MATCH OF THE DAY
Cork Constitution v Young Munster,
Temple Hill, 2.30
The top two in Division 1A go head-to-head at Temple Hill as Young Munster's strong start to life in the top tier undergoes a test of its merits.
An away win against Garryowen got the Cookies off to a fine start, before St Mary's fell at Tom Clifford Park in week two.
The hosts look vulnerable after Munster included Scott Deasy, Darragh Hurley, Duncan Williams, Ivan Dineen and Peter O'Mahony in their match-day squad to face Treviso.
But Brian Walsh's (above) Cork Con squad remains massively strong and after two wins from two trips to Dublin, beating Blackrock and Old Belvedere, they go into this game full of confidence.
Perhaps fittingly, given it's the Jazz Festival down Leeside this weekend, the hosts will have to improvise, but with Billy Holland, Ian Nagle, Tom Gleeson and Simon Zebo among those not involved in the provincial clash, they will still have plenty of strength in their ranks.
They should still have enough to give the visiting Limerickmen a stern examination of their credentials. Alan Kingsley's boot will keep Young Munster's scoreboard ticking over, but they will need to add some try scoring nous to their armoury if they are to succeed. They will test the champions, but it is hard to see them being unseated.
Verdict: Cork Constitution.
DOWN MEMORY LANE
February 12, 1993
young munster 17 st mary's 14
Brent Pope (right) saw red as St Mary's were steamrolled by the momentum of Young Munster at Lansdowne Road in the decider 17 years ago.
Backed by their vociferous support, the Cookies claimed their lone title after Pope flattened centre Francis Brosnahan with a punch and was sent off with the score at 6-3 to the Limerickmen.
Ger Earls' heroic intercept try looked to have put Young Munster in the ascendancy, but David Wall's effort levelled at 14-14. But youngster Aidan O'Halloran had the final say with a 40-metre penalty that dipped over the bar.
Young Munster -- G McNamara; N McNamara, N O'Meara, F Brosnahan (M Benson 40) , J McNamara; A O'Halloran, D Tobin; J Fitzgerald, M Fitzgerald, P Clohessy; P Meehan, R Ryan; G Clohessy (capt), D Edwards, G Earls.
St Mary's --A White; A Gillen, G Lavan, V Cunningham, D Wall; N Barry, M Thorne; B Keane, M Corcoran, D Dowling; S Jameson (capt), T Coughlan; K Potts, B Pope, K Devlin.
AIB LEAGUE DUALS
Players who have lined out for both clubs in today's games:
Garryowen v Dolphin
Liam Lannon, Jack Clarke, Niall O'Driscoll, Barry O'Mahony (right)
St Mary's v Shannon
Blackrock v Old Belvedere
Antonio Pinto, David Gavin
AIB LEAGUE FIXTURES
(2.30 unless stated)
Blackrock College v Old Belvedere, Stradbrook; Cork Constitution v Young Munster, Temple Hill; Garryowen v Dolphin, Dooradoyle; St Mary's College v Shannon, Templeville Road.
Clontarf v Buccaneers, Castle Avenue; Galwegians v Dungannon, Crowley Park; UCC v Bruff, Mardyke; UL Bohemian v Lansdowne, Annacotty.
Ballynahinch v Clonakilty, Ballymacarn Park; Bective Rangers v Ballymena, Donnybrook; Belfast Harlequins v Dublin University, Deramore Park; Corinthians v DLSP, Corinthian Park; Midleton v Malone, Towns Park; Old Crescent v QUB, Rosbrien; Terenure College v Thomond, Lakelands.
Ards v Instonians, Hamilton Park; NUIM Barnhall v Navan, Parsonstown; City of Derry v Banbridge, Judges Road; Connemara v Greystones, Monastery Field; Rainey Old Boys v Highfield, Hatrick Park; Sunday's Well v Seapoint, Musgrave Park (3.0); Suttonians v Nenagh Ormond, Station Road; Wanderers v Naas, Merrion Road.