AIL Preview: Division 1A Week 7

As we enter the last block of fixtures for 2022, there is some crackers in 1A this weekend. Last season’s final, Clontarf face unbeaten Terenure College. Young Munster look to back up their big win against Tarf last time out, with another win when they go to College Park . Shannon face UCD in what is a huge game for both.

Clontarf V Terenure College, Sat November 26th, Castle Avenue, 2:30pm

it feels like we’ve been waiting for this game ever since that AIL final last May. Tarf won on that day, but going on recent form some might consider Nure the favourites this time around.

Sean Skehan’s men have pretty much blown everyone away so far. They’re the only unbeaten team left in the division. They have the perfect balance of an exciting attack and a solid defence making them very hard to beat. Backrow Conall Boomer has been one of their standout performers this season. He was rewarded last week with a start for Leinster against Chile where he put in a solid performance. The D6 lads will want to avenge last season’s final defeat.

Coming into the last round, Tarf were on a similar trajectory to their opponents. They were unbeaten and on an amazing 20-game winning streak. However, a surprise 24-19 defeat to Young Munster. Munsters put a halt to that record. They’ll be keen to get back to winning ways this weekend. They’re the only team to have beat Terenure in the league in 2022. They’ll be targeting their third consecutive AIL win over them on Saturday.

Dublin University V Young Munster, Sat November 26th, College Park, 2:30pm

This is another intriguing game happening this weekend. Trinity who passed a stern test against Shannon in the last round welcome Young Munster who are high in confidence after that big win vs Clontarf.

Trinity put themselves back in 2nd place in the standings with the win in the last game. They were pushed to the limit by Pat O’Connor’s troops. Similar to Terenure, the students have been a joy to watch, with a solid all-round game. Out half Aran Egan has been leading from the front, being the general of their attack. Second row Harry Sheridan is another player who has been vital for them. There is a big future ahead for the youngster in the Ulster jersey in years to come no doubt.

The only thing that might worry Tony Smeeth in recent weeks is the fact that they’ve been conceding late tries in their last two games. They can’t do that on Saturday.

Geroid Prendergast would have been delighted with their performance in the last game, but he knows they need to back it up with another win this week. The Limerick side always bring a strong physical game. They’ll need to produce something special again if they’re going to keep the pressure on those top 4 spots.

Shannon V University College Dublin, Sat November 26th, Thomond Park Back Pitch, 2:30pm

Near the bottom end of the table, this is a really important game for both of these clubs.

UCD are going for back-to-back victories in Limerick, aiming to climb further up the table. Their win in the last game against Garryowen will give them the urge to push on and keep winning.

Shannon have been slowly improving with every game. Despite losing last time out against Trinity they managed to take away two points from it.  Their front five has been their strongest asset in recent games. This should be a highly a competitive encounter.

Ballynahinch V Cork Constitution, Sat November 26th, Ballymaccarn Park, 2:30pm

Ballynahinch host Cork Con this Saturday in what should be another interesting game.

Hinch have looked good at home this season. They need a win this weekend to keep them in touch with the top 4 spots.

Cork Con have just been going about their business quietly this season. They haven’t lost a game since round 2. But they’ve got some tough games coming up in this block.

Lansdowne V Garryowen, Sat November 26th, Aviva Stadium Back Pitch, 2:30pm

Things have certainly not gone to plan for Lansdowne so far this season, with only one win from six league games. However, they should really be targeting three straight wins in this next block with games against Garryowen, UCD and Shannon.

Garryowen are the only team yet to register a win.  It looks like it’s going to be a long and difficult season for them.

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