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Division One Final Preview: Cork Constitution v Garryowen

Division One Final Preview: Cork Constitution v Garryowen

Cork Constitution, the table toppers, have won their last eight AIB League games, while defending champions Garryowen have chalked up 11 league wins in a row. Something will have to give on Sunday afternoon when the two Munster rivals clash in the Division One final (Musgrave Park, kick-off 1.15pm) for the second year running.

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE DIVISION ONE FINAL: Sunday, May 11

CORK CONSTITUTION v GARRYOWEN, Musgrave Park, 1.15pm (live RTE One)

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PREVIOUS AIB LEAGUE MEETINGS: 21 (Cork Constitution won 9, drawn 2, Garryowen won 10); At Temple Hill: 10 (Cork Constitution won 4, drawn 2, Garryowen won 4); At Dooradoyle: 9 (Cork Constitution won 4, Garryowen won 5); At neutral venues: 2 (Cork Constitution won 1, Garryowen won 1)

LAST MATCH BETWEEN THE CLUBS: AIB League Division One – Round 4 – Saturday, November 17, 2007 – Cork Constitution 12 Garryowen 12, Temple Hill

RECENT AIB LEAGUE FORM: Cork Constitution – WWWWW; Garryowen – WWWWW

PREVIOUS DIVISION ONE PLAY-OFF FINALS –

Saturday, April 25, 1998 – Shannon* 15 Garryowen 9, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 1, 1999 – Cork Constitution 14 Garryowen 11 (after extra-time), Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 20, 2000 – St. Mary’s College* 25 Lansdowne 22, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 26, 2001 – Dungannon 46 Cork Constitution 12, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 4, 2002 – Shannon 21 Cork Constitution 17, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 10, 2003 – Ballymena 28 Clontarf 18, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 8, 2004 – Shannon 22 Cork Constitution 16, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 7, 2005 – Shannon* 25 Belfast Harlequins 20, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 13, 2006 – Shannon 30 Clontarf 3, Lansdowne Road
Saturday, May 5, 2007 – Garryowen 16 Cork Constitution 15, Musgrave Park

* Won the league phase also

DIVISION ONE TITLE WINNERS –

8* – Shannon
3 – Garryowen
2 – Cork Constitution
1 – Young Munster, St. Mary’s College, Dungannon, Ballymena

* Includes a four in a row (1994/95 – 1997/98) and a three in a row (2003/04 – 2005/06)

LAST FIVE GAMES BETWEEN CORK CONSTITUTION AND GARRYOWEN –

November 17, 2007 – AIB League Division One – Cork Constitution 12 Garryowen 12, Temple Hill
May 5, 2007 – AIB League Division One Final – Cork Constitution 15 Garryowen 16, Musgrave Park
January 6, 2007 – AIB League Division One – Garryowen 11 Cork Constitution 12, Dooradoyle
December 30, 2006 – Munster Senior Cup Final – Garryowen 18 Cork Constitution 13, Thomond Park
January 22, 2006 – AIB League Division One – Cork Constitution 17 Garryowen 28, Temple Hill

CORK CONSTITUTION – NOTES: * Cork Constitution have won the Division One title twice before. This is the club’s sixth appearance in a Division One play-off final – they have won one (1998/99) and lost the other four deciders
* They have, so far this century, finished first in five seasons of AIB League Division One rugby but have not yet gone on to lift the Division One play-off title
* This is the sixth all-Munster Division One final, it is a repeat of last season’s final and the fifth time that a Cork club has played a Limerick club
* Altogether, Cork Con have played 66 AIB League games against Munster clubs and won 39 of them. They have been much more successful than Garryowen in their Division One fixtures with Munster clubs over the league seasons (61% success rate against a 59% success rate)
* They finished first in this season’s Division One table – played 15, won 13, drawn 1 and lost 1, 4 bonus point and 58 table points
* On the road in Division One so far this season, they have played 7, won 6 and lost 1. Played Clontarf last weekend in the semi-finals, winning 17-3 at home to them
* They first played AIB League rugby against Garryowen in January 1991 – they won 9-3 at Dooradoyle to clinch the first ever AIB League Division One title
* They have spent all 18 AIB League seasons in Division One and are overall ranked first of the 48 clubs currently competing in the AIB League
* Cork Con’s all-time AIB League record reads played 231, won 156, drawn 7 and lost 68, giving them a 69% success rate
* They lost only one match in Division One this season, 3-0 away to Shannon in January. They were unbeaten in their opening seven games and have won their last eight in Division One this season
* They led Division One over eleven of the fifteen league rounds this season. Last weekend winger Cronan Healy overtook coach Brian Walsh’s AIB League try-scoring record (33 touchdowns) at the club
* They require just nine more points to become the second club to top 5000 points in the all-time AIB League
* They have accumulated 533 AIB League tries, more tries than any other Munster club in the all-time AIB League
* Achievements: They have been Division One champions twice and runners-up on six occasions. They won the inaugural AIB Cup in 2006

CORK CONSTITUTION – 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE RECORD:

Played 16, Won 14, Drawn 1, Lost 1 (Success Rate 91%); Points For: 344 (44 tries, 23 conversions, 23 penalty goals and 3 drop goals); Points Against: 136 (11 tries, 6 conversions and 23 penalty goals)
Points Difference: +208; Tries Difference: +33

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE TOP POINTS SCORERS:

86 – Jeremy Manning (1 try, 12 conversions, 16 penalty goals and 3 drop goals)
86 – Richie Lane (11 tries, 5 conversions and 7 penalty goals)
20 – Daragh Lyons (2 tries and 5 conversions)

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE TOP TRY SCORERS:

11 – Richie Lane
7 – Cronan Healy
6 – Tom Gleeson
3 – John Kelly, Denis Hurley
2 – Daragh Lyons, Darragh Hurley, Billy Holland
1 – Evan Ryan, Anthony Horgan, Jeremy Manning, Ed Leamy, Des Murray, Frank Cogan, John Stringer, Tim Ryan

CORK CONSTITUTION – CLUB DETAILS:

President: Jack O’Sullivan
Head Coach: Brian Walsh (third season)
Assistant Coaches: Terry Kingston, Brian Hickey
Director of Rugby: Paul Derham
Manager: Kenny Murphy
Captain: Merle O’Connell (first season)
Sponsors: Smart Telecom

CORK CONSTITUTION 2007/08 SQUAD:

Full-Backs: Richie Lane, Peter Brougham
Wingers: Cronan Healy, Anthony Horgan, John Kelly, Paul Hurley, Robert Casey
Centres: Tom Gleeson, Daniel Nethery, Joe Cullen, Eavan Ryan, Dermot O’Kane
Out-Halves: Jeremy Manning, Daragh Lyons
Scrum Halves: David O’Leary, Duncan Williams, John Stringer
Props: Gareth Murray, Tom Ryan, Colum Murphy, Tim Ryan
Hookers: Des Murray, Denis Fogarty, Mick O’Leary, Robert Quinn
Second Rows: Shane O’Connor, Kevin Coughlan, Merle O’Connell, John Maloney
Flankers: Ross Noonan, Brendan O’Connor, David Daly, Ed Leamy, Brendan Cutriss, Billy Holland
Number 8s: David Kelly, Frank Cogan

GARRYOWEN – NOTES: * Garryowen, the reigning champions, have won the Division One title three times before. This is the club’s fourth appearance in a Division One play-off final – they have won one final (2006/07) and lost two
* Will be aware this weekend that Shannon are the only club to have won back-to-back Division One titles. This is the sixth all-Munster Division One final and Garryowen are participants for the fourth time
* Altogether, they have 66 AIB League matches against other Munster clubs and won 35 of them
* They finished third in this season’s Division One table – played 15, won 12, drawn 1 and lost 2, 5 bonus points, 55 table points
* The story on the road in Division One this season is played 7, won 6 and drawn 1
* They played a Munster club (Shannon) in last weekend’s semi-finals and won 31-6 away to them. They have suffered only one defeat in their last five AIB League fixtures with Cork Constitution
* Have previously met Cork Constitution in two league finals – lost 14-11 to them in 1998/99 and won 16-15 twelve months ago
* There has been no more than one point between these two teams in their last three AIB League encounters. Like Cork Con, Garryowen have spent all 18 league seasons in Division One
* They are ranked 3rd overall of the 48 clubs currently competing in the AIB League. Garryowen’s all-time AIB League record reads: played 229, won 149, drawn 9 and lost 79; 67% success rate
* They lost two matches in Division One this season – 86- at home to Shannon and 19-8 at home to Clontarf
* They have won their last eleven AIB League games at venues away from Dooradoyle. In all, they have won their last eleven AIB League games since last December
* They led Division One after round one of the 15 rounds this season
* Current head coach Dara O’Sullivan, playing in the back row, captained Garryowen to runners-up spot in AIB League Division One in 1995/96
* They are seeking their 150th win in the all-time league and are presently three tries short of becoming the fifth club to accumulate 500 tries in AIB League history
* Achievements: Garryowen have been AIB League Division One champions on three occasions and runners-up four times. They won the second AIB Cup competition in 2006/07

GARRYOWEN – 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE RECORD:

Played 16, Won 13, Drawn 1, Lost 2 (Success Rate 84%); Points For: 326 (34 tries, 15 conversions, 41 penalty goals and 1 drop goal); Points Against: 163 (19 tries, 7 conversions, 16 penalty goals and 2 drop goals)
Points Difference: +163; Tries Difference: +15

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE TOP POINTS SCORERS:

143 – Conor Kilroy (1 try, 12 conversions and 38 penalty goals)
15 – Alan Kingsley (2 tries, 1 conversion and 1 drop goal)
13 – Gerry Hurley (2 conversions and 3 penalty goals)

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE TOP TRY SCORERS:

7 – Keith Earls
6 – Conan Doyle
2 – Damien Varley, Cillian O’Boyle, Ciaran O’Boyle, Alan Kingsley, Anthony Kavanagh, Frank McKenna, Mark Melbourne, Kieran Lewis
1 – Willie Staunton, Lorcan Bourke, Paul Neville, David Sherry, Conor Kilroy

GARRYOWEN – CLUB DETAILS:

President: John Garrett
Head Coach: Dara O’Sullivan (first season)
Assistant Coaches: Ray Egan, Greig Oliver (Technical Director), Philip Danaher (Rugby Chairman)
Manager: Seamie McDermott
Captain: Paul Neville (second season)
Sponsors: Resource ‘soft services’ company

GARRYOWEN 2007/08 SQUAD:

Full-Backs: Conor Kilroy
Wingers: Ciaran O’Boyle, Keith Earls, Cillian O’Boyle
Centres: Kieran Lewis, Federico Quaglia, Lorcan Bourke, Kevin Hartigan
Out-Halves: Conan Doyle, Alan Kingsley, Willie Staunton
Scrum Halves: Gerry Hurley
Props: Declan Lavery, Liam Og Casey, Rory Brosnan, Eugene McGovern, Peter O’Shea
Hookers: Damien Varley, Pat Humphreys
Second Rows: Ed Mackey, Mark Melbourne, Donal Sheeehan, Frank McKenna
Flankers: Barry O’Mahony, Paul Neville, David Sherry, John O’Sullivan
Number 8s: Peter Malone, Anthony Kavanagh

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

– AIB League statistics supplied by Des Daly