Game of the day may well be the clash between Crescent Comprehensive and Castletroy College at Dooradoyle (3.30pm), but there will also be considerable interest in the tie between CBC Cork and Glenstal Abbey at Temple Hill (3pm).
Tournament favourites Rockwell take on Ard Scoil Ris at Clanwilliam Park, while holders PBC Cork will be challenged by St Munchin’s at Temple Hill tomorrow (both 3pm).
CBC coach Peter Melia anticipates Rockwell, beaten finalists in the last two seasons, will the team to beat.
He said: “They’ve a very strong side this year with a few really strong operators there in Luke Cahill, Shane McCarthy and Brian Haugh; they’re the main stars, but they’re a good side generally and if I was an outsider maybe I would have put an each-way bet on them from the start of the season.”
A cautious Melia is, however, hoping for good things from his virtual injury-free squad, but he is not discounting Glenstal’s chances today.
Christians won through as winners (based on scoring the first try) after their 10-10 draw with Castletroy College in the previous round, while Glenstal had to play second fiddle to Pres, who physically dominated them in the previous round. Pres won that game 21-5 but the Morroe-based team advanced through the back door system.
Glenstal’s performance, however, wasn’t without merit and Melia is convinced it will be a difficult afternoon. “They were very competitive against Pres, they’re incredibly tenacious, they will fight until they drop and we’re expecting that.
“We’ve played them twice in the last four years and have only beaten them by a small margin each time. They’re not making up the numbers these days; you take Glenstal lightly at your peril.”
Meanwhile, he believes Castletroy could be the dark horses of the tournament. “They’re a low risk side, they don’t make too many mistakes but they pounce when others make them.
He said: “It’s probably the most difficult tournament for a long time. We know the relative strengths of ourselves and Pres down here on the basis that being the big two down here we would always be strong, but it’s harder to call in Limerick.
“Overall, I think it’s a very open competition this year. You wouldn’t want to be placing a bet thinking you would win the money.”
Crescent, however, might have something to say about that following their recent win over Ard Scoil Ris. They will relish their derby with Castletroy as much as they did the last round victory.