Monday 5 December 2016

Pro12 debut for whistler Murphy

Published 25/11/2016 | 02:30

In Division 1B, UCC and Dolphin lock horns at the Mardyke tonight. The Students are in seventh place while Dolphin are second from bottom following their second win of the campaign against Naas (Stock picture)
In Division 1B, UCC and Dolphin lock horns at the Mardyke tonight. The Students are in seventh place while Dolphin are second from bottom following their second win of the campaign against Naas (Stock picture)

There are two local derbies in Munster under lights tonight in the each of the top two divisions of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.

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The game of the weekend in Division 1A sees leaders Young Munster going head to head with Garryowen in a Limerick derby at Tom Clifford Park tonight.

Young Munster will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table while the Sky Blues are seventh following their victory over St Mary's College last time out.

In Division 1B, UCC and Dolphin lock horns at the Mardyke tonight. The Students are in seventh place while Dolphin are second from bottom following their second win of the campaign against Naas.

There is also a full programme of games across all five divisions of the AIL tomorrow.

The only game in the top flight sees Cork Constitution travelling to the capital to take on Dublin University at College Park.

This will be a tough assignment for the Leesiders, who are in fourth place behind Trinity on points difference.

UL Bohemian, who are second in Division 1B, face a tricky task as they travel to Kildare to take on fifth-placed Naas at Forenaughts.

Shannon, who are propping up the table, will have their work cut out as they entertain third-placed Old Wesley at Coonagh.

In Division 2A there are two ties in which Cork sides face Tipperary opposition.

Fourth-placed Highfield will be looking to continue their quest for a third successive promotion as they travel to the Premier County to take on struggling Cashel.

Sunday's Well welcome new leaders Nenagh Ormond to Irish Independent Park and the home side will have it all to do to get something from this encounter.

There is a Limerick derby between Old Crescent and Thomond at Rosbrien in Division 2B.

The home side have moved out of the drop zone following their victory over City of Derry and they will be looking to make the most of home advantage against their neighbours.

In Division 2C, Bruff make the long trip to County Down to take on promotion chasing Bangor.

Bruff recently climbed out of the relegation zone following their victory over Kanturk.

Midleton will have their work cut out as they entertain second-placed Navan and Kanturk, who are now propping up the table, are away to leaders Rainey Old Boys.

Former Munster player Frank Murphy will take charge of his first game in the Guinness Pro12 on Sunday and create a small piece of Championship history in the process.

Murphy will become the second former Pro12 player turned referee when he oversees the clash between Newport-Gwent Dragons and Edinburgh at Rodney Parade.

Murphy started refereeing in 2014 and after progressing quickly through the Inter-Provincial Appointments System (IPAS), he was promoted to the IRFU National Panel of referees last year.

He named as Referee of the Year at the Munster Rugby awards in May 2016.

The former scrum-half retired from professional rugby at the end of the 2014/15 season having represented Munster, Leicester and Connacht, where he played over 100 games, during a 13-year professional career.

Irish Independent

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