Preview | Senior And Junior Rugby
24th February 2022 By Leonard Allen
The finals of the Women’s All Ireland League take centre stage this weekend while the Men’s All Ireland League continues this weekend with a full program of games across all five divisions.
The two Munster sides in the Women’s All Ireland League are in action in third/fourth and seventh/eighth place play-offs.
UL Bohemian take on Old Belvedere in the third and fourth place play-off in the Top Four at Energia Park. The Limerick side defeated Old Belvedere in both Division 1 and the Top Four at the UL Arena, while the Dublin side ran out 22-12 winners at Energia Park in the Top Four.
Ballincollig take on Wicklow in the seventh/eighth place playoff at Tanner Park. Wicklow ran out 15-10 home winners when these sides met in the Garden County in Division 1 in November, while Ballincollig ran out 17-14 winners when these sides met in the Conference.
There are two Munster derbies in Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League.
Fourth-placed Cork Constitution lock horns with Garryowen, who are seventh at Temple Hill. The Lilywhites were held to a 31-31 draw by UCD at Belfield last time out, from which they claimed three points as they scored four tries. The Sky Blues go into the tie on the back of successive defeats by Lansdowne and Terenure College. Cork Constitution will be looking to make it two wins out of two as they won November’s corresponding fixture at Dooradoyle on a 23-21 scoreline, which resulted in a losing bonus point for Garryowen.
Young Munster welcome struggling UCC to Tom Clifford Park. The Limerick side will be looking to make the most of home advantage in a bid to end their recent poor run following three successive defeats, with their last win coming against UCD on home soil in January. The Students were defeated 19-9 by Ballynahinch in their basement clash at the Mardyke, while Young Munster ran out 19-9 winners when they met UCC on Leeside.
Second-placed Highfield face a tricky task in Division 1B as they entertain Old Belvedere at Woodleigh Park. The Leesiders were defeated 30-3 by leaders Old Wesley in Dublin while Old Belvedere, who are seventh, go into the tie on the back of a narrow 24-23 home victory over St Mary’s College. Highfield recorded a narrow 24-20 at Ollie Campbell Park in November, which resulted in a losing bonus point for the Dublin side.
Fifth-placed Shannon, who are two points adrift of the top four, will have their work cut out as they travel to the capital to take on St Mary’s College at Templeville Road. St Mary’s College go into the tie on the back of a narrow 24-23 defeat by Old Belvedere in a Dublin derby, while the Limerick side recorded a comprehensive 62-0 victory over bottom side Navan at Thomond Park. St Mary’s College won November’s corresponding fixture 21-17 and Shannon claimed a losing bonus point.
The game of the day in Division 2A is the top of the table clash between Cashel and Queen’s University at the Spafield. The Tipperary side ran out 17-7 winners over Ballymena in County Antrim, while the Belfast Students recorded a 48-21 home win over Nenagh Ormond. The Premier County side ran out 27-21 when these sides met at Dub Lane, which was also Queen’s University’s only defeat to date from which they also claimed a losing bonus point.
Dolphin have slipped to eighth following their heavy 60-7 defeat by Buccaneers at Creggs in County Galway and they face a tough assignment as they welcome Old Crescent to Musgrave Park. The Leesiders are six points clear of the relegation places, while the Limerick side have climbed up to fifth following their 34-27 home win over MU Barnhall, from which they claimed all points on offer, but they are nine points adrift of fourth-placed Ballymena. Dolphin, who made a promising start to the campaign, recorded their last win against Nenagh Ormond on Leeside in December, while Old Crescent won November’s corresponding fixture 33-12.
UL Bohemian, who have climbed up to seventh following their 21-16 away win over bottom side Rainey Old Boys, face a tricky task as they entertain third-placed Buccaneers at the UL Arena. The Athlone side recorded a comprehensive 60-7 victory over Dolphin at Creggs in County Galway last time out and they also won November’s corresponding fixture at Dubarry Park 24-17, from which UL Bohemian returned with a losing bonus point.
Nenagh Ormond lock horns with fellow strugglers Rainey Old Boys in a basement clash at New Ormond Park. The North Tipperary side are second from bottom following their 48-21 defeat by Queen’s University in Belfast, while Rainey Old Boys, who are propping up the table claimed a losing bonus point from their 21-16 home defeat by UL Bohemian. The Magherafelt side won November’s corresponding fixture 24-12 in the Oak Leaf County.
Seventh-placed Bruff make the long trip to Foyleside to take on bottom side City of Derry at Judge’s Road in Division 2C. The County Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a narrow 17-15 home win over Omagh Academicals, while City of Derry were defeated 27-12 by Clonmel in South Tipperary. Bruff ran out 38-15 winners when these sides met at Kilballyowen Park in November.
Midleton, who are sixth, following their 41-16 defeat by Skerries at Holmpatrick, welcome Clonmel to Towns Park. The South Tipperary side recorded a valuable maximum point 27-12 home win over City of Derry last time out, to climb out of the relegation places. Midleton won November’s corresponding fixture 23-13.
Sunday’s Well, who have moved off the foot of the table following their narrow 13-12 home win over leaders Enniscorthy, face a tricky task as they travel to County Offaly to take on Tullamore, who are fourth. The Faithful County side lost 16-5 against Bangor in County Down last time out, while they ran out 13-6 when they met Sunday’s Well at Musgrave Park and the Leesiders finished with a losing bonus point.
The Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup continues with one tie in Round 2 and 15 in Round 3.
There is one quarter final in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate and all quarter finals of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl are down for decision this weekend.
Thomond and Waterpark get the show on the road in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup at Liam Fitzgerald Park on Saturday evening. The winners will be away to 1964 and 1966 winners Abbeyfeale or Newcastle West, who meet in Abbeyfeale.
Garryowen, whose last triumph was in 2013, entertain Fethard at Dooradoyle and the winners will be away to 2017 winners Bandon or Cork Constitution, who meet at Old Chapel.
There is one second round tie down for decision, which sees Charleville taking on Thurles at Smith’s Road. Mallow will be at home to the winners.
Clanwilliam, whose only triumph was in 1947, welcome Bantry Bay to Tipperary Town. The winners will be rewarded with a home tie in Round 4 against Old Crescent or Young Munster, who meet at Takumi Park.
Ennis are at home to Kinsale and this game also doubles up as a game in Section D of the Junior League. Kinsale are second behind Tralee following their 47-20 maximum-point home win over Mitchelstown. The Banner County side were defeated 27-3 by Killorglin in Mid Kerry and are joint fourth with Cobh Pirates. The winners of this game will be away to St Senan’s or 1934 winners Tralee in the next round of the Junior Cup.
Kanturk welcome 2011 winners Cashel to Duhallow and the winners will be at home to Mallow, Charleville or Thurles in Round 4.
Muskerry entertain 2001 winners Clonakilty at Ballyanly. The winners will be away to Old Christians, whose only triumph was in 1965, or Galbally, who meet at Rathcooney.
Richmond lock horns with Shannon in a Limerick City derby at the Canal Bank. A trip to Leeside to meet UCC or 2019 winners Highfield, who go head to head at the Mardyke.
Kilfeacle, who won the trophy in 2002, welcome Crosshaven to West Tipperary. The winners will be rewarded with a home tie against UL Bohemian or Skibbereen, who meet at Annacotty.
The first quarter final of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate sees Cobh Pirates, whose only triumph to date was in 2002, taking on Sunday’s Well at the Paddocks. The winners will be away to Midleton or Ballincollig in the semi-finals.
In the quarter finals of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl, Waterford City, who won the trophy in 2013, welcome Douglas to Suirside. The winners will have a home semi-final against Nenagh Ormond or Castleisland, who meet in North Tipperary.
Scariff take on Youghal in East Clare and the winners will have a home semi-final against Chorca Dhuibhne or Dolphin, who go head to head in the West Kerry Gaeltacht.
In Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League, leaders Kerry entertain second-placed Thurles in Tralee. The Kingdom surrendered their unbeaten run as they were defeated 7-0 by Shannon-LIT in Tralee last time out, while they defeated Tipperary 14-10 when these sides met in Thurles in September and the Premier County claimed a losing bonus point. Tipperary ran out 15-5 away winners over Shannon-LIT in their last game.
In the Women’s Division 2 Cup, Waterpark take on Ballincollig at Ballinakill.