Category: Playoffs

SBC Playoffs: Trojans vs UCD Preview

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

Kick-off: 2pm

SBC Playoffs: Admirals vs Panthers Preview

The reigning national champions Cork Admirals are two wins away from retaining the Shamrock Bowl, but they face a tough visit from a South Dublin Panthers side entering their first ever semi final. The Admirals finished the regular season top of the table and unbeaten with seven wins and one draw whilst the Panthers finished as fourth seeds, winning four and losing four. The Admirals possess the best defense in the league, only giving up 63 points in eight games. They come up against a Panthers offense that has scored an average of 20 points per game this year. The last match-up between these two sides was back in March, when the Panthers travelled to Cork. An enthralling game ended 20-14 to the hosts – a one score game meaning this playoff game should be a brilliant watch.

A significant season for the Admirals sees them finish as league champions and with vital home advantage. Finishing unbeaten shows how much this team has come on, after losing three games in 2018. The Admirals enter this match full of confidence having dispatched the West Dublin Rhinos 47-7 in their most recent match two weeks ago. Admirals head coach Alan Lomasney will be looking for consistency of a high level in all three phases of the game, which will be crucial to getting that all important win “The Panthers are a good team, always well coached and every time we play them the games are always close. We are looking forward to welcoming the Panthers to Cork and it’s going to be a tough, hard hitting game of playoff football. We have been practising well and we will be doing our best to get a result and to continue to defend our title.”

A historic season for the South Dublin Panthers as they reach the Shamrock Bowl semi finals for the first time in their history. The Panthers started the season well, as they were sitting with four wins and one loss after five games but have been struggling recently, recording three defeats in a row – most recently a 7-10 loss to the Vikings. Panthers head coach Steve Mack knows his team must find the form they had earlier in the season in order to book their place in Shamrock Bowl XXXIII “Looking forward to the game. Obviously very happy to be at this stage of the season considering how close and unpredictable the regular season was. That being said, we didn’t come this far to only come this far and we know Cork are a very tough team but we’re confident in ourselves and our preparation. Should be an exciting game.”

Location: Presentation Brothers College Sports Grounds, Cork

Kick-off: 2pm

Facebook: Cork Admirals
Facebook: South Dublin Panthers

IAFL 1 Playoffs: Cowboys vs Trinity Preview

Trinity College Dublin @ Craigavon Cowboys

There was 1276 points scored in IAFL 1 this season, with over a third (34.4%) of those scored by Trinity College and league champions Craigavon Cowboys. Whilst their offenses have been setting the pace, their defenses have also had an almighty season as Trinity finished the regular season with the best defense (only 47 points conceded in eight games) and the Cowboys defense coming second, having conceded an average of 7.9 points a game. The last time these two teams met, Trinity came out on top 14-2 in the season opener.

It has been a great season for Trinity, having bounced back from being relegated from the SBC last year. They recorded six wins and two losses, however both their losses came in the last two games they played, losing out to the Eagles and Minotaurs. Trinity line captain Kevin Seery is hoping that recent form will be overturned this Sunday “We are very excited to get back on the field this weekend. This is playoff football, and we know our season hinges on this game. We aren’t expecting an easy game, playing away against the league leaders. We have a very young team this year so for a lot of the guys this will be their first taste of playoff football. We’ve made massive strides as a team over the season and we’re confident that if some of our rookies like WR Franklin Obiekwe and Lineman Oisin Fullham Smith step up and give their all then we can come away with the W.”

With the Cowboys beating the Minotaurs and the Eagles beating Trinity on a frantic final day of the regular season, the Cowboys saw themselves propel from third to first in the table, clinching the league and a home playoff game. The Cowboys carry the best form into the playoffs having won their last seven games, most recently beating the Minotaurs and Eagles. Cowboys head coach Greg Loughran is keen to avenge the early season defeat to Trinity and get his team to their third consecutive IAFL 1 Bowl game “It’s post season football again for the Cowboys and this time around it’s a clash with the only team to beat us in the 2019 season, Trinity College Dublin. We owe it to ourselves to win this game.”

Location: Peoples Park, Portadown

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Craigavon Cowboys

IAFL 1 Playoffs: Minotaurs vs Eagles Preview

Its win or bust time in IAFL 1 as this Sunday see’s four teams go head to head with only two coming out the other side with an IAFL 1 Bowl spot. The four teams combined won 25 matches and lost only 7 this season, so both games are sure to be very competitive. We start our previews with a hard hitting match up in Mullingar.

Wexford Eagles (3rd, 6-2) @ Westmeath Minotaurs (2nd, 6-2)

Second versus third in what is sure to be a smash mouth game of football with both teams being run reliant. The last time these two teams met, the Minotaurs ran out comprehensive winners in Gorey beating the Eagles 39-16. However, the Minotaurs recent form has dipped, losing their two most recent games to the Mavericks and Cowboys. Momentum is certainly with the Eagles, who have won their most recent two games against the Vipers and Trinity.

The Eagles offense scored the second highest points during the regular season (239) however the defense finished fourth after conceding 123 points. Eagles head coach Kevin Klatt will be looking for his defense to step on Sunday “We know this game won’t be easy; the Minotaurs gave us our worst loss this season when we played them in March. However, we’ve moved on a lot since then. I like to think that the Eagles players and coaches have developed the ability to adapt to what other teams are doing ‘on the fly’ if you’ll excuse the play on words. We’ve got nearly a fully-fit squad, and given the performance of some of our rookies over the past few games, the Eagles coaches actually have selection problems of the good kind heading into this semi-final. We think a lot of people expected Trinity to win our game last Sunday. As they’ve done throughout my time with this club, the Eagles rose to the challenge and did exactly what was needed on the day. I know, hand-on-heart, that the players will leave it all out there again next Sunday, as we all know that a place in the final is at stake.”

The Minotaurs find themselves with home field advantage and only one game away from the Bowl after a terrific season. Six wins on the bounce saw them sit top of the table after their first six games but struggles recently saw them finish in second place. The Minotaurs offense is the best in the league, scoring an average of 32.5 per game. Minotaurs club captain Jo Coyne will be hoping his offense is firing all cylinders “We know what to expect from Wexford so we know we will not be handed anything and that we will have to earn every yard on the day. With a few key pieces back from injury/holidays we do think we can get back to playing the football which got us to the playoffs.”

Location: Mullingar RFC

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Thomas Casey Photography
Facebook: Wexford Eagles

SBC 2019 Playoff Picture

SBC 2019 has its four playoff bound teams (with current seeding):

  • The Cork Admiral – 1st seed
  • The Belfast Trojans – 2nd seed
  • UCD American Football – 3rd seed
  • The South Dublin Panthers – 4th seed

All four teams still have one regular season game to play this Sunday and all four games are against another team in the league. This makes the number of possible final SBC playoff scenarios much bigger than its sister leagues IAFL1 and IAFL2 who had nine a piece. All in all, there are eighty-one — yes 81!! — possible scenarios. However, you do not need to be a math whiz to figure out all the possible final outcomes. Here is why.

Now, before we get to the scenarios here are a few key facts:

  • Admirals beat Trojans on May 11th
  • Trojans beat UCD on June 16th
  • UCD beat Panthers on June 23rd

The standings as of last weekend are:

The Admirals have already locked in their playoff berth and home game in Cork, so even a loss would not change their position. Cork Admirals won the league and are comfortably set for a very advantageous home game.

Trojans currently sit at 2nd with 11 points. If they were to lose their game and UCD were to win theirs, Trojans would still be at 2nd after the tie breaker (head to head win). Furthermore, there are no real scenarios where the Trojans could take 1st seed and even less scenarios they would go lower than 2nd. There is a very strong chance the Trojans will host their playoff game in Deramore Park. 

Panthers currently have 8 points, a win would give them 10 points. If UCD were to lose their games then Panthers would overtake UCD to 3rd. In all cases, the Panthers can only reach 3rd seed and would have to travel for their playoff game. And so are UCD at 3rd or 4th.

All things considered, there are only two strong possible outcomes and two very good sets of playoff games not to miss on the 21st of July:

  • Admirals 1st v 4th Panthers and Trojans 2nd v 3rd UCD
  • Admirals 1st v 4th UCD and Trojans 2nd v 3rd Panthers.
You can find the full chart of scenarios below.
 
By no means if you find another possible outcome please let us know. 

Over and out!
 

IAFL2 2019 Playoff Picture

As it stands in the IAFL2 has three teams with an option to reach the playoff stage:

  • The Cill Dara Crusaders
  • The Meath Bulldogs
  • The Antrim Jets

However, it is not yet clear which of these will take the top two spots who will have the chance to battle it out and be crowned IAFL2 bowl champions on July 14th. The IAFL2 Bowl game will also be hosted by the top seeded IAFL2 team.

Before we get to the scenarios here is some key factors to help us determine the possible outcome of each scenario.

  • Bulldogs beat Jets on June 9th
  • Bulldogs beat Crusaders on May 26th (33-12)
  • Crusaders beat Bulldogs on April 14th (21-6)
  • Crusaders play Jets on June 23rd
  • Bulldogs play Causeway Giants on June 23rd

The current standings as of last weekend are:

So – unto the scenarios. There are 9 possible outcomes so bear with us while we lay them out for you.

Crusaders beat Jets / Bulldogs beat Giants
  • Crusaders are 7-1, Bulldogs are 6-1-1 and Jets are 5-3
  • Crusaders are 1st seed, Bulldogs 2nd seed and Jets 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Crusaders vs Bulldogs in Newbridge

Crusaders beat Jets / Giants beat Bulldogs
  • Crusaders are 7-1, Bulldogs are 5-2-1 and Jets are 5-3
  • Crusaders are 1st seed, Bulldogs 2nd seed and Jets 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Crusaders vs Bulldogs in Newbridge

Jets beat Crusaders / Giants beat Bulldogs
  • Crusaders are 6-2, Bulldogs are 5-2-1 and Jets are 6-2
  • Jets are 1st seed, Crusaders are 2nd seed and Bulldogs are 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Jets vs Crusaders in Antrim

Jets beat Crusaders / Bulldogs beat Giants
  • Crusaders are 6-2, Bulldogs are 6-1-1 and Jets are 6-2
  • Bulldogs are 1st seed, Jets are 2nd seed and Crusaders are 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Bulldogs vs Jets in Navan

Crusaders and Jets draw / Bulldogs and Giants draw
  • Crusaders are 6-1-1, Bulldogs are 5-1-2 and Jets are 5-2-1
  • Crusaders are 1st seed, Bulldogs are 2nd seed and Jets are 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Crusaders vs Bulldogs in Newbridge

Crusaders and Jets draw / Bulldogs beat Giants
  • Crusaders are 6-1-1, Bulldogs are 6-1-1 and Jets are 5-2-1
  • Jets are 3rd seed automatically
  • Since Crusaders beat Bulldogs on April 14th (score 21:6) and Bulldogs beat Crusaders on May 26th (score 33:12), the difference of scores between the two games would give the Bulldogs a NET of +6 and therefore give them 1st seed with Crusaders taking 2nd seed
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Bulldogs vs Crusaders in Navan

Crusaders and Jets draw / Giants beat Bulldogs
  • Crusaders are 6-1-1, Bulldogs are 5-2-1 and Jets are 5-2-1
  • Crusaders are 1st seed automatically
  • Since Bulldogs beat Jets on June 9th, Bulldogs will take 2nd seed and Jets 3rd
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Crusaders vs Bulldogs in Newbridge

Crusaders beat Jets / Bulldogs and Giants draw
  • Crusaders are 7-1, Bulldogs are 5-1-2 and Jets are 5-3
  • Crusaders are 1st seed, Bulldogs 2nd seed and Jets 3rd seed automatically
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Crusaders vs Bulldogs in Newbridge

 

Jets beat Crusaders / Bulldogs and Giants draw
  • Crusaders are 6-2, Bulldogs are 5-1-2 and Jets are 6-2
  • Since Crusaders beat Bulldogs on April 14th (score 21:6) and Bulldogs beat Crusaders on May 26th (score 33:12), the difference of scores between the two games would give the Bulldogs a NET of +6 and therefore give them 1st seed with Crusaders taking 2nd seed
  • Since the Bulldogs beat the Jets on June 9th, Bulldogs take 1st seed, Jets 2nd seed and Crusaders 3rd
  • IAFL2 Bowl games will be Bulldogs vs Jets in Navan

IAFL1 2019 Playoff Picture

As it stands four teams have already gained a berth in the IAFL1 playoff stage :

  • The Westmeath Minotaurs
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • The Craigavon Cowboys
  • The Wexford Eagles

However, it is not yet clear which of these will take 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th seed.

The playoff games will take place on July 14th. Both games will be hosted by the top 2 seeds respectively.

Before we get to the scenarios here is some key factors to help us determine the possible outcome of each scenario.

  • Minotaurs beat Trinity on May 12th
  • Minotaurs beat Eagles on March 30th
  • Trinity beat Cowboys on March 3rd
  • Cowboys beat Eagles on June 9th
  • Minotaurs play Cowboys on June 30th
  • Eagles play Trinity on June 30th
  • Section 3 U 4 of the bylaws (page 25) stipulates “In the event that any team fails to complete 2 or more regular season fixtures, all its games will be regarded as 30-0 forfeits for the purposes of calculating the points allowed in these specific tiebreak categories.” Since both the Waterford Wolves and Galway Warriors have forfeited 2 or more games during the season, all the games each team has fully played will brought (up or down) to a 30-0 score for the non-forfeiting team. For example, the Wolves lost to the Cowboys 73-0, if a tiebreaker needs to be applied then the score will then be changed to 30-0 therefore affecting the NET total of points scored. (phew!!)

The current standings as of last weekend are:

So – unto the scenarios. There are 9 possible outcomes so bear with us while we lay them out for you.

Minotaurs beat Cowboys / Trinity beat Eagles
  • Minotaurs are 7-1, Cowboys 6-2, Trinity 7-1 and Eagles 5-3
  • Cowboys are 3rd seed and Eagles are 4th seed automatically
  • Since Minotaurs beat Trinity on May 12thMinotaurs are 1st and Trinity 2nd seed
  • Playoff games are Minotaurs vs Eagles in Mullingar, and Trinity vs Cowboys in Santry

Cowboys beat Minotaurs / Eagles beat Trinity
  • Minotaurs are 6-2, Cowboys 7-1, Trinity 6-2 and Eagles 6-2
  • Cowboys are 1st seed automatically
  • Since Minotaurs beat Trinity on May 12th and Minotaurs beat Eagles on March 31st, Minotaurs are 2nd seed, Eagles 3rd seed, and Trinity are 4th seed.
  • Playoff games are Cowboys vs Trinity in Portadown, and Minotaurs vs Eagles in Mullingar

Minotaurs beat Cowboys / Eagles beat Trinity
  • Minotaurs are 7-1, Cowboys 6-2, Trinity 6-2 and Eagles 6-2
  • Minotaurs are 1st seed automatically
  • Since Trinity beat Cowboys on March 3rd and Cowboys beat Eagles on June 9th – 2nd, 3rd and 4th seeds will be decided over points difference between the three teams and since all three teams have won by forfeits against both Wolves and Warriors, rule 11-U-4 will apply in the calculation of NET points on the last day of the regular season
  • Playoff games are Minotaurs vs 4th seed in Mullingar and 2nd seed vs 3rd seed – venue TBD

Cowboys beat Minotaurs / Trinity beat Eagles
  • Minotaurs are 6-2, Cowboys 7-1, Trinity 7-1 and Eagles 5-3
  • Eagles are seed 4th and Minotaurs are 3rd seed automatically
  • Since Trinity beat Cowboys on March 3rd, Trinity takes 1st seed and Cowboys 2nd seed
  • Playoff games are Trinity vs Eagles in Santry, and Cowboys vs Minotaurs in Portadown

Cowboys and Minotaurs Draw / Trinity and Eagles draw
  • Minotaurs are 6-1-1, Cowboys 6-1-1, Trinity 6-1-1 and Eagles 5-2-1
  • Eagles are seed 4th automatically
  • Since Trinity beat Cowboys and Minotaurs beat Trinity, 1st, 2nd and 3rd seeds will be decided over points differences between the three teams and since all three teams have won by forfeits against both Wolves and Warriors, rule 11-U-4 will apply in the calculation of NET points differences. So Minotaurs would be 203-55=148 (19+36 reduction v Warriors March 17th and May 5th), Trinity would be 163-42=121 (42 reduction v Wolves March 31st) and Cowboys would be 149-43=106 (43 reduction v Wolves May 5th)
  • So Minotaurs would take 1st seed, Trinity 2nd seed and Cowboys 3rd seed
  • Playoff games are Minotaurs vs Eagles in Mullingar, and Trinity vs Cowboys in Santry

Cowboys and Minotaurs Draw / Trinity beat Eagles
  • Minotaurs are 6-1-1, Cowboys 6-1-1, Trinity 7-1 and Eagles 5-3
  • Trinity are 1st seed and Eagles are seed 4th automatically
  • 2nd and 3rd seeds will be decided over points differences between the Minotaurs and the Cowboys and since both teams have won by forfeits against both Wolves and Warriors, rule 11-U-4 will apply in the calculation of NET points differences. So Minotaurs would be 203-55=148 (19+36 reduction v Warriors March 17th and May 5th) and Cowboys would be 149-43=106 (43 reduction v Wolves May 5th)
  • So Minotaurs would take 2nd seed and Cowboys 3rd seed.
  • Playoff games are Trinity vs Eagles in Santry, and Minotaurs vs Cowboys in Mullingar

Cowboys and Minotaurs draw / Eagles beat Trinity
  • Minotaurs are 6-1-1, Cowboys 6-1-1, Trinity 6-2 and Eagles 6-2
  • Trinity are 4th seed and Eagles are 3rd seed automatically
  • 1st and 2rd seeds will be decided over points differences between the Minotaurs and the Cowboys and since both teams have won by forfeits against both Wolves and Warriors, rule 11-U-4 will apply in the calculation of NET points differences. So Minotaurs would be 203-55=148 (19+36 reduction v Warriors March 17th and May 5th) and Cowboys would be 149-43=106 (43 reduction v Wolves May 5th)
  • So Minotaurs would take 1st seed and Cowboys 2nd seed.
  • Playoff games are Minotaurs vs Trinity in Mullingar, and Cowboys vs Eagles in Portadown

Minotaurs beat Cowboys, Eagles and Trinity draw
  • Minotaurs are 7-1, Cowboys 6-2, Trinity 6-1-1 and Eagles 5-2-1
  • Minotaurs are 1st seed, Trinity are 2nd seed, Cowboys are 3rd seed, Eagles are 4th seed
  • Playoff games are Minotaurs vs Eagles in Mullingar, and Trinity vs Cowboys in Santry

Cowboys beat Minotaurs, Eagles and Trinity draw
  • Minotaurs are 6-2, Cowboys 7-1, Trinity 6-1-1 and Eagles 5-2-1
  • Cowboys are 1st seed, Trinity are 2nd seed, Minotaurs are 3rd seed, Eagles are 4th seed
  • Playoff games are Cowboys vs Eagles in Portadown, and Trinity vs Minotaurs in Santry