BUCCANEERS head north for a first ever meeting with Rainey Old Boys in the second round of the Energia All-Ireland League on Saturday. This Division 2A game kicks off at 2.30 p.m. in Magherafelt, just west of Lough Neagh in Co. Derry. Incidentally it seems absolutely daft to this scribe that the IRFU have club fixtures listed for a day when Ireland are in action at the Rugby World Cup! Most travelling teams will be unable to watch the RWC and it will surely militate against supporters going to away games.
Rainey lost narrowly at Nenagh Ormonde in their opening fixture but picked up a losing bonus point in their 22-17 defeat. They are going very well in the Ulster Senior League so will pose formidable opposition for Buccs. The Ulster side have a big pack with hooker Roberts and flanker Bratton key forwards. Halfbacks Bloomfield and Magrath run the show for their side and will pose plenty of challenges for the midlanders.
Buccs are unlikely to make many alterations but Ruairi Byrne looks like missing this trip as his wife Christine is expecting their first child this weekend. His absence will be tempered by the return after suspension of Rory Moloney whose abrasiveness will assist a pack that is relatively small and inexperienced. New arrival Christian Maulaulau will have settled in a bit better now and will be looking for better conditions to make an impact on proceedings.