This is an extremely exciting match-up, with both teams finishing the regular season with almost the same record – the Trojans recording one more win than their playoff opponents. UCD have the most prolific offense in the league, scoring 205 points over eight games but they come up against the second best defense in the league, as the Trojans only gave up an average of 10.75 points a game. These two teams have already met twice this year – on the first occasion, UCD travelled to Harlequins RFC in April, with the game finishing in a 6-6 tie. In the return fixture, the Trojans would prove too strong for the students, winning 32-12 only a month ago.
It has been a much improved season for the Trojans, having bettered their fourth seed finish in 2018 to finishing second seed this year. The Trojans are in great form coming into the playoffs, having won their last four games, including beating Belfast rivals the Knights in their most recent game. Trojans head coach James McKelvey knows his team have worked hard to secure a home playoff game, and will want to take full advantage of that this Sunday “UCD are one of the strongest and physically gifted teams we’ve played this season. They are well coached in all aspects of the game. As a team, we will need to be at our very best. Practice has been good and I’m confident that we will perform to our best.”
Another superb year from UCD saw them finish the regular season as third seeds having only lost to the Admirals and Trojans. Last year’s semi-final agony will be at the forefront of most of UCDs staff and players, losing out on a spot in the Shamrock Bowl by a single point. UCD club secretary Thomas Fitzgerald is confident his team can use that experience last year to overcome the Trojans and book their spot at Energia Park on 4th August “UCD had a lot of positives from our last game versus the Rebels on both sides of the ball. We’re looking to keep our momentum going from that game and continually improve to defeat the Trojans. Last time we went away to Belfast we drew 6-6 with them and this time we’re hoping to secure a win and win our first ever playoff game in what will no doubt be a hard fought game.”
Location: Harlequins RFC, Belfast