CHANGE TO HOME VENUE FOR BUCCS SEASON OPENER AGAINST CORINTHIANS | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

. . . . .

CHANGE TO HOME VENUE FOR BUCCS SEASON OPENER AGAINST CORINTHIANS

published:Aug  18   2017

 

BUCCANEERS finally get into competitive action when they face Galway Corinthians at Dubarry Park for a Connacht Senior League fixture on Saturday. As well as a change of venue, kick off time is now 3 p.m. Buccs are reigning league champions but will field a much-changed outfit for this contest while Corinthians too have been active in reorganising their squad for the new season.

 

The Athlone side recorded a double over Corinthians last term, winning this corresponding league fixture 36-3 on the opening day of last season. It was much tighter later in the season when the clubs clashed in the Senior Cup final in which the Pirates prevailed by 17-10 in a decider that could have gone either way. Both teams will probably have to field without any of their Connacht representatives on Saturday. Thus Buccs are likely to look to ever present duo from last season Martin Staunton and John Sutton, along with Simon Meagher, Evan Galvin, Ruairi Byrne and Rory Grenham to form the nucleus of a pack that will not have the driving force of Kolo Kiripati in its ranks this year. Ryan O’Meara, Niall Farrelly, Ronan Farrell and Brian Collins are among the young guns who could get an opportunity to put their hands up for inclusion in AIL squads. Shane Layden, Rory O’Connor, Callum Boland and Mata Fifita should be key figures in a backline that could be short of Alan Gaughan (GAA) and Jordan Conroy. Frankie Hopkins, Graham Lynch, Dan Keane, Dean McMahon and Thomas McGann are young enterprising backs itching to start in what will be Darin Claasen’s first game in charge. Adding spice to the occasion, Buccaneers new head coach played for many a season at Corinthian Park! It will be interesting to note any change of style or focus in the pack under the tutelage of Mike McCarthy in his first coaching role.

 

It should be a lively and entertaining tussle as Buccaneers commence the defence of their Connacht League title. The outcome will surely be much closer than last season but, if the midlanders jell, they can make a winning start to the season. Meanwhile, next week’s home league fixture against Sligo has been brought forward to Friday night with an 8 p.m. kick off at Dubarry Park.

 

CONDOLENCES

 

Deepest sympathy is extended to Gerard Curley and family on the death of his father Michael.