Dublin: 15°C Tuesday 21 September 2021

Tough ask for Terenure despite positive signs while Con welcome UCD to Leeside

Meanwhile, in Division 1B, leaders Malone travel to Forenaughts to face Naas.

Terenure host Lansdowne this weekend.
Terenure host Lansdowne this weekend.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, February 23

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

YOUNG MUNSTER (9th) v GARRYOWEN (4th), Tom Clifford Park, tonight, 8pm

YOUNG MUNSTER WANT the ‘Greenfields factor’ in full effect tonight for the visit of local rivals Garryowen. It is now nine rounds since the Cookies last tasted victory in the league, that run including narrow recent losses to Clontarf and UCD.

They did come away from Belfield with two bonus points last Saturday, both hard-earned given their defensive and disciplinary issues. Garryowen won a similarly tight game against Terenure College, while their teenage out-half Ben Healy – a possible Ireland Under-20 debutant this evening – kicked 22 points in their 32-26 home win over Munsters in November.

Diarmuid Barron Diarmuid Barron has dotted down on seven occasions for Garryowen this term. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The Light Blues will be wary of a wounded Cookies side who are scrapping for every point. However, if seven-try youngster Diarmuid Barron continues to excel up front and Munster flyer Alex Wootton features again, the visitors should take the spoils.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Young Munster: WLWLLLDLLLLL; Garryowen: WWLLLWWWWLWW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Young Munster: Points: Clayton Stewart 49; Tries: Darragh O’Neill 5; Garryowen: Points: Ben Healy 54; Tries: Diarmuid Barron 7

Recent League Meetings: Friday, 5 January, 2018: Young Munster 25 Garryowen 0, Tom Clifford Park; Friday, 23 November, 2018: Garryowen 32 Young Munster 26, Dooradoyle

CLONTARF (3rd) v UCC (8th), Castle Avenue

Clontarf’s hopes of a home semi-final have been hit by back-to-back defeats to Dublin University and Cork Constitution. They return to Castle Avenue determined to make up for a below-par first half against Con which left them playing catch-up.

Their five personnel changes tomorrow see the back-line bolstered by the ex-Trinity trio of Michael Courtney, Ariel Robles and Angus Lloyd, while there are also starts for Royce Burke-Flynn and Cormac Daly in the tight five.

Brian Walsh Brian Walsh's UCC have won three of their last six. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Since losing 37-22 to ‘Tarf at the Mardyke, UCC have won three of their last six games to move out of the bottom two. They welcome back Lee McSherry and Ryan Murphy into the back row, with the latter aiming to add to his impressive six tries so far.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Clontarf: WWWWWWLLWWLL; UCC: LLLLLLWLLWWL
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Clontarf: Points: David Joyce 70; Tries: Matt D’Arcy 5; UCC: Points: James Taylor 97; Tries: Ryan Murphy 6

Recent League Meeting: Saturday, 24 November, 2018: UCC 22 Clontarf 37, the Mardyke

CORK CONSTITUTION (1st) v UCD (6th), Temple Hill

JJ O'Neill JJ O'Neill is bang on form for the hosts and league leaders. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Cork Constitution’s bonus-point dismissal of Clontarf was further evidence of their dynamic form, with a match average of 31 points scored since the turn of the year. Over the first two-thirds of the season, they have conceded just under 12 points per round.

UCD were on the end of a 28-point beating by Brian Hickey’s men in November, but have shown signs of their potential with victories over Terenure College and Young Munster since then. Fullback Conall Doherty starred with 18 points against Munsters last week.

Centre Stephen Murphy, prop Sam Griffin and lock Brian Cawley have been added to the students’ starting XV for their trip to Leeside. It looks a very tough ask, especially with Con winger JJ O’Neill chasing his fourth try in three outings.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Cork Constitution: WWWLWWWWWWWW; UCD: WDLWLLDWLLLW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Cork Constitution: Points: Aidan Moynihan 96; Tries: JJ O’Neill 7; UCD: Points: Conall Doherty 35; Tries: Andy Marks 5

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 24 March, 2018: UCD 27 Cork Constitution 39, Belfield Bowl; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: UCD 3 Cork Constitution 31, Belfield Bowl

SHANNON (7th) v DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (5th), Thomond Park back pitch

Shannon host Dublin University for the first time in three years, seeking a full 80-minute performance after lapsing at crucial stages in their back-to-back losses to Garryowen and Lansdowne which have moved them down to seventh.

Trinity have gone in the opposite direction, last week’s bonus point success against UCC keeping them in touch with the top four. They are getting scores from all quarters, as evidenced their top try scorers, fullback and captain Colm Hogan and prop Giuseppe Coyne with four each.

Colm Hogan runs in a try Colm Hogan runs in a try against Lansdowne. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Hooker Joe Horan is the only change to the students’ starting line-up for tomorrow. It should be quite a battle between the second rows with Shannon’s likely pairing of Ronan Coffey and skipper Jade Kriel facing Arthur Greene and Ryan Baird.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Shannon: LWWLWLLLWWLL; Dublin University: LDLWWWLWLLWW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Jake Flannery 69; Tries: Jake Flannery 4; Dublin University: Points: James Fennelly 94; Tries: Colm Hogan, Giuseppe Coyne 4 each

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 2 January, 2016: Shannon 22 Dublin University 25, Thomond Park back pitch; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: Dublin University 31 Shannon 19, College Park

TERENURE COLLEGE (10th) v LANSDOWNE (2nd), Lakelands Park

Peter Sullivan on his way to scoring a try Peter O'Sullivan of Lansdowne takes one to the house in the corresponding fixture. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Terenure were a missed drop goal away from claiming a priceless five points at Garryowen last Saturday. It was another positive performance, nonetheless, and they have scored 11 tries in their last two games – including three from winger Sam Dardis.

For their trip to the division’s bottom side, Lansdowne are set to field an unchanged team from last week’s 43-15 triumph over Shannon. Peter Sullivan is another young winger in terrific form with five tries in the last three rounds.

‘Nure have certainly raised their game since losing 41-12 to Lansdowne in November. However, it is difficult to see them containing their Dublin rivals’ firepower in the rematch. Shannon managed to do so for 40 minutes but were blown way in the second half.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Terenure College: LLLWLLLLLLWL; Lansdowne: LLWWWWWWWWLW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: James Thornton 49; Tries: Matthew Byrne 6; Lansdowne: Points: Scott Deasy 64; Tries: Daniel McEvoy, Peter Sullivan 7 each

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 27 January, 2018: Terenure College 8 Lansdowne 12, Lakelands Park; Friday, 23 November, 2018: Lansdowne 41 Terenure College 12, Aviva Stadium back pitch

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, February 23

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

BALLYMENA (10th) v OLD WESLEY (2nd), Eaton Park

Roger McBurney breaks clear to score an early try Roger McBurney is out injured for Ballymena this weekend. Source: Presseye/John McIlwaine/INPHO

Ballymena’s tiring defence was ruthlessly punished last week as Old Belvedere put 52 points and eight tries on them. They should have a stronger line-up tomorrow with props Nacho Cladera Crespo and Chris Cundell returning along with lock David Whann.

Rodger McBurney (calf) and Mark Foster (head injury) are sidelined, but the Braidmen’s top try scorer Connor Smyth could get clearance to play following a bout of glandular fever. He was their lone try scorer in November’s 27-16 loss at Old Wesley.

Second-placed Wesley could achieve a fantastic full set of five wins in Ulster, their latest success up north coming just last Saturday in Armagh (19-17). Their full-back Rory Stynes’ reliable right boot has seen him top the division’s scoring charts with 109 points.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Ballymena: LLWLLLWWWLLL; Old Wesley: WDLWLWLWWWLW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Ballymena: Points: Tim Small 96; Tries: Connor Smyth 4; Old Wesley: Points: Rory Stynes 109; Tries: Tom Kiersey 4

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 14 April, 2018: Ballymena 22 Old Wesley 21, Eaton Park; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: Old Wesley 27 Ballymena 16, Energia Park, Donnybrook

BANBRIDGE (4th) v BALLYNAHINCH (6th), Rifle Park

Familiar foes Banbridge and Ballynahinch, who were both beaten in the last round, lock horns at Rifle Park. Bann are set to make four changes from their 22-15 defeat to leaders Malone, including scrum half Ian Porter’s first start since returning from injury.

Forwards Jonny Murphy, Chris Allen and Ethan Harbinson also come in, although lock Allen is doubtful with his wife expecting a child. Boosted by the returning James Simpson and Rory Butler, Ballynahinch are expected to field a similar side after losing narrowly to Wesley.

Bann head coach Simon McKinstry said: “It was a disappointing result against Malone, we’d a lot of knock-ons and unforced errors. Ballynahinch is another tough one. But we’re still in the hunt and as long as that’s the case we’ll be battling for every point.”

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Banbridge: LWWWLLWLLWWL; Ballynahinch: LDWWLWWLWLWL
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Banbridge: Points: Adam Doherty 78; Tries: Peter Cromie 7; Ballynahinch: Points: Rhys O’Donnell 30; Tries: Rhys O’Donnell 6

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 21 April, 2018: Banbridge 28 Ballynahinch 24, Rifle Park; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: Ballynahinch 13 Banbridge 12, Ballymacarn Park

BUCCANEERS (9th) v ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (7th), Dubarry Park

Buccaneers’ tally of five losing bonus points tells its own tale, with the Pirates’ latest reversal seeing them foiled by Armagh number 8 Neil Faloon’s last-gasp try last Saturday. This weekend’s visitors, St. Mary’s, also pipped them (34-32) in November.

They have lost lock Joe Maksymiw, one of their best players in round 12, to the Connacht bench, while Simon Meagher, who has bagged four tries from flanker, is their main injury concern. Props Conan O’Donnell and Conor Kenny should hopefully return tomorrow.

Mary’s halted a three-match losing run with a craftily-carved out 18-11 victory over Naas. Man-of-the-match Nick McCarthy produced a big performance at the breakdown, which will be a key area again as the Dubliners look to repeat their December 2017 win at the midlands venue (22-6).

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Buccaneers: LLWLLLWLLWWL; St. Mary’s College: WLLWLWWWLLLW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Luke Carty 96; Tries: Darragh Corbett, Shane Layden, Simon Meagher 4 each; St. Mary’s College: Points: Conor Dean 59; Tries: Hugo Conway 4

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 9 December, 2017: Buccaneers 6 St. Mary’s College 22, Dubarry Park; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: St. Mary’s College 34 Buccaneers 32, Templeville Road

NAAS (5th) v MALONE (1st), Forenaughts

Despite falling out of the top four, Naas picked up a losing bonus point at Mary’s to limit the damage. They will hope to be sharper at home tomorrow, particularly in attack where their decision-making let them down last week.

Leaders Malone are looking to build on their impressive second half showing in the Banbridge game. Their back-line is slightly altered for tomorrow with Andy Bryans shifting to full-back, Mark O’Connor coming in on the wing and Shane Kelly at scrum half.

Front rowers Dan Kerr and Ricky Greenwood, along with lock Michael Shiels, complete the five personnel changes made by the Cregagh Red Sox. They have won three on the bounce in 2019 so far and outscored Naas by five tries to three in November’s clash.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Naas: WWLWWLLLLWDL; Malone: WWLWWWLLLWWW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Naas: Points: Peter Osborne 108; Tries: Andy Ellis 7; Malone: Points: Rory Campbell 75; Tries: Rory Campbell 4

Recent League Meetings: Saturday, 26 March, 2016: Malone 8 Naas 25, Gibson Park; Saturday, 24 November, 2018: Malone 36 Naas 20, Gibson Park

OLD BELVEDERE (8th) v CITY OF ARMAGH (3rd), Anglesea Road

Old Belvedere’s finest attacking performance of the season saw them break the 50-point mark against Ballymena and move out of the bottom two. Notching his eighth try, Ireland Club XV winger Jack Keating is out in front again as the division’s leading try scorer.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Belvo head coach Andy Kenny has named an unchanged team which includes the powerful front row unit of James Bollard, Ed Rossiter and bulldozing Hawaiian-Samoan tighthead Roman Salanoa.

Armagh’s hard-fought win over Buccs came at a cost with Andrew Willis’ early knee injury expected to rule him out for three weeks. Evin Crummie replaces him on the wing. Number 8 Neil Faloon’s match-winning try last Saturday was his third score in as many games.

All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Old Belvedere: WDLLWLLWWLLW; City of Armagh: LDWLWWLWWLDW
All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Old Belvedere: Points: Steve Crosbie 89; Tries: Jack Keating 8; City of Armagh: Points: Cormac Fox 65; Tries: Andrew Smyth 4

Recent League Meeting: Saturday, 24 November, 2018: City of Armagh 15 Old Belvedere 9, Palace Grounds

Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here:

Carty’s big chance, pack tweaks and more talking points in Ireland’s team to face Italy

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel