Irish rugby | Energia Women’s All-Ireland League: Top Four and Conference Examples


ROUND 2: Saturday January 22

Kick-off at 5 p.m. unless otherwise stated –


Energia All-Ireland League Season Form: Railway Union: WWDWDWWWWWW; black rock college: LWWWWLWWW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Railway Union: Points: Nikki Caughey 96; tries: Aoife Doyle, Niamh Byrne 7 each; Blackrock College: Points: Hannah O’Connor 56; tries: Maggie Boylan 8

Example: It’s almost two years after Blackrock College’s 16-12 win over Railway Union at Stradbrook. Hannah O’Connor scored all their points that day, and the number 8 remains a key figure for the title run in the Top Four.

Ireland asterisk Dorothy Wall makes a timely return from a hand injury as she focuses on a series of matches leading up to the Women’s Six Nations. She takes the blindside flanker for Blackrock.

Anna Potterton is also added to the hosts pack, while Ballinasloe natives Meabh Deely and Aoibheann Reilly come in as fullback and scrum half respectively. Natasha Behan switches to the right wing and Lisa Mullen is halfway.

Lindsay Turf starts at loosehead prop for Railway, after announcing her international retirement. The reigning champions pack also includes the freshly introduced Sonia McDermott, Keelin Brady and Molly Boyne.

Railway Director of Rugby and Head Coach, John Cronin, made five changes to the starting XV, the last of which sees it Aoife O’Shaughnessy and Ava Ryder back to the rear.

“We’ve won both games so far this month without playing particularly well, but we’ve had a really positive week of training this week,” explains Cronin.

“We got a lot of clarity about how we want to play and there was a buzz at the end of each session. All the players who come in have performed in training and they deservedly get their chance this week.”

Recent competition meetings – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Blackrock College 16 Railway Union 12, Stradbrook; Saturday September 25, 2021: Blackrock College 11 Railway Union 25, Stradbrook Prediction: Railway union to be won


Energia All-Ireland League Season Form: UL Bohemians: WWWLWWWWWL; Old Belvedere: WWLWWWLLLL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: Nicole Cronin 60; tries: Chloe Pearse 7; Old Belvedere: Points: Clara Gorman 45; tries: Clare Gorman 9

Example: Ireland International Eimear Considine is back on the left wing for UL Bohemians’ home meeting with Old Belvedere. Both teams had losing starts in the Top Four series.

Boh’s boss Niamh Briggs also trades in Muirne Wall for Louise Costello at scrum half. The Red Robins defeated Belvedere 46-17 at the same venue in October when ‘Belvo captain’ Jenny Murphy got a red card.

Johnny Garth’s Charges will be eager to create more attacking opportunities after being held scoreless by Blackrock. They have not scored more than one try per game since losing 38-26 to Galwegians at the end of November.

Recent competition meetings – Saturday, January 11, 2020: Old Belvedere 14 UL Bohemians 29, Ollie Campbell Park; Saturday, October 9, 2021: UL Bohemians 46 Old Belvedere 17, UL Arena Prediction: UL Bohemians to win


ROUND 2: Saturday January 22

Kick-off at 5 p.m. unless otherwise stated –

GALWEGIANS (1st) v COOKE (5th), Crowley Park, 2.30pm

Energia All-Ireland League Season Form: bile ducts: SIGNIFICANT; Cook: FREEZING
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: Orla Dixon 30; tries: Orla Dixon 6; Cook: Points: Aishling O’Connell 30; tries: Aishling O’Connell 6

Example: Conference leaders Galwegians, who have won five of their last seven matches, will have: Emma Keane and Aoife Williams at half-back, and exciting youngster Faith Oviawe at lock, for Cooke’s visit.

The Belfast side gets a boost with Ulster’s return Kelly McCormill in the centre. They have changed a lot from last week’s disappointing 37-13 turnaround at home to Suttonians.

Cooke’s always reliable captain Aishling O’Connell, who took a brace off the bench to bring her season’s catch to six attempts, returns on tighthead prop. There are also starts for Teah Maguire, Hannah Downey, Fiona McCaughan and India Dale.

Recent competition meetings – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Galwegians 19 Cooke 12, Crowley Park; Saturday October 30, 2021: Cooke 7 Galwegians 47, Shaw’s Bridge Prediction: Galwegians to win

SUTTONIANS (2nd) v MALONE (4th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds

Energia All-Ireland League Season Form: Suttonians: LLWLLLWWLW; malone: WLDLLLWLLL
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Suttonians: Points: Mary Healy, Molly Fitzgerald, Emily McKeown 25 each; tries: Mary Healy, Molly Fitzgerald, Emily McKeown 5 each; Malone: ​​Points: Holly Brannigan 29; tries: Holly Brannigan 5

Example: In-form Suttonians are chasing their fourth win in five games and their second of the Conference campaign. Mary Healy and Emily McKeown, two of their top try-scorers, will affect the bench tomorrow.

Malone head coach Jamie McMullan has kept faith with the same 15 players who started last week’s frustrating 17-15 loss to Ballincollig. full back Holly Brannigan now has five attempts to her credit.

When Sutts visited the Cregagh Red Sox last month, they won 13-12 in a nail-biting fashion. Now that the squad has been rotated this week, there are seven changes and a new second row combination of Grainne Tummon and Aislinn Layde.

Recent competition meetings – Saturday, November 23, 2019: Suttonians 41 Malone 21, Castle Avenue; Saturday, December 4, 2021: Malone 12 Suttonians 13, Gibson Park Prediction: Suttonians to win

WICKLOW (6th) v BALLINCOLLIG (3rd), Ashtown Lane

Energia All-Ireland League Season Form: Wicklow: LLLLLLLLLLL; Ballin Collig: WLWLDLLLLW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Wicklow: Points: Beth Roberts 17; tries: Sarah Gleeson, Aoibhin Stone 2 each; Ballin Collig: Points: Denise Redmond 16; tries: Gemma Lane, Heather Kennedy 3 each

Example: Both clubs have been targeting this IRFU-streamed game since before Christmas, most notably Wicklow, who, after four consecutive defeats, is determined to win again at home.

Wicklow could not take advantage of Ella Roberts’ quick counterattacks last Saturday, something they hope to rectify against Ballincollig. The visitors have their own speedster in Heather Kennedy, the goalscorer of two crucial attempts at Malone.

That thrilling two point win in Belfast gave ‘Collig an early New Years hit. head coach Fiona Hayes has rewarded its fighters with an unaltered starting XV. Their mission is to avenge the loss of November 15-10 for Jason Moreton’s young people.

Recent competition meeting – Saturday November 6, 2021: Wicklow 15 Ballincollig 10, Ashtown Lane Prediction: Ballincollig to win

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