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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Terenure College, Buccaneers and Corinthians are all unbeaten after three rounds in Division 1B. Can they stretch their lead at the top of the table this weekend?


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Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Belfast Harlequins: LLL; Blackrock College: WLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 30; Tries: Neil McComb 2; Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 17; Tries: Adam Griggs, Sam Cooke, Carl Murray, Mark Scott-Lennon, Richie Marsh, Myles Patterson 1 each

Preview: Second-from-bottom Belfast Harlequins are desperately in need of a first victory when they entertain Blackrock College at Deramore Park.

On the evidence of their effort when only losing out 13-12 against table toppers Terenure College last Saturday, they must have a reasonable chance. Interestingly, Blackrock also lost out to Terenure in similar fashion.

But they proved no match for the highly-rated Corinthians outfit last time out, losing 27-5 at Stradbrook. Clearly, they will need to improve from that display if they are to record their second victory of the season.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 27, 2012: Belfast Harlequins 27 Blackrock College 19, Deramore Park; Saturday, February 16, 2013: Blackrock College 23 Belfast Harlequins 23, Stradbrook

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

BUCCANEERS (2nd) v SHANNON (5th), Dubarry Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: WWW; Shannon: LLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 14; Tries: Daniel Qualter 2; Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 24; Tries: Richie Mullane, David O’Donovan, Niall Horan, Duncan Casey, Luke O’Dea 1 each

Preview: High-flying Buccaneers will be attempting to make it four win in-a-row with a home victory over Shannon in Athlone.

They lie second in the table, only trailing Terenure College on points difference. Shannon, on the other hand, have had a difficult opening to their campaign.

But the Limerick men did secure a vital first win, coming from behind to beat Dungannon 17-6 last Saturday. It will be intriguing to see if that result provides the boost they need to get their season going.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 21, 2006: Shannon 34 Buccaneers 6, Thomond Park; Saturday, October 11, 2008: Shannon 25 Buccaneers 21, Coonagh

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

DUNGANNON (8th) v CORINTHIANS (3rd), Stevenson Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dungannon: LWL; Corinthians: WWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 22; Tries: Cormac McCartney, Peter Nelson, Chris Farrell, Chris Cochrane 1 each; Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 42; Tries: Ivan Venter 2

Preview: This game will see Dungannon, currently lying third last, taking on unbeaten Corinthians who are third in the table.

A failure to pick up any try-scoring bonus points is about the only thing missing from Corinthians’ season to date.

Otherwise, the Galway club have done everything right with three victories to lie just a point bebind Terenure College and Buccaneers.

Importantly, they have a top class goal-kicker in Sean O’Hagan. At home, however, Dungannon can represent a tough test, particulary if Peter Nelson is on his game.

Recent League Meetings – N/A

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

TERENURE COLLEGE (1st) v MALONE (7th), Lakelands Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Terenure College: WWW; Malone: WLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: Willie Staunton 16; Tries: Fergal Walsh, Harry Moore 2 each; Malone: Points: James McKinney 16; Tries: Mike McComish, Michael Barker, Peter Henderson, Michael Ferguson, Mark Gribben 1 each

Preview: A great opportunity for Terenure College to maintain their winning run against a Malone side that disappointed badly against UL Bohemians last time out.

The Belfast outfit must obviously improve on that 31-6 home defeat if they are to have any chance of bieng the first side to lower Terenure’s colours.

Then again, Terenure have been solid rather than spectacular in winning their last two games by a single point against Blackrock and Belfast Harlequins.

Crucially though, they will be back at Lakelands Park. And, on their only previous league outing this season at their home venue, they demolished UL Bohemians 36-9 in their opening game.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 27, 2010: Malone 16 Terenure College 29, Gibson Park; Saturday, October 29, 2011: Terenure College 16 Malone 15, Lakelands Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win by 6-10 points

UL BOHEMIANS (4th) v DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (10th), Annacotty

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UL Bohemians: LWW; Dublin University: LLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: Shane Airey, Robert Bourke 11 each; Tries: Rory White, Robert Bourke, Ian Condell, Tim Rafferty, Derek Farrell, Adrian Enright, Ed Kelly 1 each; Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 10; Tries: Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan 1 each

Preview: UL Bohemians have turned their fortunes around big time after conceding those 36 points in their first match against Terenure.

Last weekend’s 31-6 away domolition of Malone has moved them up to fourth spot in the table. They scored five tries in a hugely impressive effort.

Sadly, Dublin University have been going through a really difficult time, losing their opening three games to prop up the table.

They still possess some useful players, notably Pierce Dargan, but it will take a massive improvement if they are to get their first win.

Recent League Meetings – N/A

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: UL Bohemians to win by 6-10 points