10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Incredibly, play-off chasers Clontarf picked up their eighth bonus point in as many Division One games on Saturday. The north Dubliners ran in five tries in their 29-3 defeat of Blackrock College.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, January 14
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 3 CLONTARF 29, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock: Pen: Paddy O'Toole
Clontarf: Tries: Rob Sweeney 2, Breffni O'Donnell, Niall O'Brien, Derek Keane; Cons: Darragh O'Shea 2
Classy Clontarf secured eight bonus points in eight league outings thanks to a five-try demolition of Blackrock College.
'Tarf ran in four second half tries at Stradbrook to comprehensively see of their south of the Liffey rivals.
On 13 minutes, Division One's top try-scorer Derek Keane, bagging his seventh try of the season, made the right corner for 'Tarf's only try in the first half. He handed off his marker Karl Gilligan to help the visitors into a 5-3 interval lead. Fly half Paddy O'Toole kicked 'Rock's only points from a penalty.
'Tarf winger Keane is still out on his own in the leading try-scorer stakes. Cronan Healy, his chief chaser with five, failed to score for Cork Con at the weekend.
Three quick tries in the space of eight second half minutes saw 'Tarf pull clear - winger Niall O'Brien, centre Breffni O'Donnell and tighthead prop Rob 'Chops' Sweeney all scored before former Ireland Under-21 Sweeney burst through for his second touch down in injury-time.
BELFAST HARLEQUINS 31 UL BOHEMIANS 27, Deramore Park
Scorers: Harlequins: Tries: Jonny McClaughlin, Darren Cave, Mark Kettyle, Stuart Philpott; Cons: Michael Glancy 4; Pen: Glancy
UL Bohs: Tries: Ben Martin, Gordon Ryan, Brian Madigan; Cons: Martin 3; Pens: Martin 2
Belfast Harlequins edged past UL Bohemians despite having three players sin-binned at Deramore Park.
Hooker Stuart Philpott, prop John Andress and player coach Andy Ward, on as a replacement, all saw yellow but second half tries from Mark Kettyle and Philpott saw 'Quins secure their sixth victory in eight league games.
Australian centre Ben Martin got Bohs off to the ideal start on 8 minutes when he charged down a clearance kick from 'Quins number 10 Michael Glancy to race through and score a converted try.
Two minutes later, centre Jonny McClaughlin dummied his way over for a try reply, but UL were to lead 20-14 at the break. McClaughlin's centre partner Darren Cave did bag a second 'Quins try on 13 minutes, but two penalties from Martin and 39th-minute try for Bohs hooker Gordon Ryan, who was shunted over at the back of a well-judged maul, helped the students hit the front.
Unfortunately, Bohs could not hold firm. Nine minutes into the second half, Glancy booted a penalty for the home side, then full-back Kettyle hit the line superbly to dart through and score on 62 minutes. Glancy converted.
Just five minutes later, Ireland Under-21 hooker Philpott plunged over from a driving maul to chalk up a bonus point for 'Quins. Bohs, with the hosts suffering from multiple sin-binnings, managed to boss the final 15 minutes and scored a converted try through lock Brian Madigan in injury-time to earn a losing bonus point.
UCD 26 DUNGANNON 3, Belfield
Scorers: UCD: Louis Burke 2, Eoghan Hickey, Peter Shanley; Cons: Hickey 3
Dungannon: Pen: Gareth Steenson
UCD bounced back from last week's defeat at UL Bohs to record a morale-boosting four-try victory against Dungannon.
John McClean's students have only lost once at home this season - to St Mary's in November - and were in a mean mood from the kick-off.
UCD kept it tight and it was through their pack that they had the winning of this game. A 13th-minute drive forward, with number 8 Kevin McLaughlin controlling at the base, resulted in flanker Louis Burke going over in the right corner with fly half Eoghan Hickey brilliantly converting from the touch line.
On 27 minutes, the Dungannon defence was sucked up by the home side's powerful forwards and Hickey had enough gas to make the left corner with the try-scorer adding the coversion from out wide.
Burke touched down again, five minutes before the break, while fly half Gareth Steenson got 'Gannon off the mark with a long range penalty late on in the half.
19-3 down, Dungannon evidently improved in the second half, but there was unlocking of the College side's defence. UCD made certain of the victory with their bonus point fourth try - replacement number 8 Peter Shanley showed good form when backing himself to pick and drive from a scrum on the visitors' 22.