Railway Union’s internationals are hungry for success, UL Bohemians are keen to add some depth to their squad, while Galwegians, St. Mary’s and Blackrock are all looking to bounce back in round 4 of the Women’s All-Ireland League. Katie Byrne previews the action.
WOMEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – ROUND 4: Saturday, October 27
Kick-off 5pm unless stated –
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.
GALWEGIANS (4th) v RAILWAY UNION (1st), Crowley Park, 4.30pm
Galwegians have been licking their wounds after losing 41-14 to defending champions UL Bohemians last time out. Head coach Fraser Gow makes one personnel change to the starting XV for the visit of Railway Union – Orla Dixon comes in at inside centre with Ursula Sammon moving to the wing.
The ever-energetic Mairead Coyne is also back in the squad following a lengthy injury and is keen to make an impact from the bench. The Connacht and Ireland back-three specialist has proven to be instrumental in attack for ‘Wegians in recent seasons.
The Blue Belles are all too aware of their shortfalls in defence, having leaked 83 points in three matches, with Gow admitting: “We know we have shipped too many points so far. If we can get our mindset right on Saturday, it’ll be a competitive game.”
With the November internationals fast approaching, Railway’s international contingent are also eager to impress, and their head coach John Cronin is relishing his squad’s hunger for success.
Ireland regulars ?Lindsay Peat and Ciara Cooney return up front for the table toppers, while Chloe Blackmore has recently converted to the hooker position as she readjusts to 15s following a spell with the Ireland Sevens squad. The trio are set to be joined by fellow Leinster players Katie O’Dwyer and Aoife McDermott in a tight five that boasts plenty of experience.
BLACKROCK (5th) v UL BOHEMIANS (3rd), Stradbrook
It is set to be a momentous day at Stradbrook as the Blackrock and UL Bohemians Men’s and Women’s teams go head-to-head in an eagerly-awaited All-Ireland League double header. The men’s sides kick off at 2.30pm, followed by the women at 5pm.
Following a disappointing result away to Old Belvedere in round 3, where they were held scoreless, Blackrock used last weekend’s break in fixtures to analyse and take stock of their performances to date. Former Ireland scrum half Tania Rosser rejoined the squad this week.
There is a Blackrock debut on the cards for another of Rosser’s ex-international colleagues, versatile back Jackie Shiels. Both players are keen to share their experience and knowledge to benefit the ‘Rock squad who are looking to recapture the form that saw them put 42 points on Galwegians in the first round.
As the November Tests loom large on the horizen, UL Bohs are keen to add some depth to their squad with the introduction of a number of new players. With some of their starters expected to be called away to camp in the coming weeks, the Limerick side are eager to make the transition as smooth as possible. Star out-half Niamh Briggs has been taking the lead at training over the past two weeks, with the aim of getting the back-three more involved in the game tomorrow.
ST. MARY’S (7th) v OLD BELVEDERE (2nd), Templeville Road
After a tough start to their campaign, St. Mary’s turned in their best performance to date against Cooke last time out. The 22-point difference between the sides shows that the Templeogue side have worked hard to tighten up their defence. This is definitely an aspect of their game that they will be keen to continue to improve.
With new recruit Alannah O’Carroll starting on the wing and Leinster’s Emma Hooban expected to start at hooker, Mary’s are looking to maintain a ‘sharp and focused’ attitude from the get-go. Visitors Belvedere will be keen to hit a higher level after registering their lowest score to date against Blackrock.
Josh Brown’s ‘Belvo charges are ‘looking to be more clinical inside the opposition’s half’ by getting the best out of speedy winger Elise O’Byrne White and Connacht-capped second row Clodagh Dunne. A repeat of their iron-clad defensive display from the last round is also on the checklist.
Related Links –