Dublin rivals Terenure College and Clontarf will battle it out at Lakelands Park this Saturday for the sixteenth and final berth in January’s third round of the AIB Cup. See below for IrishRugby.ie’s match preview.
2007/08 AIB CUP: SECOND ROUND: Saturday, October 20
TERENURE COLLEGE v CLONTARF, Lakelands Park, 2.30pm (Saturday, October 20)
Referee: Ger English (Munster)
Status: Non-interprovinicial game (Leinster v Leinster) – an AIB League Division One team at home to Division One opposition.
Previous AIB League Fixtures: 1992/93: Division Two: Terenure College 11 Clontarf 10; 1995/96: Division Two: Terenure College 0 Clontarf 3; 1997/98: Division One: Clontarf 36 Terenure College 17; 1998/99: Division One: Terenure College 18 Clontarf 32; 1999/00: Division One: Clontarf 24 Terenure College 36; 2000/01: Division One: Terenure College 46 Clontarf 13; 2001/02: Division One: Clontarf 35 Terenure College 0; 2002/03: Division One: Terenure College 3 Clontarf 16; 2006/07: Division One: Terenure College 27 Clontarf 39.
AIB League History: First competed in the 1990/91 season. They have had nine seasons in Division Two and eight seasons in Division One. Their all-time AIB League ranking is 12th.
2006/07 Finish: They were 8th in AIB League Division One last season.
AIB Cup Record: 2005/06: Won 19-12 at home to Malone in the first round; Lost 35-21 at home to St. Mary’s College in the quarter-finals; 2006/07: Won 12-7 at home to Malone in the first round; Lost 31-22 at home to Clonakilty in the quarter-finals.
Current Season: Terenure were very slow out of the blocks in Pool One of the Leinster Senior League Cup. They lost all three games – 19-17 away to Naas, 3-26 at home to Suttonians and 23-16 at home to Dublin University. They finished last in their pool and were seeded 15th of the 20 competing clubs.
Comment: During the summer, Terenure lost number eight Alex Dunlop to Rotherham but welcomed back out-half David McAllister from Italy. They have won only one of their last five AIB League fixtures at home to Clontarf and are facing a fourth consecutive defeat by the northsiders on Saturday.
They are hoping that McAllister, who spent two seasons at Castle Avenue recently, will kick the points so that they can get their show on the road.
AIB League History: First competed in the 1992/93 season. They have spent two seasons in Division Three, three seasons in Division Two and ten seasons in Division One. Their all-time AIB League ranking is 10th.
2006/07 Finish: They were 2nd in AIB League Division One last season but lost 28-15 at home to Garryowen in the play-off semi-finals.
AIB Cup Record: 2005/06: Won 30-20 at home to Dungannon the first round; Lost 15-14 at home to Garryowen in the quarter-finals; 2006/07: Lost 22-13 away to Shannon in the first round.
Current Season: Clontarf won all three games in Pool Two of the Leinster Senior League Cup – 20-8 away to junior club Seapoint, 50-19 at home to Wanderers and 53-0 at home to Barnhall. They scored the most tries (20) of all 20 clubs in the pool stages.
They won their pool and were seeded 3rd for the quarter-final draw. They won their quarter-final 26-21 at home to Old Belvedere and beat Lansdowne 26-6 in the semi-final and are awaiting the winners of St. Mary’s College v De La Salle Palmerston in the final.
Comment: Leinster’s most successful AIB League club over five of the past six seasons will not be daunted by this trip across the Liffey to a venue where they usually enjoy success.
The two UCD and Ireland Under-20 Grand Slam-winning half-backs, Ian Keatley and Paul O’Donohue, have been recruited but scrum half and last season’s captain Fiach O’Loughlin has returned to his Shannon roots after two seasons at Castle Avenue.
IrishRugby.ie Verdict: Clontarf to win.
**AIB League and Cup statistics courtesy of Des Daly**