LOCAL Limerick rugby fans have been left in disbelief this weekend as the All Ireland league semi finals and play off games have all been fixed for Sunday afternoon. With all but one club involved in the games (Cork Con) unavailable to play next weekend, the IRFU has made the weird decision to play the games this weekend, on a Sunday, so as to have a week off before the All Ireland league final on May 7.
The games this weekend will take place a day after Munster play Saracens, which is of huge inconvenience to fans having to travel on two separate days. More importantly for the Munster based sides, it comes just 48 hours after the B&I Cup final between Munster and Jersey, meaning that anyone who plays in that game cannot line out for their clubs on Sunday.
Two teams who will take a huge blow in personnel will be Young Munster and Garryowen. The men from the Yellow Road finished in third spot in the All Ireland league, level on points with both Lansdowne and Clontarf. Gearoid Prendergast’s charges must now travel to the 4G pitch in Castle Avenue, missing up to four or five players who have been denied the opportunity to play in an All Ireland semi final, due to no fault of their own.
The same can be said for Conan Doyle’s men in Dooradoyle, who are now at the mercy of Peter Malone’s ‘A’ team selection. With the Old Wesley relegation battle fixed for Sunday, there is also the factor that neither side will be able to name their starting XV for the biggest matches of the season until Friday night at the earliest.
Other Limerick teams in the play off picture are UL Bohemians who travel to Naas looking to reach the Division 1A play off final against Old Wesley or Garryowen, while Old Crescent face Sundays Well in their quest for promotion to Division 2A.
Sun-23-Apr (All games 2.30pm)
Clontarf v Young Munster
Lansdowne v Cork Con
Division 1A/ 1B Playoff
Garryowen v Old Wesley
Naas v UL Bohemians
Division 2A/ 2B Playoff
Sundays Well v Old Crescent