A Friday Night Lights clash between high-flying Corinthians and Buccaneers, while the Division 1B action continues on Saturday as a prelude to Ireland’s game in the evening.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, November 9
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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CORINTHIANS (3rd) v BUCCANEERS (2nd), Corinthian Park, Friday, 7.30pm
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Corinthians: WWWW; Buccaneers: WWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 51; Tries: Ivan Venter, James Buckley 2 each; Buccaneers: Points: Ben Carty 23; Tries: Daniel Qualter, Billy Henshaw 2 each
Preview: Quite a game in prospect between the second and third placed teams in the table. Both have won their opening four games.
Just a point separates these two great Connacht rivals. Buccaneers, in second spot by virtue of gaining a bonus point, will know that this game represents a real threat to their unbeaten record in the league.
Corinthians have been every bit as impressive as the Pirates to date. They have been playing some smashing rugby and a try-scoring bonus point is just about the only thing missing from their season to date.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Corinthians to win by 1-5 points
BLACKROCK COLLEGE (7th) v DUNGANNON (9th), Stradbrook, 2pm
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Blackrock College: WLLL; Dungannon: LWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 17; Tries: Adam Griggs, Sam Cooke, Carl Murray, Mark Scott-Lennon, Richie Marsh, Myles Patterson 1 each; Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 30; Tries: Cormac McCartney, Peter Nelson, Chris Farrell, Chris Cochrane, Paul Jackson 1 each
Preview: These are worrying times for Blackrock College. They have now lost three on the trot having opened with a useful away win over Shannon.
Last weekend’s 18-6 defeat by Belfast Harlequins suggests that they have a good deal of work to do. Dungannon also, it has to be said, have their problems.
They too have just one victory to their credit and lie third last in the table, just one spot ahead of Blackrock. So, there is an awful lot at stake for both teams.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 17, 2012: Dungannon 8 Blackrock College 9, Stevenson Park; Saturday, February 23, 2013: Blackrock College 31 Dungannon 5, Stradbrook
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dungannon to win by 6-10 points
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (10th) v TERENURE COLLEGE (1st), Sydney Parade, 2pm
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dublin University: LLLL; Terenure College: WWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 18; Tries: Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Mark Nicholson 1 each; Terenure College: Points: Willie Staunton 16; Tries: Robbie Smyth 3
Preview: It does not get any easier for Dublin University as they bid to get their first league victory. They find themselves up against a Terenure side that currently tops the table.
While Terenure have won all of their four outings, Dublin University have lost all four to lie bottom. Yet, Terenure will recognise that the students are quite capable of lifting their game.
In fact, they gave a decent performance when only losing 16-13 away to UL Bohemians last time out. A similar effort at Sydney Parade just might see them extend the league leaders.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 8, 2011: Terenure College 17 Dublin University 8, Lakelands Park; Saturday, October 15, 2011: Dublin University 18 Terenure College 3, College Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win by 6-10 points
MALONE (8th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (5th), Gibson Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Malone: WLLL; Belfast Harlequins: LLLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Malone: Points: James McKinney 16; Tries: Taylor Acheson 2; Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 38; Tries: Neil McComb 2
Preview: Everything suggests a close battle between in this local derby. Both of these Ulster clubs have won one out of four to date.
But Belfast Harlequins could be in the better frame of mind having decisively beaten Blackrock College 18-6 to gain their first victory last Saturday. That result will hopefully provide them with the impetus they need.
It is hard to figure out Malone. They continue to be erratic but Taylor Acheson clearly represents a danger to Belfast Harlequins having scored two tries against the league leaders Terenure last Saturday.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 1, 2012: Belfast Harlequins 36 Malone 3, Deramore Park; Saturday, March 2, 2013: Malone 26 Belfast Harlequins 22, Gibson Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Malone to win by 1-5 points
SHANNON (6th) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), Coonagh
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Shannon: LLWL; UL Bohemians: LWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 36; Tries: Richie Mullane 2; UL Bohemians: Points: Robert Bourke 22; Tries: Rory White, Robert Bourke, Ian Condell, Tim Rafferty, Derek Farrell, Adrian Enright, Ed Kelly, Jack O’Donoghue 1 each
Preview: Another intriguing derby encounter to whet the appetite. Shannon really need to win it if they are to get their season going.
So far, they have only won one out of four while rivals UL Bohemians have won their last three games to move up to fourth spot in the table.
They are currently eight points clear of Shannon. So, on form, UL Bohs are entitled to fancy their chances but Shannon
can surely be expected to lift their game.
Their captain and goal-kicker Tadhg Bennett may again be the key figure.
Recent League Meetings – Friday, January 4, 2013: UL Bohemians 8 Shannon 16, Thomond Park; Friday, February 1, 2013: Shannon 31 UL Bohemians 13, Thomond Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Shannon to win by 1-5 points