Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Adam Larkin expects Harlequins to rally after loss


All in all it really is a case of 'could do better' for Ulster's representation in both divisions after last weekend's rather dismal set of results.

Ballynahinch, Belfast Harlequins and Malone all journeyed home on the back of defeats – though admittedly each also snaffled losing bonus points – while Dungannon stayed at home and didn't even get a consolation prize.

In Division 1B, Belfast Harlequins are the highest-placed club – though a not exactly earth-shattering mid-table with leaders Terenure College now 17 points in front – and after suffering both an agonisingly narrow and late 13-9 defeat at Shannon last time out, they now have their work cut out when hosting third-placed Corinthians who have only lost once in seven outings.

Indeed, the Connacht side's first defeat was last weekend when they entertained Terenure and were hammered by them 57-10 with the Dublin side running in six tries.

Quins had racked up a three game winning run before being beaten by Shannon and their hopes of a positive outcome look sure to be tested by a Corinthians side doubtless stung by being so badly turned over last weekend.

"Them being beaten by Terenure at home last week has certainly sent shockwaves through the division," said Quins coach Adam Larkin.

"And with us also getting beaten I think that both sides will be looking for a bit of a backlash.

"I'm not sure how the British and Irish Cup will have hit them," added Larkin who will, as expected, not be seeing anything of Michael Heaney, Neil McComb or Rickie Lutton due to both Ulster and Ulster Ravens calls but will also be losing Frank Taggart to the Ravens B&I Cup game in Ayr on Saturday.

Quins are also likely to be without Danny Annett after he picked up a knock in last Saturday's defeat in Limerick but, other than opting to rest Annett, Larkin reckons his starting side will be pretty close to the one which togged out at Shannon.

"We were disappointed last Saturday as we had been 9-5 up at half-time and then we couldn't get enough possession in the second half to get any points," was Larkin's assessment.

Elsewhere, eighth-placed Dungannon fell to their second consecutive defeat – they have only won twice in seven games – when entertaining UL Bohemians but they now face the rather ominous looking challenge of travelling to pacesetters Terenure.

And with a combination of injuries and likely Ulster Ravens call-ups, Gannon coach Paddy Johns looks to have quite a job on his hands to put a side together for their trip to Dublin.

Malone are faring no better and will be attempting to prevent a seventh consecutive defeat from eight games coming their way when they host Shannon.

And in Division 1A, lowly Ballynahinch – with one win in seven games – are also hosting the leaders in their division as Clontarf are heading their way.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph