Week 16: IAFL 2 Game Previews

It’s the final weekend of the IAFL 2 regular season, with all teams in action. There are three teams in contention for the two spots at the IAFL 2 Bowl – an exciting weekend of football ahead with so much on the line!

Cill Dara Crusaders (6-1) @ Antrim Jets (5-2)

A huge game for both teams as a win for either would send them to the IAFL 2 Bowl. The Crusaders have the slight upper hand as a draw will be enough for them to head to the Bowl, whilst the Jets must win at all costs. The Crusaders have blown away the league by having the best point’s difference but come up against the best defense in the league, as the Jets have only allowed 53 points in 7 games.

With two points separating the top three teams in IAFL 2 and only the top 2 going through to the Bowl game, the stakes couldn’t be any higher, as Crusaders PRO Mark Lennon explains “This Sunday we are expecting a very tough game in Antrim. The Jets have had a strong year, and no doubt they are amongst our main competition as the season draws to a close. There’s a lot on the line in this match, and with both teams having very serious playoff potential I have no doubt they are going to give us everything we have. The Crusaders have had a fantastic season this far, one that every one of us are incredibly proud of. Every coach and player has really worked very hard to get to this point, and now to stand with a possibility of reaching the playoffs – we are going to give everything we have to earn that spot.”

A do or die situation for the players and staff in Antrim, but Jets defensive coach Gerry McCabe is feeling confident “We know the Crusaders are a formidable opponent and we’re looking forward to hosting them at the Antrim Forum this Sunday. It’s our final game of the season and we want to finish with a win. Both teams will be up for it big time so it should be an absolute banger of a game with everything still to play for.”

Location: Antrim Forum Leisure Centre

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Antrim Jets


Causeway Giants (1-6) @ Meath Bulldogs (5-1-1)

The Giants have had a tough first season but have done themselves proud by being competitive and also recording their first win. The Bulldogs started rather poorly but have got stronger and stronger, recording five wins on the bounce including a convincing win over top of the table Crusaders. A win in this game will secure their place in the IAFL 2 Bowl regardless of other results. These two teams met earlier this season, where the Bulldogs came out 13-06 winners.

Plenty of potential seen for the Giants in their first season, Giants chairman Raymond Keenan will be keen to finish strong and continue to build for next season “The lads are really looking forward to going down the road to Meath on Sunday. We narrowly lost to the Bulldogs when we played them in Coleraine earlier in the season. They haven’t been beat in five games and are in great form so we know we will be up against it. Expecting another tough, physical game against them and hopefully we can get the win.”

It has been an excellent turnaround by the Bulldogs this season who recorded a nil-nil draw and a defeat in their first two games. Now they are sitting second in the table after five wins in a row and they are the team carrying the best form into this final part of the season. A win here would undoubtedly see them as favourites to win the IAFL 2 Bowl, given their recent wins against the Jets and Crusaders. Bulldogs head coach Michael Zito however is taking it one game at a time “The Bulldogs are looking to close out the regular season with a strong performance at home.”

Location: Athboy Rugby Club

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: Meath Bulldogs


NI Razorbacks (1-6) @ North Dublin Pirates (2-4-1)

A disappointing season for both sides, but one with plenty of positives to take into next year and build on. The Razorbacks recorded their first win of the season last week but still find themselves at the bottom of the table, whilst the Pirates will finish fourth regardless of the result. Both teams will be out to prove a point and end their season on a high.

It has been a frustrating season for the Razorbacks, however the Belfast team have become increasingly competitive throughout the season – something Razorbacks vice president Jamie Totten hopes to bring into next season “In our final game of the season we travel down to Dublin to face the Pirates. After winning our last game against the Giants, we look to end our season on a high and start building for next year.”

Consistency has been the Pirates main problem this year, picking up two wins and a draw on the road but unable to win at home. Pirates head coach Ross Neville will be looking to change that this Sunday and set the standard for next season “The Pirates are looking forward to welcoming the Razorbacks down to Malahide this Sunday in what will no doubt be another hard hitting affair. Both sets of players haven’t had long to recover before they go against each other as both teams played last week. Our last game didn’t go our way and we lost some key players to some serious injuries so we’re just looking for a strong performance to finish out the season and build some momentum that we can carry over into next year. Every time we play the Razorbacks it’s always a tough game and this Sunday will be no different as both teams will be looking to finish the season with a win.”

Location: Malahide Rugby Club

Kick Off: 2pm

Facebook: NI Razorbacks