10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
"Knowing that this was a crucial game, with regards to the rest of our campaign, the lads got stuck in from the start - we knew the first 20 minutes would dictate how the rest of the game would pan out.
"Midway through the half, our number 10 Paddy Maguire did get us off the mark with a well-struck penalty and he followed this up three minutes later when ghosting through the Thomond defence following turnover ball in the scrum.
"The conversion made it 10-0 and within 10 minutes we hit the 16-point mark, as another penalty from Paddy and a drop goal from winger Darragh Mulligan saw us approach half-time with a comfortable lead.
"The second half continued in a similar vein as we looked to close the game out, Indiscipline had seen both sides lose players to the sin-bin, shortly after Thomond lost their number 8 to the bin we had put the result beyond doubt when our scrum half and stand-in skipper Vinny Patton again put the finishing touches to some excellent play. Paddy added the extras for a 26-3 score line - it was 26-8 by the full-time whistle.
"So a good afternoon's work enabled us to banish the memories of our previous two performances against Highfield and DLSP. We now had two weeks preparation to take on Belvo, the league's runaway leaders, at their home ground on Anglesea Road.
"With no game last Saturday the squad trained for a few hours together to keep fitness and skill levels ticking over. One look at the league table tells us how big a challenge this game is going to be. In saying that the mood in the squad is upbeat and we are relishing the task at hand.
"It's particularly exciting for me as I am returning after a six-week break due to a groin injury which thankfully has healed well after extensive treatment. As frustrating as it is being out for important games, the break from AIB League matchday pressure does give you a chance to freshen the mind.
"I am looking forward to Saturday's game as if it were the first game of the season. It's important for me to remember that the squad around me have been training hard for the past few weeks so there is no allowance for anything other then 110% commitment this weekend.
"All aspects of our game will need to be working to give ourselves a chance against Belvedere. We knew at Christmas time that our best performances were ahead of us and three games later this is still the case, but if it's still the case at 4pm on Saturday we won't be taking any points away with us from Anglesea Road.
"We travel to Belvo without fear, we go there with pressure to produce our best individual performances which in turn will create a team performance which is one we know we are capable of and one which we know will give the opposition something to think about.
"It has all the hallmarks of a cracking match and one that I'm sure will be supported well by both home and away supporters. For anyone who has doubts about the talent and standard of rugby in Division Two, I suggest you pay a visit to Anglesea Road for the 2.30pm kick-off on Saturday."