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AIB League: Division One Previews

AIB League: Division One Previews

The top three are all on the road this weekend as Con look to extend their lead at the top of Division 1. IrishRugby.ie and takes a match by match look.

Belfast Harlequins V Buccaneers

A bottom of the table dogfight will be the order of the day at Deramore Park on Saturday.

Belfast Harlequins seemed to be fighting again with three wins in a row to lift their spirits but they lost their last game narrowly to Lansdowne. This is their last home game in the AIB league this season, however they have losy their last three home games.

Buccaneers, just a single point ahead, have won and drawn their last two games on the road.

The last time Buccaneers visited Deramore they shipped eight tries and lost by 56 – 14.

Dolphin V UL Bohemians

Dolphin appear to be safe from relegation but with title chasing UL Bohs visiting this could be a tight game. Dolphin have won only one of their last five AIB League games. This is their last home game of the season.

UL Bohs and Dolphin last met at Musgrave Park in Division Two when Dolphin won by 13 – 8. The Limerick side are the top placed Limerick club in the league and have conceded the least number of points this season.

Galwegians V Dungannon

Dungannon are still contenders for a top four playoff place while Galwegians will be hoping to improve their recent form, having won only one from their last seven AIB League games.

Galwegians don’t have a great record against Ulster clubs having won only 37% of their games against Northern opposition.

As well as chasing that top four slot Dungannon will be hoping to avenge their 40 – 3 drubbing in the AIB Cup at Crowley Park in January.

Garryowen V Blackrock College

Fifth against seventh with both teams chasing a playoff spot and only two points between them – this could one of the ties of the weekend.

Garryowen will be glad to be back home this weekend as they lost three in a row on the road but did win their last three home games in the AIB League.

Blackrock are also coming of the back of a three in a row losing streak, and while they have conceded the most points in Division One they have also scored the most points and the most tries.

They will be hoping to end Garryowen’s six win streak at home to Leinster clubs.

Shannon V Lansdowne

Shannon’s form has been mixed this season – they have won only two from their last five games, but their success rate against Leinster clubs stands at 70%, rising to 80% at home.

The game this weekend, however is not at “fortress” Thomond Park but at Coonagh.

Lansdowne have also won two from their last five and will be hoping to improve on their try tally (23) for the season.

St. Mary’s College V Ballymena

Not much but pride at stake for either club as neither are playoff contenders and both would seem to be safe from relegation.

This is Mary’s only home game to an Ulster club this season and they have won six of their last seven meetings with the ‘braidmen’ of Ballymena.

Ballymena have a reasonable on the road record to Leinster Clubs with a 49% success rate and they have made a habit this season of picking up bonus points in matches they lose.

Terenure College V Clontarf

A Dublin derby, Southside V Northside is the order of the day.

Terenure have won their last five games on the trot and while they are in eigth place they are only three points behind playoff contenders Garryowen and Dungannon. They wil lbe without player coach James Blayney who broke his leg against Garryowen.

Clontarf took a bit of a wobble recenlty with a loss and a draw but they have won three from their last five and will be hoping to keep the pressure on Cork Con and keep themselves ahead of UL Bohs and Shannon in the chasing pack to ensure their fifth playoffs in six seasons.

UCD V Cork Constitution

Second from bottom, the students of UCD will be up against it when Con come calling this weekend.

The Corkmen have won their last five games and have a decent 64% success rate away to Leinster clubs. UCD have won two from their last five games, though they have not won at home for some time, but they have beaten Con on the last two visits to Belfield.

Con have collected a try bonus in three of their last four outings and look set for a home semi in the playoffs.

AIB League Statistics courtesy of Des Daly.