At their last league meeting, Kilkenny got the better of Clondalkin at Foulkstown on a 28-19 scoreline, a second victory in a row over the Dubliners having beaten them at the semi-final stages of last year’s Provincial Towns Cup.
Having had their fixture against Ashbourne called off late Friday night last week, Kilkenny now find themselves in seventh place in the table with two games in hand. Those fixtures will be played out next month against Ashbourne and Suttonians. In a best case scenario for Kilkenny this weekend, they beat Clondalkin away and pick up the bonus point to bring their tally to 22 points which would leap them to 5th in the table, providing fourth placed Ashbourne get the better of Monkstown. Kilkenny’s form on the road, however, has left a lot to be desired but like Kilkenny, Clondalkin have shown that they are beatable at home having lost to Enniscorthy and Gorey at Gordon Park already this season.
In Kilkenny’s last outing they were unlucky not to come away with a share of the spoils – or better – against Enniscorthy.
Bottom line, coming into crunch time in the season with a cluster of fixtures to be played, points on the board will go a long way towards ensuring Saturday rugby for Kilkenny in 2016/17.
Clondalkin and Kilkenny kick off at Gordon Parking Kingswood at 2.30pm on Saturday. Elsewhere in the league Ashbourne are back out in action at home against Monskstown, there’s a Wexford derby as first and second-placed Enniscorthy and Gorey go head to head at Clonattin while bottom side Suttonians are away to De La Salle Palmerston at Kirwan Park.
Tullow v Longford (1B)
If there was ever an opportunity to pick up vital points at home for Tullow, this is it.
They already got the better of Longford, on the road at CPL Park, when the sides last met in November, Tullow winning out 20-12 that Sunday.
Consistency in results has been Tullow’s downfall this season. They started the current year well with 34-10 bonus point win away to Cill Dara, then slipped to a 19-6 defeat against Mullingar last Sunday.
Sitting in sixth place in the table, they’re 10 points off Mullingar who should have no difficulty in beating bottom side Cill Dara at the weekend. To keep themselves away from a relegation scrap in 1B, a win for Tullow is a must and that’s what we’re calling this weekend. Anything else spells potential trouble.
While Tullow kick off at home at 2.30pm on Sunday, North Kildare host Malahide at The Maws Kilcock, Coolmine welcome Wiclow to Ashbrook and Mullingar travel to Silken Thomas Park to take on Cill Dara.
One might imagine then they weren’t planning on a 24-24 draw against New Bridge last weekend. This time out it’s off to Edenderry who have three wins from 11 this season. Carlow had a good 28-7 win at Oak Park against the same side in November and sitting 11 points off the top and automatic promotion with a game in hand, they’ll have it all to do over the next few weeks.
Railway Union are wedged in the middle between Carlow in third and Portlaoise in first it could still come down to the last day of the seaon as Carlow are away to Railway Union in the league’s final game in March.
Carlow kick off against Edenderry at 2.30pm on Sunday. At the same time, winless Athboy host New Ross, Newbridge travel to Portarlington while Railway Union and Portlaoise go head to head where a Railway win could blow the top of the table wide open again.