MATCH OF THE DAY
St Mary's v Shannon,
Templeville Road, 2.30
With Cork Constitution on AIB Cup duty, this fixture represents an opportunity for both Shannon and St Mary's to go top of the table.
These are the two highest-scoring sides in the league, so punters at the Dublin 6W venue will be hoping for plenty of action as the teams try to cement their top-three status.
Last week, against Dolphin the hosts failed to arrest the slide that has seen them lose four of their last five matches and is threatening to undo their excellent start to the season as Cormac O'Flynn (pictured) fired seven penalties to beat Mary's 21-13.
The champions, meanwhile, are in good form. They have lost just once , 9-8 to leaders Cork Con, since October.
That run has seen them rise into the play-off places and having won at Castle Avenue and Stradbrook in recent weeks, they're clearly not a team who fear trips up the N7.
But Mary's beat Shannon 12-7 at Thomond in October and have the ability and experience to pull off a win. Whether their confidence has been knocked remains to be seen at a crucial stage of the season.
Form and history point to Colm Tucker's men taking the spoils, but they won't have it easy with Mary's likely to pick up the bonus.
Verdict: Away win.
Down Memory Lane
March 27, 1999
Monkstown 15 UCD 39
UCD's march towards promotion went on thanks to a young man called Brian O'Driscoll (pictured), who notched up 26 points in front of Ireland selector Philip Danaher at Sydney Parade.
The calls to include the exciting novice out-half-cum-centre were growing, as Warren Gatland's backline had not created a single try in 320 minutes of Five Nations rugby ahead of a clash with Italy (this was not a championship match as Italy did not join the extended Six Nations until the following year).
This performance earned O'Driscoll a place on the bench against Italy and he would make his debut against Australia that summer.
His contribution to UCD's promotion season was immense and against Monkstown he set Shane Moore up for an early try before scoring one of his own and kicking 21 points.
Monkstown -- O Wixted; A Langford, G McWilliams, R McInerney, J Kennedy; J Gibson, C Heaney; B Markey, D Dent, M Smith; K Rigney, P McManus; H McGuire, D Watts, D O'Brien.
UCD -- P Bredin; H McMahon, B O'Driscoll, M Colling, Jacob Smith; S Moore, C Scally; M Moynagh, D Blaney, R McCormack; James Smith, C Keane; J Shine, G Cantwell, A Kearney.
AIB LEAGUE DUALS
Players who have lined out for both sides in today's fixtures:
St Mary's v Shannon: Adam Hennigar.
Old Belvedere v Buccaneers: Chris Keane, Niall O'Brien.
Old Welsey v Bective: Frank McNamara
AIB League Fixtures
Div 1A -- St Mary's v Shannon, Templeville Road; Dolphin v Clontarf, Musgrave Park (Sunday, 2.30)
Div 1B -- Ballymena v UCC, Eaton Park; Galwegians v Ballynahinch, Crowley Park; Young Munster v Dungannon, Clifford Park; Old Belvedere v Buccaneers, Anglesea Road (Sunday, 2.30).
Div 2 -- Belfast Harlequins v DLSP, Deramore Park; Corinthians v Clonakilty, Corinthian Park; Dublin University v Malone, College Park; Lansdowne v Thomond, RDS; Old Crescent v Greystones, Rosbrien; Old Wesley v Bective Rangers, Donnybrook; Terenure v Bruff, Lakelands; UCD v Highfield, Belfield.
Div 3 -- Ards v QUB, Hamilton Park; Barnhall v Midleton, Parsonstown; Connemara v Banbridge, Monastery Field; Nenagh Ormond v Instonians, New Ormond Park; Rainey OB v Naas, Hatrick Park; Sunday's Well v Navan, Musgrave Park; Suttonians v Portadown, McDowell Park; Wanderers v Carlow, Merrion Road.