10 Dec, 10:30
The IRFU and Munster are pleased to announce that Conor Murray has signed a new two-year contract with the IRFU which will see him remain at Munster until at least June 2016.
Home advantage is always worth something but exactly how much of an advantage has it been this season? Only seven clubs have a perfect record at home, to date in the Ulster Bank League.
Division 1A is a tough place to get a result these days even when you are playing at home. Only 56% of matches have gone the way of the home side so far this season. No club has a perfect home record.
In Division 1B, the percentage of home wins rises to 71%, with pacesetters Clontarf and Buccaneers unbeaten at home helping things along.
Only 57% of the games have gone the way of the home club in Division 2. Ballynahinch and UCD are unbeaten of course, but behind them there is a big scramble for points, accounting for the low percentage.
In Division 3, 60% of the matches have gone the way of the home side. Three clubs - City of Derry, Greystones and Instonians - are unbeaten at home.
Bonus points could prove to be vital for a number of clubs in the race for promotion or as they seek to avoid relegation.
City of Derry in Division 3 and Lansdowne in Division 1B lead the way with a total of 8 bonus points. Derry have six try-scoring and two losing bonus points, while the headquarters club have three try-scoring and five losing bonuses.
Total Try-Scoring Bonus Points
It is tough at the top. Our table shows that only eight try-scoring bonus points have been secured in Division 1A.
Division 1A: 8
Division 1B: 11
Division 2: 35
Division 3: 33
Most Try-Scoring Bonus Points
Division 1A: Old Belvedere, Cork Constitution (2)
Division 1B: Clontarf, Lansdowne (3)
Division 2: Ballynahinch (6)
Division 3: City of Derry (6)
Nine clubs have not managed to pick up a try-scoring bonus point in the season to date. They are Dolphin and Blackrock in Division 1A, Bruff and Galwegians in Division 1B, Old Crescent in Division 2, and Highfield, Wanderers, Navan and Connemara in Division 3.
Losing Bonus Points
Division 1A: 18
Division 1B: 16
Division 2: 30
Division 3: 27
Most Losing Bonus Points
Division 1A: St. Mary's College, Dolphin, Garryowen (3)
Division 1B: Lansdowne (5)
Division 2: Dublin University (5)
Division 3: Sunday's Well, Navan (3)
Only one club has not picked up either a try-scoring or losing bonus point - current Munster Senior Cup champions Bruff.
So which team has the meanest defence and which the most potent attack?
In Division 3, Greystones have scored the most points with 293 and boast the best points difference of +147. Naas are the hardest to score against having conceded only 103 points.
Ballynahinch are way out in front in Division 2 and the league as a whole with 305 points scored and only 99 points conceded, giving them a whopping +206 points difference.
Lansdowne lead the points scored tally in Division 1B with 221, while Buccaneers have conceded the least with 103 and also have the best points difference with +93.
Title aspirants Old Belvedere have notched up 188 points in Division 1A and thanks to conceding only 107, they also have the best points difference with 81.
Tomorrow we take a look at the top points and try scorers in Division 1A and 1B.
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