Match of the day in Division 1B this Saturday has to be the top of the table clash between Corinthians and unbeaten leaders Terenure College in Galway.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, November 30
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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BLACKROCK COLLEGE (7th) v BUCCANEERS (3rd), Stradbrook
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Blackrock College: WLLLLW; Buccaneers: WWWWLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 35; Tries: Mark Scott-Lennon 4; Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 42; Tries: Billy Henshaw 4
Preview: Tough assignment for Blackrock College as they play host to third-placed Buccaneers.
Fortunately though Blackrock did manage an overdue victory when they travelled to Belfast to beat Malone 32-25. Furthermore, they scored five tries.
But Buccaneers did even better by scoring six in their 50-7 home demolition of Dungannon. It was the prefect response to their narrow derby defeat by Corinthians and one which suggests that they will remain as one of the main contenders for promotion.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 6, 2012: Blackrock College 14 Buccaneers 23, Stradbrook; Saturday, February 2, 2013: Buccaneers 36 Blackrock College 36, Dubarry Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by 6-10 points
CORINTHIANS (2nd) v TERENURE COLLEGE (1st), Corinthian Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Corinthians: WWWWWW; Terenure College: WWWWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 65; Tries: Ivan Venter, James Buckley 2 each; Terenure College: Points: Mark O’Neill 29; Tries: Robbie Smyth, Kyle McCoy 3 each
Preview: Something has to give in what is by some distance the match of the day in this division.
Both teams have won their opening six matches to lie first and second in the table. Terenure are currently three points clear by virtue of the fact that they have picked up bonus points.
That has been Corinthians’ only failing to date, but they remain a top class outfit and importantly will have home advantage. It promises to be an entertaining and very closely contested tie.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, February 26, 2011: Corinthians 18 Terenure College 17, Corinthian Park; Saturday, January 28, 2012: Terenure College 14 Corinthians 0, Lakelands Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win by 1-5 points
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (10th) v MALONE (9th), Sydney Parade
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dublin University: LLLLLL; Malone: WLLLLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 33; Tries: Niyi Adeolukan 2; Malone: Points: James McKinney 26; Tries: Taylor Acheson 4
Preview: This would seem to be a reasonable opportunity for Dublin University to get their first win. But after six straight defeats it is hard to feel in any way confident.
At least though the students will be up against a side that has had similar problems. Since winning the opening game, Malone have lost five on the trot and are currently second from bottom, four points ahead of Dublin Univesity in last spot.
Confidence has been a major issue for both sides. Malone, for instance, looked in control at one stage against Blackrock last weekend, leading 15-3, but faded badly to eventually lose 32-25.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 10, 2012: Dublin University 28 Malone 24, College Park; Saturday, April 27, 2013: Malone 10 Dublin University 20, Gibson Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Malone to win by 1-5 points
DUNGANNON (8th) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), Stevenson Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dungannon: LWLLWL; UL Bohemians: LWWWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 47; Tries: Peter Nelson, Paul Jackson 2 each; UL Bohemians: Points: Robert Bourke 31; Tries: Adrian Enright 3
Preview: Just how do Dungannon recover from their 50-7 trouncing by Buccaneers last Saturday night? Such a beating is bound to have damaged their confidence.
But they will be back on their home patch and up against UL Bohs side that will hopefully not reach the standards of Buccaneers in the last round. That said, UL Bohs are a decent outfit, having won three out of their six games.
They also gave second-placed Corinthians a real fright last weekend before losing 13-10. So, this is another tough assignment for Dungannon, even on their home ground.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 8, 2011: UL Bohemians 12 Dungannon 5, Annacotty; Saturday, January 28, 2012: Dungannon 12 UL Bohemians 20, Stevenson Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dungannon to win by 1-5 points
SHANNON (6th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (5th), Thomond Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Shannon: LLWLWL; Belfast Harlequins: LLLWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 44; Tries: Richie Mullane 2; Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 61; Tries: Neil McComb, Ewan Strang 2 each
Preview: Interesting battle between two sides lying in mid-table. Belfast Harlequins are in the stronger position as they are currently in fifth spot, four points ahead of their rivals.
They have won three out of six whereas Shannon have only managed two victories. Hopefully, their second half performance against leaders Terenure is a sign of better things to come from Shannon.
After trailing 25-7 at the break, they made a decent comeback before eventually losing 25-17. Now they badly need to build on that effort with a home victory over Belfast Harlequins.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, April 29, 2006: Shannon 31 Belfast Harlequins 15, Thomond Park; Saturday, January 20, 2007: Belfast Harlequins 19 Shannon 17, Deramore Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Shannon to win by 6-10 points