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Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 3 Previews

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 3 Previews

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 3 Previews

St. Mary’s and Cooke continue on their quest for their first win of the season, Old Belvedere and Blackrock are set to celebrate new caps, while reigning champions UL Bohemians return home to Annacotty in round 3 of the Women’s All-Ireland League. Katie Byrne previews today’s three games.

WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 3: Saturday, October 13

Kick-off 1pm unless stated –

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Clubs are invited to post the best tries from their Women’s All-Ireland League fixtures on the club’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages using the hashtag #AILWomensTry and tag @irishrugby. The scorer of #AILWomensTry of the Month will receive a voucher for €;250 and each of the monthly winners will be entered into the #AILWomensTry of the Season competition.

UL BOHEMIANS (5th) v GALWEGIANS (2nd), Annacotty, 2pm

Fresh off the back of convincing wins last weekend, both UL Bohemians and Galwegians head into this round 3 fixture with all guns blazing. While Bohs ran out comfortable winners on both occasions last season, scoring a century of points in the process, ‘Wegians are expected to be a lot more competitive today.
 
Having struggled with the defensive aspect of their game in the opening round, Galwegians turned in a much-improved effort last Sunday as they held Mary’s scoreless in a 53-point victory. They will have to sharpen up even more at UL’s Annacotty fortress.
 
The Red Robins admit that they wil have a battle on their hands in up front, with both packs fielding a number of international players. One player who UL are keen to get more involved this weekend is winger Laura Sheehan who was an important player for them during last year’s title-winning campaign.

OLD BELVEDERE (3rd) v BLACKROCK (4th), Anglesea Road

South Dublin rivals Old Belvedere and Blackrock go head-to-head at Anglesea Road, with ‘Rock looking a team on the up following the arrival of former Ireland Women’s Grand Slam-winning head coach Philip Doyle. Belvedere, meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s 21-17 loss to UL.

While there promises to be plenty of Ireland-capped talent on display for both sides, there is a lot of emerging talent to keep an eye out for also. Clodagh Dunne is set to switch to lock for her first appearance in ‘Belvo’s engine room, while former Leinster Under-18 representative Natasja Behan is in line for her league debut with Blackrock.
 
Belvedere’s centre pairing of Sene Naoupu, Leinster’s Interpro title-winning captain, and Elise O’Byrne White has caused a good deal of problems for opposition defences so far, but their own tackling will have to be spot on with Michelle Claffey on the prowl for the visitors.
 
‘Belvo’s Bronagh O’Donovan said: “We’ll look to improve our connections around the ruck to shut down Michelle Claffey’s lines as she cuts back inside tremendously well.” Blackrock’s starting XV will remain relatively unchanged following their second round bye.

ST. MARY’S (7th) v COOKE (6th), Templeville Road
 
Two teams seeking their first win of the season. St. Mary’s are hungry to open their scoring account after being ‘nilled’ two in recent weeks. They came close to breaking the deadlock in Galway last Sunday and will be optimistic that they can cross the whitewash this evening.

Newly-promoted sides often struggle in the opening rounds, as we saw with midlands outfit Tullamore last season. It took them several weeks to gain their first win, and Mary’s are hoping that it does not take them quite as long to overcome their early issues.

Cooke head coach Wayne Kelly has brought in a couple of seconds players for this game. Amanda Morton and Lauren Pedlow have impressed in training over the last few weeks and deserve their shot. Kelly hopes their introduction will build on the existing dynamic in the squad.

“We came close to sparking last week (away to Railway),” he said. “As we get further into the season, the girls are gaining more confidence playing as a group, and are adapting to the new playing patterns.”

Related Links –

Women’s All-Ireland League: Round 2 Review

Women’s All-Ireland League Results/Fixtures