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Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 1A Previews

Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 1A Previews

Paddy Patterson, pictured in action against Garryowen in March 2019, will return to Dooradoyle with UCD tomorrow afternoon ©INPHO/Ben Whitley

A number of provincial and former provincial players are dotted across the team-sheets for the latest round of action in Energia Men’s All-Ireland League Division 1A.


ROUND 3: Saturday, October 16

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

CLONTARF (3rd) v CORK CONSTITUTION (7th), Castle Avenue

Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Clontarf: WW; Cork Constitution: LL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Clontarf: Points: David Hawkshaw 22; Tries: Dylan Donnellan 2; Cork Constitution: Points: Aidan Moynihan 11; Tries: Duncan Williams, Barry Galvin 1 each

Preview: You would have gotten long odds on Cork Constitution being in the seventh place after two rounds. With their attack yet to fire, two losing bonus points were the only consolation.

Having the Stateside trio of Conor Kindregan, John Poland and Tomas Quinlan back from playing Major League Rugby is a big boost, as it is their recent run of results against Clontarf.

Con have won their last four games against ‘Tarf, including the 2019 final, but on current form, you would have to favour Andy Wood’s men. Especially if Tony Ryan and company get on top up front.

Recent League Meetings – Sunday, May 5, 2019: Final – Cork Constitution 28 Clontarf 13, Aviva Stadium; Saturday, October 12, 2019: Clontarf 25 Cork Constitution 28, Castle Avenue

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Clontarf to win


Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Dublin University: LW; Ballynahinch: LL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Mick O’Kennedy 14; Tries: Mark Nicholson 2; Ballynahinch: Points: Chris Gibson, Greg Hutley 5 each; Tries: Chris Gibson 1

Preview: Dublin University and Ballynahinch would have to go some to match the fireworks they produced when they last met in the capital, the Co. Down side winning 35-34 back in November 2019.

Trinity have a new cult hero in prop Giuseppe Coyne, the Dudley Cup chip-and-chase try scorer. Leinster Academy duo Liam Turner and Rob Russell both start tomorrow, with Leinster lock Jack Dunne on the bench as he returns from an ankle injury.

With back-to-back losses and just one try in two matches, ‘Hinch could do with a timely lift. They have the players to achieve that, most notably tighthead Kyle McCall who is now also part of their coaching group.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 16, 2019: Dublin University 34 Ballynahinch 35, College Park; Saturday, February 22, 2020: Ballynahinch 26 Dublin University 40, Ballymacarn Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dublin University to win

GARRYOWEN (1st) v UCD (10th), Dooradoyle

Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Garryowen: WW; UCD: LL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Garryowen: Points: Tony Butler 22; Tries: Liam Coombes, Colm Quilligan 2 each; UCD: Points: Jack Ringrose, David Heavey 5 each; Tries: Jack Ringrose, David Heavey 1 each

Preview: Contrasting fortunes for these sides across the first fortnight. Garryowen have a real pep in their step, hitting top spot as the division’s leading scorers and with their players also making an impact for Munster.

Munster Academy scrum half Paddy Patterson will be back in UCD colours, released for some game-time as the students look to bounce back from a couple of disappointing performances.

UCD head coach Kevin Croke has also added Luke Maloney, James Moriarty and Jamie Murphy to the back-line, with Alec Byrne, Leinster Academy back rower Sean O’Brien and lynchpin number 8 Ronan Foley returning to the pack.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 14, 2019: UCD 25 Garryowen 24, Belfield Bowl; Saturday, January 11, 2020: Garryowen 40 UCD 14, Dooradoyle

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Garryowen to win

UCC (9th) v LANSDOWNE (4th), the Mardyke

Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: UCC: LL; Lansdowne: WW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – UCC: Points: Rob Hedderman, Darragh French 8 each; Tries: Richard Thompson, Louis Bruce, Matthew Bowen 1 each; Lansdowne: Points: Charlie Tector 14; Tries: Mark Boyle 2

Preview: Lansdowne won both fixtures by the minimum margin when they faced UCC in 2019/20. They give Michael Silvester his debut on the left wing after he pulled up during the warm-up at Terenure last week.

Charlie Tector is rewarded for his 14-point salvo with another start at out-half, while Frank and Jamie Kavanagh will both start in the front row. Greg McGrath steps up to the Connacht bench.

UCC showed a good deal of resilience against Garryowen, scoring last through returning winger Matthew Bowen. Munster’s Alex Kendellen bolsters the pack at number 8, while Scott Buckley is also poised for his seasonal debut off the bench.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 14, 2019: UCC 14 Lansdowne 15, the Mardyke; Saturday, January 11, 2020: Lansdowne 19 UCC 18, Aviva Stadium back pitch

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Lansdowne to win

YOUNG MUNSTER (2nd) v TERENURE COLLEGE (5th), Tom Clifford Park

Energia All-Ireland League Season’s Form: Young Munster: WW; Terenure College: WL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Young Munster: Points: Evan Cusack 23; Tries: Conor Hayes 2; Terenure College: Points: James Thornton 20; Tries: Stephen O’Neill, Craig Adams 2 each

Preview: John Foley and Fintan Coleman are promoted from the bench to start in Young Munster’s back row, as they welcome Terenure College to Tom Clifford Park for the first time in three years.

Cookies winger Conor Hayes is chasing his third try in as many games, as are Terenure duo Stephen O’Neill and Craig Adams who feature in a side showing five changes from last Saturday’s 39-26 loss to Lansdowne.

Peter Sylvester and experienced winger Sam Coghlan Murray come into the back-line, while former Garryowen tighthead Andy Keating, Levi Vaughan and Michael Melia will start up front in Greenfields.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, April 13, 2019: Terenure College 22 Young Munster 15, Lakelands Park; Saturday, October 12, 2019: Terenure College 30 Young Munster 23, Lakelands Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Young Munster to win