Podcast: Leinster Division 1b


An entire podcast dedicated to the one division and there’s a reason.

It promises to be some competition this year. Cill Dara’s Enda Finn and Newbridge man Dave Mahon join Rob Murphy to look at the eight teams that will battle for a place in the top flight next season.

In random order, Monkstown, Wicklow, Longford, Ashbourne, Clondalkin, Co Carlow, Portarlington and Tullow all get a mention.

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Caption: Wicklow against Tullow will do battle again this year in the most competitive. Pic Leanne Sullivan, Wicklow RFC.

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43 Responses to “Podcast: Leinster Division 1b”

  1. big bob says:

    longford are shit dont have a hope of winning anything.. fact

  2. mick dundee says:

    ah now thats a silly comment, they’re as strong as anyone else between 1 an 8

  3. mick dundee says:

    tullow sign anybody worthwhile?

  4. highball says:

    did tullow sign the portarlington coach? portarlington should be good with sean rochford and dave hanlon comin in. will bring in alot of experience.

  5. big bob says:

    lets be honest mick who have longford signed no one. all they have done is lost players.. is a fact

  6. Longford Steeler says:

    Big Bob,
    I think you is just jealous?!

  7. big bob says:

    jealous???? i am with an AIL club for years..

  8. JJ says:

    can the fools drop the childish comments and let real rugby people actually comment on the rugby

  9. They signed a class 12 and colm Glynn is a genius

  10. Ralphy says:

    How’d all the Longford players get on with the Leinster juniors this year oh wait that’s right none of them made the squad . Surely a genius would make it but he didn’t .

  11. Colm Glynn is at the end of his career, he has done wonders with Longford, don’t forget who did get it Ivan Poole, who were the selectors and coaches, from enniscorthy I think.

  12. billy bunter says:

    longford still have plenty of good players and a decent amount of young bucks coming through, on their day they will give anyone a decent game, they should easily finish top 4

  13. big bob says:

    whos this class new 12? plus you need more than one new player

  14. Think they called him jimmy, he played rugby league for Ireland A, he was playin last year too.

  15. big bob says:

    So he’s not a new player he played last year i no the fellow not great and a bit over weight.. look i seen Longford play last year i just dont think there good enough unless they bring in some more good first team players.. I think Monkstown win the league easy and Tullow or Ashbourne for 2nd spot

  16. flash gordan says:

    nonsense longford will challenge top 2.
    what way are mullingar shaping up this year manic?

  17. prophalf says:

    I have to say I think longford will be competitive. Very smart coaching ticket who will know their team and what they need to do to win games. Depth may be a bit of an issue but unless you have millions of monies ya can’t solve that quickly, and that’s not sustainable growth regardless.As per usual this will a ridiculously close league, two or three wins or losses on the bounce can dramatically change the league table.

  18. R.E. LEE says:

    big bob you sound like a bitter litle man.
    like whats your problem? longford are doing their best and tho they might not be the flashiest outfit have great determination and pride.
    what role do you have in your ‘ail club’??
    you are probably one of these rugby experts who actually do nothing in the game except bitch at other people and belittle smaller clubs and swan around in your cream chinos you idiot.

  19. Big bob, i dont disagree with you on it but for the style of play longford play he suits them and makes him look good, very powerful for a 12 and plays well off glynn. The league is way to tight to call but longford along with 7 other teams could win it.
    flash gordon Its hard to say what we are shaping up. We are very young, alot of older players have hung up the boots, well for pre season anyway. Couple of good youth players returning, eoin gantley and harrison 2 notables who seem to be very good. The oldest player in the back line is our outhalf Jonny at the age of 24 and the youngest is 18. The new coaching staff of derek maybury, sean feeney and craig swanson will have us in serious condition, the pre season trainig is intense. Derek maybury is very good.
    Season is upon us though, We play Wilsons Hospital past pupils next friday at 7 and we play longford on sunday at 3 in mullingar.
    I think they want to get the young fellas into the swing of things asap to get them ready for the leinster league.
    I dont think we will challenge this year but certainly wont get relegated thats for sure. We will definitely be one of the fittest teams in our league. Our coaches want to play wide rugby all day. Think that is dereks gameplan anyway!

  20. flash gordon says:

    well thats good to hear things are going well so far manic, maybury is a serious coach and if ye have a young team and can keep them together for a few years and build a squad thats half the battle isnt it.
    who would you see challenging in 2a this year? its gas to see kilkenny and plaoise in 2a now, both big clubs and former towns cup winners in the last decade and kk won the league in only 2001!

    any thoughts on 2b? i wonder how will edenderry go, donal milne is doing a good job there by all accounts. good to see plenty of young coaches starting to come thru and gain experience and i hear port have signed 2 ex tullamore players for their coaching team too.

    big bob prob makes the tea for his ‘ail club’!)

    • Leinster Man says:

      Edenderry a strong side but saw them last year against Swords in Swords and it really didn’t impress me. Two packs just pounding each other, weather wasn’t a factor in playing good rugby. They had an Out-Half called Stevie who could kick the ball a good distance but offered no other attacking threat so in turn the backs weren’t really utilised as well as they could’ve been. Saying that they beat both Athy & Railway Union. Early games will indicate where they finish, they were normally a second half season team when players from GAA were back.
      Athy will be a strange one, not sure if they’ll be competing this season. Lost a couple of good backs and from what I can get out of my source there they didn’t get anyone in to cover them. Railway clash at the start of the campaign will be excellent. Railway have been all over the Leinster web-site the last couple of months, interesting season for them. Honeymoon period over for the coach and there’s talk of recruiting going on up there at the moment, hoping to see them in action at least once this year.
      Arklow got in a good coach it seems and a few players back (Richie Murphy) but don’t see them challenging for honours at the end of the season, lost to a poor Balbriggan team last year, I know one year and new coaching will help but in my view they still won’t be competing.
      Guinness are my Dark Horses for this league, on a high from last year’s success, not much being said about them and they only lost to a good Garda team by a point in the Spencer Cup Semi last year. Huge Pack and some good young backs, will be interesting to see how they perform.
      North Kildare will be rugged but not in the same calibre as Mullingar or Gorey last season.
      Swords rugby league side. Big players but technically at breakdown they were very poor last year, still upset Mullingar and should have beaten Railway in their first game but I feel they’ll be relegation candidates this year.

      1. Railway Union.
      2. Guinness.
      3. North Kildare.
      4. Edenderry.
      5. Arklow.
      6. Athy.
      7. Swords.
      8. Balbriggan.

  21. 2a will be gorey I’d say!! If they can get 4 wins on the road they will go up! Iv never been to a place like gorey it’s horrible we lost 38-0 down there last year after Beatin them at home unbelievable how hard it is they beat clondalkin in the towns down there too and they were 2 divisions ahead of them!!
    I personally think arklow will challenge another god forsaken place to get a result and they have got a lot of senior players back notably the eight who played Wesley firsts last a bullock of a man and they have a serious scrum half too!!!
    Your right it’s hard to look past edenderry Donal Milne is a brute of a man and this year will be make or break for them!!!
    Port brought in dave Hanlon who is a player coach, a lot of experience and much respected in Leinster and Sean Rochford who was Andy melvilles right hand man when he was there!!! He will bring a lot to the backs as he played scrum half!!!
    Your right Derek maybury is the business and one of the reasons a lot of young fellas have come back!!! What’s your thoughts and the divisions this year?

    • flash gordan says:

      port have recruited well so, hanlon played leinster juniors for a long time and was a great player for tullamore and i heard rochford was good with the backs alright, it sounds like a good coaching team.

      i dont know a whole lot about 2b, a lot of the teams play much the same narrow conservative game. i saw edenderry a few times last year, they have a good pack and milne is an animal of a ball carrier but to be honest they didnt offer much out wide. scoring tries will be the difference in them challenging or merely coming mid table. you get the feeling they might do better by playing a wider game sometimes instead of constant crash and bash.
      2a is hard enough to call, most of the teams are similar enough. gorey are a good side and portlaoise have apparently recruited well, tho if they can stop the slide only time will tell. i think roscrea could be a dark horse this year, decent all round side.

      • Yea i heard they have recruited well, they had a piece on the leinster website to ask players to come training!!! Edenderry will be very like us last year i think, we struggled to score tries and relied heavily on our kicker who did the job for us. They have a good kicker too, he plays out half or fullback, small fella with red hair. I dont think any of the dub teams will challenge dont think there pack is up to it especially railway, alot of people fancy them but we played them last year and if ya have a kicker they will leak penalties. Dont know about guinness, I think 2b will be closer than 1B this year. I think tullow will run away with 1B this year, I was talking to one of the lads that plays down there and they are having good numbers at training. I think the towns cup run last year has done wonders for and especially with co carlow going downhill, I think its time for a change of coach for them, john burns is very good but it just doesnt seem to be clicking for them.

  22. dando says:

    bob monkstown were absolutely dire last season. their pack wouldnt beat eggs, i saw them twice last year and it was an embarrasment the way they were shoved around especially at scrum time. tullow, ashbourne, longford and even portarlinton will all be licking their lips and will beat them up front. i could see monkstown collapsing and doing a portlaoise and going down again! they also have serious competition for players where they are.

    as for their fan base they dont have any! when we played up there last season i think around 20 people from monkstown tunred up and we hav nearly 100 with us!

  23. Flynn says:

    dando you are spot on. Just because they can down from a strong 1A does not mean they will be in the mix. There style may suit the lower leagues (no offense to the teams in the league) but they just are not a strong side. There 2nd team looks more like a pub team and i dont think they have any U21 side. They seem to rely on lads coming up to Dublin from the country.Now thats all well and good to get a team on the pitch, but from season to season no momentum can be generated, as a lot of these players move on. It may be to “better” clubs in the city, going back to there home club or emigrating which is a problem that every club is facing. Division 1B may suit them better if they want to start building a good team consisting of a core group of players that are there year in, year out

  24. Homer says:

    I think yous are all over looking Wicklow.top of the league at Christmas last year.ok they dropped off after Christmas because they got hit with injuries.they dominated most of the teams in the league including Cill dara they bet them 19-3 at home and drew 22 all away with them.they have maid a lot of changes this year and a lot of youth on there team from there successful underage team from a few years ago.every is entitled to there opinion and are going to favour there own club but yous are only fooling yourselfs to over look them!!!

  25. Def not Wicklow are still in the mix, but I heard they lost their Outhalf who is supposed to be unbelievable and pretty much irreplaceable which doesn’t help

  26. Ashley_BMW says:

    Not alot of talk here about Ashbourne which will suit them down to the ground.

    They’ve recruited well up front with Dave Lee in at the base of the scrum. He’s got AIL pedigree and has led Skerries to a Towns Cup Final. He’s getting in some new blood up front which they’ll need. Supposedly Dermot O’Neill, a real bruiser and work horse, is packing down with Ashbourne aswell. Could surprise a few.

  27. An Luc says:

    As far as I know, Dave Lee will fill in as out-half, full-back and bus driver when required. O’Neill will be the main kicker and Dan Carter will be on the bench.

  28. Mullingar have arranged a friendly with ashbourne for mid september so i will revert back and let ya know how we get on against Dave lee. Never heard of him but by what your sayin on this he seems to be good!!!

  29. Homer says:

    It was actually the second centre Wicklow lost.he was ther player coach.but have final made a few signings two new player coaches and a few good young lads won’t be long for the glory days are back in Wicklow rugby club

  30. big bob says:

    best tea you ever taste flash. you should try my egg salad sandwich as well. plus i was looking for a reaction cus i was bored at work.. thanks lads

  31. dando says:

    manic john burns is a great coach and its very unfair to blame him for their failings, a lot of the blame would have to go to the way the club is run, from talking to ex players its an absolute shambles there.

    carlow should write a book on how to wreck a club:

    1) hire as many foreign players/players from outside carlow as possible and pay them whatever they want. just keep borrowing more and more to pay them.
    2) alienate local businesses and sponsors.
    3) ignore local talent and force decent young players to move to a different club.
    4) put no resources into youth/underage structure.

    Remember just 7 years ago this was a club that was playing div 1 in ail with crowds often in excess of 3000!!

    • Leinster Man says:

      Would definately agree with John Burns being an excellent coach. Style of Rugby he’s trying to coach down there is very good but unfortunately he doesn’t have the players to do it. He’s had no out and out Out-Half, last year the Out-Half was hot and cold and seemed not to trust in his out-side backs and wanted to kick or keep it tight.

      In regards to youth set up it’s gotten better in the last few years. But like many clubs, Carlow are not alone in this, they pumped money into their 1st team far too often, this stopped when they were in Division 1 AIL their last year and a lot of foreign players and mercs left because of that.
      Tullow picked up a couple of players who couldn’t break into the Carlow team because of that.

      2 problems in recent years with Carlow was youth players not coming through either moving to Dublin or just giving up.

      Also their 2nd team was neglected for several years with players dropping straight to their J3s or giving up. Having to travel on a Sunday to play Barnhall, St. Marys and Lansdowne to be beaten by 40+ points is not a nice feeling especially when you realise only 4/5 players actually want to perform, the others are just there to make up numbers. (This was when they were senior).

      From what I can gauge the club has made big efforts to change this but it won’t happen over night. Some good coaches at under-age level and if they can start filtering through some of this talent they will start to make inroads.

      I think John Burns has done a great job in steadying the ship in Carlow unfortunately it probably won’t look like he did good work down there from an achievement point of view but in my opinion he has left the club in a better state than when he found it.

      • R.E. LEE says:

        John Burns is a fine coach, don’t forget he is head backs coach for Tullamore and they won the ail junior cup and finished 2nd in league last year.

        carloe are a club in trouble but sure there are lots of others, look at how far mullingar and edenderry have fallen!

  32. Stan says:

    Having played with Carlow around that time (bit part senior, J1 and U20 player) I would agree with Dando to a point. However Its not as clear cut as you make it. Carlow built there model at a time where the AIL had internationals playing in it and AIL matches where significant revenue generators (3,000 people x €10). This was essentially semi pro rugby. The problem was that the AIL changed very quickly (3,000 people to about 300 people in 2 to 3 seasons) and Carlow didnt have the strength in depth to react. Basically when they couldnt pay the stars they didnt have the local talent to sustain it. I dont think they ignored local talent (plenty of players from Portlaoise, Athy, Enniscorthy, Kilkenny etc played AIL rugby for Carlow), I just dont think there was enough local talent there to sustain AIL Division 1 rugby. And because the side had so few locals once the slide began and the money ran out, players, volunteers and sponsors ran for the hills. I remember when I played in Carlow, the underage sides were resourced very well and were very successful…..the problem was when the money was running out the club diverted their resources (both money and interest) away from the underage and into the seniors in a desperate attempt to stay in the top 2 AIL divisions……a decision which had major consequences. A bit like guaranteeing the bond holders, carlow should have accepted their fate and found there level, it was that 2 or 3 seasons of trying to artificially support AIL rugby by borrowing and paying anybody and everybody that see’s them where they are now. Carlow were naive but they were also unlucky in that their zenith was also the start of a massive decline in the AIL.

  33. flash gordan says:

    thats a fair point stan, buccaneers would be another club that had similar success around the same time as carlow and they appear to be struggling now. the irfu has to accept part of the blame as it has done very little for the club game in the last 10 years. scheduling internationals and heineken cup games the same day and even the same times as ail games is only going to make it harder and harder to draw crowds to club games.

    i suppose carlow’s biggest failure was that they didnt adapt with the times and accept the ail was changing and that they would be better off finding their level at div 1b or 2b. it appears that they just buried their head in the sands. i would have to say tho, they definitely did alienate local talent as i know a good few loyal local lads that left when they were overlooked for outside players.

    manic john burns is a fine coach and i thin it’s unfair to blame him for carlows demise. i heard they have lost some players this year too

  34. Ok I have a feeling I said it wrong, I think John Burns is a fantastic coach and shows that with his success notably with tullamore this year.
    I definitely wouldn hold him anyway accountable for the situation carlow are in at all.
    The way it was meant to sound was he had boarded a sinking ship when everyone else was jumping off, i just think he could do better than the level he is coaching at the moment and Carlow might just need a change of direction.
    If Carlow had an out half as pointed out by Leinster man he could have done more because he would have someone stable in that position. Imagine if Carlow had Aaron Deverell or Ivan Poole? I doubt they would be in the situation they are in today.
    To clear it up and not to stir the pot, John Burns is a great coach and apologies to anyone that i offended, it was not meant in that way.


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