Jun 142014
 

A tale of two halves. More so than usual this time around.

The opening whistle sounded on the 13th of June but the final whistle wasn’t blown until the 13th of July.

Paul Minogue returning the second half kick off

Paul Minogue returning the second half kick off

The first half was played in Carrickfergus on a beautiful June summers day. The Rhinos travelled north fresh on the back of their first victory of the season and looked to continue that, opening the scoring on their first drive with a pass from Arun Mooney to Tom Fanning who had the strength to hold off 2 defenders as he found his way across the goal line from 30 yards out. And in typical Rhinos/Knights fashion the defenses kicked in, and hard too. Neither team would give up much on the ground or in the air and it was the Rhinos touchdown and two point conversion that separated the sides at half time, 8-0. As the first half came to an end, nobody expected the half time would last a full month.

Rhinos offense lining up

Rhinos offense lining up

An injury to one of the Knights players during the first half saw the ambulance in attendance transport the player to hospital. In circumstances like this the game is put on hold until the ambulance returned however in this instance the ambulance could not return. The bizarre situation became more bizarre when the second half was rescheduled to be played out at a neutral venue in the week between the final regular season games and the wild card playoff games.

And so the 13th of July saw both teams travel to Navan to play out the remainder of the game. Both teams were ready for a game and as if it had picked up from where it left off, the stalemate continued. Both teams defenses made big plays when it mattered. The Knights looked most likely to score until Adam Skelly intercepted a pass on the goal line, his first of two on the day.

Far from the sunny shores of Carrickfergus @ Navan RFC

Far from the sunny shores of Carrickfergus @ Navan RFC

With the Knights defense shutting down the Rhinos offense, it was squarely on the shoulders of the defense to keep the Rhinos 8-0 from the first half. And that they did with a stout performance rounded out with a second Adam Skelly interception inside 2 minutes of the fourth quarter allowing the Rhinos to take a knee to conclude the month long game.

Jun 022014
 

The first half of the season finished with zero wins in the Rhinos W column, something that would have to be remedied fast in the second half or the threat of relegation would be inching closer.

Tom Fanning strides down the field for a big gain

Tom Fanning strides down the field for a big gain

Facing off against the newly promoted Reapers in North Kildare was first up on the menu. A win would not be easy, the Kildare side had three wins already under their belt from the other two newly promoted sides and would be looking for another here to push for the playoffs.

Adam Skelly returns an INT while his D drop players

Adam Skelly returns an INT while his D drop players

The Rhinos started the game the stronger of the two sides. Arun Mooney connected with Tom Fanning and Paul Hosford on a number of occasions in the first half and was accruing big numbers through the air. One of said completions landed the Rhinos on the goal line and Mooney kept it himself crossing the line for the opening 6 points. Hosford completed the kick after the score to push the lead to 7-0.

Robert Pops led by Paul Richardson

Robert Pops led by Paul Richardson

The Reapers fought back however and in the third quarter put up a score of their own, their extra point attempt however was blocked and returned by Adam Skelly for 2 points in the Rhinos favour. The score was now 9-6 to the Rhinos. Both sides defense raised their game in the second half and neither would let in another touchdown, but that was not the end of the scoring.

Rhinos D applying pressure

Rhinos D applying pressure

The Reapers scored next and managed to tie the game at 9 points a piece. This led to an interesting if not nervy fourth quarter where the game could still go either way. With the clock inside 2 minutes and the Rhinos in possession of the ball, victory was in sight. With 21 seconds to go in the game Paul Hosford converted a field goal to give the visiting Rhinos a 12-9 lead which they would hold on to until the final whistle.

The game had no shortage of high flying tackles

The game had no shortage of high flying tackles

The first win of the season for the Rhinos who will now look to build on that performance when visiting the Carrickfergus Knights next.

May 122014
 

At 0-3 the prospect of playing the 3-0 Shamrock Bowl holders would be daunting to most. But not the Rhinos as a mixture of sunshine, rain and defense was the order of the day.

Rhinos Offense

Rhinos Offense

The first half was a very tight defensive battle. The Trojans were moving the ball but the Rhinos weren’t breaking. The first quarter finished scoreless and the second started the same way until the Trojans drove down to the goal line looking certain to score. A penalty, a tackle for a loss, an incomplete pass, a sack on third down and a blocked field goal on 4th down kept the champions off the board. The Rhinos defense were here to play.

Rhinos D notch a sack

Rhinos D notch a sack

The rain continued to pour down in Castleknock and the damper it got the more the ground game started to open up. The Trojans struck first and score before half time, the two point conversion was stuffed but they would lead 6-0 going into the half.

Rhinos D fighting hard

Rhinos D fighting hard

The Trojans got the ball to open the second half and ran the ball down the field capping the drive with a touchdown and successful point after, 13-0. The third and fourth quarter was played out on the Rhinos goal line with interceptions thrown from the offense and goal line stops made by the defense. The Trojans capped their scoring with an interception returned for a score for their third and final score of the game to make it 19-0.

Dan Breslin giving it everything

Dan Breslin giving it everything

Dan Breslin hauled in a 30 yard pass from Arun Mooney in the fourth quarter which turned out to be more of  a consolation than a comeback as the final whistle blew leaving the scoreline at 19-6. A spirited performance by the Rhinos kept heads held high despite sinking to 0-4 on the season.

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

Mar 202014
 
Kickoff

The Rhinos will travel across town to the Trinity Sports Grounds this Sunday to take on Trinity College in the first game of the 2014 IAFL season.

The sides last met during the 2012 league year where the students were the victors. After not playing each other in 2013, there are now 2 fixtures between the sides on the league calendar for 2014.

The game is set to kick off at 1pm at the Trinity Sports Grounds on Santry Avenue, click here for map to grounds.

Join the Rhinos this Sunday as they look to get on top of Trinity to start the season

Join the Rhinos this Sunday as they look to get on top of Trinity to start the season

 

We would like to invite all our friends, family and supporters to come along and cheer us on as we open our 2014 Shamrock Bowl Campaign. Kick off is at 1pm.

IT’S RHINO TIME

Feb 272014
 
LaughterLounge

To celebrate the opening of the 2014 schedule the Rhinos will be making a return visit to the Laughter Lounge on the 20th of March.

Just days before the Rhinos travel across town to face local rivals Trinity College, the Rhinos will be facing comedian Raymond Mearns and a number of guests.

 

Raymond Mearns will be headlining the show

Raymond Mearns will be headlining the show

One of the best acts on the international circuit at the moment Scottish comedian Raymond Mearns is an absolute must see, having rose to fame winning Jongleurs and staring in the cult hit TV show and Internet sensation “The Limmy Show”. An absolute huge hit that blew the roof off on his debut weekend, we are delighted to have Raymond back and are certain he can do the same again. Not to be missed!

If you have not already secured your ticket for the event at the Rhinos special discounted rate of €15 (including free drink) get in touch today. There are only a handful of tickets left. It has all the makings of a great night out and will get you in Rhino form for the weekends season opener.

Feb 132014
 

The Rhinos quest for Shamrock Bowl 2014 begins on the road with back to back away games. First taking on the cross town rivals in Trinity College before sailing down to Limerick to take on the storied Vikings. It’s been 3 years since the Rhinos and Vikings have met in competition and both sides will be wanting to make their mark on the newly formed Shamrock Bowl Conference South division.

May will see the return of the Rhinos to the green pastures of Castleknock College, first welcoming the visiting Cowboys before a visit from the reigning Shamrock Bowl champions. The Rhinos were the last team to come close to beating the Trojans in a thrilling 24-20 match up in 2012. The Trojans have gone undefeated since then and have the sights of all the IAFL teams firmly set on their backs, Rhinos included.

Two away games follow the Trojans visit. First against newly promoted North Kildare Reapers and a familiar visit to Woodburn in Carrickfergus where the Rhinos will take on the Knights, again. The Knights match up is one of the most anticipated games of the schedule for the Rhinos each year as the two teams play a similar style of football and are usually only separated by a single score.

Rounding out the 8 game schedule is 2 more home games against Trinity and Waterford Wolves. The Wolves are in the same boat as the Reapers, gaining promotion to the Shamrock Bowl Conference from IAFL-1 on the back of a 6-2 season in 2013. The final game of the season for both teams and it could be a crucial tie, no doubt the playoffs will be on the line for one or both of the teams and every score here could count.

Mark the dates in your calendars, it’s almost Rhino time!

Rhinos 2014 Schedule

Rhinos 2014 Schedule

 

Jan 282014
 
98fm

The Rhinos today were the recipients of 98fm’s Dermot & Dave’s Jingly Bits!

If you are not familiar with the piece you can head on over to their podcasts page and have a listen to some of their work.

If you missed it this evening not to worry, the piece will be aired again on Thursday between 3 & 4pm on 98fm.

For those of you who are unable to tune in don’t worry, we’ve received a copy of the piece and given it’s own corner of Rhinos.ie, click on the play button below to have a listen!

 

 

Don’t forget that this Sunday is Superbowl Sunday and we would be delighted to see you in the Woolshed to celebrate the highlight of the professional football calendar!