Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ Italian Rugby ’

Rabo Direct Pro 12: The Leinster-Munster Juggernaut Returns

image

Ah its back again. Post-Six Nations hangovers are worse when you’re successful, no doubt about that. There’s little to win in the muddling Rabo games that arise between the end of the Six Nations and the Heineken Cup resumption. But then along comes the colossus, the manly Munstermen versus the Leinster ladyboys, a fixture that defies all logic and at times elevates above European standard. Ah yes, it’s good to be back.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Six Nations 2014 – One Glorious Day

image

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.
Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – It All Comes Down To This

image

Italy regressed, Scotland imploded. England realised the sum of their parts, Ireland rose from the ashes of their worst season in countless years. Wales have hit an unsightly but still not worrying speed bump. And France, well god forbid we would tempt fate and state any facts about the state of French international rugby. But here we are, two teams with a realistic chance to win the title, and one with a worse than outside shot at it. Game on. Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – O’Driscoll Masterclass Keeps Ireland In Pole Position

image

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.
Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – A Telling Weekend In Store

image

Home stretch and all to play for, it’s how every Six Nations’ penultimate weekend should be. Can the Scots keep the ball rolling and take the French out of contention? Will the mighty Welsh, back in form after a very slow start, derail the chariot and do the Emerald Isle a favour? Are Italy really that down and out? Let’s find out.
Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – Ireland Have What It Takes

image

We all knew there was a good chance that optimism would be this high in Joe Schmidt’s first season, but now that it has materialised, the Irish rugby machine is truly back in motion. Yes, the England game was a minor setback and with two weeks to mull it over the mood has probably gone lower than it should have, but the fact remains that Ireland top the table still, and by a considerable points difference. Things are looking good, with a sure win this Saturday to help matters.

Continue reading

Irish Rugby: Clouds And Silver Linings

rugby

Close but no cigar.

It was nothing short of heartbreak for the Irish rugby squad at Twickenham last Saturday. It was always going to be a bruising encounter but one felt that Ireland this year under the leadership of Joe Schmidt would just have too much for the young English pretenders. In hindsight, Ireland just didn’t show up, they seemed sluggish from the start and allowed England to dictate the game from the kick off. England however were guilty of leaving more scores out on the pitch than Ireland and going into the tunnel only three points down at half time must have been very encouraging to the Irish players.

Jonathan Sexton had a mediocre game, his kicking was not what it was in the Aviva against Wales but on the flip side of that, credit must be given to Stuart Lancaster and his coaches. They had their homework done as it was more the case that Sexton had little or no options when it came to kicking for field position. The English backs gave him nothing to aim at, both wingers hugged either line and the Racing Metro star was forced into little chips over their centres heads. This ploy failed as Mike Brown, who was in sensational form, continually made ground from loose kicks that ultimately just gave away possession. Ireland turned down chance after chance in the first half to use their most potent weapon, the maul. Maybe it was a tactical decision to suck in the English defence and go wide when they were almost certainly expecting Ireland to try and trundle down the middle. The decision in the second half to use it paid dividends as the English struggled to defend against it, maybe Ireland should have used it from the start. Continue reading

Advertisements
Advertisements