Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ Aviva Stadium ’

European Rugby – Snowball’s Chance In Hell?

image

To say that Leinster will define their season this Sunday is somewhat of an understatement. Pro 12 involvement on the line, consecutive defeats worse than anything in the last decade and a general air of division amongst their fans; this trip to Toulon didn’t need added importance but it has it now.

Matt O’Connor fielded 12 changes in the Pro 12 in an effort to distribute game time ahead of playing a team absolutely spoiled for choice. It wasn’t entirely illogical but what it means is that Leinster are essentially out of the league and this European Cup is all that remains to sign off in some style on a mixed 14/15 season. The obvious backlash here is that they’ve put more pressure on a game that really didn’t need anymore but for the sake of optimism let’s look at it from another angle – Leinster are head first throwing all of their weight into this weekend. Continue reading

Advertisements

European Rugby – And Then There Was One

wpid-supporters-leinster

Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

Can anyone else remember the last time only one Irish team managed to make the European knockouts? Eleven years ago, back when Ulster still couldn’t find a way out and Leinster lost out to Stade Francais and Munster were the sole hope in the Quarter Finals. Is it a reflection on the Irish club game that only Leinster have progressed or is it the new format living up to its name and providing a greater challenge to the Celts? Hard to say in this inaugural year but the fact is there to see that only one province from the back to back Six Nations champion country is present this weekend. Pity.
Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – What We Watch It For

image

You couldn’t predict it. If you think you did, you’re wrong. 240 minutes of rugby and not a single one went as anyone would have expected. We knew that Gatland would have his Welsh squad fired up of course and that they have one of the best backlines in Europe, but we didn’t know that Italy were going to collapse as spectacularly as they did. Nobody could have seen Ireland coming out of the traps like that either, matching their best ever winning margin over the Scots. Of course, England and France, thank you. Quite simply the best game of rugby I have ever seen and Welcome back France, you have been missed.
Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Heaslip Returns For Welsh Showdown

wpid-ireland-italy-111002.jpg

Freak. There’s no other word to describe Jamie Heaslip in relation to his healing abilities. We won’t complain, but many others would be out of their desk job for six months but here he is, the sole change from the team that beat England two weeks ago, ready to take the field in the Cardiff cauldron. Schmidt has made only enforced changes this Six Nations when you might think variety and choice are crucial in winning a championship – conservatism or wisdom? Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Ireland On Course For The Ultimate Prize

image

Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

The chariot has been derailed and Ireland remain unbeaten. Such was the plethora of wins Ireland experienced over England before 2012 that seems strange to write with such enthusiasm but it has to be appreciated for what it means. How did they do it? Well it’s more than worthwhile taking a look.

Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Can Wales Tackle The French?

image

Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’Here

Before Ireland’s crucial game this Sunday we will see Scotland play host to Italy and France the same to Wales. All four sides are finding themselves in turmoil of sorts with underperforming the operative word. Can Scotland show the results of their new coaching team with a result worthy of the quality and can Wales put themselves back in contention against the strongest French side for some time?
Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Are You Not Entertained?

England-Rugby-Ball

Ah here c’mon now, how negative can we be? All the buzz since our emphatic win over France, Irish rugby fans all over have been harping on about how we still don’t look great and there is still work to be done. I won’t disagree with that second point but, we’re looking better than ever guys and here’s why.

Remember back a few years, just before David Wallace’s career ending injury? Remember when The Bull hung up his boots and we crawled into a humiliation in Twickenham two years ago? Do you remember, this time last year, wondering what the hell we would ever do without that fella wearing 13 on his back? Well what we have done since all of these things is win five games in a row, two against top three southern hemisphere teams and one against a side who up until last year had only suffered three defeats from us in this century. What I’m saying is – stop focusing solely on what happens on the pitch and take a step back. Ireland are neck and neck with England for the title of best team in Europe, neck and neck in the Six Nations race too and most importantly – they’re winning. Up until the “Golden Generation” arrived we would always be happy with the win. Dirty wins like Scotland 07, it didn’t matter. Then we became seriously good, always managing to score but more and more we couldn’t manage to win. Now it’s all about the win. Not that Ireland at this moment in time are playing ball up the jumper rugby and that’s that rather there are tailored game plans (and cards being held with a World Cup later this year). Ireland scraped past France and should have had another point or two on Italy but they won. Continue reading

Advertisements
Advertisements