AIB Cup Semi-Final
Blackrock College v Clontarf
Stradbrook, Sunday March 9, 2.30pm
Blackrock College RFC
This is 'Rock's first season in the AIB Cup and they have put paid to some tough opposition on the road to the semis, beating Instonians 42-6 in the first round, then knocking out AIB League Division One leaders Cork Constitution in the second round before a quarter-final win over UCD.
They are drawn at home again on Saturday as they were in the previous three rounds this season. Of the 27 newcomers to the competition last October, 'Rock are the only club that have made it through to the semi-final stage.
Blackrock first played in the AIB League against Clontarf in November 1992, winning 19-8 at home to them in Division Two, and they have won three and lost three of their last six AIB League fixtures with Clontarf.
'Rock have won three, drawn one and lost six of their last ten league games at home to other Leinster clubs. The story at home in AIB competitions so far this season is: played 8, won 6, drawn 0 and lost 2. They are currently in seventh place in the Division One table.
MOST POINTS IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Fionn Carr 131
MOST TRIES IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Fionn Carr 8
This is 'Tarf's first semi final in the AIB Cup, having previously reached the quarters in 2006 when they lost to Garryowen, while they were knocked out in the first round by Shannon in 2007.
They have won eight of their last nine AIB League and Cup fixtures. Clontarf won 29-3 on their most recent league visit to Stradbrook in January 2006.
They are chasing a hat-trick of victories over Blackrock in AIB competitions on Saturday. 'Tarf had two players that started the recent AIB Club international game against Scotland - Max Rantz-McDonald and their captain Simon Crawford.
The sides are set to renew acquaintances at Stradbrook in three weeks time in Round 14 of the league. The story on the road in AIB competitions so far this season is: played 6, won 5 and lost 1. They are currently in fourth place in the AIB League Division One standings.
MOST POINTS IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Ian Keatley 87
MOST TRIES IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Derek Keane, Max Rantz-McDonald 5 each