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DCU SU & DCU Rugby Host DCU Bainisteoir, a Tag Rugby Event on Wednesday, 11th April.

This April, DCU Rugby and DCU SU will re-enact the hugely popular GAA-based reality series, Celebrity Bainisteoir in Albert College Park. The event has already attracted a wide mix of celebrities who will be taking on the reins to train over 15 DCU staff and student teams, all of whom are determined to win the prize package of 10 VIP tickets to a Leinster game and the opportunity to meet and greet the players after the game at a drinks reception.

Confirmed bainisteoirs include: Jamie Heaslip (Leinster & Ireland player), Cian Healy(Leinster and Ireland Player), Bernard Jackman (Former Irish Rugby Player), Trevor Hogan (Former Munster & Leinster Player), Ailish Egan (Ireland Rugby Player), Paul Flynn (Dublin GAA Player) and Michael Murphy (Donegal GAA Captain) and more to be announced. DCU's media savvy students will film the entire event and there will be a gala screening in the final week of the semester!

All faculties, departments and units within the University are encouraged to enter a team of 10 -no experience necessary, If you can't round up 10 troops DCU Rugby will supply some team players to fill out your squad. (So no excuses!!) It costs €3 per person to enter with all proceeds going to The Cormac Trust – raising awareness for Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Teams already confirmed are DCU Style Society, DCU nuBar staff, DCU Students' Union, our Local Gardaí, Heath & Human Performance Faculty and many more.

A training session will take place on 3rd April from 1 – 2pm in the mall (the green area in the centre of campus). Here, all teams will be assigned their Bainisteoir who will explain the rules of the game, do a few drills and give a team talk!

The tag blitz itself will take place on 11th April from 2 - 5pm in the Albert College Park with a DJ and BBQ. Teams will be expected to turn up and be togged out from 1pm. Fun, team outfits/jerseys are encouraged.

A screening of highlights from the event and nibbles will take place in the NuBar on Wednesday, 25th April from 1 - 2pm. A nice opportunity to take a lunchtime break from the studies!

If you are interested in entering a team, please contact Sinead Byrne, Chairperson of DCU Women's Rugby Club - thedcudevils@gmail.com /(086)0854522 or Emer Fitzgerald, Communications & Marketing, The Office of Student Life – emer.fitzgerald@dcusu.ie.

Committee for next season elected at AGM

The annual DCU Force AGM was held last Monday 2nd April where club members elected the committee for next season.

Outgoing Chairperson Ross Peevers gave his Chair's address where he summarised progress made this season including the impressive but ultimately disappointing feat of all three teams making league semi finals.

Once the formalities were taken care of, all club members were asked to vote on the members of next years committee, the results of which are as follows.
Chairperson: David Burson
Secretary: Brian Grieve
Treasurer: Oisin Kilgallen
Club Captain: Isaac Porter
PRO: Gordan Brennan
Equipment and Safety Officer: Steven Murray
Ordinary Members: Blygh McCormack, Alan Cleary, Neil Quigley, Tim Cronin

DCU Force go out on their shield

IT Carlow 25
DCU Force 17

By Tom Rooney

At IT Carlow
There are no amount of adjectives, regardless how complimentary, that numb the pain of defeat but the Force took bravery and intensity to new levels, particularly in the second half, losing this All Ireland semi-final where the odds were against them from the get go.

DCU were without six first choice players and two of these omissions were only apparent to the coaching staff twenty four hours before kick- off. This was compounded by the unenviable task of turning over the tournament favorites on their own patch.

The Force, however, did themselves no favours; their first half display, while gallant, was strewn with errors. Indiscipline at the breakdown coupled with Carlow out half Brian Croke's accurate kicking from resulting penalties kept much of the play inside Force territory.

The Carlow lineout was the platform for everything they did right in the first half. Their 8-9-10 axis functioned optimally, allowing them to play with real width. In truth, was it not for resolute defending, the game could have been all but over inside the opening thirty minutes.

Carlow were the first to draw blood. Fullback Robbie Waters cut through the DCU midfield, and after fielding a relieving kick from Paul O'Loughlin, he found centre Martin O'Neill with a terrific pass, who had two men to beat before going under the posts.

Despite considerable possession around the fringes, the Force struggled to put any meaningful offensive moves together. An aggressive Carlow defensive line can claim some credit for this, but a litany of wayward passes and a misfiring lineout was the real problem. Killian McDonagh slotted over a penalty for the Force's only score of the half.

The lax passing also cost the Force on the score board which allowed the hosts to turn the ball over inside their own twenty two. Winger Alan Kenny made fifty yards down the blindside channel and after three quick passes inside, Martin O'Neill was over for his second. Consequently, the hosts enjoyed an eleven point cushion into the break.

Within five minutes of the restart Carlow were another eight points to the good, all stemming from DCU's indiscipline at the breakdown. First Brian Croke sent over a penalty. Thereafter, he found touch with another and the ensuing lineout set up some superb interplay between backs and forwards allowing fullback Robbie Waters to touch down.

From that moment there was a seismic shift in momentum and the Force, with the rain teaming down, grabbed the game by the scruff and made it a dog fight. Carlow were not ready for this and their error count multiplied rapidly. The visitors put the ball up the jumper, attacking the gain line with a palpable ferocity. No one typified this effort more than No. 8 Isaac Porter, playing with zero regard for his own physical well -being.

DCU had ten minutes of unanswered possession when tight head Killian Byrne burrowed over. From the restart, the Force found themselves inside the twenty two and after turning the screw on Carlow in three consecutive scrums, they won a penalty. Hooker Cathal O'Connor found his man with the subsequent lineout, the Force mauled on ten yards before O'Connor went over.

With two minutes remaining, it was a one score game. Carlow, however, were visibly relieved when the referee awarded them a penalty inside the DCU twenty two which Croke nailed and in the process, quelled any remaining hope of a Force revival.

Force take on IT Carlow In double header

By Tom Rooney

The DCU Force senior and second sides both travel to Carlow this afternoon with an identical modus operandi; scalp the heavily favored opposition and secure a place in an All Ireland Final. This, of course, is easier said than done, but the thought of two DCU teams contesting for national titles in a fortnight's time at the Mardyke Arena in Cork, is simply too good to ignore.

The senior side will arrive at the birthplace of their Head Coach in the knowledge that they did so by the skin of their teeth. The razor-thin victory over NUI Maynooth last week was a far from vintage display, and took a Trojan defensive effort in the final quarter to keep the visitors at bay and secure the win. This will not suffice today, as IT Carlow are far too good a side to be undone purely by blind endeavor.
If anyone doubts this, they should consult members of the LIT side who were treated to a 48-7 spanking at the hands of today's hosts in their quarter final clash. Bernard Jackman is well aware that his sides have a mountain to climb today; he attributes this to the introduction of rugby to the IT Carlow's curriculum and the culture it has subsequently bred.
"Carlow IT are favorites every year for this competition because they have a degree in rugby and business so they have a lot of highly skilled players in the college. Part of their continual assessment is gym and rugby training so that is a big advantage to them."
The Force will be bolstered by the return of blindside Eoin Cremin and centre Ben Woods, however, they will be without their marquee performer Matt Healy, who has been selected for the Irish Amateurs. Woods in particular can add some dynamism to the midfield which was in short supply last week; according to Jackman however it was the conditions that decided this, not the game plan.
"We always try to play with width, it's just the way the game developed and with the wind that was blowing it was difficult at times. I was very impressed with the heart and determination that was displayed by the whole team. We just to be more clinical in the opposition twenty-two," he said.
He also thinks that the solidarity of two sides travelling together this afternoon will make the whole ordeal a little less daunting. "Today is very difficult, but at least we play in the same venue and it will be great to have the whole senior squad there." So, can the Force do the double? "Without doubt, yes."
The seniors kick off at 5pm, and if successful they will meet either Athlone IT or Cork IT, who are also playing this afternoon. The seconds play at 3pm and if they progress, the winner of NUI Maynooth and NCI will await them.

Spreading the Rugby Gospel

By Tom Rooney

Now in his second season as DCU rugby Co-ordinator, Bernard Jackman is determined to build a rugby culture in the college for the long term. The former Leinster and Ireland hooker is not only concerned with the Force's success on the field, but also its development on a social and administrative level.

Speaking to him on a wet Thursday morning in the Helix, it's easy to see how dedicated he is to achieving these goals. "The big thing for me is that rugby has really high profile when I leave and that there is a really good structure in place. I also want the committees to leave a legacy as well, so that first years are brought on and they can learn the ropes. So we have a really good club and committee." In addition to sharing his considerable knowledge with his players, Jackman, along with some student athletes, has been using the benefits of his sporting experience for the greater community, "I'm part of an access program through the college, where I take scholarship students out to disadvantaged schools and give motivational presentations."
Coaching a diverse mix of students that have never played the game has been part of a process that the Carlow native has found very rewarding, "We have thirty eight beginners who have never played before, the likes of foreign students, GAA players and hockey players and they want to play rugby. It's back to the grassroots level and I'm really enjoying it." All of these players will benefit from his decade of coaching experience throughout all levels of the Irish game, at clubs including Tullow, Newbridge and Clontarf, as well as stints at clubs in New Zealand and France. Having started coaching at 23, this has been a natural progression; he never experienced the identity crisis some players do in the twilight years of their career. "When I played I always tried to coach on the field; organise guys, move things around and try and strategise, I love trying to get players to perform in a certain way. I always wanted to go into coaching. Thankfully that's the career I'm in now. There is huge potential here and I love working in this environment." Jackman was playing for DCU when he won his first representative cap for the Irish Colleges, and understands more than most the benefits playing at college level has for players who don't come from rugby strongholds. At this level they can gauge their talents against new competition, as well as learn from the highly experienced coaches available to them. "These guys are getting to be coached by myself, Michael Diffley who played for Connacht, Jack Mullens who played at Australian schools, and we have our scholarship students coaching. The guys from local clubs are getting to play with guys from the AIL, and they bring that knowledge back to their own club, and if they have ambitions to move on they are not afraid to make that jump. "We're going to work really hard to get guys through three or four years here of college life and come out the other end with a really good grasp of what rugby is about, both in terms of the skills and the social aspect of it. So that these guys will get the opportunity to be the best players they can be; that's what I'm trying to do." In his short tenure at DCU, he has been impressed by not only the standard of rugby he has encountered but the improvements in infrastructure. With the honeymoon period of last season well and truly he over, Jackman has ambitions for all of the college's teams, and is very keen to add some silverware to the trophy cabinet. "My ambition for the Force and the ladies rugby is to get as many participants as possible, and to leave a really good structure here. We have some really good players here, guys who could play AIL or higher. I want to win the All Ireland Colleges; both the 15 a -side and the sevens." The Force's next match is against the University of Ulster, Coleraine on Wednesday, November 30th.

Movember Calander will be released By DCU Style and Force.

By Grainne Coyne

A calendar is to be unveiled by DCU's Style Society and DCU Force, the men's rugby society, in order to raise money for the charity Movember.

The Style Society completed shooting of the calendar last week. The Chairperson of DCU Style, Susie Gorman, said that "Style Society came up with the idea for the calendar and are doing it in collaboration with the rugby club. All profits will go directly to Movember with the calendar selling at €4 a piece."

The Enterprise Society, DCU Force and DCU Style Society launched the Movemeber campaign two weeks ago. The launch took place at Toxic Tuesday with games and a Slave Auction in order to raise money for the charity.

Ian O' Hare, Chairperson of The Enterprise Society said "Our launch night this year was very successful, raising just under €300, matching the success of last year's Slave Auction."

Last year, the three societies raised €3000 in total for the campaign.

"Last year was hugely successful, with the participation of three societies, and quite a number of individual students, a number I cannot define as we had such fantastic support from so many DCU students," Mr O' Hare said.

Paul Doherty, Students' Union Clubs and Societies Officer said, "The Movember Campaign was launched and run by our Clubs and Societies a number of years ago and has gone from strength to strength."

Mr Doherty thinks that Movember is a "great initiative" and has noticed a lot of sport clubs have participated to raise money for the charity by wearing 'taches', both real and fake, and all kinds of sporting events.

Paul Doherty said one initiative that stood out last year was the Athletics Club's "Tachies for Nachies" event. He said "…they had brought the Movember Campaign to their Varsities by organising a facebook event 'Tachies for Nachies' where they asked all colleges to take part in the campaign It was a huge success and I believe they intend to follow it up this year at the national road relays in Maynooth this weekend."

Susie Gorman said that the Movember campaign last year was very successful, "A lot of students took part and this year we hope to do as well with a closing party."

Ms Gorman said that she hopes the closing party on November 29 will raise additional funds for the charity.