AIB League Division 2 pacesetters Lansdowne and UCD both face home fixtures this Saturday as winless Clonakilty pay the RDS a visit and third-placed Thomond look to spoil the students’ party at Belfield. Read on for previews of this weekend’s Division 2 games.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 2: Saturday, October 24
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Belfast Harlequins (5th) v Greystones (16th), Deramore Park
Belfast Harlequins are two wins from two while Greystones are still in search of their first victory of the league campaign. Deramore Park looks to be a tough nut to crack for the Wicklow side this weekend as ‘Quins, helped by New Zealander John Mills who is settling in nicely at number 10, aim to keep pace with table toppers Lansdowne.
Corinthians (10th) v Bective Rangers (6th), Corinthian Park
Bective also have two wins under their belt while Corinthians beat Terenure College last time out in the league. This is a first home game in the league for the Galway side so they will be aiming to lay down a marker in Corinthian Park. They boast potential match winners in full-back Darin Claasen and out-half Shane Mullaly.
Dublin University (11th) v De La Salle Palmerston (4th), College Park
It is early days in Division 2 but DLSP remain unbeaten and will hope to extend that run when they visit College Park on Saturday. The Johnny IIiff-skippered students have yet to get a win with six-point losses to Terenure College and Thomond in their first two games, but there have been good performances from the likes of out-half Dave Joyce, prop James Gethings and new lock Max Waters.
Lansdowne (1st) v Clonakilty (14th), The RDS
Baulked of promotion on the final day of last season, Lansdowne are hoping to set the world to right by regaining top flight status. Two bonus points wins sees them top of the pile while Clon are struggling for their first win of the season. The RDS looks set for another home win on Saturday, as Lansdowne have serious strength in depth – Aidan Cullen, Ron Boucher, Stephen Keogh and Ireland Under-20 Dominic Ryan have featured in the back row this season.
Malone (13th) v Highfield (15th), Gibson Park
This is a big game for both sides as they seek their first win of the season and a chance to jump out of the relegation zone. Malone have lost out to Bective and DLSP while Highfield shipped 40 points against Bruff on their opening weekend before going down to Old Wesley last time out. Experienced out-half Gareth Fry needs to get the Malone backs firing and fast.
Old Crescent (12th) v Bruff (8th), Rosbrien
This Limerick derby promises to be a tough encounter. Bruff’s reputation for a tight defence took a battering from Lansdowne last time out while their neighbours are chasing their first win of the season. A rugged clash is on the cards and Crescent coach Andre Human is hoping his side can bounce back from last week’s 50-5 AIB Cup hammering by Clontarf.
Old Wesley (9th) v Terenure College (7th), Donnybrook
Newly-promoted Old Wesley, coached by former Leinster, Ireland and Lions back rower Eric Miller, will be aiming to consolidate their position, while recently-demoted Terenure will be hoping to bounce back. Both sides have one win from their first two games. With the Grand Slam trophies on display in Old Wesley for the game this should prove to be a good day.
UCD (2nd) v Thomond (3rd), Belfield
UCD have started strongly with two bonus points wins under their belt. Saturday’s visitors Thomond are flying the flag for Munster in the top half of Division 2. These sides met in the AIB Cup’s second round last weekend, with UCD coming away from Liam Fitzgerald Park with a 21-17 win – underage international Noel Reid helped himself to a try and a penalty goal.