Week 13 Previews

Shamrock Bowl Conference

Carrickfergus Knights vs. West Dublin Rhinos

The Carrickfergus Knights can get back to a .500 record with a win over the Rhinos, but it won’t be easy. The West Dublin side upset the North Kildare Reapers’ hopes of guaranteeing a .500 record in their rookie Shamrock Bowl Conference season last time out, and doing so again in this game could be catastrophic for the Knights’ hopes of hitting the playoffs in good form.

The Knights only just sneaked past a determined Craigavon team last time out, winning 26-24, but they demolished the Dragons in the game before that after making an 0-3 start against the top teams in the League. Expect them to want to make a statement in this game, particularly at home.

However the Rhinos are no pushovers. Their defence may not have been as solid and unwavering as it has been in recent years but it is still strong, and they’ve shown they can score, putting points (although not many) on the board in their last four games. It’s going to be a difficult game for them, but they’ll be sure to take a game to the Knights and have the potential to cause an upset here.

Dublin Rebels vs. Belfast Trojans

The game that everybody has one eye on as soon as the fixtures come out, this is a repeat match up of the Shamrock Bowl game from last year.

The Trojans sit at 5-1, whilst the Rebels are 5-0. The winner will sit alone atop the SBC North and hold the bragging rights until the next match up between the two teams.

Trinity have shown that the Belfast side can be beaten but are the Rebels up to the same task? The highest tally the Dubliners have put on any opponent this year is 26 points, and they have just one shutout, with both of these stats coming against the IAFL-1 graduates, the Dublin Dragons. Belfast meanwhile have put up bigger numbers on offence and shut three teams out, making them on paper the clear favourites.

It’s been well documented that neither of these teams have hit their best form during games this year, and that is only judging them on their own really high standards, but both teams are still amongst the favourites to appear in the Bowl game come the end of the year.

The Rebels took on American opponents last time out, with some of the Trojans playing as special guests amongst their ranks that day, but now it’s time for these to face each other and let battle commence between two of the best football establishments in Ireland.

Waterford Wolves vs. Trinity College Dublin

The students head south to Waterford to take on a Wolves side that is still hunting its first SBC win. TCD on the other hand are flying high. They’ve not been beaten in 6 games now, and they’ve put up some superb offensive numbers whilst doing it, whilst also ending Belfast’s unbeaten streak to lengthen their own.

Waterford have scored just 18 points in their 5 games, never exceeding 6 points in an individual match, whilst Trinity put up a massive 52 points in their last outing, against the North Kildare Reapers, with running back Rob McDowell grabbing a highly impressive 5 touchdowns of his own.

With their defensive woes and Trinity’s offensive prowess, this could get very messy very quickly for Waterford. But how often have we seen teams that have been dwelling in mediocrity step up suddenly when they play a team that is flying high? How often have we seen teams cause an upset when they’re so heavily favoured to lose? Could the Wolves do that here and throw themselves an SBC lifeline?

Probably not. The talent that TCD possess far outweighs that of Waterford. The Wolves are still a newborn team compared to Trinity and they should be proud of how far they have come in a short space of time but this is one step too far too quickly for the team.


Galway Warriors vs. Dundalk Mavericks

The Galway Warriors are the only team in the IAFL-2 yet to put any points on the board, so look for them to desperately want to change that in this weekend’s match up with Dundalk.

The Mavericks have a long journey as they head to the beautiful West coast of Ireland, so what will await them when they get there?

Well the Warriors are a big, physical side. Reports from previous opponents have spoken highly of Galway’s willingness to rough it in the trenches, to match up to physical play with their own and to play power football.

But the Mavericks aren’t a side that have let teams come and play football on them either. They beat the South Kildare Soldiers with speed and finesse on well-drilled special teams plays and stood up well to Tyrone despite the defeat. So this should be a great game yet again between two developing teams!

This article has been syndicated from Double Coverage and any opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of IAFA. Any references to non-IAFA websites are provided for convenience only and do not in any manner serve as an endorsement of those websites.