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AIL Club Previews
10 October 2005, 10:27 am
Dolphin RFC and Shannon RFC preview their opening clashes in the AIL.
DOLPHIN RFC

AIL PREVIEW

Dolphin v Young Munster

Sunday 16th October 2.30pm Musgrave Park

Referee:

Alan Rogan ( Leinster )

Previous Results

1997/98 L 15-31 (H) M O Donovan, D Pomeroy tries Conor Mahony p & c

2002/03 W13-08 H) S Madigan try, M Pettman 2 pen & 1 con

2004/05 W 22-15 (A) T O Leary (2) B Sheehan tries, J O Mahony 2c & p

This is the 2nd time that the sides have met in the opening fixture, both on 16th October- 2004 & 2005.

Form Guide:

DOLPHIN

- Last Five AIB League Games:

L

W

W

W

W

- Last Five HOME AIB League Games:

W

W

W

D

D

Y. MUNSTER

- Last FIVE AIB League Games:

W

L

W

W

W

- Last Five AWAY AIB League Games:

L

W

L

L

W

Dolphin

Record against:

Munster clubs

P

51

W

27

D

1

L

23

54

% success

Record at home to:

Munster clubs

P

25

W

13

D

0

L

12

52

% success

Young Munster

Record against:

Munster clubs

P

62

W

26

D

1

L

35

43

% success

Record away to:

Munster club

P

32

W

11

D

1

L

20

36

% success

DOLPHIN NEWS

Ritchie Abbot played in Dolphin s first AIL game on 9/11/91 v Blackrock and also played in the clubs last game on 30/4/05 v UL Bohemians.

Tom s O Leary made his Dolphin debut in the corresponding game last season and scored two tries.

On two occasions Dolphin only fielded two new players in the opening game of the season, 1992/93 Sean Killgrew and Alan O Shea and 2000/01 Cian Bradley & Colin Healy. In 1999 there was seven, L Buckley, I Foley, A Hickey, D Keeshan, M Manning, P McCarthy, D Murphy.

Waiting to learn of what sides they will be drawn against in the next round of the Munster Senior Cup and AIB All Ireland Cup.

Have averaged 1.78 tries per game in the clubs 181 league games.

Dolphin are the only Division 2 side in the last five of the Munster Senior Cup.

Dolphin are one of the five Division 2 sides that have qualified for the inaugural AIB Cup, the others being Waterpark, Greystones, Terenure and DLSP.

1st Division Champions in 1992/93.

Played in Division 2 in the inaugural season 1990/91, won promotion to Division 1 and stayed there for 11 seasons, this is their 4th successive season in Division 2.

Most Points (2003/04) 90 Brian Murphy

Most Tries (2003/04) 4 Kieran Horan & Anthony O Herlihy.

Most points (2004/05) 107 Mark Connolly

Most Tries (2004/05) 10 Derek Corcoran.

Have averaged 1.37 tries per game in the clubs 181 league games.

AIB League Division 2 - 2005/06

120 fixtures (eight games x 15 dates ) are due to be played in each division during the League series. At the end of the regular League series, the top two clubs will be automatically promoted out of Division Two and Division Three and the bottom two clubs will be automatically relegated from Divisions One and Two. On completion of the regular League series, the top four clubs in each division will enter knockout competitions called the Championships; The play-off semi-finals in each division are set for Saturday 6 / 5 / 2006 ( the club placed first at home to the club placed fourth and the club placed second at home to the club placed third ). The Championship finals day in all three divisions is fixed for Saturday 13 / 5 / 2006.

Provincial breakdown of clubs: Munster 8 ( three Limerick clubs and four from the Cork region )Leinster 6, Ulster 2, Connacht 0.

The venues for 32 of the 120 fixtures have not been reversed from the 2004 / 05 Division Two season. Old Belvedere have eight venues not reversed from 2004 / 05, Midleton have seven while Barnhall, Bective R. and Old Crescent have all got six.

As in 2004 / 05, Thomond, Highfield and Waterpark have been scheduled for more home than away fixtures. Bective R., Terenure C. and Young Munster draw the short straws as, like in 2004 / 05, they again have to play more away games than at home.

SHANNON RFC

AIL PREVIEW

New AIB League Gets Under Way.

A new format, albeit a rehash of a former AIB League configuration will see the 16th season of this, the premier club competition in Ireland. Clubs up and down the country are ready for the challenges that a 15 game programme will entail and each with a single goal in mind, to raise the cup in May. The renewed AIB sponsorship is generally welcomed, although some matters still need to be remedied from a clubs perspective, and with the sponsorship comes a renewed focus from the IRFU. Their strategy in attempting to create interest in the AIB League is welcome; however, before a ball is even kicked there seems to be a contradiction in their approach. On one hand their efforts at promoting the league through national and local media is admirable, but to then arrange League fixtures on the day of Heineken Cup games, when the some of the provinces are at home, seems to negate those efforts. Not only does this drain the human resources of clubs, but with rugby supporters selective in their attendances at games, there will be only one winner. A matter for the club administrators no doubt , but for the 720 players , 240 replacements, 48 referees and 96 touch judges who tog out in all three divisions , nothing will detract from their match preparations.

St Mary s College and 7 times Champions, Shannon will be amongst the 48 teams who play this weekend. Their s is a long standing All Ireland League fixture, even allowing for St Mary s sojourn into the second division last season. 15 times these two sides, who are two of only eight clubs engraved on the AIL trophy, have meet in the competition in its previous 15 seasons. Incredibly the overall outcome sees both sides with 7 wins each and a draw between them. Shannon s last trip to Templeville Road two seasons ago resulted in only their second win at the venue although it seems an eternity since the Dublin club visited Thomond Park.

There s no doubt that Shannon will face a very difficult task if they are to retain the title they won last May against Belfast Harlequins. Several of their personnel from that Grand Slam winning squad have moved to different clubs, however the general make up of the team will differ little. This Saturday, Shannon should have a strong squad to choose from given that Munster have no game, but team selection will not be considered until after training on Thursday evening, if not later in the week.

Mossy Lawlor has made the switch from winger to full back this season and has shown tremendous form. His three tries against Midleton in the ODM Munster senior cup last Saturday were top class with his pace also creating space for others. He will certainly be a candidate to start in the No.15 jersey , however David O Donovan , who was almost ever present in that position last season will also come into the frame. Ian Dowling could be available to Mick Galwey and will almost certainly start if that s the case. But regardless, Galwey will have options with Fionn Mc Loughlin and Mark Tuohy. An ever present partnership last year in the centre of Eoin Cahill and Brian Tuohy looks set to continue, while Andrew Thompson would appear to be in pole position to claim the Outhalf berth. Shannon s other option at No.10, Dave Delaney has been injured since the beginning of the season and has only this week resumed training. Scrum half will be between Frankie McNamara and Cormac O Loughlin, older brother of Fiach who departed for Clontarf. Whoever receives the nod will bring plenty of experience to the position.

Shannon s Front row will be chosen from Frankie Roche, Tony Buckley, Gary Mc Namara and Sean Cronin, a former schools and U/19 international. In the second row , Shannon s most recent recruit Donnacha Ryan looks almost certain to start his first AIL game for the club. His recent appearances for Shannon would indicate that this former UCC player will make a big impact on the league. His partner will come from either Padraic O Brien or David Keane.

Shannon s back row will almost certainly comprise of Club Captain Colm Mc Mahon and John O Connor, but who lines out in the NO.8 shirt remains to be seen. Eddie Halvey, who brought his short retirement to a halt last weekend in the cup, showed in that game that he will have plenty to offer Shannon for the season. Stephen Keogh will probably be available to Mick Galwey and that will give the coach the luxury of an option.

With so many players departed from their squad, Shannon are acutely aware that their challenge to retain the AIB league will be tougher than ever. The 15 game programme will ensure that the depth of Shannon s squad will be tested to the full, and there s little doubt that as Champions, every match will see their opponents up their game a notch. But Shannon are ready, and will enter the league with even more determination than ever.

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Team
Pld
W
D
L
Pts
1Leinster Rugby20151474
2Munster Rugby20150568
3Ulster Rugby20140665
4Glasgow Warriors19150464
5Ospreys20121760
6Scarlets20911046
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