union Ltd and Woolshed Baa and Grill, as well as those who travelled to watch.

We move on to the IAFL-1 bowl in Gorey on 12 August against the Craigavon Cowboys. 


 Posted by at 17:25  Comments Off on The Rhinos are bowl-bound!
Jun 282018

Rhinos 42-6 Jets

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The Rhinos went to 5-2 and clinched a playoff spot with a win over a tough Antrim Jets side on Sunday.

The win also clinches a first-ever winning season for the club.

In the early going, the defences were on top, with Rhinos MVP Matthew “Junior” Groves dominating from DE, finishing the day with 3 sacks and 3 TFLs.

A phenomenal Jets punt left the Rhinos with an 88-yard field late in the 1st quarter, but strong running from David Hosford, Ian Fanning, Jonny Northcutt and Chris Hutchinson led the home side to the redzone. Penalties, however left the Rhinos with a 3rd and 18 from the 28. The long distance was soon eaten up by QB Ethan Foster, who weaved his way to the endzone.

Foster would soon find Hutchinson through the air to double the lead before half-time.

Foster would add another on the ground right after the break, with the Rhinos D led by Groves, Andy Meehan and Adam Skelly getting the ball back quickly.

That allowed Jimmy English the opportunity to break tackles en route to the endzone.

However, the Jets were not done and a brilliant outside run from Khadhum Hasson found paydirt. A 2PAT was stuffed by the Rhinos D.

Foster had time in the fourth quarter to cap his hat-trick of rushing TDs, before the Rhinos D got the turnover it had been craving.

LB Rui Almeida dropped into coverage and picked off a deep pass and when he turned upfield, a Rhinos convoy ushered him to the endzone for a pick-6. PATs on the day came from Paul Hosford (4) and David Hosford (2).

Thanks to the Jets for a great, clean, enjoyable game and to our officials on the day.

We thank as always our sponsors Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited and Woolshed Baa & Grill.

Pic: Zaq Wood.


 Posted by at 09:35  Comments Off on Rhinos down Jets to guarantee winning season
Jun 112018

Rhinos 41-7 Pirates

Adam Skelly and Andy Meehan stuff a Pirates run.

The Rhinos improved to 4-2 on the season with a 41-7 win over the North Dublin Pirates.

The Rhinos were forced to come from behind after a mistake-riddled opening on offence allowed the Pirates’ a foothold in the game.

That led to Oisin Dowling catching a pass and running 70 yards to put the visitors ahead.

The Rhinos would respond immediately, with Robert Pops leading a strong drive that was run in by QB Ethan Foster, with Paul Hosford adding the PAT.

With just 2 minutes of the half left, the Rhinos would go in ahead.

A defensive stand led by Paul Richardson, Nico Marrimpoey and Andy Meehan led to a blocked punt. With the short field, the Rhinos would take advantage with Foster finding Chris Hutchinson for the TD.

Chris Hutchinson puts the Rhinos ahead.

After the break, the Rhinos would get into the endzone again, with Paul Hosford catching the pass. That would be added to by an incredible 75 yard run from Foster.

In the fourth, a drive led by two top class catches by MVP Paddy Roche would stall at the 15. It would lead to a TD, however, when Foster found Roche on a broken FG attempt.

The Rhinos D would continue to stiffen to the end, with Pat Noonan, Matthew Groves, Adam Skelly and Brian Martin all making plays.

Put in at RB, Richardson made two huge runs near the close, with the second finding paydirt. David Hosford would add the extra this time to cap a 41-7 win for the Rhinos.

Darragh McDonnell isn’t letting go off this Pirate RB.

Next up, the Rhinos face the Antrim Jets on 24 June.

Thanks to the Pirates, our officials, ambulance crew and our sponsors Health Services Credit Union and the Woolshed Baa and Grill.


All pics: Zaq Wood.

 Posted by at 15:09  Comments Off on Rhinos rise to win Dublin Derby
May 212018

Rhinos 23 – 21 Cowboys

THE RHINOS IMPROVED to 3-1 on Sunday, coming out narrowly on top of a titanic battle with the Craigavon Cowboys.

With both sides looking to avoid a second loss of the season, this was always going to be tough sledding and it was the Cowboys who started the better of the two, forcing a goal line interception from Rhinos DB Adam Skelly. 

Running back Andy Heron and TE Conrad Smith put the visitors in the redzone, but a stiffening Rhinos D held them to a field goal attempt that drifted wide.

That miss was forgotten soon after, however, as the Cowboys drove through Heron and Smith again, before Jo Buchanan would punch in the TD. A bobbled snap limited the damage to 6, but the Rhinos would only be behind for seconds.

Following the score, Ian Fanning took the kickoff 90 yards to level the game and Paul Hosford added the PAT to put the home side ahead.

Another strong defensive stand put the Rhinos in position to drive, with returning QB Ethan Foster, Jonny Northcutt and Robert Pops leading the charge. In the end, it would be Foster who crossed the plane to make it 14-6 at the half.

After the break, both sides went full on for the win and it was Heron who levelled the game with a massive 50 yard run. Again, the Rhinos would be forced to go to the well.

When they did, they found plenty in reserve as Foster once again found the endzone, scrambling a designed pass home. However, Hosford shanked the PAT wide right.

That opened the door for the Cowboys, who hit a 65-yard pass from Christian Cowan to Anton Nulty that was added to to put the visitors 21-20 ahead with just 4 minutes left. 

The Rhinos needed a long drive and a score and managed to find both. A 4th down conversion by Foster kept the drive alive while Northcutt and Fanning kept the chains moving. Penalties from both sides in the redzone left the Rhinos on the 15 with 5 seconds remaining. 

A perfect snap from Barry Bolton was held by Foster and Hosford knocked the kick through to give the home side the lead.

A clever kick off from David Hosford took time off the clock as the Cowboys were left with 65 yards in 3 seconds. An attempted hook and ladder was snuffed out and the Rhinos took the win.

Next up, we head to Mullingar to take on the Minotaurs in two weeks.


 Posted by at 14:28  Comments Off on Rhinos leave it late to overcome Cowboys
Apr 252018

Rhinos win!

The Rhinos improve to 2-0 on the season with a gutsy 21-14 win over the Cill Dara Crusaders.

A depleted side that ended with four fit O-linemen was able to overturn a 14-7 half time deficit with scores by Ian FanningChris Hutchinson and QB Jonny Northcutt leading the Rhinos to a win over a talented and committed Crusaders side.

Next up is a home stand against the Wexford Eagles.


 Posted by at 14:51  Comments Off on Rhinos improve to 2-0 with comeback win
Mar 292018

Four Rhinos make their international debuts this weekend as the Ireland under-2o’s take on the AFW High School Elite.

DBs Karl Fanning and Pat Gahan, RB Ian Fanning and WR/RB Chris Hutchinson are all set to done the green this weekend after all playing a starting role in the Rhinos winning start to the season last weekend.

The young talent is forming the core of the Rhinos 2018 squad and are all fast becoming key players.

The game kicks off at 1pm at Navan Rugby Club in Meath and admission is free. 

 Posted by at 18:22  Comments Off on Irish Pride!
Mar 272018

Rhinos win!

The Rhinos open the 2018 IAFL 1 season with a 27-0 win over the Galway Warriors.

The Rhinos travelled ready to play but found the early going tough on offence.

Luckily the defence was holding it down with MVP LB Paul Richardson recovering a fumble to set up a score from Rhinos QB Ethan Foster. Paul Hosford added the extra.

Another fumble recovery in the second quarter, this time from Karl McGlynn, gave the Rhinos a platform to score again. This time, following hard running from Richardson, it was rookie Chris Hutchinson who got into the end zone.

In the second half, it was the defence who did the scoring. First, Richardson ran back an interception and Hosford added the PAT.

Then, Nico Marrimpoey intercepted a pitch to roll in for another 6. This time it was David Hosford who added the PAT to give the Rhinos the 27-0 win.

The Rhinos return to action on 8 April at home to the North Dublin Pirates.

As always, thanks to our sponsors Woolshed Baa & Grill and Health Services Staffs Credit Union Limited!


 Posted by at 18:31  Comments Off on West Dublin Rhinos (1-0) 27 – Galway Warriors (0-1) 0
Aug 112017


It is with great excitement that we introduce the Rhinos 2018 coaching staff.

Rhinos stalwart and mainstay Barry Bolton will take up the coaching reins, having retired from playing after over a decade. 

He will be joined by former Rhinos HC Mark Lawless, who will coordinate special teams and be the assistant head coach. 

Former Rhinos tight end Ross Carrick will call plays as offensive coordinator, while Nick Newby will continue as defensive coordinator.

Returning Rhino Sean Miller will be the team’s strength and conditioning coach, while a host of former players, and one current captain, will coach positions.

Rob Healy, a cornerstone of the offensive line for the last five years, will take on coaching duties on the line, while Carrick will work with receivers and tight ends. Boston-area native Lorcan Sherlock returns to the red and black to coach running backs, while Chris Cullen will handle the defensive line.

Linebackers will be coached by former Rhinos captain Eoin Fox and Fintan Corr. 

Current team captain Adam Skelly will coach defensive backs. 

The Rhinos board is delighted to welcome all of our coaches this year. Each one has given years of service to the club and will look to bring success to the Rhinos in 2018. 

The coaching team:

Head Coach: Barry Bolton
Assistant Head Coach: Mark Lawless
Offensive Coordinator: Ross Carrick
Defensive Coordinator Nick Newby

Strength & Conditioning: Sean Miller

Positional coaches:

OL: Rob Healy
WR/TE: Ross Carrick
RBs: Lorcan Sherlock
DL: Chris Cullen
LBs: Fintan Corr & Eoin Fox
DBs: Adam Skelly

 Posted by at 13:15  Comments Off on Rhinos announce 2018 coaching staff