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Posts Tagged ‘ Champions ’

European Rugby – Snowball’s Chance In Hell?

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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

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Six Nations 2015 – What We Watch It For

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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.
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2014 Rugby Year In Review – Spring Launches A New Era

The Ireland team celebrate winning the RBS 6 Nations Championship in the dressing room 15/3/2014Dual blogged on Irish News Review

We’ve been a little light on rugby coverage here – let me assure you it was due to an exceptionally hectic Christmas and nothing to do with a Leinster man avoiding writing negatively about the struggling province – but now comes that unmissable time of the year. A time for nostalgia and teary eyes reminiscence. Yes, it’s time for a lookback on the rugby year that was 2014, a long overdue positive one for Irish fans.
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European Rugby – Three From Four Ain’t Bad

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Mixed, is there any other word for that opening weekend? A classic Munster performance, from a new Munster side. A near all time best from Connacht. Gusto without result from Ulster. And such muddling from Leinster. Yep, it’s gonna be a long season.

Munster got the ball rolling early on Sunday with their clash against Sale. Nobody could really call what shape Sale would show up in but in a pool including Clermont and Saracens they should not be classed as the top tier opposition for the Reds. Still an away trip to any English side can be tricky and yet another last minute get out of jail moment from Munster proved that to be the case once more. Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – One Glorious Day

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Why can’t we ever do things the easy way? Sexton off with his neck braced, a French penalty opportunity thankfully swinging wide, a missed touch finder, a moment of panic from Kearney, a turned scrum. This titanic struggle had every feature that usually leads to an Irish loss yet for once we actually got the rub of the green. Just another demon Joe Schmidt has exorcised I suppose.
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Six Nations 2014 – O’Driscoll Masterclass Keeps Ireland In Pole Position

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He will be missed. Make no mistake. Not as much now as he may have been two or three years ago, before we had the emerging talents of Cave, Henshaw and more. But still, he will be missed. In sixty five minutes he put in a deserved Man Of The Match display, and signed off on his international time at Lansdowne Road in style. All fourteen men who shared the field with him at any time too gave it there all, and Ireland march to France with a ludicrous points difference and the greatest sense of belief since 2009 surrounding them.
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Toulon And Leinster Bring The Fire – Heineken/Amlin Round Up

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Leinster claim European silverware for third year running

And so it is, the Heineken Cup has left Ireland for only the second time since 2006. At least it left in style though, with Toulon absolutely powering Clermont off the field in the closing stages of a nerve shredding match. Leinster gave a great account themselves the night before too, albeit with one eye on the Rabo, as they put Stade to the sword to win the Amlin (and as a result, a record breaking third European trophy in a row). The argument still lingers as to whether or not Leinster fans were building up the second tier in hopes of elevating it’s status as a Heineken Cup replacement; tell that to the players who brought all the required intensity of a Heineken test to the RDS on Friday.
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