WINTER is here, or so it seemed last Monday with a few games going on under lights in Junior 1 League Section A on what was the first really cold and wet evening of the season.
That said, it didn't stop St Mary's putting poor Bective to the sword, running in 10 tries in the process -- and so their title defence is under way in earnest. Next up are recent winners Clontarf.
Also last Monday, in the Bowl in Belfield, there was a J1 Varsity encounter, UCD running out winners 28-22, earning a bonus point win, with Trinity getting a losing bonus point and very nearly earning themselves a second one too.
The day before, in far more pleasant conditions, Old Belvedere and Lansdowne slogged out a 14-14 draw -- how crucial will those two points earned or lost be in the final analysis?
This weekend, UCD will host near neighbours Belvo, while another derby sees Lansdowne host Bective on the all-weather in Lansdowne
In Section B, Pool 1, Wesley and Greystones are setting the early pace.
Of the six teams, two have won both games, another two have won one and the final two have yet to register a win.
This week sees Suttonians host Wesley with the odds of an away win being fairly high.
Greystones and DLSP meet out in Dr Hickey Park while Naas and Seapoint do battle in the Forenaughts.
In Pool 2, Navan got their campaign off to a welcome but disappointing four points when Wanderers conceded -- I'm sure Navan would have preferred the game.
After an encouraging week, with a win for Nure against Wanderers, it was back down to earth with a bang when they went down 10-8 to Boyne.
Boyne will be very happy with that scalp so soon in the season -- not easy when trying to field an AIL this season for the first time. This week, Wanderers must travel to Boyne -- they won't relish that fixture, while Navan welcome NUIM to Balreask.
In Junior 2, Pool 1, St Mary's hit their second half-century of the season when UCD came calling, while there was yet another D4 derby with Lansdowne hanging on for the win while also managing to deprive Belvo of their precious losing bonus point.
This weekend, St Mary's will hope to keep their unbeaten record alive when Old Belvo come to Templeville -- that'll be Mary's last pool game for the moment.
Lansdowne will be looking to perhaps nick a bonus point when CYM welcome them to Terenure village.
In Pool 2, Wesley -- who are flying in J1 -- have a big gap to fill at J2 having conceded last weekend to 'Tarf.
Wanderers and DLSP served up a cracker 23-23, while Stillorgan's unbeaten run rolls on.