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Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1A Previews

The final round of league games and plenty at stake in Division 1A. Old Belvedere and St. Mary’s College will battle it out for a home semi-final berth with Young Munster poised to jump in, while Shannon and Garryowen are trying to avoid a play-off of a different kind.


Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Cork Constitution: WWWWLDWWLWWDW; Blackrock College: LWLWWLLLLWLWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Cork Constitution: Points: Richie Lane 67; Tries: Brian Hayes 4; Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 68; Tries: Rob Keogh, Alex Dunlop, Jan-Simon Byrne, Michael Noone 3 each

Preview: Cork Constitution will be keen to finish with a victory and top the table, despite the fact that they have already made certain of a home semi-final. It is also another gala day at Temple Hill with a Munster v Leinster theme.

Given the talent at their disposal, they will be strong favourites to achieve that target. But they will be playing a much-improved Blackrock outfit who have moved well clear of the relegation zone with a series of good results.

Indeed, they put it up to Cork Con at Stradbrook at the start of the campaign, leading 23-18 going into the final quarter before eventually losing 31-23.

This time, you suspect, the title holders may not make such hard work of it, particularly if Brendan Cuttriss and Frank Cogan continue to impress in their back row.

Recent Meetings – Saturday, October 24, 2009: Blackrock College 10 Cork Constitution 3, Stradbrook; Saturday, January 16, 2010: Cork Constitution 18 Blackrock College 15, Temple Hill; Saturday, October 2, 2010: Blackrock College 23 Cork Constitution 31, Stradbrook

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Cork Constitution to win by 6-10 points

OLD BELVEDERE (2nd) v ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (3rd), Anglesea Road

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Old Belvedere: WLWWWWWLWLWDL; St. Mary’s College: LLWWWWLWLWWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Old Belvedere: Points: Conal Keane 73; Tries: Daniel Riordan 7; St. Mary’s College: Points: Gavin Dunne 89; Tries: Darren Hudson 7

Preview: A huge match with play-off positions at stake between second and third. Old Belvedere, already in the semi-finals, only need to come away with a losing bonus point to secure a home draw.

On the flip side, they could be deprived of that if St. Mary’s College secure a bonus point win by nine points. But it is much more likely that this will be a close, tense encounter between two well-matched sides.

Both teams have wobbled badly in recent weeks. St. Mary’s are looking at the possibility of Young Munster overtaking them for the third Division 1A play-off spot should they lose here.

They need to pick themselves up after being beaten 22-0 by Cork Constitution. Old Belvedere will be hoping that home advantage proves crucial.

Recent Meetings – Saturday, April 17, 2010 – Division 1 semi-final: St. Mary’s College 24 Old Belvedere 23, Templeville Road; Saturday, October 2, 2010: St. Mary’s College 9 Old Belvedere 17, Templeville Road

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Old Belvedere to win by 1-5 points

SHANNON (8th) v DOLPHIN (6th), Coonagh

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Shannon: LWLLLWWLWLLLL; Dolphin: WLLLWLLWWLLDW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 50; Tries: David Quinlan 4; Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 138; Tries: Eric Moloney 3

Preview: Another massive game but for a different reason. This one is critical in terms of who finishes bottom and goes into a play-off with the third-placed team in Division 1B.

Dolphin are effectively safe, following last Sunday’s tense victory over Young Munster. They are five points clear of the two bottom sides, Shannon and Garryowen, with a superior points difference and it would take a big points swing to change that.

Shannon, who are last on points difference, will be desperately looking for a victory to edge ahead of Garryowen. Unfortunately though, their recent form has been disappointing and they will need a sharp improvement.

Recent Meetings – Saturday, October 24, 2009: Dolphin 18 Shannon 14, Musgrave Park; Saturday, January 16, 2010: Shannon 32 Dolphin 10, Coonagh; Saturday, October 2, 2010: Dolphin 16 Shannon 9, Musgrave Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Shannon to win by 1-5 points

YOUNG MUNSTER (4th) v GARRYOWEN (7th), Tom Clifford Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Young Munster: WWLLLLWLWWWWL; Garryowen: LLWLLDLWLLLDW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Young Munster: Points: Alan Kingsley 127; Tries: Matthew Costelloe 3; Garryowen: Points: Declan Cusack 77; Tries: Ronan O’Mahony, Declan Cusack 3 each

Preview: Young Munster will be attempting to complete a season’s double over Garryowen in their bid to snatch the last of the Division 1A semi-final spots.

If they are to make it, they will also need Old Belvedere to do them a favour against St. Mary’s. It’s going to be incredibly tense, especially as Garryowen will also be looking for the win to avoid finishing bottom.

They have got going in some style in recent weeks, drawing away with Cork Constitution and beating Old Belvedere 13-3 with a match-winning contribution from Declan Cusack last weekend. So, this has all the making of a typically hard-fought Limerick derby.

Recent Meeting – Friday, October 1, 2010: Garryowen 14 Young Munster 20, Dooradoyle

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Young Munster to win by 1-5 points

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League Tables

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