Game of the weekend
UCD v Dublin University
(Belfield, tonight, 7.30)
THE annual Colours match always commands attention, but rarely has so much been riding on the meeting of UCD and Trinity as tonight's Belfield clash.The result will have a major bearing on the race for promotion from Division 1B, with Trinity sitting in second place, three points ahead of the hosts with seven games remaining.
Trinity came out on top in the clubs' first meeting in November with a comprehensive 36-14 win at College Pk and that will give Bobby Byrne's side extra motivation. Having inflicted an away defeat on league leaders Ballynahinch last weekend, UCD are in good form and will be confident. Byrne has named a very strong team, with Leinster prospects Andy Boyle, Sam Coghlan Murray (pictured), Jordan Coghlan and Barry Daly in the backline and former Clongowes star Conor Gilsenan at blindside.
Cathal Marsh is likely to be called up by Leinster and unavailable to Trinity, who are captained by Michael McLoughlin. They will need a big effort to beat a strong UCD side.
UCD – A Boyle; S Coghlan Murray, A Kelly, J Coghlan, B Daly; J Thornton, J Glynn; J Tracy, R Byrne (capt), K Moloney; S Grannell, E MacMahon; C Gilsenan, M McGroarty, E Joyce. Reps: R Harrison, D Doyle, B Cawley, R Shanley, S Murphy, N Earls, D Lynch.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY – D Fanagan; N Hanratty, C Wade, P Lavelle, N Adeolukun; D Joyce, M McLoughlin (capt); I Hirst, W Larkin, M Kelly, C McDonnell, K Kelly; P Dargan, B Du Toit, J Dilger. Reps: J O'Donoghue, C Marsh, A Robles, S Pittman, C Falcon, W Scott, D Gallagher.
James Norton (St Mary's)
Former Leinster winger Norton coaches an exciting backline at the reigning champions as they look to be turning around their season. It has been a difficult season for Hugh Hogan's side after his move from captain to coach and, after last year's success, it is all about survival after a tricky pre-Christmas period.
Norton, who played 22 times for Leinster, scoring 11 tries, has plenty of attacking talent at his disposal and they have been using it to good effect in recent weeks winning away at Clontarf and Cork Constitution.
unwanted record on cards for cork con
Cork Con have never lost three AIL games in a row at Temple Hill, but that record is in deep trouble tomorrow as rampant league leaders Lansdowne visit. They may be without coach Mike Ruddock, but the Dubliners are showing no signs of slowing down and lead second-placed Young Munster by 10 points. Defeats to Garryowen and St Mary's have shown that the fortress is no longer as strong as it once was.
number of the week
97 Prolific Lansdowne have scored 97 more points than anyone else in Division 1A, securing five try bonus-points in the process.
ulster bank league fixtures
(2.30 unless stated)
Division 1A: Garryowen v UL Bohemian, Dooradoyle, 7.30; Division 1B: UCD v Dublin Univ, Belfield, 7.30.
Division 1A: Clontarf v Young Munster, Castle Avenue; Cork Con v Lansdowne. Temple Hill; Shannon v Old Belvedere, Thomond Pk; St Mary's v Dolphin, Templeville Road.
Division 1B: Ballynahinch v Ballymena, Ballymacarn Pk; Belfast Harlequins v Bruff, Deramore Pk; Blackrock v Dungannon, Stradbrook; Buccaneers v Malone, Dubarry Pk, 7.0.
Division 2A: Banbridge v Midleton, Banbridge; Bective R v Corinthians, Bective; DLSP v UCC, DLSP; Galwegians v Seapoint, Galwegians; Greystones v Old Crescent, Dr Hickey Pk; Highfield v City of Derry, Woodleigh Pk; Queens v Cashel, Dub Lane; Terenure v Old Wesley, Lakelands Pk.
Division 2B: Ards v Navan, Hamilton Pk; City of Armagh v Naas, Armagh; Clonakilty v Instonians, The Vale; Nenagh Ormond v Boyne, Nenagh; NUIM Barnhall v Connemara, NUIM Maynooth Complex; Rainey Old Boys v Skerries, Hatrick Pk; Sunday's Well v Sligo, Musgrave Pk; Suttonians v Thomond, Station Road.