Buccs hope to respond up north

Buccaneers travel north on Saturday to take on Belfast Harlequins in the Ulster Bank League Division 1B fixture which kicks off in Deramore Park, just off the Malone Road, at 2.30pm.

Quins and Buccs have similar records this season - both sides have won two and lost three matches. Buccaneers lie in fifth place in a congested league table but are just one point above ninth-placed Harlequins. Indeed one point covers six clubs in the table so victory will get one side out of the pack. Buccs have been frustratingly inconsistent with a couple of impressive wins, a pair of poor efforts and then the up and down of the game against Galwegians. The first half of that encounter confirmed the potential in the Pirates’ ranks and, if they can repeat it for an hour or more, they can compete with any team in the competition. Saturday’s contest will be a test of character and structure, and if Buccs front up with intent another victory is possible.

Prop Ricky Lutton, flanker Frankie Taggart, skipper Danny Annett, and Number 8 Sean Reidy are Quins’ key forwards. Fullback David McMaster has contributed a share of their tries while Eamon Lane’s place-kicking accounts for about half of their scores. Ewan Strang and Roger Kirkwood are two other backs to keep an eye on. However, if Buccs improve their decision-making and cohesion, then they can launch a successful raid up north despite last Friday’s 10-14 loss to Corinthians at Dubarry Park.

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