It must be galling for Buccs and their coach John McKee to see themselves - semi-finalists last year - sitting in eleventh, after a winless start to 2005.
They took in Christmas in third, thanks to three wins on the trot against Blackrock College, County Carlow and Dungannon, but since then a loss of form - combined with an injury epidemic - has seen Buccs spiral towards the foot of the table.
On the end of an eight-try hammering at the hands of Belfast Harlequins two weeks ago, McKee could welcome back pack heavyweights David Kelly (broken thumb) and Eoin Brennan (ankle).
Recovering front rowers Martin Cahill (ankle) and Anthony Nash (cellulitus) are also in line to start for the Pirates, while Garreth Halligan (rib) remains is a doubt. Colin Finnerty (knee) and the unfortunate flanker Geoff Kenny - who broke his arm against 'Quins - are out of contention for the rest of the season.
Second-from-bottom Lansdowne will need top scorer Andy Tallon (64 points) in form if they are to chalk up their first success since January's 19-17 away defeat of Blackrock.
Ballymena tore them apart 45-5 at home last time out, and the Dubliners have scored just two tries in their last three outings.
Coach Andy Doyle has included talented Leinster flanker Niall Ronan, and also boasts try-scoring hooker Kevin Corrigan (2) as Lansdowne search for only their third win of the campaign.
AIB League Fixtures: Saturday, March 5 (kick-off 2.30pm, unless stated)
Lansdowne v Buccaneers, Lansdowne Road
Ballynahinch v Dolphin, Ballymacarn ParkDe La Salle Palmerston v Young Munster, KilternanHighfield v St Mary's College, Woodleigh Park
Ballina v Ards, Heffernan ParkBanbridge v Suttonians, Rifle ParkBruff v Skerries, Kilballyowen ParkCity of Derry v Wanderers, Judge's RoadConnemara v Sunday's Well, Monastery FieldCorinthians v Queen's University, Corinthian ParkInstonians v Old Wesley, Shaws BridgePortadown v Clonakilty, Chambers Park