Only two games this weekend in Division 1B, but match of the day is third-placed Dublin University against table toppers Ballynahinch at College Park.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, April 6
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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BUCCANEERS (4th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (6th), Dubarry Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: LWLWWWWWLDWWLL; Belfast Harlequins: LLWWWLWWWLDWLLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 157; Tries: Alex Hayman, Kolo Kiripati 6 each; Belfast Harlequins: Points: Michael Heaney 88; Tries: Rory Scholes, Stuart Olding, Mark Kettyle 3 each
Preview: Unfortunately, there will not be a great deal at stake in this encounter. Buccaneers are fourth in the table but realistically they are too far behind the three sides at the top battling for promotion.
No doubt though they would like to finish as high as possible.
Generally, they are a very formidable outfit on their home ground, so this is a good chance of improving their situation.
Belfast Harlequins lie two places behind them in sixth spot.
The fact that they managed to score three tries when losing 33-19 away to UCD last Saturday shows that they can be dangerous with ball in hand.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, March 3, 2012: Buccaneers 37 Belfast Harlequins 30, Dubarry Park; Saturday, January 26, 2013: Belfast Harlequins 27 Buccaneers 15, Deramore Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by 6-10 points
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (3rd) v BALLYNAHINCH (1st), College Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dublin University: WWWWWWLLLWWLWWW; Ballynahinch: WWWWWWWDWWLWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Cathal Marsh 97; Tries: Niyi Adeolokun 10; Ballynahinch:
Points: Michael Lawton 113; Tries: Adam Craig 9
Preview: One of the games of the season in this division. Dublin University, in third spot, take on the leaders Ballynahinch.
Following the postponement of Ballynahinch’s game last weekend, the gap between them and the next two has diminished. UCD are now four points adrift of the County Down side with Dublin University five points adrift.
Ballynahinch do, of course, have a game in hand. But should they lose to Dublin University they could come under increasing pressure to secure that top spot.
Dublin University dug out a good 33-28 away victory over Blackrock College, with Leinster hopeful Cathal Marsh again in good goal-kicking form, and the students appear to be playing well.
But Ballynahinch must go into the game as favourites on the basis of their outstanding recent form which saw them demolish Malone 58-3 in their most recent outing.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, February 5, 2011: Ballynahinch 32 Dublin University 23, Ballymacarn Park; Saturday, January 26, 2013: Ballynahinch 26 Dublin University 22, Ballymacarn Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Ballynahinch to win by 1-5 points