State Of Play: Energia All-Ireland League Relegation and Qualification
With just one round to play in the Men’s Divisions of the Energia All-Ireland League, the picture is becoming clearer on what promotion and relegation will look like at the end of the season.
Who can be crowned Energia All-Ireland League champions in 2021/22?
The Energia All-Ireland League semi-finals will take place on Saturday, April 23. Clontarf will finish top of Division 1A (currently in first place on 72 points and 13 points clear of second place) and will have a home semi-final against the fourth-placed team. The fourth-placed team will be either Cork Constitution (currently in fourth place on 51 points) or Dublin University (currently in fifth place with 49 points).
The other semi-final will be between Terenure College (currently in second place on 59 points) and Lansdowne (currently in third place on 57 points) at the venue of the team which is confirmed as finishing in second place.
- Terenure College (2nd) v UCC (10th)
- Cork Constitution (4th) v Lansdowne (3rd)
- Garryowen (7th) v Dublin University (5th)
Who can be promoted in/to the Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Divisions in 2021/22?
Teams that place first to fourth in Divisions 1B, 2A, 2B and 2C are eligible for promotion. Due to the impact of Covid-19 on fixtures, only one team is promoted via playoff semi-finals and finals.
Saturday, April 23: Promotion Play-Off Semi-Final 1: 1st v 4th (1st at home); Semi-Final 2: 2nd v 3rd (2nd at home)
Saturday, April 30: Promotion Play-Off Final: Home advantage to highest-ranked team
Old Wesley (Confirmed 1st, 73 points), Highfield (Currently 2nd, 58 points), Shannon (Currently 3rd, 57 points), Naas (Currently 4th, 49 points), St. Mary’s College (Currently 5th, 47 points).
Old Wesley are confirmed in first place and will be at home to Naas or St. Mary’s College on Saturday, April 23. Highfield and Shannon will play each other in the other semi-final on the same day. Home advantage will be determined by their final placing.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Naas (4th) v Old Belvedere (7th), Shannon (3rd) v Old Wesley (1st), St. Mary’s College (5th) v Highfield (2nd).
Queen’s University (Confirmed 1st, 75 points), Cashel (Confirmed 2nd, 59 points), Buccaneers (Confirmed 3rd, 51 points), Ballymena (Currently 4th, 41 points), MU Barnhall (Currently 5th, 40 points), Old Crescent (Currently 6th, 40 points), UL Bohemian (Currently 7th, 38 points).
Queen’s University are confirmed in first place and will be at home to any of Ballymena, MU Barnhall, Old Crescent or UL Bohemian on Saturday, April 23. Cashel will host Buccaneers in the other semi-final on the same day.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Dolphin (8th) v UL Bohemian (7th), Ballymena (4th) v Queen’s University (1st), MU Barnhall (5th) v Nenagh Ormond (9th), Old Crescent (6th) v Rainey Old Boys (10th).
Greystones (Currently 1st, 63 points), Blackrock College (Currently 2nd, 59 points), Belfast Harlequins (Currently 3rd, 58 points), Galway Corinthians (Currently 4th, 55 points), Wanderers (Currently 5th, 53 points).
Greystones and Blackrock College are the only sides mathematically guaranteed to be in the play-offs, with three teams in contention for the two remaining berths. All four placings will be determined in round 18.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Dungannon (7th) v Greystones (1st), Galway Corinthians (4th) v Blackrock College (2nd), Malahide (8th) v Belfast Harlequins (3rd), Wanderers (5th) v Sligo (6th).
Enniscorthy (Confirmed 1st, 73 points), Skerries (Currently 2nd, 59 points), Bangor (Currently 3rd, 56 points), Tullamore (Confirmed 4th, 49 points).
Confirmed table toppers Enniscorthy will host Tullamore, the confirmed fourth-place finishers, in their semi-final on Saturday, April 23. Skerries will play Bangor in the other semi-final on the same day with home advantage to be confirmed after round 18.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Bruff (6th) v Bangor (3rd), Omagh Academicals (7th) v Skerries (2nd).
What junior club can be promoted to the Energia All-Ireland League this season?
Due to the impact of Covid-19 in the earlier stages of the season, only one team will be promoted and one team will be relegated from each division. This means only one junior team can qualify for Division 2C for the 2022/23 season.
To facilitate this, the round robin format was replaced with promotion play-off semi-finals and a final. Both semi-finals were played at Navan RFC last weekend with Bective Rangers beating Connemara 40-17 and Instonians getting the better of Newcastle West on a 38-6 scoreline.
Bective Rangers will play Instonians at Dundalk RFC this Saturday (April 9). The winner of that tie will be playing in Division 2C of the Energia All-Ireland League next season.
Who can be relegated in/from the Energia All-Ireland League in 2021/22?
Teams that finish ninth and tenth in each of the five divisions will play each other over two games with the losing side dropping out of their division. The team that loses the Division 2C play-off will be relegated from the league.
Relegation play-off finals take place on April 23 and April 30, with eight teams already confirmed to be involved. Ballynahinch will play UCC in Division 1A. Nenagh Ormond will face Rainey Old Boys in Division 2A. Ballina play Galwegians in Division 2B.
Either Banbridge or Malone will face Navan be in the Division 1B relegation play-off. Either Sunday’s Well or City of Derry will play Clonmel for survival in Division 2C.
The team that finishes 10th in the table plays at home in the first leg and away in the second leg.
Ballynahinch (Currently 9th, 11 points) v UCC (Currently 10th, 7 points)
Both Ballynahinch and UCC are confirmed for the Division 1A relegation play-off. Their final placings will be determined this weekend.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Ballynahinch (9th) v Young Munster (6th), Terenure College (2nd) v UCC (10th).
Navan (Currently 10th, 18 points) v Banbridge (Currently 9th, 23 points) or Malone (Currently 8th, 27 points)
Navan are all but mathematically confirmed as finishing in 10th place due to their inferior points difference, meaning they would have home advantage in the first leg on April 23. Banbridge are in ninth place on 23 points, four points behind eighth-placed Malone on 27 points. All other teams are safe.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Navan (10th) v Malone (8th), City of Armagh (6th) v Banbridge (9th).
Nenagh Ormond (Currently 9th, 23 points) v Rainey Old Boys (Currently 10th, 22 points)
Both Nenagh Ormond and Rainey Old Boys are confirmed for the Division 2A relegation play-off. Their final placings will be determined this weekend.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: MU Barnhall (5th) v Nenagh Ormond (9th), Old Crescent (6th) v Rainey Old Boyes (10th).
Ballina (Confirmed 9th, 22 points) v Galwegians (Confirmed 10th, 11 points)
Final placings are confirmed. Galwegians will host Ballina on April 23. Ballina have home advantage in the second leg on April 30.
Clonmel (Confirmed 10th, 20 points) v City Of Derry (Currently 9th, 26 points) or Sunday’s Well (Currently 8th, 28 points)
Clonmel are confirmed as the 10th-placed team and will have home advantage on April 23 against either City Of Derry or Sunday’s Well.
Relevant Round 18 Fixtures: Clonmel (10th) v Sunday’s Well (8th), City of Derry (9th) v Tullamore (4th).
What determines league position?
As per AIL regulations, final placings will be determined by the following criteria in the following order:
- League Points
- Points Difference
- Most Wins
- Most Draws
- Most Tries Scored
What happens if a promotion play-off semi-final or final is level after 80 minutes?
Should a semi-final or final end in a draw, the following extra-time regulations will be applied:
- If clubs are tied at full-time, extra-time of 10 minutes each way shall be played
- If still tied, the club who has scored more tries shall be the winner
- If still tied, the team who scored the first try shall be the winner
- If no tries have been scored, the team that scored the first points in the match shall be the winner
- If the game is still 0-0 after extra-time, penalty kicks shall be taken to decide the winner
What if the relegation play-offs finish level after two games?
If clubs are tied on aggregate after the second game, extra-time of 10 minutes each way shall be played.
If still tied, the club who has scored more tries over both matches shall be the winner.
If still tied, the team who scored the first try in the first match shall be the winner.
If no tries have been scored in either game, the team that scored the first points in the first match shall be the winner.
If aggregate score is 0-0 after extra-time in the second match, penalty kicks shall be taken to decide the winner.
Keep an eye on IrishRugby.ie for previews of this weekend’s round of games, including permutations on final placings.