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AIB League Preview

AIB League Preview

Week two of the AIB League sees the season get down to the nitty gritty after some spectacular opening weekend games last Saturday. Division 1A leaders St. Mary’s College face a real challenge this weekend with their first trip of the season to Limerick to face Shannon.

The excitement of the Heineken Cup may be upon us but why not make it a real rugby weekend by taking in one of the many AIB League games at a club near you this week.

AIB League Division 1A:

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St. Mary’s College were the only team to pick up a try bonus point in Division 1A last weekend. Their title hopes will be tested this Saturday afternoon when they head to Shannon.

Second-placed Blackrock College will be hoping to set their backline loose this weekend after their narrow 8-3 win over UL Bohemians in the opening round. They are at home to Garryowen.

Cork Constitution will be hoping to recover from their first game loss to Dolphin when they host UL Bohs at Temple Hill on Saturday afternoon, while their Cork neighbours Dolphin travel to Castle Avenue to take on Clontarf.

All games 2.30pm unless otherwise stated

Blackrock College v Garryowen, Stradbrook
Clontarf v Dolphin, Castle Avenue
Cork Constitution v UL Bohemians, Temple Hill
Shannon v St. Mary’s College, Thomond Park

AIB League Division 1B:

League leaders Old Belvedere were also the only team to secure a try bonus in Division 1B last weekend. They will be hoping that Andy Dunne can guide them to victory over Buccaneers when they travel to Dubarry Park.

Young Munster make the trip to Dungannon. The Cookies opened their account with a resounding 23-3 win over Buccaneers, while the Ulster side will be hoping to pick up their first win of the season.

Ballynahinch will also be seeking their first win when they host Galwegians. For their part the Galway side will be gunning for revenge for their defeat by ‘Hinch in last season’s AIB Cup.

Newly promoted UCC are also chasing their maiden win when they face Ballymena at the Mardyke. The Braidmen got their season off to a good start with a win over Ballynahinch last week.

All games 2.30pm unless stated

Ballynahinch v Galwegians, Ballymacarn Park
Buccaneers v Old Belvedere, Dubarry Park
Dungannon v Young Munster, Stevenson Park
UCC v Ballymena, The Mardyke

AIB League Division 2:

Week One Round-Up – click here.

Six teams secured a bonus point win in Division 2 last weekend and two of these face each other this Saturday in what is possibly the tie of the round when Lansdowne travel to Bruff.

The Limerick side are noted for their mean defence and while they finished sixth in Division 2 last season, they will be hoping to improve this year.

Lansdowne, meanwhile, are determined to regain their place in the top flight of domestic rugby. Having missed out on promotion last season, they are the hot tip to take the Division 2 crown this time around. This is a must win.

UCD travel to Greystones who suffered a big opening day loss at the hands of Thomond. The Limerick side are at home this weekend to Dublin University who lost out in the opening round to Terenure College.

Lakelands will see newly-promoted Corinthians come calling this weekend. The Galway side are also chasing their first points of the new season.

Bective Rangers had a good opening win against Malone and will be aiming to continue their good form when Old Crescent visit them.

Finally, promotion hopefuls Belfast Harlequins travel to Clonakilty looking to build on their opening weekend bonus point win.

All games 2.30pm unless stated

Bective Rangers v Old Crescent, Donnybrook
Bruff v Lansdowne, Kilballyowen Park
Clonakilty v Belfast Harlequins, The Vale
De La Salle Palmerston v Malone, Kirwan Park
Greystones v UCD, Dr. Hickey Park
Highfield v Old Wesley, Woodleigh Park
Terenure College v Corinthians, Lakelands Park
Thomond v Dublin University, Liam Fitzgerald Park

AIB League Division 3:

Week One Round Up – click here.

There were big wins for Instonians and Nenagh Ormond in Division 3 last weekend, while newcomers Navan set out their stall with a comprehensive win over County Carlow.

Saturday sees table toppers ‘Inst travel to Ulster rivals Banbridge who lost heavily to Queen’s, while Tipp side Nenagh Ormond are also in action in Ulster when they travel to Portadown.

Navan will face bigger packs than they encountered in Carlow last weekend and they face a provincial scrap this weekend against Naas in what is sure to be a well supported first home game of AIB League rugby at Balreask Old.

In Cork, Queen’s are on the road to Midleton with both sides having won their first game. Fifth-placed Wanderers are on the road to Sunday’s Well and again both sides won their opening games so an interesting tie is promised.

Finally, Suttonians will host County Carlow as both teams look for their first points, while Connemara face Ards at the Monastery Field.

Ards picked up a losing bonus point last weekend but both teams will be hoping for their first win of the season.

All games 2.30pm unless stated

Banbridge v Instonians, Rifle Park
Barnhall v Rainey Old Boys, Parsonstown
Connemara v Ards, Monastery Field
Midleton v Queen’s University, Towns Park
Navan v Naas, Balreask Old
Portadown v Nenagh Ormond, Chambers Park
Sunday’s Well v Wanderers, Musgrave Park
Suttonians v County Carlow, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds

Click here for the updated AIB League tables.