UL Bohemian continued their undefeated run last week after putting third placed Old Belvedere to the sword and Malone move off the bottom of the table after beating Galwegians for their first ever AIL win.
Railway Union recorded a big win against an out of sorts Cooke and Suttonians continued their fine first season in the AIL, reversing the result from Week 7, to record a win against Blackrock.
This all left the league as follows.
Week 9 features the top of the table clash between UL Bohemian and Railway Union on Saturday afternoon at the University of Limerick, the rest of the matches taking place on Sunday as below.
The fixtures will continue to be affected by Ireland women’s build up for the Six Nations with a squad of 26 travelling to Wales for a hit out. Squad details below.
Ireland Women Squad for Wales Warm Up
Victoria Dabanovich O’Mahony
Energia AIL Women Week 9 Predictions
The teams form going into Week 9 is below.
How the form indicator works
We track the match points picked up by each team for each game.
Match points are awarded as follows.
Win = 4 points
Draw = 2 points
Loss = 0 points
Bonus match points are awarded as follows.
Team scores 4 or more tries = 1 try bonus point
Team loses by 7 points or less = 1 losing bonus point
This gives a range of 0 – 5 points that a team an pick up from a game. To determine the current form we look at a teams match points awarded over their last three matches and divide it by a 15 points to give their match point pick up percentage L3% and do the same for their last five games, but divide by 25, to give their match point pick up percentage L5%.
We then sort the teams in order of their L3% and then L5%.
The big question this week, is the same as it’s been the last eight weeks, will anyone beat UL Bohemian? Let’s find out.
UL BOHEMIAN ( 93%) v RAILWAY UNION (67%)
As we said last week. UL Bohemian have lost four players to the Ireland set up but their remarkable, free scoring, pack is largely intact and, if anything, it’s expected to inflict even more damage to their opponents during the international window.
Railway have lost seven to the Ireland squad game and key forwards Aoife McDermott, Lindsay Peat and Dorothy Wall will be hard to replace. However the conveyor belt at Park Avenue continues to churn out speedy ball players and with a back line bolstered by the return of Nikki Caughey and the inform Steph Carroll they will be able to cause damage with limited possession.
The 4g pitch should suit Railway but it’s hard to look beyond that Bohs pack coming out on top for the 9th consecutive game, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if Railway picked up losing and try bonus points from this one.
BLACKROCK COLLEGE (73% ) v MALONE (33% )
Blackrock are the second form team, at the minute, having picked up 11 match points out of a possible 15 over the last three games. However, they do seem to rely on the talismanic Hannah O’Connor, as their reversal against Suttonians last weekend seemed to indicate. O’Connor and, the equally influential, Michelle Claffey will both be in Wales this weekend.
Malone are a team similar to Suttonians in their style of play but they are a few months behind in their development and had struggled at the contact area both in attack and defence. However, their performance against Galwegians was a big step forward and they looked much more decisive. This will be an interesting challenge on their development curve.
Rock should still be comfortable favorites, if they maintain their composure, but the newly bhoyed Malone will be a handful as they strive to continue their unbeaten run in 2020.
COOKE (0%) v SUTTONIANS (60%)
The out of form Cooke have struggled in recent weeks losing 4 in a row after a reasonable start to the season. Their player availability issues continue this week with the influential Vicky Irwin missing, due to injury, but they should have a fuller team sheet than last weekend, against Railway, when they were down to the bare bones.
Suttonians will travel to Belfast as clear favourites for this one, given their recent form, and they will have gained a lot of confidence with that reversal against Rock. They look like a team that’s enjoying what they’re doing and that counts for a lot.
Cooke have been playing as individuals, Suttonians as a team. I see this one going the way of the visitors.
GALWEGIANS (33%) v OLD BELVEDERE (33%)
Like Cooke, Galwegians are a team that should be doing better. They didn’t appear to warm to the game against Malone last week until the result was decided but they did play some good rugby in the final quarter.
However, they face a tough challenge this week against a Belo side who will be itching to get a W under their belt having gone head to head with Bohs the last two outings. Despite losing six players to the game in Wales, to Galwegians’ one, the D4 Dutchesses still have an array of star power to call on.
Wegian’s also have a few FRU faves in their ranks but they will need to switch on a lot earlier in this one if they are going to get anything out of it.