Young Munster set for Con job

Munsters’ travel to Temple Hill to face holders and Division 1A table toppers Cork Constitution at 2.35pm.

Munsters’ travel to Temple Hill to face holders and Division 1A table toppers Cork Constitution at 2.35pm.

Young Munster Director of Rugby, Mike Prendergast said that while he appreciated the size of the challenge the Clifford Park side faced this weekend, it was one they were greatly looking forward to.

Mike Prendergast said: “Temple Hill is a hard place to go. We lost down there in the AIL earlier this season. It was only in the second half that we believed how good we can be and ran them close near the end. Con’ came up to us later on a mucky day and we managed to win that one. We will look forward to it. It’s a huge challenge.”

Munsters’ finished 10 points behind Con’ in the 1A table, but did inflict one of only two defeats suffered by the Cork side in the 14-game regular season. Sunday’s game will be televised live on RTE2 as will the opening semi-final between Old Belvedere host Clontarf on Saturday afternoon which also has a 2.35pm kick-off.

Meanwhile, Garryowen will be aiming to preserve their unbroken record of competing in the League’s top flight when the ‘light blues’ host Buccaneers in a crucial relegation play-off tie at Dooradoyle on Saturday (2.30pm).

Garryowen finished bottom of the 1A table after suffering that final day defeat to city rivals Young Munster. Buccaneers qualified for the play-off as a result of their third-placed finish in 1B. The winner of the game will compete in the extended 10-team Division 1A next season, while the loser will play in 1B.

Garryowen head coach, Paul Cunningham said he hoped the club’s proud tradition of winning Cup finals would serve them well in their upcoming play-off with Buccs’.

“The play-off is a Cup final for us,” Paul Cunningham said.

“We have a long tradition in the AILs top flight, but no team deserves things above anyone else. We are where we are because we didn’t get enough points during the year. Now we have to go and win the play-off.”

Elsewhere, in Division 2, second-from-bottom Thomond and bottom-placed Old Crescent will be looking to avoid a relegation play-off when the final series of AIL fixtures take place this weekend. Thomond, who host Corinthians at Liam Fitzgerald Park currently enjoy a two-point advantage over Old Crescent who travel to Kirwan Park to face DLSP. The side finishing bottom of the table will be faced with a relegation play-off against the fifth-placed side in Division 3 to determine which club competes in Division 2A and which one plays in Division 2B next season.