Old Belvedere will host Clontarf in Saturday afternoon’s Ulster Bank All-Ireland League Division 1 semi final in Anglesea Road (KO: 2.35pm)…

OLD BELVEDERE (2nd, Division 1A) v CLONTARF (1st, Division 1B), Anglesea Road, 2.35pm (live RTÉ 2)

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Old Belvedere: WLWWWWWLWLWDLW; Clontarf: WWWLWWWWLWWWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Old Belvedere: Points: Conal Keane 78; Tries: Daniel Riordan 8; Clontarf: Points: Noel Reid 93; Tries: Michael Keating, Aaron Dundon 5 each

Ulster Bank League Records –

Old Belvedere: 2005/06: 12th, Division 2; 2006/07: 1st, Division 2, lost to Greystones in final; 2007/08: 8th, Division 1; 2008/09: 10th, Division 1; 2009/10: 1st, Division 1B, lost to St. Mary’s College in semi-final

Clontarf: 2005/06: 2nd, Division 1, lost to Shannon in final; 2006/07: 2nd, Division 1, lost to Garryowen in semi-final; 2007/08: 4th, Division 1, lost to Cork Constitution in semi-final; 2008/09: 4th, Division 1, lost to Shannon in final; 2009/10: 7th, Division 1A

Old Belvedere go into this Dublin derby as favourites, despite a somewhat erractic finish to their league campaign. Crucially, they will have home advantage.

At their best, ‘Belvo are capable of playing some outstanding rugby with their powerful number 8 Leo Auva’a, winger David Mongan and full-back Daniel Riordan all proven try scorers.

The trick is to deny them a platform. Old Belvedere director of rugby Phil Werahiko, having previously coached Clontarf, will know better than anyone that they should not be underrated.

The Division 1B table toppers have a very decent pack which includes quality performers in hooker Aaron Dundon, second row Ben Gissing and flankers Eoin Cremen and Barry O’Mahony. So, the northsiders are quite capable of mixing it up front.

If Clontarf show the type of resolve they displayed when beating Lansdowne away at the end of February, Old Belvedere could find themselves in a real battle.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 19, 2008: Old Belvedere 14 Clontarf 16, Anglesea Road; Saturday, March 21, 2009: Clontarf 24 Old Belvedere 23, Castle Avenue