Posts Tagged ‘ Kieran Marmion ’

Schmidt Produces Some Surprises For November Series

image

A week earlier than expected, Joe Schmidt has announced his 37 man squad for the upcoming November Internationals and though influenced by injury, some surprise calls have reared their heads.

As seems to always be the case in Ireland, out half is the area causing the most debate. The chosen three are Jonathan Sexton, Ian Keatley and Ian Madigan. Paddy Jackson has been the go to second to Sexton for nearly two years now, and his omission may come as a surprise to many. But Keatley has been getting to the required level slowly but surely and with performances like last weekend against Sale under his belt deserves his call up. Jackson does also have a little time to go to return fully from injury and Madigan just provides better all round cover given how many Irish backs are sat up with injury. Ulster fans won’t be happy, but much like Sexton being released back to Leinster during the 2012 Six Nations, Jackson is not to be considered out of the golden circle just because he is being left with Ulster for game time. Continue reading

European Rugby – New Era, Same Challenges

image

As we covered here earlier this week, not much has changed with this all new European Cup. The name, some scheduling and the number of teams. Most of the regulations and seedings remain the same, venues, locations etc. What remains exactly the same is the importance of this tournament, and what it means to those involved.

First of the provinces in action this weekend we have Munster travelling to take on Sale at the early hours of 1pm Saturday. Early kick off and all the talk it has generated aside, Munster are in need of a good start. They haven’t had the worst start to the season of the provinces, that accolade falls to Leinster, but they are yet to grease all the gears. Flyers like Simon Zebo and Gerhard Van Den Heever have been threatening but are yet to put in the displays in the games they’ve been most needed. Continue reading

Pro 12 – Green Glory For Pat Lam’s Connacht

LeinstervConnachtOct13b_large

Well, that was somewhat unexpected. Not entirely, which is good. But once more Connacht have found themselves on the right end of a game that previously would have been a heroic defeat. Not this Connacht, not Pat Lam’s Connacht 2.0. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly has changed, seeing as how the new wonder signings have, for the most part, not joined the squad yet. But Conancht are growing, and with a lot of homegrown talent still stoking the fires I should add. Wins like last Friday’s over Leinster just keep the train going and they now sit in the top 4 of the table, whilst Leinster lick the wounds of two close defeats. Continue reading

Rabo Direct Pro 12: Leinster Overcome Strong Test From Connacht

Ian Madigan runs in for a try 23/3/2013

Rabo Direct Pro 12

Leinster 16 – 13 Connacht

Connacht executed a brilliant start  to this game and seemed to surprise their opponents and although the game was decided in the final moments they can hold their heads high. Dan Parks got Connacht off to a brilliant start with two early penalties to give them a six point lead. Ian Madigan reduced the gap to three with a penalty but Connacht grew in confidence and a try by Kieran Marmion gave them a well deserved lead, with Dan Parks following up with the conversion. This was to be Connacht’s last score as the game turned into a war of attrition. Madigan added two penalties to keep Leinster within touching distance of Connacht. Connacht led at the break by 13 – 9. The lack of discipline in the last few moments by Connacht resulted in two of their players being sin binned. Leinster applied immense pressure on Connacht and when Leinster were awarded a penalty try, it seemed heartbreaking for Connacht. Madigan added the conversion, although Connacht must take the positives from this game. Leinster win by 16 -13 over Connacht. Continue reading

Heineken Cup – Ulster And Leinster Deliver As Connacht And Munster Fall Short

connacht_pat_lam

And to think there are some in this world who want rid of this competition. Once again, the Heineken Cup has delivered on opening weekend, with shock results, huge games and many more reasons why this competition needs to stay alive.

Connacht looked set to provide the first big upset as they took Saracens to the edge and more. Pat Lam wasn’t shy about singling out some refereeing but in all, it was a stellar performance from Connacht that deserves talking about. To come from a disappointing Rabo beginning to holding the team that steam rolled their way to the knockouts tryless after ten minutes was a result, but the final score is of course all that matters. Try scorers Danie Poolman and Kieran Marmion are shining lights for them however and hopefully can help make this more than a “happy to be here” season for Connacht.

Connacht 17 – 23 Saracens Continue reading

RABO : Leinster & Ulster Record Bonus Point Victories

bodpoc

Rabo Direct Pro 12 Weekly Round – up

Leinster 34 – 20 Cardiff Blues

Brian O’Driscoll began his final season of rugby on a winning note as he helped Leinster claim a bonus point 34-20 win against Cardiff Blues at the RDS.

Leinster showed how good they are in the first half when Sean Cronin scored an early try to give them some daylight in this encounter with Ian Madigan duly sending the conversion between the posts. Both sides exchanged penalties with both Madigan and Leigh Halfpenny converting two each to give Leinster a 13-6 lead at the interval.

Filo Paulo’s 47th-minute yellow card preceded a penalty try for Leinster, however a tremendous solo effort from Alex Cuthbert kept the Welsh region in the hunt. Continue reading