All Ireland League - Thread

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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby bonzo » April 20th, 2019, 11:46 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:Thanks @ormond lad. At least it's clear that Matt Williams follows these threads.

His solutions are a bit wooly, even if well intentioned. Personally, I believe that there's not a lot wrong with the AIL structure and standard. But rather than see wholesale change I'd like to see Provincial / National U.20 teams compete, for two rounds against the teams in Div 1A.

These games would see each Div 1A team play against two Provincial teams with League points available. For the Provincial teams, the results would count in their U.20 interprovincial championship. As the number of games necessary is a mis match for the Provincial sides, the additional games would be played by the National U. 20 Squad in preparation for the 6N Under 20 Championship. (Such games worked this Season with Noel McNamara successful U. 20 team playing a warm-up against Cork Con)

The number of games per Province would be (10 × 2)÷4 with four games for the National Squad. So, a total of four games for each of the Provincial and National Squads with all games in Club grounds and normal AIL scoring to count in overall League outcome. (From my perspective, I would not allow Clubs to play their players selected on their Provincial Squads)

Apart from creating a proper cross-over point between the amateur and professional games, such games would provide the following benefits:

A. A real objective assessment of the quality of the top of the amateur game;
B. An income boost for the Clubs from the Pro game with 2 additional home gates;
C. A realistic opportunity for any Club player to show his worth to Pro Coaches;
D. A further competitive environment for professional coaching development;
E. A 'wild card' element for the AIL, as not all four Provincial teams are equal.

Players in the AIL represent the best amateur players in the country and yet, apart from two random international selections against Scotland, they have no opportunity to play representative rugby. Games such as outlined above, could provide a partial solution to this anomoly.
Really good plan, best I've seen to tie all the threads together.

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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 22nd, 2019, 1:23 pm

Under the EPCR semi-final radar, six vital Play-off games took place on Saturday with surprising results in each of Divisions 1B, 2A, 2B and 2C.

Alone of the teams, Blackrock, 9th place in Div 2A, claimed a home win beating Sligo, who finished 4th in Div 2C, by the minimum margin 28-27. 'Rock will face Rainey OB, who surprisingly defeated 2B runners-up Greystones by 20-23.

The Div 1B 9th place finishers Buccaneers went down to 2A 4th-place finishers, Queens Univ, by 24-30 and Queens will face Navan, who beat the 2A runners-up Cashel by 3-7.

The home team hoodoo continued in the 2B relegation / Promotion battles with the descending 2B 9th place Skerries suffering at the hands of ascending neighbours Malahide by 22-34. The Malahide team will face Bruff, who beat the runners up in 2C, Midleton, by 28-38.

So the AIL continues to deliver excitement and surprises at this late stage with none of the Divisional runners-up Teams in 2A, 2B or 2C, surviving the Play-off semi-final encounters and only Blackrock beating a team from a lower Division. Given the points differential between 2nd and 4th place finishers in these Divisions, it's a clear indication that there's nothing between the teams in each Division on any given day.

So, the encounters which will decide the places in each Division next year are:
Division 1B Navan v Queens Univ;
Division 2A Blackrock v Rainey OB
Division 2B Bruff v Malhide
Division 2C Seapoint v Cashel

All of these games next Saturday 28th April at 2.30 p.m.

The Div 1A Play-off games, on the same date and time, will be:
Cork Con v Trinity College; and Clontarf v Lansdowne.

The Division 1A Final takes place the following Saturday, the first weekend in May.

The Relegation / Promotions encounters on the same days will be:
UCC v Malone; and Old Wesley v Naas for a place among next Season's elite top 10.

No Connacht. Club in the top two Divisions next Season, nor any of their Clubs contenders for Play-Off promotion, but almost every game is an Inter-Provincial encounter. But Ballina have been the only bright spot in the entire League for Connacht followers.
Last edited by Ruckedtobits on April 22nd, 2019, 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » April 22nd, 2019, 1:50 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:
All of these games next Saturday 28th April at 2.30 p.m.

The Div 1A Play-off games, on the same date and time, will be:
Cork Con v Trinity College; and
Clontarf v Lansdowne.

Con vs Trinity is on the Sunday
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » April 22nd, 2019, 4:30 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Thanks @ormond lad. At least it's clear that Matt Williams follows these threads.

His solutions are a bit wooly, even if well intentioned. Personally, I believe that there's not a lot wrong with the AIL structure and standard. But rather than see wholesale change I'd like to see Provincial / National U.20 teams compete, for two rounds against the teams in Div 1A.

These games would see each Div 1A team play against two Provincial teams with League points available. For the Provincial teams, the results would count in their U.20 interprovincial championship. As the number of games necessary is a mis match for the Provincial sides, the additional games would be played by the National U. 20 Squad in preparation for the 6N Under 20 Championship. (Such games worked this Season with Noel McNamara successful U. 20 team playing a warm-up against Cork Con)

The number of games per Province would be (10 × 2)÷4 with four games for the National Squad. So, a total of four games for each of the Provincial and National Squads with all games in Club grounds and normal AIL scoring to count in overall League outcome. (From my perspective, I would not allow Clubs to play their players selected on their Provincial Squads)

Apart from creating a proper cross-over point between the amateur and professional games, such games would provide the following benefits:

A. A real objective assessment of the quality of the top of the amateur game;
B. An income boost for the Clubs from the Pro game with 2 additional home gates;
C. A realistic opportunity for any Club player to show his worth to Pro Coaches;
D. A further competitive environment for professional coaching development;
E. A 'wild card' element for the AIL, as not all four Provincial teams are equal.

Players in the AIL represent the best amateur players in the country and yet, apart from two random international selections against Scotland, they have no opportunity to play representative rugby. Games such as outlined above, could provide a partial solution to this anomoly.


Wouldn't work for a number of reasons:
1. The U20 teams arent as strong as you think
2. You're weaking the club connection for players further
3. U20 provincial players aren't even semi pro for the most part
4. making the league a lottery isn't a benefit
5. You're weakening any teams that do have u20 players in their first team
6. The income boost would be minimal after the novelty in the first year wore off.
7. You're asking amateur player to play more games.

You can't just jump into making the league Semi-pro either as Matt Williams suggests. Yo've got to get the basics in there firsts, the players being paid is the last piece of the puzzle.
First they should get the sports science infrastructure up to scratch and relay all that back to the IRFU/Provinces. Get the players wearing GPS trackers for all training and matches and get everything filmed so the provincial coaches can see exactly what's going on. Get every club to have a fully qualified S&C coach, data analyst and maybe even nutritionist. Get every club to have a gym that's up to a certain standard, be capable for filming games with 2 cameras, live streaming games, hosting tv matches if the need arises. Post every game online for the public to watch. Maybe stream at least one a week. Set up a league wide database using something like inStat that every club can access and see all the match footage of every game and all the stats.
Start all this in 1A/B and subsidised by the IRFU then slowly move it down the leagues.
Then you can slowly start to look at paying players officially.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Barry » April 22nd, 2019, 10:25 pm

So, the encounters which will decide the places in each Division next year are:
Division 1B Navan v Queens Univ;
Division 2A Blackrock v Rainey OB
Division 2B Bruff v Malhide
Division 2C Seapoint v Cashel

All of these games next Saturday 28th April at 2.30 p.m.


Navan are 80 minutes from going from 2C to 1B in 3 seasons - will be some achievement if they make it. Almost all of the squad came through the club's underage system.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Leoslovechild » April 29th, 2019, 2:58 pm

Cracking game out at Castle Avenue on Saturday despite the wind and should be a good final next weekend with Tarf And Con
Good to see young Sean O Brien following in the brothers footsteps witha very good try playing at 13!
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby limecat » May 2nd, 2019, 5:24 pm

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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 10th, 2019, 10:40 pm

Decent length of article in The 42 Rugby at:

https://www.the42.ie/ail-rugby-4628987-May2019/

But how much incorrect information is spouted on this piece about the impact of A games on the AIL.

The AIL Club rugby competition is specifically for amateur players, not solely for the 3 Clubs who can (and want to) recruit professional contracted players from the Province rosters. Any team can beat any other team in Div 1A, and equally in each other Division, except when two or three teams at the top of 1A are loaded with Contracted and Academy players.

The standard is high. The Div 1 teams can beat the Irish Under 20s, and maybe, playing at top form, some Provincial A teams. But the reality is that the total IRFU focus is on Professional Rugby.

As to the proposed re-structure by Mr Nucifora this time last year. He suggested a new Div 1 format of two Clubs from each Province, solely because the B&I Competition had been abandoned by the RFU. This had nothing to do with developing Club rugby, but everything to do with cannibalising a Club competition to cover a professional rugby screw up.

The Clubs, everywhere except Connacht, rejected the proposals and demanded a competition based on meritrocracy, not on geography. Anybody who argues that a Club gets the right to play in a league because of where they live, rather than based on their results on the pitch, insults the intelligence of the majority.

A bit surprised that Murray Kinsella allowed such ill-informed comment to go out under his name. But if he wants to do a story or Podcast about what's really happening in the AIL, just contact the Leinster Senior Clubs and he'll get a good story.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby TrapperChamonix » May 15th, 2019, 1:55 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:The AIL Club rugby competition is specifically for amateur players, not solely for the 3 Clubs who can (and want to) recruit professional contracted players from the Province rosters. Any team can beat any other team in Div 1A, and equally in each other Division, except when two or three teams at the top of 1A are loaded with Contracted and Academy players.


The Leinster A team tour to the US was relying on non-contracted players from a number of clubs. Not just professional contracted players.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » May 15th, 2019, 10:07 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Decent length of article in The 42 Rugby at:

https://www.the42.ie/ail-rugby-4628987-May2019/

But how much incorrect information is spouted on this piece about the impact of A games on the AIL.

The AIL Club rugby competition is specifically for amateur players, not solely for the 3 Clubs who can (and want to) recruit professional contracted players from the Province rosters. Any team can beat any other team in Div 1A, and equally in each other Division, except when two or three teams at the top of 1A are loaded with Contracted and Academy players.

The standard is high. The Div 1 teams can beat the Irish Under 20s, and maybe, playing at top form, some Provincial A teams. But the reality is that the total IRFU focus is on Professional Rugby.

As to the proposed re-structure by Mr Nucifora this time last year. He suggested a new Div 1 format of two Clubs from each Province, solely because the B&I Competition had been abandoned by the RFU. This had nothing to do with developing Club rugby, but everything to do with cannibalising a Club competition to cover a professional rugby screw up.

The Clubs, everywhere except Connacht, rejected the proposals and demanded a competition based on meritrocracy, not on geography. Anybody who argues that a Club gets the right to play in a league because of where they live, rather than based on their results on the pitch, insults the intelligence of the majority.

A bit surprised that Murray Kinsella allowed such ill-informed comment to go out under his name. But if he wants to do a story or Podcast about what's really happening in the AIL, just contact the Leinster Senior Clubs and he'll get a good story.


Listened to the podcast and I'm struggling to see what incorrect information was said
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 15th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Workhorse wrote:
Ruckedtobits wrote:Decent length of article in The 42 Rugby at:

https://www.the42.ie/ail-rugby-4628987-May2019/

But how much incorrect information is spouted on this piece about the impact of A games on the AIL.

The AIL Club rugby competition is specifically for amateur players, not solely for the 3 Clubs who can (and want to) recruit professional contracted players from the Province rosters. Any team can beat any other team in Div 1A, and equally in each other Division, except when two or three teams at the top of 1A are loaded with Contracted and Academy players.

The standard is high. The Div 1 teams can beat the Irish Under 20s, and maybe, playing at top form, some Provincial A teams. But the reality is that the total IRFU focus is on Professional Rugby.

As to the proposed re-structure by Mr Nucifora this time last year. He suggested a new Div 1 format of two Clubs from each Province, solely because the B&I Competition had been abandoned by the RFU. This had nothing to do with developing Club rugby, but everything to do with cannibalising a Club competition to cover a professional rugby screw up.

The Clubs, everywhere except Connacht, rejected the proposals and demanded a competition based on meritrocracy, not on geography. Anybody who argues that a Club gets the right to play in a league because of where they live, rather than based on their results on the pitch, insults the intelligence of the majority.

A bit surprised that Murray Kinsella allowed such ill-informed comment to go out under his name. But if he wants to do a story or Podcast about what's really happening in the AIL, just contact the Leinster Senior Clubs and he'll get a good story.


Listened to the podcast and I'm struggling to see what incorrect information was said


It wan't the podcast but the Article which suggested that the AIL Clubs couldn't see the development potential in Nucifora's proposal

If he wants to integrate the Club and Academy game, fine. Play the four Academy Teams - not A Teams against Div 1A teams, in. Club grounds, each Prov Academy team to play a Div 1 team outside their Province. Club teams eligible for AIL points. Academy teams eligible for Interpro points.

Neither Contracted nor Academy players want to play for Club teams, unless their Head Coach thinks its worthwhile. Barring Play-offs at present, it isn't. That's why I have continually suggested competitive games between Academy or Provincial U. 20 games against Club sides in 1A. Until we establish the relative strength of both, neither Provincial players nor Coaches will see AIL as part of the pro Development pathway.

If the Academy or U.20 teams hammer the Club teams, so be it. We have a definite marker. If, however, the games are close or the Club teams win, we will know and they will know that the CLub game has the potential to regain the position as the 3rd Tier of Irish Rugby.

Until those games are played the rest is propoganda.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » May 16th, 2019, 6:06 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:
It wan't the podcast but the Article which suggested that the AIL Clubs couldn't see the development potential in Nucifora's proposal

The article is the podcast. They just say the plans were rejected and imply that they think that was the right thing, while saying its weird nothing has happened since.

If he wants to integrate the Club and Academy game, fine. Play the four Academy Teams - not A Teams against Div 1A teams, in. Club grounds, each Prov Academy team to play a Div 1 team outside their Province. Club teams eligible for AIL points. Academy teams eligible for Interpro points.


There's a list the length of my arm of reasons that would never work.
Neither Contracted nor Academy players want to play for Club teams, unless their Head Coach thinks its worthwhile. Barring Play-offs at present, it isn't. That's why I have continually suggested competitive games between Academy or Provincial U. 20 games against Club sides in 1A. Until we establish the relative strength of both, neither Provincial players nor Coaches will see AIL as part of the pro Development pathway.

The players bit just isn't true in any shape or form. Nor is it being worth it or not. As for seeing it as a pathway there are far far better ways to do that than playing needless games against provincial teams.

If the Academy or U.20 teams hammer the Club teams, so be it. We have a definite marker. If, however, the games are close or the Club teams win, we will know and they will know that the CLub game has the potential to regain the position as the 3rd Tier of Irish Rugby.

Until those games are played the rest is propoganda.


Those games will never and should never be played, they're just needless and have many many flaws.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby hugonaut » May 16th, 2019, 7:48 pm

Workhorse wrote:There's a list the length of my arm of reasons that would never work ... many many flaws.


Maybe you could give this long list and outline these many flaws.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » May 16th, 2019, 8:25 pm

hugonaut wrote:Maybe you could give this long list and outline these many flaws.


1. You're adding more games to the schedule of amateurs which is already very attritional.
2. The academy system doesn't work of a squad system so:
-You'd need to expand the academies which would be expensive and take more players out of the club.
- You'd have to change the whole structure of the academies.
- You'd have players that are just in the academy to make up the numbers which isn't good for anyone.
3. You're either taking players from clubs or never letting them get involved in clubs in the first place, both of which are damaging especially for players that don't "make it".
4. You're immediately weakening AIL teams.
5. The league then has a luck of the draw element as to which provincial team(s) you play.
6. Same for the interpros.
7. You're creating difficulties with academy players being called up to the main provincial team in that if that clashes with an academy game they're short players. To compensate for this they'll need even bigger squads. Which has knock on effect.
8. When do you schedule these games for.
9. Academy players then have a very limited number of games without the club games.
10. These academy squads are now so big they can't really train with the main provincial players harming their development


I could go on...
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 16th, 2019, 9:42 pm

Workhorse wrote:
hugonaut wrote:Maybe you could give this long list and outline these many flaws.


1. You're adding more games to the schedule of amateurs which is already very attritional.
2. The academy system doesn't work of a squad system so:
-You'd need to expand the academies which would be expensive and take more players out of the club.
- You'd have to change the whole structure of the academies.
- You'd have players that are just in the academy to make up the numbers which isn't good for anyone.
3. You're either taking players from clubs or never letting them get involved in clubs in the first place, both of which are damaging especially for players that don't "make it".
4. You're immediately weakening AIL teams.
5. The league then has a luck of the draw element as to which provincial team(s) you play.
6. Same for the interpros.
7. You're creating difficulties with academy players being called up to the main provincial team in that if that clashes with an academy game they're short players. To compensate for this they'll need even bigger squads. Which has knock on effect.
8. When do you schedule these games for.
9. Academy players then have a very limited number of games without the club games.
10. These academy squads are now so big they can't really train with the main provincial players harming their development


I could go on...


Maybe you'd better because No. 2 and No. 10 seem in direct conflict.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Workhorse » May 16th, 2019, 9:47 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:
Workhorse wrote:
hugonaut wrote:Maybe you could give this long list and outline these many flaws.


1. You're adding more games to the schedule of amateurs which is already very attritional.
2. The academy system doesn't work of a squad system so:
-You'd need to expand the academies which would be expensive and take more players out of the club.
- You'd have to change the whole structure of the academies.
- You'd have players that are just in the academy to make up the numbers which isn't good for anyone.
3. You're either taking players from clubs or never letting them get involved in clubs in the first place, both of which are damaging especially for players that don't "make it".
4. You're immediately weakening AIL teams.
5. The league then has a luck of the draw element as to which provincial team(s) you play.
6. Same for the interpros.
7. You're creating difficulties with academy players being called up to the main provincial team in that if that clashes with an academy game they're short players. To compensate for this they'll need even bigger squads. Which has knock on effect.
8. When do you schedule these games for.
9. Academy players then have a very limited number of games without the club games.
10. These academy squads are now so big they can't really train with the main provincial players harming their development


I could go on...


Maybe you'd better because No. 2 and No. 10 seem in direct conflict.



No they're not? If the academys expand to have full squads they'll be too big to allow for training with the first team.
Obviously I wasn't talking about now since the academy players do train with the first team currently.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby mildlyinterested » October 8th, 2019, 8:19 am

BALLYNAHINCH 19 TERENURE COLLEGE 22, Ballymacarn Park
CORK CONSTITUTION 14 GARRYOWEN 13, Temple Hill
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 20 UCC 30, College Park
LANSDOWNE 33 UCD 3, Aviva Stadium back pitch
YOUNG MUNSTER 6 CLONTARF 7, Tom Clifford Park

CITY OF ARMAGH 13 NAAS 7, Palace Grounds
HIGHFIELD 27 MALONE 6, Woodleigh Park
NAVAN 18 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 23, Balreask Old
OLD WESLEY 13 BANBRIDGE 3, Anglesea Road
SHANNON 20 OLD BELVEDERE 22, Thomond Park back pitch

Buccaneers 6 Queen’s University 24, Dubarry Park
Dolphin 9 Cashel 25, Irish Independent Park
MU Barnhall 36 Ballymena 7, Parsonstown
Nenagh Ormond 22 Rainey Old Boys 17, New Ormond Park
UL Bohemians 8 Old Crescent 32, University of Limerick 4G pitch (played on Friday)

Ballina 0 Galway Corinthians 25, Heffernan Park
Belfast Harlequins 25 Wanderers 27, Deramore Park
Dungannon 12 Blackrock College 17, Stevenson Park
Galwegians 18 Sligo 10, Crowley Park
Malahide 10 Greystones 25, Estuary Road

Bangor 25 Sunday’s Well 13, Upritchard Park
City of Derry 18 Bruff 19, Craig Thompson Stadium, Judge’s Road
Clonmel 13 Omagh 13, Ardgaoithe
Enniscorthy 22 Midleton 3, Alcast Park
Tullamore 13 Skerries 13, Spollanstown
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » October 18th, 2019, 11:06 pm

Terenure beat Clontarf this evening for their 3rd successive win in Divison 1A. Under new Head Coach Sean Skehan, brother of former UCD Head Coach Andy, Terenure have started the Season in excellent form with the Leinster League trophy already on the sideboard and defeats of Ulster, Munster and Leinster opponents under their belts in the top Division of the All Ireland Energia League.

Two of their victories have been away from home and tonights win against Clontarf on the wet and windswept 4G pitch in Clontarf was highly meritorious as they played much of the 2nd half with 14 players and almost all of the last 15 minutes of play with 13.

Terenure scored an excellent first half try after a series of strong carries and good support play led to a set piece opportunity inside the Clontarf 22. Excellent handling, between 10, 12 & 13 resulted in a try under the posts and a 13-3 lead for Terenure at half time.

Terenure were well worth their win and their high tempo, high skilled style will make them diffucult opponents for every team in the Division.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby FrankBurke » November 15th, 2019, 4:45 pm

It's the Big One in The Gulag tonight.....UCC v Cork Con. Little love lost there.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » November 15th, 2019, 10:07 pm

Amazed to see that Navan have conceded a walkover to Highfield tommorow in AIL Div 1B. That must be the highest level walkover ever in irish rugby. Anybody know the back story? A very soft five pts for the League leaders.
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