BUCCS AWAY TO GARRYOWEN

BUCCANEERS travel to Dooradoyle on Saturday to square up with Garryowen in the second round of this season’s Ulster Bank League Division 1A with the kick off in Limerick at 2.30 p.m. Both teams will be seeking their first win of the campaign following opening day defeats to Dublin clubs Lansdowne and St. Mary’s College.

Garryowen, who retained their Division 1A status last term following play-off wins over Old Wesley and UL Bohemian, were busy recruiting following that scare with a trio including lock Aaron McCloskey and No.8 Sean Rennison moving from neighbours Young Munster. Trinity prop Paddy Keating was another notable signing for the side captained by scrumhalf Neil Cronin, brother of Ireland hooker Sean. The Johnston brothers, outhalf Bill and centre David, are key backs along with Diarmuid McCarthy while Munster hooker Mike Sherry was an interesting player to spring from the bench at Templeville Road.

Buccs will have gleaned encouragement from their performance against Lansdowne despite coming out on the wrong side of the 19-10 scoreline. The Pirates endeavour to play an expansive game but the ball does not have to be spread too quickly while their kicking game malfunctioned on Saturday. Greater patience and composure would have helped their cause last weekend while they were punished for some indiscipline. These are areas that can be readily tweaked to their benefit. Jordan Conroy is still a week or two from returning after injury but Callum Boland and Mata Fifita look longer term absentees. Corey Reid is their major injury concern from the Lansdowne match.

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Darin Classen and Mike McCarthy will surely have paid attention to these fixable but crucial details on the training paddock before the trip to Limerick. If the Buccs players pay due heed and play to their collective potential and strengths, they are well capable of taking points from Dooradoyle.