10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
With a place in Division 1B at stake several other clubs will be right in the mix including Lansdowne, hoping to re-assert their top tier status, while UCC, newly promoted Bruff and Bective Rangers are all currently within three points.
The breakdown of games could prove a decisive factor this season as 'Hinch face five of the top teams while Lansdowne face five of the teams in the bottom half of the table
BALLYNAHINCH - 'Hinch have won all three of their home games since Oct. 4. They have scored the most (207) points and the most (27) tries in all three divisions. 'Hinch are the only club to have gathered three try bonus points in division 2. Over the next few months are due to play five clubs currently in the top half of the table.
LANSDOWNE - are unbeaten at home since October 4. Wing Charl Oosthuizen has scored the most (101) points and the most (6) tries in the division. The Dublin club have lost less games than Ballynahinch and they have yet to play five clubs presently in the bottom half of the table. Form wise they have won their last four matches. They have kicked the most ( 22 ) penalty goals in division 2 and are the only Leinster club in the division 2 Top Four at the moment.
UCC - are unbeaten away from home since October 4 and have lost one less game than leaders Ballynahinch. The students have won their last four games but have collected only one bonus point for tries scored. UCC have played and beaten three of the Ulster clubs already. They were leading the table at this juncture last season.
BRUFF - have won all three fixtures on the road since Octpber 4. Yet again they have conceded the least ( 73 ) points in their division over seven rounds. The Limerick side have lost less games than table-toppers Ballynahinch. For the run in they have played only one club in the top half of the table and must visit four Leinster clubs over the next few months.
BECTIVE - The Donnybrook club have won all four of their home games since Oct. 4 but are without a victory in three fixtures on the road. They were 10th in the table at this stage last season. They have played only two clubs presently in the top half of the table.
OLD CRESCENT - Crescent were last in the table at this stage last season. They have gathered no bonus points in two defeats since October. 4. Form wise they have already played the top three clubs in the table and beaten two of them and have won their last three home games. They were beaten by Cork Con in the Munster Senior Cup Final recently.
MALONE - Since Oct. 4, Malone have had a better record on the road than they have had at home in Gibson Park. They were fourth in the table at this juncture last season. They have collected a bonus point in each of their three defeats.
GREYSTONES - 'Stones have won three of their last four matche but shipped 60 points at Ballynahinch in round six. They have played only two clubs currently in the top half of the table so they face a tough run in but they have won the first two of five fixtures at home to clubs from Munster this season.
BELFAST HARLEQUINS - 'Quins were fifth in the table after seven rounds last season. They have played six of the clubs currently in the top half of the table but they have yet to visit Leinster this season. Accuracy and form wise they have kicked the least ( 8) penalty goals in division 2 and have lost their last three games.
HIGHFIELD - were sixth in the table at this juncture in 2007 / 08. They are the only club in all three divisions yet to pick up a
bonus point. Highfield have scored the least (71) points in division 2 since Oct. 4. They have yet to play five clubs currently above them in the table. Defensively they have conceded the least (7) penalty goals in divison 2.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY - Trinity have lost in their last four division 2 outings To date they have played only two clubs presently
in the bottom half of the table. They have lost all three games away in Munster and have yet to engage an Ulster club this season.
WANDERERS - were 14th in the table at this stage last season. The Dublin club have yet to record a home victory in four games at Merrion Road since October 4. They have yet to play three of the four clubs below them in the table at the moment.
CLONAKILTY- were 12th in the table at this time in 2007 / 08. Clon have lost all three fixtures on the road since Oct. 4 and have yet to play the five clubs presently at the top of the table. They will play three times at home to Leinster clubs and three times away to Munster clubs in the weeks ahead.
DLSP- 'Salmo were third in the table this time last season. They have yet to play four clubs currently situated in the top half of the table and have lost three of their last four fixtures. Two trips to Ulster are on the cards before the end of January.
THOMOND - The Limerick club were also 15th in the table at this stage last season. They have lost three of their last four fixture and have lost all four fixtures on the road since Oct. 4.Survival wise they usually rely on their good home record…… three Leinster and one Ulster club will visit before the end of the season; Worryingly they have conceded the most (18) penalty goals in division 2.
INSTONIANS - Inst. are without a victory in three games at home and four games on the road since Oct. 4. They have conceded the most (184) points and the most ( 22 ) tries after seven rounds this season. They have yet to play four clubs presently in the bottom half of the table with three of them away from home.
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Tomorrow: AIB League Division 3