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Team of the Week: Week #17

NFL-Irelands Week 17: ‘Team of the Week’

Week 17 served up some of the best and most exciting football to date this season as the form book was ripped up in IAFL1, the Rhinos saved Trinity and the Trojans continued to dominate in IAFL2.

The seasons is winding down for those not bound for the post season, as those that are look to build momentum for their run at their respective Bowls

Here’s the best of Week 17 in the IAFL!

Photo by Ariane Boudias

Quarterback: Ryan Byrne
 Waterford Wolves

The Wolves signal caller was quite simply dominant on Sunday. Finding Mark Dunphy and Eoin Reinhardt early in the game to establish what proved to be an unassailable lead, Byrne was composed and in command of the impressive Wolves attack. Earning a lead can be hard but moving the ball, maintaining the lead and working the clock in defence of that margin can oft be the measure of a maturing QB. Byrne never rattled in the face of an imposing Titans defence, added a rushing touchdown to the score and iced the game in doing so.

 

Brian Du Toit or Superman, we’re not sure

Running Back: Brian Du Toit
 Trinity College Dublin

The Running Back Factory that is Trinity College marches on at a blistering pace. We’d never heard of Brian Du Toit and we’ll wager neither had the West Dublin Rhinos until Sunday. 4 touchdowns in a single game puts Du Toit level with established IAFL players like Sean Leamy and Adrain Garvey on the season and another game to come vs UCD could see Trinity put two backs at the top of the scoring charts if they have another good day moving the ball. Oh we forgot to mention that this was the first time Brian Du Toit has ever played a Football game…learn the name, memorise the face (image may in fact be Superman)

 

Photo by Ariane Boudias

Wide Receiver: Mark Dunphy
 Waterford Wolves

A host of receivers caught a single touchdown this weekend so it is a tough business separating one from the pack. Paul O’Driscoll for Cork had a fine day on the losing side with 7 receptions for 140 yards but ultimately of all the names that got themselves on the Receiving Charts this weekend, only Dunphys came up….nearly everywhere else too. 4 interceptions and 2 special teams scores, coupled with the fact he was ruled inches short twice in the same series, if TV replay was available to IAFL officials he may have an extra 6 on the record. Dunphy has been a standout for Waterford this year and his contribution in all phases of the game may prove the difference in getting the Wolves to the post season.

 

Photo by Charisse Mae Ducao

Offensive Line: Trinity College Dublin 

Trinity weren’t themselves yesterday as a miscommunication led to them not brining along their away jerseys. The Rhinos stepped in and saved the day by loaning Trinity their away jerseys and ensuring the game could go ahead and Trinity thanked them by rushing for 5 touchdowns and passing for another. Trinity’s O-Line are among the most impressive in the country, fast movers and punishing blockers, this season has seen them protect for 2 QBs 3 Running Backs totalling 14 touchdowns and not to mention one of the most consistent place kickers in the country. When you can score, regardless of who has the ball, the reason is usually the men in the trenches.

 

Defence: Meath Bulldogs 

Cork, through 7 games, have one of the most potent offences in the country. Not only did Meath manage to shut it down, they turned in into a weakness. There was shutouts elsewhere but of the 26 Meath points Sunday, 18 were as a result of the defence intercepting and scoring. Erin Kelly, who also played QB, had 2 interceptions, both for scores and Cian Minnock with the other pick 6. Interceptions are often the result of  good work done up front and this was an impressive day all round from a defence, many of whom were playing iron man football.


 

Honourable Mentions:

 – UL backup QB Ray Burke had a fine day at the helm of their 2nds team as he scored 3 through the air and 1 on the ground.

 – Meath Bulldogs Kicker Daryl Ratty contributed 8 of the 26 points scored against Cork from 2 field goals and 2 extra points extending the margin of victory to a safe distance down the stretch.

 – Nic Coffi reeled in another pass from Stephen Hayes as the pair moved to 9 and 22 touchdowns on the season respectively.

 –  Jonathan Siri continues to return punts for fun as he scored another adding to his 3 rushing touchdowns on the day.

SBC Power Rankings

With a break in the schedule and all but the IAFL 2 underway we thought this pause would be a terrific opportunity to take on our first power rankings of the year. Based entirely on our own opinion and the opinions of some trusted advisors, if you disagree with these assessments feel free to let us know and prove us wrong where it counts, between the white lines!

1. Belfast Trojans thumb_BTlogo

Trojans have opened the season with two wins and two 30+ point outings. SBC sophomores, Panthers and Reapers, were never in danger of causing an upset on either occasion but tougher tests lie ahead for the Green Machine and 2015 has started exactly as everyone would expect from the 3 time champions, dominantly.

thumb_ULlogo2. University College Limerick Vikings unnamed-3

UL have opened their season in equally dominant style. 10 touchdowns and 3 wins in the bag, UL would have every right to feel they should be top of this list. With wins already against UCD & Trinity, the SBC South is the Vikings to lose at this point but students won’t accept anything but a date at Tallaght Stadium and a Waterford Crystal Bowl as success this season.

3. University College Dublin thumb_UCDlogo

After sweeping the IAFL1 aside last year UCD have shown the SBC they haven’t been resting in their year off from top flight action. A narrow defeat to a very strong UL side and a nail biter against the Rebels show that UCD belong with the pace setters in the SBC. Pace and aggression in abundance mean UCD can have the very realistic expectation of playing in the post season and not just the wild cards.

4. Trinity College Dublinthumb_TCDlogo

Trinity blazed through 2014 but are finding 2015 a little tougher to ignite. A terrific comeback against the Rebels proved last years determination is still there but the loss to UL and the narrow win against the Panthers show their are still questions to be answered before Trinity are feared the way the 2014 incarnation was.

5. Dublin Rebelsthumb_DRlogo

Rebels kick off to Trinity after another score.. 28-07 mid Q3

Posted by Dublin Rebels on Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Rebels will feel a little hard done by so far. Two losses in a row by only a single point each time is a cruel twist of fate. The Rebels find themselves only short of UL & Belfast in terms of points scored and if they can begin keeping teams out of the end zone they will shoot up this chart and the one that matters. A tough schedule for the Dublin contingent of the SBC North, see the Rebels with Trojans, UL & Trinity on their schedule meaning the Rebels will have to hit form soon as this season could quickly get away from them.

6. Carrickfergus Knightsthumb_CKlogo

A dark horse their emblem and and a dark horse their team.  The Knights were dominant in their only outing so far this season and perhaps only find themselves in the bottom half of this list only due to lack games to judge. Carrick are powerful on offence and defence and have the ability to punish lesser teams and make life very tough for those above them.

7. Craigavon Cowboysthumb_CClogo

The Cowboys were perhaps a little unlucky in some of the breaks in their season opener agains the Knights. A video of a touchdown ‘pass’ to a fullback who looked convinced it was a run play and duely carried it the yard into the end zone just an example of how things could have been different for the Cowboys Game 1. Some of the finest players in the country occupy the Orange Jersey and expecting any different will see teams severely punished if they underestimate the Cowboys.

Unconventional TD but the Knights move clear, converting with the pass on 3rd down. Extra point is blocked. 12-26 Knights. Injuries stacking up on the sidelines for the Cowboys but credit to the Knights for their clinical finishing today

Posted by Craigavon Cowboys on Sunday, 22 March 2015

8. North Kildare Reapersthumb_reapersLogo2

The Reapers started out with a what could be an immensely important win vs their Divison rival Rhinos but then folded to a punishing defeat agains the Trojans. The 3 wins of last year could be tougher to collect with none of their former IAFL1 counterparts on the schedule and an SBC South that is soaring in quality. Game 1 could be vital for the Reapers if head to head comes into it when deciding who is headed for IAFL1 next year.

thumb_panthers9. South Dublin Panthers

The Panthers find themselves facing down a tough schedule, opening against last seasons Shamrock Bowl finalists they sit 0-2. The Panthers will need to start winning games soon if they hope to avoid being dragged into the relegation mire. They will find heart in the play and scoring of their defence but football isn’t a game of only one half.

thumb_RHlogo10. West Dublin Rhinos

An offseason full of promise has yet to materialise into results for the Rhinos. After losing to divsion rival Reapers and capitulation to UL, the Rhinos renowned stingey defence is yet to find form in 2015. They look a team struggling for identity and there are no free lunches handed out in the SBC. A reverse of the defeat against the Reapers is essential for the Rhinos or the relegation battle will be tough to win.

See how they stand right now with our full table here.