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Division Two Semi-Final Preview: Buccaneers v UCC

Division Two Semi-Final Preview: Buccaneers v UCC

Division Two table toppers Buccaneers will entertain a young and exciting UCC side in Sunday’s semi-final clash at Dubarry Park, a full 14 years after the clubs first locked horns in All-Ireland League competition.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION TWO SEMI-FINAL: Sunday, April 13

BUCCANEERS v UCC, Dubarry Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Alan Rogan (Leinster)

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Previous League Meetings: 5 (Buccaneers won 1, drawn 1, UCC 3); At Dubarry Park/Moher Road: 3 (Buccaneers won 1, drawn 1, UCC won 1)

This Season: Saturday, November 17, 2007 – UCC 16 Buccaneers 3, The Mardyke

Recent League Form: Buccaneers (most recent games on left hand side): WWWWW
UCC: WWLWL

Buccaneers – Notes: * Buccaneers finished first in the Division Two table and were promoted. They played 15 matches in the regulation phase, won 11 and lost 4 (points difference +119)
* This is their fourth home game against Munster opposition this season. The story at home in Division Two this season is played 7, won 6 and lost 1 (the loss was against Highfield)
* They first played AIB League rugby against UCC in March 1994 – they lost 13-5 at home to them
* This weekend they will be playing their 32nd AIB League fixture at home to a Munster club and are seeking their 17th victory
* This game will go ahead on Sunday as Buccaneers are hosting the AIB Cup and AIB Junior Cup finals at Dubarry Park on Saturday
* They lost more games (4) than any of the other top four finishers in Division Two this season. They played six Munster clubs – three at home – in Division Two this season, winning three of those games and losing the other three
* Over the 15 Division Two rounds this season, they were the club that scored the most tries (41) and collected the most try-scoring bonus points (6)
* They have never previously made the Division Two play-offs – they appeared in three Division One play-offs (1998/99, 2002/03 and 2003/04), all at away venues
* They managed no victory in their first three AIB League meetings with UCC and this weekend they are playing one of the two clubs they failed to score a try against during the league’s regulation phase
* They won their last seven games in Division Two this season – nine consecutive wins is the club record

Top Points Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Alan Gaughan 120 points, Simon Rolleston 23 points

Top Try Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Alan Gaughan 6 tries, Sean Carey 5 tries

UCC – Notes: * UCC finished fourth in the Division Two table. They played 15 matches in the regulation phase, won 11, drew 1 and lost 3 (points difference +101)
* This is the club’s only visit to a Connacht team this season. The story on the road in Division Two this season is played 8, won 5, drew 1 and lost 2
* They have previously played eight AIB League fixtures away in Connacht and won only two of these games. They won their opening nine games in Division Two this season to establish a new club record
* They led the Division Two standings over five rounds this season and have spent the last 12 AIB League seasons in the second tier
* Over the 15 Division Two rounds this season, a total of 14 different UCC players have scored tries
* They lost 38-0 on their only previous league visit to Dubarry Park back in January 1998
* They may not be aware of the fact that there has been no away win in the Division Two play-offs over the past seven seasons
* They have previously made the Division Two play-offs in the 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons – all four games were at away venues

Top Points Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Gavin Dunne 144 points

Top Try Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Peter Shallow 4 tries, Scott Deasy and Colin Crowley 3 tries each

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by more than 7 points

– AIB League statistics supplied by Des Daly