Ireland Rugby League stage Grand Finals Day

The Ireland Rugby League domestic season comes to its conclusion today (Saturday) with three games at Cill Dara Rugby Club in Co. Kildare. Proceedings kick off at midday with the Ireland Masters Final, featuring mixed teams from the six clubs that participated during the season.

The Women’s Grand Final sees Dublin City Exiles, champions for the last two seasons, take on their perennial rivals Galway Tribeswomen at 13:15, and at 15.30 in the men’s Premiership decider, league leaders Banbridge Broncos face Galway Tribesmen.

Dublin make the women’s grand final for the third year in a row, head coach Matt J Kennerson commenting: “When I think of women’s rugby league in Ireland a few words come to mind – hardship, resilience, effort, trailblazers, talent and heart. These women show up to train every week in strong numbers with open ears and minds and a willingness to learn and get better at the new found sport they all love. The respect and admiration I have these strong women is immense and I hope we can continue our undefeated run against a strong outfit and retain the title once more.”

Galway Tribeswomen’s skipper, Sinead O’Brien, noted: “Each year we get closer to them on the scoreboard and even got to within just two points in our last league game – perhaps this year might be ours, certainly we will give it our best shot. We are looking forward to another competitive match where the women’s game will be on show and both teams hope to put on a good spectacle for the supporters.”

Promoted Banbridge, seeking to become the first Ulster-based men’s side to lift the silverware, are in their first Grand Final, captain Sam Boyd noting: “Since the founding of our club in 2021, it has been our mission to compete with the best in Ireland and to make it to the Grand Final is proof of the dedication from coaches, players and supporters who have worked very hard to make us what we are. We won the Championship title in 2022 and it gave our squad more appetite to strive to win silverware in the Premiership. Now, given the opportunity, we intend to give everything we have to see the title brought home. It is our hope that we can revitalise the sport in the province of Ulster and breed new life into future generations of rugby league players by lifting the Premiership trophy.”

“We look forward to playing an excellent Banbridge Broncos side that have shown their class being unbeaten all season,” said Galway Tribesmen coach, John Tyreman. “It will be a tough game but competitive and played with great sportsmanship as usual between the two teams. We hope to give the travelling supporters of both teams an entertaining and exciting match.”