The week kicks off with the annual Colours match between UCD and Dublin University on Thursday night. The rest of Division 2 will catch up on Saturday – the race for the second promotion spot still wide open with key games at Donnybrook, Deramore Park and Rosbrien.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 2: Saturday, March 6
– Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated
UCD (10th) v Dublin University (6th), Donnybrook, 6.30pm (Thursday, March 4)
This AIB League Division 2 clash is given extra spice as it also the annual Colours match in Dublin. Trinity won the encounter last season but UCD have posted more Colours victories (33 in 57 matches).
This year, Trinity are four places above them in the Division 2 table – but only four points ahead.
Bective Rangers (4th) v Clonakilty (9th), Donnybrook
This is a crucial game for the Donnybrook side and it has banana skin potential. Rangers lost to Terenure last time out and badly need a win to keep the pressure on Bruff and DLSP.
But! They face a Clon side that have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and have a new found confidence.
Successive wins over Thomond, Old Crescent and Highfield have seen them climb to ninth in the table and while they are out of danger they will now want to build on this and end the season with a few scalps.
Still, the Dubliners should be too strong if they have realistic promotion ambitions.
Belfast Harlequins (5th) v Malone (13th), Deramore Park
Belfast Harlequins still have a shot at promotion but they are relying on other clubs to do them a favour. Still they can stay in the hunt if they beat local rivals Malone at Deramore Park on Saturday.
The host side will rue the loss to Thomond last time out and will be out to prove a point with Belfast bragging rights at stake.
Malone cannot afford to lose though, without opening the door for Highfield or Old Crescent to pull them back into the relegation dog fight.
Back the home side to take the points though and Malone to have a worrying few weeks ahead.
Corinthians (12th) v Thomond (11th), Corinthian Park
Pride and a better place in the table are at stake in Galway on Saturday. Thomond surprised quite a few people with their win over Belfast Harlequins last time out. It was a badly-needed fillip after losses to Lansdowne and Clonakilty.
Corinthians took a bit of beating from Bruff in their last game but notched up a decent win over Clon before that.
The Galway men have won one more game than Thomond but the Limerick side have managed a few bonus points along the way. Difficult to call this one but we think Thomond could pull it off.
Lansdowne (1st) v Highfield (15th), the RDS
Another Saturday, another chance for someone to have a cut off Lansdowne. Only Queens’s University in Division 3 have scored more league points and bonus points than Lansdowne.
Highfield could have wished for an easier game but you have to get it out of the way sometime. They are struggling down in second last place and if they lose on Saturday it gives Old Crescent a chance to pull away from them.
A home win seems a certainty here.
Old Crescent (14th) v De La Salle Palmerston (2nd), Rosbrien
A big game for both clubs for very different reasons. Old Crescent will be fairly sure of seeing Lansdowne beat Highfield, so this gives them an opportunity to pull ahead with a game in hand.
De La Salle Palmerston are still smarting from their loss to Belfast Harlequins back in January but wins over Greystones and UCD since then see them still in second place in the league standings.
The Dubliners cannot afford to slip up though because Bruff are breathing down their necks with a game in hand.
Could be a bit of a scrap but expect ‘Salmo to take the points, though maybe not a bonus.
Terenure College (8th) v Greystones (16th), Lakelands Park
A Leinster derby at Lakelands Park on Saturday with mid-table Terenure hosting a Greystones side that seem destined for Division 3 next season.
A win for the north Wicklow side would be a surprise and they would still be at the bottom of the table.
‘Nure have won their last two games – a real scalp against Bective and an impressive 19-point haul against Highfield. They should bag the points again at Lakelands.
Old Wesley (7th) v Bruff (3rd), Donnybrook, 2.30pm (Sunday, March 7)
This could be a cracking game on Sunday afternoon and well worth dropping in for if you are in Dublin.
The host club have really prospered since promotion last season. The rebuilding is ongoing but they look a good bet to challenge again next season while a play-off spot is still an outside chance this term.
Bruff have notched up seven wins and two draws this season and chalked up three try-scoring bonus points as well.
Their game in hand on DLSP means they have real hopes of taking the second promotion spot but they will need to dash Wesley’s own play-off hopes on Sunday to keep the advantage.
Related Links –
AIB League: Division 2 Round Up – A round up of the state of play in Division 2 after the last round of matches