May 052014
 

After starting the season 0-2, back to back home games against visiting northern teams Craigavon and Belfast is where the Rhinos needed to step up their game and grab a hold of  the season before it slipped too far away.

Rhinos Defense

Rhinos Defense

Unfortunately the story of the day was a Cowboy tale. The Cowboys made less mistakes in the opening half and managed to break a big run down the middle of the field to open the scoring in the second quarter. This was followed by a touchdown pass and an interception returned for a touchdown with a two point conversion leaving the visitors 20-0 going into the half.

Rhinos Offense

Rhinos Offense

The Rhinos opened the second half in idyllic fashion, driving down the field to open the second half scoring with a run from Robert Pops and a successful kick by Paul Hosford to bring the score the 20-7. The Rhinos spent much of the second half in Cowboys territory in large part thanks to catches and runs by Dan Breslin picking up large chunks throughout the second half. Unable to convert these opportunities into further points settled the game.

RB Robert Pops

RB Robert Pops

The Cowboys tacked on a 75 yard touchdown run in the middle of the final quarter to put the final nail in the coffin. The final score 26-7 drops the Rhinos to a record of 0-3. The Rhinos will be hosting Shamrock Bowl holders the Belfast Trojans next week.

Apr 142014
 

The 6th of April was the day the Rhinos had hoped would end with a 1-1 standing in the IAFL South Division, unfortunately a loss to Limericks Vikings was the result and the 0-2 Rhinos must now look ahead to the Cowboys for that first win of the season.

With a few late scratches to the Rhinos game day roster, a depleted squad departed Dublin to face the Vikings. It would not be unfair to say that fatigue in the second half of the game was a factor in the game slipping away from the Rhinos.

A touchdown pass from Arun Mooney to Paul Hosford opened the scoring after a scoreless first quarter, Hosford converted the kick for a 7-0 Rhinos advantage. It didn’t take long for the Vikings to respond and before half time they had pulled the score back to 7-6 after failing to convert the PAT.

The Rhinos opened the second half in the worst possible way, conceding a kick return for a touchdown which shifted any momentum built in the first half back to the Vikings. After a successful 2 point conversion the Vikings were ahead 15-7.

The rest of the third quarter played out with both teams punting the ball to each other after drives were stalled by the opposing defense. With just one score between the two sides it was the Vikings who would strike next and ultimately, last. A second rushing touchdown for Limerick was the final nail in the coffin and the 22-7 lead they had built proved insurmountable for the Rhinos with the clock not on their side.

It was a better offensive performance from the Rhinos, one from which they will look to build on before they take on the Craigavon Cowboys in the first home game of 2014 on the 4th of May in Castleknock.

Mar 242014
 

Losing is never easy. Starting your season with a loss is a tough pill to swallow after months of hard work and preparation by coaches and players. The Rhinos will be hoping the loss suffered yesterday will provide a springboard into winning ways.

Rhinos Offense open the game versus Trinity

Rhinos Offense open the game versus Trinity

Receiving the ball to start the game the Rhinos were forced to punt early giving the ball to the students. Trinity’s offense was slowed by the Rhinos defense but Trinity running back Rob McDowell created some running space for himself and was able to pick up small chunks of yardage which QB Dan Finnamore then took advantage off finding receivers with some well thrown passes. The result of a long drive was a touchdown and 6 points when the point after try was sent wide of the posts.

Rhinos Defense force an incompletion

Rhinos Defense force an incompletion

The Rhinos then gifted the students 2 more points shortly afterwards when a mix up resulted in the ball bouncing out the side of the end zone for a safety. With the Rhinos offense a much changed side from last year including many new faces on the starting 11 there were some teething issues that were ironed out as the game progressed.

Oisin Russell-Conway looking for running room

Oisin Russell-Conway looking for running room

The day continued much in the same fashion, the Rhinos offense stalled be it through pressure from the Trinity defense or through mistakes and penalties and were unable to put a score on the board. Trinity took advantage of good field position from turnovers and special teams and were able to add another three touchdowns before the final whistle turning 15-0 at the half into 28-0 at full time.

It’s a wake up call for the Rhinos. Performances like this will only result in a long disappointing season. With one weekend to prepare for the next game against the University of Limerick Vikings the clock is ticking.

Rhinos new away jerseys fail to bring luck in first outing

Rhinos unveil new away jerseys pregame

Aug 292013
 
Luke Ivers

Luke Ivers, Matthew Groves, Solomon Peter, Darragh McDonnell. Four Dublin Rhinos, four members of the Ireland U20’s starting defense who were victorious yesterday evening over Canadian team the Greendell Falcons.

Against all odds the young Irish team made up of players under the age of 21 from teams around the country stood together and put on show a performance to be remembered. A performance that will be remembered. For the first time ever an Irish team has defeated a team from North American, no small feat.

Matthew Groves applying pressure to Greendell QB

Matthew Groves applying pressure to Greendell QB

Leading 22-6 going into the half, the Irish team had to hold the Canadian’s off for just 2 quarters of football as the light was fading in Westmanstown. The second half went to the Canadians as they clawed back to within 2 points but ultimately the Irish defense held strong and a 22-20 victory was the result.

Darragh McDonnell (DE), Solomon Peter (DB), Matthew Groves (DB) and Luke Ivers (LB) put in impressive performances for the Rhinos contingent with highlights coming from Luke Ivers and Matthew Groves. Groves constant pressure forced the Greendell QB to turn the ball over numerous times – including an interception to our own Luke Ivers who returned the pick for an Irish touchdown.

Luke Ivers' interception TD

Luke Ivers’ interception TD

Congratulations to our Rhinos for showcasing their talent and proving that they are right up there with the best in the country in their age group.

To become a Rhino and join our young players among the ranks of the best in the country Contact us where you will receive the coaching and experience necessary to become one of the best.

Jun 102013
 

When you lose 38-6 to the undefeated Shamrock Bowl champions at home just 7 days before, travelling to meet them on their own field with less than 20 players does not bode well. Not when they have a squad of 50 anyway. And to add to the difficulty of the game mother nature decided to send out her best weather with the sun beating down on all below.

 

Sunny conditions and a squad light on numbers made for a difficult game

Sunny conditions and a squad light on numbers made for a difficult game

 

But the Rhinos are no strangers to adversity, and the Rhinos are not one to roll over and give up either. And with that they took to the field and forced the Trojans to fight for every yard. The Trojans scored two touchdowns in the first half, one in the air and one on the ground. A third score was added in the second quarter through the air. On the Rhinos next possession quarterback Arun Mooney hit receiver Alex McGuirk for 30 yards through the air on a promising drive, unfortunately the Trojans put a stop to it just after with an interception.

The defense did what it could to slow the Trojans attack

The defense did what it could to slow the Trojans attack

Cornerback Adam Skelly, no stranger to an interception, added the first of his own for the game during the third quarter. He added a second later in the half to add to his impressive tally for the season. But the game continued in the same manner, the Trojans added more scores both on the ground and through the air. The Rhinos made it as difficult they could for the home side but the conditions were not in their favour.

Adam Skelly, interception magnet

Adam Skelly, interception magnet

The final score of 31-0 ends a disappointing season for the Rhinos where they finish at 2-6. After a .500 season in 2012 at 4-4 the Rhinos had hoped for more than a mid table position this year, a year of disappointing results highlighted with a 7-6 win over the Dublin Rebels the Rhinos will now be looking to improve on this years achievements and push for a better standing in 2014.

While the game was lost, the Rhinos were not defeated and will be back stronger in 2014

While the game was lost, the Rhinos were not defeated and will be back stronger in 2014

Jun 032013
 

The Rhinos welcomed the Belfast Trojans to Castleknock college for the first of their back to back games to round out the 2013 regular season. The last time these two sides met the Rhinos pushed the Trojans as close as any team has since the beginning of their unbeaten streak starting in 2012 only losing out on the upset 24-20 after a failed 2 point conversion to tie the game was returned for a score the other way.

 

The defense spent a lot of time on the field today

The defense spent a lot of time on the field today

 

While the Rhinos had hoped for a similar performance against the current Shamrock Bowl champions, with their unbeaten streak standing at 16 IAFL games, it was going to be a lot to ask. The Rhinos were soon to find out that the Trojans had improved on their previous season both on and off the field. Travelling to Dublin with a 50 man strong squad and a balanced run and pass game that leaves every team chasing from behind. The Trojans were able to score early and often and the defense was fighting an uphill battle from the get go.

 

The Trojans came out on top in the trenches against the Rhinos offense

The Trojans came out on top in the trenches against the Rhinos offense

 

The opening Trojans drive left the score at 7-0, followed by a stalled offensive attempt by the Rhinos. The defense stood firm and forced a 4 & out on the Trojans second drive of the game to give a glimmer of hope to the home side. But it was one of the few times the Rhinos defense could stop the Trojans offense. The Trojans offense put up 4 scores in the first half and the Rhinos could not respond. The defense was making the Trojans work for every yard though and nothing was being given up easy. The Rhinos offense could only manage to grind out a handful of first downs in the first half against the Trojans defense.

 

The second half began as the first ended with the Rhinos trading a punt of their own for a score to the Trojans offense. Until cornerback Adam Skelly stepped in and made a play, stepping in front of a Trojans receiver and intercepting the pass before taking it 35 yards to the end zone, untouched thanks to the blocking from the rest of his defense. The point after sailed wide and 6 was all the Rhinos would be posting on the score board today.

 

Adam Skelly on the way to the end zone

Adam Skelly on the way to the end zone

 

The Trojans added another score in the third, and a final in the fourth quarter to round out the final score at 38-6. A solid performance from the champions could not be stopped by the Rhinos which drops them to 2-5 and out of the playoff race for the Shamrock Bowl.

 

 

May 112013
 

Defense was the order of the day, again. With neither teams offense putting any points up during the game, it came down to which defense could out perform their opposite numbers.

 

Defense was the order of the day

Defense was the order of the day

 

After both teams had their initial drives stalled by the opposing defenses, the Rhinos defense stepped up to the plate early. Linebacker Brent Trull pulled down a pass from the Cowboys quarterback and followed his blockers into the endzone, after the point after attempt it was 7-0 to the home Rhinos.

 

With blockers in front, Brent Trull went untouched for 6 points

With blockers in front, Brent Trull went untouched for 6 points

 

Both teams offenses on the day had their share of big plays, mostly on the ground. With both teams moving the chains on occasion through some strong running. It was inconsistent at best for both sides though and amounted to nothing resembling a score. The Cowboys pushed into the Rhinos half and on 3 occasions during the game opted to attempt a field goal. The Rhinos defense blocked 2 of these attempts at the line of scrimmage and the third was unsuccessful.

 

It was the Cowboys offense who came closest to putting a score on the board driving the ball inside the Rhinos 20 yard line late in the 4th quarter but the Rhinos defense held firm and forced the 3rd field goal try out of the Cowboys which was blocked. The Rhinos got the ball back and ran some valuable time off the clock before a favourbale bounce on a punt by Fintan Corr who kicked the ball standing on his own 8 yard line took the ball inside the Cowboys 10 yard line. Time expired as the Cowboys tried to get the ball moving with their backs on their own end zone.

 

QB Jonathan Northcutt narrowly missed Wellington Omorodion deep on this pass

QB Jonathan Northcutt narrowly missed Wellington Omorodion deep on this pass

 

The Rhinos squeezed out a much needed victory to bring their tally to 2-4. With the hopes of playoff football still possible, the Rhinos have the daunting task of playing the undefeated Belfast Trojans back to back next month and need to pull off something special to continue their season.

Apr 292013
 
Rhinos defense ready to launch into action

The second meeting between these two sides this year started as the first had finished. Neither offense could build any momentum, there was a slurry of simple mistakes and penalties which stalled drives and turnovers that led to scores would be the downfall of the Rhinos on this occasion.

 

 

With the defense stopping the Knights opening drive the Rhino’s offense took the field and after gaining a first down a fumble recovered by the defense set the Knights up to put 6 points on the board. A successful point after kick left the score at 7-0 to the home side.

An interception by linebacker Eoin Fox stalled the Knights early in the second quarter. This was followed by an interception of their own for the Knights defense. After a Wellington Omorodion reverse moved the ball up the field, a tipped pass of quarterback Jonathan Northcutt was interecpted by the Knights defensive line. The Rhinos defense stepped up to the challenge of a short field and forced a quick 3 & out to get the ball back to the offense.

 

LB Eoin Fox (86) leading the defense

LB Eoin Fox (86) leading the defense

 

Fuelled by the defenses quick turnover the Rhinos offense stepped back onto the field and on 3rd down quarterback Jonathan Northcutt hit receiver Wellington Omorodion 20 yards downfield who made a defender miss and sprinted down the sideline for a 55 yard touchdown, with the extra point success the score was tied at 7-7 going into the half.

 

Rhinos QB Jonathan Northcutt waiting for the snap

Rhinos QB Jonathan Northcutt waiting for the snap

 

The second half was similar to the first, with turnovers and penalties disrupting the flow of the game. An early drive from the Rhinos with receptions from Alex McGuirk moving the chains fizzled out in Knights territory with a failed 4th down attempt. The Knights put together a solid drive in the 3rd quarter capping it off with a 20 yard run into the endzone capped off with the extra point to put the score at 14-7 to the home side.

The closes the Rhinos could come to equalising the game was on a drive where a 30 yard reception to full back Jeff Scott was called back by a penalty. With luck not on their side today the game finished as a 14-7 loss for the Rhinos leaving them at a troubling 1-4 for the season.

Fullback Jeff Scott had this 30 yard catch and run wiped out by a penalty

Fullback Jeff Scott had this 30 yard catch and run wiped out by a penalty

 

Apr 152013
 

After starting the season 0-3 and just one week removed from a 23-0 beating, the Dublin Rhinos tore up the form book and scored a massive upset over the Dublin Rebels.

After a heavy loss to the Craigavon Cowboys, Head Coach Mark Lawless could have been forgiven for looking at a date with Ireland’s most successful side as a particularly unwelcome fixture.

Instead, the Rhinos, led by first-time starting quarterback Jonny Northcutt, dug deep and withstood everything the Rebels had to throw at them in a thrilling final quarter.

QB Jonny Northcutt on his first start

QB Jonny Northcutt on his first start

The day hadn’t started particularly well for the Rhinos, who ceded possession early in their first drive, then struggled to contain the Rebels running game.

Simon Mackey, who had dominated the February meeting between the sides, picked up where he left off and gashed the Rhinos defence for a rushing touchdown, his third against the men in red this season. Andy Dennehy’s pass was deflected on the two-point conversion, leaving the Rhinos 6-0 down.

RB Robert Pops grinding out yards

RB Robert Pops grinding out yards

Any foreboding or sense of déjà-vu was premature, however, as the Rhinos reacted excellently to the score, clogging the middle of the line and delivering a number of big hits, first Barry Bolton getting to Mackey, then Fintan Corr separating Andrew McMahon and the ball.

Rhinos defense upends RB Mackey

Rhinos defense upends RB Mackey

The impetus created by the defence spurred the offence, and Northcutt on.

The second quarter saw the Rhinos march down the field, with Robert Pops and Shaun Douglas both gaining yards as the wind played havoc with any notion of a passing game developing on either side.

The wind was a huge factor for both teams

The wind was a huge factor for both teams

On a third and eight from the Rebels 22, however, that notion would be exploded.

Northcutt took the snap and retreated, eyes downfield, before arcing a perfect pass over the head of Keith Foster. Alex McGuirk, whose catching chances had been limited throughout the day, showed no signs of rust as he rose spectacularly before bringing the ball in safely in the endzone.

Paul Hosford added the point after, to give the Rhinos a one-point margin at the break.

Rhinos offense first points of the season, enough to seal victory

Rhinos offense first points of the season, enough to seal victory

The second half would become a war of attrition, with penalties pock-marking the game and the tension ratcheted up. The Rhinos defence would force a turnover on downs before a fourth quarter showdown on their own goal line.

With a fourth and goal just inches from the line, the Rebels snap was fumbled and Stephen Byrne gratefully dived on it.

Rhinos defense held firm for 3 quarters after giving up opening quarter TD

Rhinos defense held firm for 3 quarters after giving up opening quarter TD

The Rhinos would punt before having to make another goal line stand with time running out.

Dennehy scrambled for what felt like an eternity, before firing a dart that would fall incomplete as the clock expired and the Rhinos claimed their first-ever win over their cross-town rivals. Final score Rhinos 7 -6 Rebels.

Apr 072013
 
Impressive fair catch by Barry Bolton

The first real away game of the season for the Rhinos started about as bad as it could have, having to stop en route to Craigavon so one of the players could be taken to hospital by ambulance.

Rhinos defense lined up

Rhinos defense lined up

 

The day didn’t get much better. Travelling lighter on numbers than would have liked, a number of players stepped in to unfamiliar positions for the game and the end result somewhat reflects that.

Rhinos defense tackling QB Loughran

Rhinos defense tackling QB Loughran

Offensively it was the third game in a row where the Rhinos failed to score and it was evidently beginning to frustrate the Rhinos players and coaches alike.

Offense ready to run a play

Offense ready to run a play

Defensively it was the second game where 20+ points were given up. For a defense that prides itself on keeping offenses out of the end zone it was a disheartening start to the season.

Impressive fair catch by Barry Bolton

Impressive fair catch by Barry Bolton

There was quite a somber atmosphere on the bus journey back to Dublin, starting the season 0-3, not having put any points on the board in those 3 games and knowing we play the Dublin Rebels again in a weeks time. It was time to reflect on the season so far and dig deep to make sure the slide doesn’t continue.