Buccs must win game against Old Belvedere

Buccaneers’ final AIB League fixture of the season takes on added dimensions and is now the club’s most important game by a long shot, as Buccs simply must beat Old Belvedere at Dubarry Park, Athlone, on Saturday April 18. Kick off for this make-or-break match is 2.30pm.

Victory for Buccaneers guarantees division one rugby next season, pure and simple; so that must be the goal on the day.

It will clearly take a massive improvement on many fronts to achieve the crucial win, not least in application and effort. Last week’s shambles simply cannot and must not be repeated. The players know what they must do if there is a smithereen of pride in the jersey and their own personal endeavour. Three last minute home defeats were avoidable and have got Buccs into this mess. The squad must now take a leaf out of Munster’s book and stand up and fight. The talent is there but is the will? But the hunger, focus and organisation must be harnessed effectively come game time on Saturday.

Old Belvedere cannot now qualify for the revamped A section next season so Buccs may be hoping that they travel to the midlands without too much ambition in this end of season fixture. However, their results to date show that they have been only narrowly defeated by many of the top clubs including losses to Cork Constitution 22-20 and to Clontarf 23-22 in recent outings. Their scores for and against confirm this and, indeed, Belvo have a plus scoring difference! They have some smashing players notably Simon Keogh and Felix Jones while Kiwi Leo Auva is also influential as is centre Eoin O’Malley. Wings Phil Treacy and especially Dave Mongan have been dotting down the tries while scrumhalf Ruairi Cushion played in the recent AIB Club International squad alongside Kevin Moran.

It will be a huge test of Buccaneers ability and, more importantly, character. But pride and belief must be rediscovered and – with so much more to play for – Buccs must simply step up to the mark when the action gets under way on Saturday.

Key fixtures:- Buccaneers v Old Belvedere and UCD v Young Munster. Terenure College are already relegated. Wins for Buccaneers and UCD guarantees them division one rugby next season. Young Munster must beat UCD and hope that the students do not collect bonus point(s ), and that Buccs lose without getting sufficient bonus point(s ) to avoid relegation. Much may depend on the attitude of both metropolitan clubs on Saturday.


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