19 Jun, 06:50
A single point separated the sides as a hard-fought 5th-8th place play-off finished in France's favour at Stade Henri Desgrange on Tuesday night. Check out some photos from Ireland's fourth IRB Junior World Championsip match.
Andy Doyle's Lansdowne, who coughed up a 20-6 half-time lead to draw with another student club Trinity in their final league tie last weekend, will be determined to buck a poor 2004/05 home record.
Without a win at headquarters since November's 31-25 defeat of Galwegians, Doyle's young side, led by 31-year-old lock Stephen O'Connor in the absence of the overseas Liam Toland, have relied largely on the boot of young fly-half Andy Tallon this term.
The 22-year-old has chipped in with 77 of Lansdowne's 175 points in Division One - a total which ranks them as the league's lowest scorers, bar the already demoted Ballina.
It's not all doom and gloom however, the inclusion of Leinster stars Felipe Contepomi and Gordon D'Arcy saw Doyle's men to a 19-7 win over high flyers Clontarf earlier this month.
And Contepomi - in ahead of Tallon at number 10 - will start on Saturday alongside Lansdowne's Leinster-contracted contingent of John Lyne, Niall Ronan and Aidan McCullen.
Credit where credit is due, UCC's expansive style of rugby has not just been pleasing on the eye, but very effective in their 12 wins from 16 league outings.
Former New Zealand schools fly-half Jeremy Manning has a very controlling boot and with young backs of the calibre of former Ireland Under-21 Richard Lane, current Under-21 squad member Denis Hurley and Michael Kingsbeer - the scorer of five tries in his last six starts - outside him, the Cork men do pose a definite threat.
Especially with Munster scrum-half Frank Murphy in the captain's role.
With their squad also including a number of last year's All-Ireland Under-20 Championship side, UCC are certainly one of the coming teams across the three divisions. They have indeed, finished inside Division Two's top four in each of the last three seasons.
Nonetheless, bolstered by their provincial representatives, Lansdowne should just prove a step beyond the visitors.
AIB League Fixtures: Saturday, April 23 (kick-off 2.30pm, unless stated)
Division One Relegation/Promotion Play-Off:
Lansdowne v UCC, Lansdowne Road
Lansdowne: 2004/05 Season Form: LLWLLWLLLLLWD Points scored: 175; Tries scored: 16 Top scorers: Points: Andy Tallon 77 (1 try, 6 cons, 19 pens, 1 drop); Tries: Niall Ronan, Alan Maher, Kevin Corrigan, Fiachra Baynes, Johnny Murphy 2 each
UCC: 2004/05 Form: LWWWLLWWWWWLWWWW Points scored: 391; Tries scored: 47 Top scorers: Points: Jeremy Manning 137 (1 try, 27 cons, 23 pens, 3 drops); Tries: Richard Lane 9, Michael Kingsbeer 8
Division Two Relegation/Promotion Play-Off:
Barnhall v Clonakilty, Parsontown
AIL Round Robin Qualifier:
Nenagh Ormond v Naas, Nenagh
2004/05 Season Ups And Downs:
Division One: Semi-finals: Saturday, April 30: Shannon v Clontarf (kick-off 2.00pm), Garryowen v Belfast Harlequins (kick-off 1.15pm, live RTE) Div One Relegation-Promotion Play-off: Saturday, April 23: Lansdowne v UCC, (kick-off 2.30pm)
Division Two: Promoted: UL Bohemians, St Mary's College Semi-finals: Sunday, May 1: UL Bohs v Dolphin; Saturday, April 30: St Mary's v UCC (both kick-offs 2.30pm) Div One Relegation-Promotion Play-off: Saturday, April 23: Lansdowne v UCC Div Two Relegation-Promotion Play-off: Saturday, April 23: Barnhall v Clonakilty (kick-off 2.30pm)
Division Three: Promoted: Greystones Semi-finals: Saturday, April 30: Greystones v Suttonians, Clonakilty v Instonians (both kick-offs 2.30pm) Div Two Relegation-Promotion Play-off: Saturday, April 23: Barnhall v Clonakilty Relegated: Ballina