BUCCANEERS travel to Ollie Campbell Park, Dublin, on Saturday to take on high-flying Old Belvedere as the midlanders desperately seek Energia All-Ireland League points in their bid to avoid relegation. But, with Old Belvo equally in need of points as they strive to secure a promotion play-off berth, it will be a seriously big ask for the midlanders to upset the form book. Kick-off for this Division 1B encounter at the Anglesea Road ground is 2.30 p.m.

The Pirates will be hoping that the two week break will have helped them refocus and also that injuries to key players such as Stephen Mannion and Danny Qualter will have cleared up in the interim. The city side inflicted a heavy 45-19 defeat on Buccs in Athlone early in the season but, if the Pirates can field along preferred lines and play to their collective potential, then hope springs eternal.


BUCCANEERS supporters can travel from coast to coast this weekend as the club’s Seconds square up to Ballinasloe in the Connacht Junior 1B League final at Dexcom Stadium on Sunday. This greatly anticipated derby duel kicks off at the renamed Sportsground at 1 p.m.
Both teams contested an absorbing Junior Cup quarter-final last Sunday with the Pirates making a successful raid to Moher Road after a relatively even contest. Both teams were missing some regulars on that occasion so changes are likely for Sunday’s showdown. Buccs will be hoping that Harry Hughes can maintain his try scoring feats but it will take an overall squad contribution if they are to again overcome their neighbours. They will also need a greatly improved return from placekicks from last week’s showing but the space and surface at Dexcom Stadium should suit their style.


BUCCANEERS U-20s will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they face Wanderers in the J.P.Fanagan Leinster League Premier 2 at Lansdowne Road on Sunday. Victory would keep the midlanders in third place and should be achievable against the winless hosts. However, they must guard against complacency as they return to Dublin for the second successive Sunday.

BUCCANEERS U-17s will be on the road early on Sunday as they head to Ballina for a Connacht Cup joust that kicks off in Heffernan Park at 12 noon. Buccs have already claimed the League title and they will have to be sharp and organised to defeat the north-westerners on their own turf.

BUCCANEERS U-16s girls take on Claremorris in the Cup on Saturday with their match starting at 12 noon in Dubarry Park.

Congratulations to Robbie Henshaw on winning his 70th senior cap and playing an influential role in Ireland’s victory over Wales. Fingers crossed the team in green can continue their winning ways over the next two fixtures to secure a first ever Six Nations back-to-back Grand Slam and perhaps also to do it with five bonus points wins, another feat that has never been accomplished by any of the other nations. Hopefully, they won’t drop their guard next time out against England.