Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated -
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CLONTARF (2nd) v OLD BELVEDERE (1st), Castle Avenue, Friday, March 28, 7.30pm
Match of the weekend, or the season for that matter. Whoever wins this one will definitely be in the driving seat for the title.
As things stand, there is precious little in it. Old Belvedere are ahead by three points but Clontarf have a game in hand.
Importantly, 'Tarf will also have home advantage under the floodlights at Castle Avenue. That said, they will definitely not be underestimating Old Belvedere having lost to them 24-21 on the opening day of the campaign back in September.
In many ways, that game typified Old Belvedere's season. Clontarf looked in complete control with early tries from Michael McGrath and Evan Ryan, but Belvedere fought their way back into contention to secure victory.
Since then they have put together a magnificent campaign, losing just one match. Last Saturday's effort saw them lose their influential full-back and captain Daniel Riordan in the opening few minutes but they still managed a 19-8 victory over a useful UCD side.
Fortunately, their head coach Paul Cunningham reported afterwards that he expects Riordan to be fit to face Clontarf.
Riordan has been superb for 'Belvo, along with Shaun Berne and highly-rated number 8 Jack Conan.
But Clontarf also have a lot going for them with an outstanding strong pack and a quality out-half in David Joyce.
What is more, there is no lack of scoring power out wide with the league's leading try scorer Michael McGrath and fellow winger Max McFarland.
The contribution of the respective goal-kickers - Joyce for Clontarf and Old Belvedere's Josh Glynn - will also be vital in what promises to be quite a contest.
UCD (5th) v LANSDOWNE (4th), Belfield, Friday, March 28, 7.30pm
Although there is not a great deal at stake at Belfield, this should be a game worth watching. Both teams have considerable scoring potential.
The problem for UCD against Old Belvedere last Saturday was that the difficult conditions mitigated against their brand of open rugby. They will, no doubt, be hoping for better weather this time around.
But Lansdowne are also suited to good conditions. They have blown hot and blow in recent games, going down to a disappointing 24-18 defeat to Cork Constitution at the Avivia Stadium last Saturday.
They also, it should be recalled, were beaten 27-14 by UCD on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium in the opening match of the season.
So, the students will be trying to complete the double, along with potentially moving ahead of Lansdowne in the table.
CORK CONSTITUTION (3rd) v BALLYNAHINCH (9th), Temple Hill
A tough game for second-from-bottom Ballynahinch as they attempt to follow up their fine 36-3 success over Young Munster with another important victory.
Cork Constitution lie third in the table, although it must be said that they trail the top two by a long way. Their form has been somewhat erratic lately, but they bounced back with a much better effort in beating Lansdowne away last weekend.
At their best, Cork Con can be very competitive, as was shown by their away victory over Clontarf recently. But they are also capable of below par performances.
Ballynahinch could well make a real game of it, particularly as they have so much at stake. Their full-back Rodger McBurney is in brilliant form just now and will provide a definite threat to the home outfit.
DOLPHIN (8th) v GARRYOWEN (10th), Musgrave Park
Bottom side Garryowen desperately need to return to winning ways following their home defeat to Clontarf last weekend and Ballynahinch's bonus point victory over Young Munster.
In truth, very few really expected them to beat Clontarf but Dolphin would appear to be a different proposition.
The Cork outfit's form has dropped away alarmingly recently, conceding over 100 points in losing to Clontarf and UCD before going down 20-7 to St. Mary's last Saturday.
Fortunately, their effort against St. Mary's was an improvement, with centre Cian Bohane again impressing. But they badly need a victory to arrest their recent slide.
Garryowen definitely will not be lacking in effort. Should they go down to a defeat, it would be very difficult to see them avoiding the automatic relegation spot.
YOUNG MUNSTER (7th) v ST. MARY'S COLLEGE (6th), Tom Clifford Park
Young Munster will be glad to be back at Tom Clifford Park after two heavy defeats on the road at the hands of Old Belvedere and Ballynahinch.
The 36-3 loss to Ballynahinch was particularly disturbing, given that they conceded five tries and managed just a penalty from Brian Haugh.
What is clearly needed now is a return to the sort of form which saw them edge out Lansdowne in their last home game.
No doubt, they will pick up on their efforts in front of their home fans. But they are going to find St. Mary's a very tough but to crack.
The Templeville Road outfit have found their form recently to move up towards mid-table. They will also be keen to avenge a 26-18 home defeat to Young Munster on the opening day of the league campaign.