Buccaneers host Corinthians in the third round of the Connacht Senior League with the action kicking off in Dubarry Park on Friday night at 8pm.
Buccaneers are still pointless and will need to show significant improvement on their opening two matches. However, they fielded relatively inexperienced squads in both those encounters and will be hopeful of having a few of their more seasoned campaigners back for the visit of Corinthians.
Danny Qualter has returned to the Pirates crew and will hopefully have recovered from a niggly injury that has sidelined since his return to the club.
Still only 28, he brings a big frame and a wealth of experience to the squad. Rory Grenham is back training too and is another who brings added nous as well as being able to play in a variety of positions.
Much focus will also feature on Tabo Maree, a young South African who has joined the Athlone club. These three players should bolster a pack that has been found wanting in bulk and guile. Rory O’Connor should add a cutting edge to the backline.
Meanwhile, Corinthians recorded a comprehensive 50-10 victory over their arch city rivals Galwegians under the Corinthian Park floodlights last Friday. Although they lost their opening game away to Sligo, they nevertheless notched 28 points in that defeat.
So there is firepower in their side with former Buccaneer Josh Rowland among their leading scorers. Cian Huxford, Cathal Evans and Rory McClean have also been dotting down for tries for the westerners who scored a brace of penalty tries against Wegians.
That indicates power in their pack, an area that the Midlanders must improve on.
U20s play Galwegians on Sunday
Buccaneers U20s also have home advantage against Galway opposition when they host Galwegians at Dubarry Park on Sunday afternoon in a qualifier for the JP Fanagan Leinster League. U20 training takes place on Friday nights with all players to be togged and ready to go on the training paddock by 7pm.
First Outing for Youths
The first youth game of the season resulted in a good home win for Buccaneers against a game Monivea team on Saturday. Some good back play resulted in tries for outhalf Phillip Finnan and wing Alex Connors in a 29-0 win with Andrew Cotton and Noah Stewart converting one try apiece.
Buccaneers have a lot of work still to do at ruck time but showed some nice handling in the ideal conditions. This U14s squad have two teams in the leagues and will need to have more training if they are to flourish. Other top performers for Buccaneers were Ryan Nagle, Owen Egan and Senan Nugent.
Minis Coaching Commences on Saturday
Coaching for Minis players up to U-12’s commences this Saturday morning at 11 a.m. New players and beginners always welcome so come along and ‘give rugby a try’.
Interpros played in Athlone
The impressive Dubarry Park was a hive of activity on Sunday last when Connacht and Munster played a double-header in the interpro series. Two tight contests unfolded with a gritty Connacht display earning their U18s a narrow 13-10 victory while the U19s were edged out 24-19 by the team in red. Both Connacht squads featured a handful of upcoming Buccaneers players.
Meanwhile, Connacht U18 Womens team featuring Ivana Kiripati and Eloise Clarke defeated Munster 7-5 in a low scoring affair in Dublin.
The latest winner in Buccaneers RFC weekly 50/50 Draw is Grace Dowd and her prize is €150.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to Aidan Clarke and family and to the Heavy family on the sad passing of his wife Marianne. Deepest condolences are also extended to John Irvine and family on the sudden passing of his wife Mary. May they both rest in eternal peace.