Tony Headon, Chairman of Longford Rugby Club; Ciaran Kennedy, captain of Longford RFC First XV and Michael Connellan, President of Longford RFC.
The Provincial Towns Cup competition is an open draw format and as such throws up many David v Goliath encounters. As President of the Leinster Branch Ben Gormley said: “The Town's Cup is the Holy Grail of Junior rugby in the province and it is a competition that grips towns like no other. Its popularity continues to grow year on year.”
This Sunday January 29 the Towns Cup competition for the current season gets underway when Longford 1st XV take on the Tullamore 2nd XV at CPL Park, kick-off 2.30pm.
Head Coach Niall Moran says that the outcome is very much in the hands of his team: “Our own performance is really what we have got to focus on. Obviously we are going to look at the opposition and try and determine what they are going to bring to the game. Tullamore really have a lot to offer, but from our perspective we have got to focus on what we do and ensure we do it well. We can ask no more than that and we are not going to get upset or worried about our opponents.”
Moran is under no illusion as to the quality of the opposition: “We have to respect what Tullamore have to offer. But we would be underselling ourselves if we were not up for the fight. It is still going to be a big ask for us, but if we intend to make a game of this then we have to match them in the pack. We would be quietly confident that we can do that.”
Moran says that the work-rate of the Offaly side is their main threat:
“They are a very difficult side to negate, they are good all over. They suck teams in, draw them into space then spread the ball wide. They are great at wearing teams down.
“There is no reason to expect them to change tack against us. They execute overlaps very well, so the challenges for us are fairly substantial.”
Director of Rugby with Longford RFC, Damien Curley, said that there is a healthy respect for the opposition: “Tullamore are a very strong team. I can't really see any weakness, but hopefully we will have a game plan in place that will help us play to our strengths. They have a very strong pack, a hard running number 8, their scrum half/outhalf combination is very good. That is where they are particularly strong, that 8,9,10 axis.”