Leinster Division 1a Previews
Dundalk v Garda – 2:30
Home stretch now for Garda in a rought season, the margins were getting bigger before Christmas with Enniscorthy breaking 80 and Wanderers 90 before a 67-6 loss in Newbridge.
No point us putting scoreline predictions on this but Dundalk will have no difficultly getting the bonus. They had been on a decent run until a 32-0 loss at Tullamore on December 8th, their November win away to Wanderers remains a high point but their might be more to come.
Home by 30 +
Newbridge v Enniscorthy – 2:30
From the outset man had these sides as title challengers and while three teams are sandwiched in between them in the table there is very little between these two sides overall.
Newbridge have bounced back with their Hosie Cup win over Christmas and while the Garda win stopped a slide the three defeats in a row are the most relevant details in assessing form before the break.
Yet still they sit second and Enniscorthy are on a poor run. They’ve lost four of six with the Garda win offering little solace. That includes the South East Cup loss to Tullow. They’ll need an upsurge ahead of the All Ireland semi.
This will be close but the Black and Yellow are strong at home.
Home by 7
Caption: Action from earlier meeting this season. Pic: Newbridge RFC
Wanderers v Coolmine - 4:15
Interesting late afternoon clash as Wanderers who many feel will pull clear in second as the season draws to a close host a Coolmine side that have as good as form as any side in this league since the end of October.
The men from Ashbrook have won at Enniscorthy and picked up a bonus point in a home win over Newbridge as well as accounting for the bottom two. Donal Crotty will be pleased that they are finally in the groove but this is a big test of that status.
Home by 2
Cill Dara v Tullamore – 7:00
The early season meeting had an edge too it but Tullamore did what they’ve done to every side who have visited Spollanstown this season, they turned on the power pulled clear in the second half.
It’s hard to see and upset here, had Cill Dara beaten Newbridge in the Hosie Cup their case would have been stronger but while they’ll be a menace, Tullamore are too strong.
This is a very important few weeks for the Champions elect. Last season they build towards a big finale in early February with the All Ireland Cup, this season, if all goes to plan they’ll be playing high intensity rugby for an extra two months until the qualifiers end in April.
That’s got to be managed and games like this test the best laid plans.
Away by 12