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Division Three Final Preview: Bruff v Instonians

Division Three Final Preview: Bruff v Instonians

The teams that finished first and second in the table have neatly won through to the Division Three play-off final, so will Bruff be celebrating successive title wins on Saturday or can Instonians end their wait for play-off success?

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE DIVISION THREE FINAL: Saturday, April 19

BRUFF v INSTONIANS, Donnybrook, 2pm
Referee: Alan Rogan (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 4 (Bruff won 1, Instonians won 3); At Kilballyowen Park: 2 (Bruff won 1 Instonians won 1); At Shaw’s Bridge: 2 (Bruff won 0, Instonians won 2)

This Season: Saturday, February 9, 2008 – Bruff 6 Instonians 5, Kilballyowen Park

Recent League Form: Bruff (most recent games on left hand side): WWWWD
Instonians: WWWWL

Previous Division Three Play-Off Finals:

Sunday, April 28, 2002 – Connemara 25 Dublin University 21, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 3, 2003 – Wanderers 51 Waterpark 5, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 8, 2004 – Greystones 18 Ards 11, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 7, 2005 – Greystones 39 Instonians 20, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 13, 2006 – Clonakilty 19 Suttonians 12, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, April 28, 2007 – Bruff 18 Wanderers 12, Templeville Road

BRUFF – NOTES: * Bruff are the reigning Division Three champions. They finished first in this season’s Division Three table and were promoted
* The story on the road in Division Three this season is played 8, won 7 and drawn 1. Along with Garryowen in Division One, they were the only club unbeaten on the road this season
* They played six Ulster clubs in Division Three this season and won five games and lost one. They also played an Ulster club, Banbridge, in last weekend’s Division Three semi-finals, beating them 22-9 at home
* Altogether, they have played 28 AIB League matches against Ulster clubs and won 19 of them
* During the season, they set a club record of 16 consecutive AIB League victories and gained promotion after three seasons in the third tier of the league
* They are unbeaten in their last 20 AIB League games. Maintained seven clean sheets during their 15-match league campaign this season
* Set an AIB League record by conceding only 56 points (including six tries) during the league’s regulation phase this term. Like their final opponents, they had 100% success at home during the regulation phase
* Bruff are ranked 42nd overall of the 48 clubs currently competing in the AIB League. Their all-time AIB League record reads played 65, won 46, drawn 2 and lost 17 – giving them a 72% success rate
* Club president this season, Willie Conway, was one of the club’s founding members in 1970. If Bruff win this weekend, they will emulate Greystones as two-time Division Three championship winners
* Winger Finbarr ‘Istabraq’ Hogan has scored 30 AIB League tries – eight for Division Two finalists Young Munster and 22 for Bruff
* Achievements: Reached the Division Three semi-finals in 2005/06 and won the championship last season; Finished top of the Division Three table this season and gained promotion to Division Two


Played 16 matches, won 15 and drawn 1; Success Rate: 97%

Points For: 364 (53 tries, 30 conversions and 13 penalty goals); Points Against: 65 (6 tries, 1 conversion and 11 penalty goals); Points Difference: +299; Tries Difference: +47



103 – Brian Cahill (2 tries, 30 conversions and 11 penalty goals)
16 – Tony Cahill (2 tries and 2 penalty goals)


8 – Brendan Deady
6 – Finbarr Hogan, Mike Carroll
5 – Paul O’Brien
4 – Cathal O’Regan, John Stephen Shine, Martin O’Rourke
3 – Alan Bourke, John Malone, Eoin Cahill
2 – Tony Cahill, Brian Cahill, Gary Leonard
1 – Alan Kilcoyne


President: Willie Conway
Coach: Eugene Murnane
Assistant Coach: Eoin Cahill
Manager: Micheal Leahy
Captain: Cathal O’Regan
Sponsors: Noble Environmental Power

2007/08 SQUAD:

Full-Backs: Brendan Deady
Wingers: Finbarr Hogan, Gary Leonard, Alan Kilcoyne, Paul O’Brien
Centres: John Malone, Pierce Breen, Eoin Cahill,
Out-Halves: Brian Cahill, Davy Clarke
Scrum Halves: Tony Cahill, John Moore
Props: David Horan, Keith Laffan, Liam Herlihy, Gearoid Ryan, Stephen Foster
Hookers: Cathal O’Regan, John Hogan
Second Rows: Dermot Murnane, Sean Danagher, Andrew Goodman, Alan Bourke, Alfie Laffan
Flankers: Gerard Looby, Mike Carroll, John Stephen Shine, David Gardiner
Number 8s: Martin O’Rourke, Padraig Keogh

INSTONIANS – NOTES: * Instonians finished as runners-up in the Division Three table and were promoted. This is the club’s second time in a Division Three play-off final – they lost 39-20 to Greystones at Lansdowne Road in 2005
* The story on the road in Division Three this season is played 8, won 5 and lost 3. They played an Ulster club, Queen’s University, in last weekend’s semi-finals and won 69-17 at home to them
* Altogether, they have played 64 AIB League matches against Munster clubs and won 25 of those games. They have spent five seasons in Division One, three seasons in Division Two and ten seasons in Division Three
* Overall, they are ranked 28th of the 48 clubs currently competing in the AIB League. They have won their last four league games. Their all-time AIB League record reads played 233, won 114, drawn 7 and lost 112 – giving them a 51% success rate
* They are one of 12 clubs continuously in the AIB League over the past 18 seasons. They won promotion recently after ten long seasons in the third tier
* They scored the most points (425) and the most tries (64) during the league’s regulation phase this season. They also kicked the least penalty goals (7) and conceded the most penalty goals (27) during the Division Three campaign
* They collected the most try-scoring bonus points (10) and the most bonus points overall (12) in Division Three this season. The were top of the league table after rounds 2 and 3 earlier on this season
* They first played AIB League rugby against Bruff in November 2004 – they won 20-18 at home to them. They won their first three Division Three matches with Bruff before losing 6-5 away to them on February 9 recently
* Unsung hero Michael Anderson has served as the club’s honorary secretary for 17 seasons
* Achievements: They won AIB League Division Two in the 1993/94 seasons, finished as runners-up in Division Three in 2002/03 but were not promoted; Finished as runners-up in Division Three this season and were promoted; They reached the Division Three play-off final in 2004/05


Played 16 matches, won 13 and lost 3; Success Rate: 81%

Points For: 495 (75 tries, 46 conversions and 9 penalty goals); Points Against: 224 (22 tries, 15 conversions and 28 penalty goals); Points Difference: +271; Tries Difference: +53



99 – Owen McMurray (1 try, 38 conversions and 6 penalty goals)
47 – Niall Malone (5 tries, 8 conversions and 2 penalty goals)


12 – Adam Telford
7 – Darren Lyttle, Davy O’Hara, Scott Uren
6 – Michael McKeever
5 – Wilbur Leacock, Richard Fegan, Niall Malone, Gary Mitchell
4 – John Gardiner
3 – Mark Wilson
2 – Jamie Scott, Josh Devitt
1 – Chris Good, Neill Simpson, Chris Schofield, Adam Glass, Owen McMurray


President: Brian Gallagher
Coach: Clem Boyd
Assistant Coach: Niall Malone
Manager: Ken Keane
Captain: Mark Broome (injured); Acting Captain: Wilbur Leacock
Sponsors: Brian Barratt Signs

2007/08 SQUAD:

Full-Backs: Aaron McKinney, Adam Craig
Wingers: Andrew Hassard, Richard Fegan
Centres: Adam Telford, Michael McKeever, Josh Devitt, Jamie Scott, Marke Broome
Out-Halves: Owen McMurray, Niall Malone
Scrum Halves: Davy O’Hara, Simon Wells
Props: Chris Good, Neill Simpson, Alan Whitten, Gary Mitchell, Chris Schofield
Hookers: Michael Thompson, Wilbur Leacock
Second Rows: Mark Wilson, John Gardiner, Kenny Morton
Flankers: James McCullough, Stephen Corr, Scott Uren, Adam Glass
Number 8s: Brian Wallace, Darren Lyttle

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Bruff to win by less than 7 points

– AIB League statistics supplied by Des Daly