Terenure College’s huge win over Corinthians last weekend showed just how hard they will be to beat. Next up to the plate is Dungannon. Meanwhile, the Galway side will hope to bounce back away to Belfast Harlequins.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, December 7
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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BELFAST HARLEQUINS (5th) v CORINTHIANS (3rd), Deramore Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Belfast Harlequins: LLLWWWL; Corinthians: WWWWWWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 70; Tries: Neil McComb, Ewan Strang 2 each; Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 65; Tries: Ivan Venter, James Buckley, Finn Gormley 2 each
Preview: It is going to be interesting to see how third-placed Corinthians react to their 57-10 humiliation at the hands of leaders Terenure College.
No one could have predicted such a result, particularly as Corinthians had a 100% record going into the game. Potentially, such a loss could badly damage their confidence.
And there is also the prospect of the Galway side missing some of their players because of the British & Irish Cup.
While Belfast Harlequins may not be world beaters at the moment, they are usually reasonably good at Deramore Park and they do have a very good goal-kicker in Liam Cambridge.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, April 3, 2010: Corinthians 22 Belfast Harlequins 11, Corinthian Park; Saturday, January 29, 2011: Belfast Harlequins 34 Corinthians 27, Deramore Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Corinthians to win by 1-5 points
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (10th) v BLACKROCK COLLEGE (7th), Sydney Parade
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dublin University: LLLLLLW; Blackrock College: WLLLLWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 40; Tries: Niyi Adeolukan 2; Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 42; Tries: Mark Scott-Lennon 4
Preview: Now that they have recorded their first victory over Malone last Saturday, bottom side Dublin University will be hoping to make it two in a row when they take on Blackrock College at Sydney Parade.
They are definitely in with a chance, given Blackrock’s erratic form to date. They were demolished in the first half by Buccaneers, trailing 41-5 at half-time, but ‘Rock did respond much better after the interval beford eventually losing 41-22.
Quite clearly, they need to take that second half form into the match with the students. Blackrock cannot afford another slip-up as they currently lie fourth from bottom.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, September 29, 2012: Dublin University 29 Blackrock College 11, College Park; Saturday, March 30, 2013: Blackrock College 28 Dublin University 33, Stradbrook
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Blackrock College to win by 6-10 points
MALONE (9th) v SHANNON (6th), Gibson Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Malone: WLLLLLL; Shannon: LLWLWLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Malone: Points: James McKinney 26; Tries: Taylor Acheson 4; Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 44; Tries: Richie Mullane, Luke O’Dea 2 each
Preview: Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Malone. Their 22-20 defeat by Dublin University means that they have dropped to second last, just a point ahead of the students.
Confidence appears to be low, as they let a winning position slip in their last home outing against Blackrock. Shannon, for their part, are getting better.
Luke O’Dea’s late try gave them an important 13-9 win over Belfast Harlequins. Another victory here would further ease their worries and move them into a more comfortable mid-table position.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Shannon to win by 1-5 points
TERENURE COLLEGE (1st) v DUNGANNON (8th), Lakelands Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Terenure College: WWWWWWW; Dungannon: LWLLWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: Mark O’Neill 56; Tries: Kevin O’Neill 4; Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 55; Tries: Peter Nelson, Paul Jackson 2 each
Preview: On form, you would have to think that leaders Terenure College will surely secure the victory which will extend their winning run to eight matches.
They were brilliant when demolishing one of their main rivals Corinthians 57-10 away last time out with Mark O’Neill contributing 27 points. In all, they ran in six tries against the previously unbeaten Galway outfit.
Dungannon, in contrast, are struggling with just two wins to date. They currently lie third from bottom and it is very hard to see them improving matters at Lakelands Park.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 27, 2007: Dungannon 31 Terenure College 30, Stevenson Park; Saturday, March 28, 2009: Terenure College 8 Dungannon 22, Lakelands Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win by 10+ points
UL BOHEMIANS (4th) v BUCCANEERS (2nd), Annacotty
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UL Bohemians: LWWWLLW; Buccaneers: WWWWLWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: Robert Bourke 40; Tries: Adrian Enright 3; Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 53; Tries: Billy Henshaw 4
Preview: An important game which sees fourth-placed UL Bohemians taking on Buccaneers who are second from top.
Buccaneers have played some outstanding stuff in their last two games, scoring 91 points in the victories over Dungannon and Blackrock College. Hopefully though, they are not missing too many players because of the British & Irish Cup.
UL Bohemians seem sure to provide formidable opposition. They have tended to be a bit erratic to date but, at their best, are capable of causing problems for most teams.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 29, 2011: UL Bohemians 8 Buccaneers 12, Annacotty; Saturday, February 11, 2012: Buccaneers 9 UL Bohemians 15, Dubarry Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by 1-5 points