Blackrock took top honours in the inaugural Smith's Supervalu '7s in the City' event - Ireland's first Women's only Sevens tournament which was hosted by Buccaneers RFC and supported Action Breast Cancer at Dubarry Park in Athlone.
Played on the June Bank Holiday Saturday, Blackrock triumphed in the Michael Moore Car Sales Open contest.
Old Belvedere won the Murphy's Law Junior competition with Carrick-on-Suir capturing the Medussa Hair Studio Under-18 title after a long day's rugby played in glorious weather that blessed this new Sevens competition.
Blackrock, with Michelle Claffey leading by example, were the only team in all three grades to win every match and thus emerged worthy victors. The stylish Amy O'Neill(pictured right with Buccaneers RFC President Ray Fagan) added to their success when she deservedly took the Player of the Tournament accolade.
Railway Union battled all the way to secure a place in the Open Cup final but they just could not match the pace and élan of 'Rock. St. Mary's repeated their pool win over Co. Carlow Coyotes to prevail in the Open Plate decider.
Host club Buccaneers looked like they would make a strong bid for the Junior honours with promising early victories but ran out of gas in their final pool game against Old Belvedere, who were then building up their own momentum after suffering defeat in their first match.
In the Junior decider, Old Belvedere atoned for that opening setback when overcoming Canterbury Warriors, the recent Carrick-on-Shannon/Longford alliance.
Buccs (pictured below) repeated their pool superiority against neighbours Tullamore in the Junior Plate final, but the Offaly representatives got some consolation when winning the prize for 'wackiest socks'! Carrick-on-Suir made their long trip from the south worthwhile when they prevailed in the U-18 section, overcoming luckless Portlaoise in that final.
The tournament drew a decent entry line-up and looks like it will establish itself as a regular annual event. Run primarily by Buccaneers Women's players Mele Kiripati, Sandra Griffin and Claire Wyper with assistance from Lorna Stuart-Trainor and Yvonne O'Shea, it provided entertaining fare and a family day atmosphere.
The club is indebted to the referees who officiated, to the generous sponsors, to the medics on duty, and of course to all who attended, be they players or spectators. Here's to next year!
UL Bohemians v Railway Union and Blackrock v Old Belvedere are the semi-final match-ups in the Women's All-Ireland League following a dramatic final round of the regular season, writes Kate Rowan. The two semi-finals take place next Sunday with the final scheduled for Saturday, December 12 at Donnybrook (kick-off 6pm).
Connacht squad member Shane O'Leary made the most of his late inclusion in the Galwegians team as his 18-point haul helped them beat bottom side Ballynahinch 33-16 at Crowley Park in Ulster Bank League Division 1A.
Watch the IRFU/Ulster Bank 'Your Club, Your Country' Grand Draw which took place at Irish Rugby headquarters. The winning tickets were drawn by IRFU President Martin O'Sullivan and Lionel Mahon of Ulster Bank, with Aidan Connaughton of Grant Thornton overseeing the draw. The full list of winners is available here - http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/36203.php.
Table toppers Clontarf entertained Galwegians in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, hosting the game on their new 4G pitch which was officially opened on the day by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and IRFU President Martin O'Sullivan.
With the Ulster Bank League resuming this week, we take a look back at a cracking Division 1A contest from the last round when Old Belvedere got the better of defending champions Lansdowne at Anglesea Road.
There was huge excitement surrounding the Aviva Irish Schools Rugby Festival last Sunday as 32 boys and girls teams got to play at the home of Irish Rugby. We hear from IRFU National Age-Grade Manager Hendrik Kruger, Shane Culleton from St. MacDara's, Ireland Women's star Jenny Murphy and some of the players involved on the day.
We take a look back at one of the best games from the opening four rounds of Ulster Bank League Division 1A - Galwegians' memorable 41-20 defeat of reigning champions Lansdowne at Crowley Park last Saturday.
Highlights of Lansdowne's 24-10 Friday Night Lights victory over Terenure College on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch, as Mike Ruddock's men maintain their unbeaten start to the Ulster Bank League season.
Galwegians head coach Matt Brown talks about his side's return to Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League, while New Zealander Josh Hrstich, captain of Garryowen, looks forward to their campaign - including this Friday's derby clash with Young Munster.
The Ulster Bank League kicks off on Friday night and fans can tune in from around the world for IrishRugby.ie's live stream of the Division 1A opener between UCD and Clontarf at the Belfield Bowl (kick-off 7.30pm). We hear from captains Stephen Murphy and Ben Reilly.
Ireland Women's internationals Nora Stapleton and Niamh Briggs talk to Irish Rugby TV about the IRFU's new Long Term Player Development Model for Women's rugby. For more on Women's LTPD, please visit www.irishrugby.ie/womensltpd.
The launch of the IRFU Long Term Player Development programme for Women's rugby is an important milestone in the game. Michael McGeehin of Coaching Ireland and Louis Magee, former IRFU President, speak about the programme.
The Irish Rugby Football Union will help clubs make the most of the upcoming Rugby World Cup with a number of initiatives designed to make clubs 'THE' place to support the men in green during England 2015.
MU Barnhall RFC hosted their first ever Special Needs Tag Rugby Blitz last weekend. Great fun was had by the players and coaches from the Barnhall Buffaloes, Salmo Eagles, Westmanstown Taggers, Terenure Tigers and Mullingar Lions as they showed that rugby is a sport for all.
The sun shone on the Aviva Stadium for the Aviva National Mini Rugby Festival and there was a special guest appearance from Luke Fitzgerald and the RBS 6 Nations trophy. The real stars, however, were the players!
We look back at some of the winners of the 2015 Ulster Bank League Awards, and hear from Ulster Bank's Doug Munro, Ulster Bank Rugby Ambassador Alan Quinlan, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and IRFU President Louis Magee.
We caught up with Division 1A's Coach of the Year John Staunton (Young Munster), Rising Star Cian Kelleher (Lansdowne) and Top Points Scorer Josh Glynn (Old Belvedere) at the 2015 Ulster Bank League Awards.
A nail-biting Ulster Bank League Division 1A final saw Lansdowne crowned 2014/15 champions with an 18-17 win over Clontarf. Take a look behind the scenes at the Aviva Stadium - the home of Irish rugby.