5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
Kick-off 2.30m unless stated -
BANBRIDGE v CONNEMARA, Rifle Park
Bann's first home game of the All Ireland League and they will be pushing hard to get a win under their belts. They suffered a reverse of last season's win over NUIM Barnhall last Saturday when they returned from Parsonstown with only a losing bonus point to their name.
This weekend they will welcome a Connemara side that lost out to newly bounced back City of Derry in game that offered up 60 points.
The sides met in January of this year with Bann stealing an away win by six points. This one could be just as close though Bann need to show their credentials at home.
CITY OF DERRY v SUTTONIANS, Judge's Road
City of Derry bounced back from junior ranks with determination and an expanded squad. The big question this season is can they sustain that drive and move on? Early season form in Ulster suggests they can. Saturday will be a good test.
Suttonians lost narrowly to another Ulster Club - Instonians - on the opening weekend and the trip to Judge's Road won't be easy but the Dublin 13 side are no pushovers and they will make their hosts work hard for any points on Saturday.
GREYSTONES v NUIM BARNHALL, Dr. Hickey Park
Greystones have renewed hope after their poor run in Division 2 last season. Early season form saw them pick up some good wins though they fell foul off an always difficult to beat Sunday's Well last weekend.
They notched up 23 points but will need to tighten up their defence this weekend when a buoyant NUIM Barnhall come calling.
The Leixlip side carved out a hard fought two point win over a Banbridge team who started the season with real optimism. A home win on Saturday will keep the hope flowing for the Wicklow club; defeat will see them asking questions of themselves early on.
HIGHFIELD v ARDS, Woodleigh Park
Both clubs got off to a losing start last weekend though Ards at least secured a losing bonus point.
Highfield were disappointed to drop down last season but they will need to improve on the four wins they secured then to make an impression in Division 3. Home advantage must be taken at this level.
Ards finished well off the pace last season but with six wins and four bonus points (albeit three of them in losses) they showed that they are tough to beat. Still the home side should have enough to see them through this tough encounter.
INSTONIANS v NENAGH ORMOND, Shaw's Bridge
These two clubs met in New Ormond Park last season and produced a 50 point match with the Tipp side ten points to the good at the end of it.
This weekend in Shaw's Bridge could be another cracking game. Both sides got off to a winning start last Saturday with the hosts enjoying a narrow win over Suttonians while the visitors were more comfortable against Highfield.
A good early season form guide for both sets of coaches and players.
NAAS v RAINEY OLD BOYS, Forenaughts
Naas got turned over by 23 - 12 in the same fixture last season. This time they have home advantage and they will be hoping to carry on where they left off last week when beating Ards.
Rainey took a big beating from Seapoint last weekend so this is a chance to get a win under their belt but Naas won't be an easy touch at home. That said Rainey can travel well and could be good for an away win at Forenaughts.
NAVAN v SUNDAY'S WELL, Balreask Old
Navan put the Well to the pin of their collar in Musgrave Park last season but could not quite pull off the win, going down 14 - 9.
The two clubs will have ambitions to improve on their 8th and 5th places in the table. Well will entertain ambitions of Division 2 rugby and an away win on Saturday would be a good indication of their ability to achieve that.
Navan at home are no easy touch and their ten bonus points last season (3 try and 7 losing) show just how hard a team they can be. This could be a great game of club rugby and well supported. The spoils just may go the way of the home club.
SEAPOINT v WANDERERS, Churchview Road, 5pm
A big game for Seapoint on Saturday. Their first home game in the All Ireland League and they will look forward to welcoming fellow Dublin club Wanderers. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. so Leinster fans should swell the ranks after the RDS.
The visitors can look forward to a warm welcome off the pitch with a pre-match lunch featuring former IRFU President John Lyons and IRFU Treasurer Tom Grace as guests to mark the day.
On the pitch it will be no holds barred. Both clubs opened with a win last weekend and Seapoint sit top of the table on the back of their forty point haul against Rainey. This will test Wanderers resolve and give Seapoint a chance to measure themselves for the season ahead.
Related Links -