Posts Tagged ‘ Paddy Jackson ’

Irish Rugby Review 2013

rugby

The November series of 2012 led us into 2013 with a mixed bag of expectations, hope and a real feel of not knowing where Irish rugby was going. There was a sense that change was on the horizon, Declan Kidney was in charge of an ageing team but there were signs of talented youth on the periphery. South Africa were the first of the visiting nations and in a tight game they just did enough to keep Ireland from claiming a win. A scoreline of 16-12 suggested as much but it was a game that Ireland should have and could have won. The courageous performance of nearly winning was now becoming a bit too regular and the fans were becoming somewhat impatient, good performances no longer enough to keep them happy. The following week, an uncapped Ireland XV played host to Fiji in Thomond Park. It was a game that although one-sided, I as an Irish rugby fan, thoroughly enjoyed. Continue reading

Heineken Cup: Clean Sweep For Irish Provinces

tou

Toulouse 14 – 16 Connacht

Toulouse started the game at a frantic pace and seemed certain of scoring an early try. However this never materialised and it was Connacht who took the lead courtesy of a penalty and a drop goal by Dan Parks to give them a six point cushion approaching half time. However Toulouse would have a big say before the break as Jean-Pascal Barraque gave Toulouse an unlikely one point lead with a brilliant try. Continue reading

Schmidt Off To Winning Start

schmidt

Ireland 40 Samoa 9

To many of those that were involved, it was old hat, been there done that but for debutants Jack McGrath and Dave Kearney, it will be a day to remember for the rest of their lives. The Leinster pair did exactly what they set out to do and firstly made an impression, the latter crossing over the line for two tries and McGrath was awarded the man of the match award, hard to expect much more on your debut. In a game that started as a scrum fest, McGrath must have been the happiest man on the field as he imposed himself on his opposite number, time and time again. There were ten scrums in the first twenty minutes of the game. Dave Kearney, who took to the field as a second half substitute made an immediate impact, finishing expertly a move from the backs that the All Blacks would have been proud of. The other debutant, lets not forget was the new man in charge, Joe Schmidt and he will be delighted to get off the ground with a win, although, there is plenty of work to wade through before the superpowers of Australia and New Zealand run out into the Aviva. Continue reading

Autumn Internationals – Slow Start But The Schmidt Era Begins With A Win

Dave Kearney had a dream debut, dotting down two tries

Dave Kearney had a dream debut, dotting down two tries

Italy 20-50 Australia

With Australia coming off a poor showing against England and Italy coming in from a strong Six Nations (though an admittedly poor summer followed) , this game could have been primed for an upset. As it was, the game started rather poorly though it seemed the Italians were causing the Australians some problems. Italy stormed into an early lead with a try by Luke McClean and they held a very strong ten point lead early, with the conversion and penalty kicked by Alberto Di Bernardo. Continue reading

Three Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Guinness Series

davekearney
The Ireland coaching staff have announced a squad of 34 players for the forthcoming GUINNESS Series against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in November.

The make-up of the squad is consistent with recent years. The sole exile included is British & Irish Lions outhalf Jonathan Sexton.

There are three uncapped players included in the squad – David Kearney, who was on the bench for Ireland back in 2012, is included alongside Jack McGrath and James Coughlan. 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 : Munster And Ulster Prevail As Connacht Fall To Defeat

In the picture:Marco Filippucci

Rabo Direct Pro 12

Munster 19 – 15 Leinster

A Keith Earls try was the crucial score that separated the sides in Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Leinster started better with two early penalties converted by Ian Madigan to give them a six point lead early in the first half. Munster began piling on the pressure shortly after and got their first score from the boot of Ian Keatley. Madigan interfered with play after some good surging play from Munster and he was sin binned for the remainder of the half. A brilliant cross field kick by Keatley found Earls who side-stepped the defender to give Munster a well deserved lead, with Keatley following up with the conversion. Fergus McFadden converted a penalty just before half time in the absence of Madigan to leave them trailing, Munster 10-9 Leinster. Continue reading

Rabo Round Up : Ulster Prevail As Munster And Leinster Lose

gopperth

Rabo Direct Pro 12

Ulster 18-7 Connacht 

Dan Parks was the key player for Connacht with the former Scottish international ensuring a great start by scoring a try. However, this was to be Connacht’s only score of the game as Ulster began to express their dominance in the game. Ulster’s Michael Allen finished off a move which was set up by Paddy Jackson to bring the gap to two points at the break. Connacht led at the break by 7 points to 5. The second half was all about Ulster as Jackson converted his first penalty in the game, to give Ulster a well deserved lead.  Jackson put Connacht to the sword for the remainder of the half when he scored and converted a try before sending a penalty between the posts to secure an 18-7 win for Ulster. Continue reading

Double Proves Fitting Send Off For Leinster Greats

Leinster 24 -v- Ulster 18

Leinster, the dominant force in Europe for the last five years, have landed a domestic title that has alluded them for three seasons in a row and in doing so completed a famous double. For this extraordinary group of players no less would have done.

For the last two years Heineken Cup hangovers and primed opposition have tainted what was meant to be their European champions’ party. This year was different. After bowing out in the group stages of the Heineken Cup, because of two defeats at the hands of the majestic Clermont, Leinster’s focus switched to the domestic title that had escaped their greedy grasp at their zenith. Last week’s European victory in the Amlin Cup took on a secondary importance. They enjoyed Friday night’s celebrations but didn’t allow them become weekend long sessions as they licked their Parisse induced bruises and returned to training on Monday setting their sights firmly on Ulster and the difficult task ahead. This was unfinished business. Their opponents for the final had completed a home and away double against them during the regular season and the game would demand the standards that have epitomised Leinster during the Joe Schmidt era, this technically away final in the RDS was his 99th and last game in charge of the province. However, the Ulster defeats earlier in the season were not the main motivating factor for Leinster instead it was the fact that they have been runners-up for the last three seasons in this competition that really irked them. For this uber successful bunch those defeats lingered through the Summer months. All talk this week was about completing the job, finishing the season off to their lofty standards and not leaving a sour taste, and that meant victory – the only fitting send off for Joe Schmidt, Jonathan Sexton and Isa Nacewa. Continue reading

Leinster Travel To Take On An Invigorated Munster – Rabo Preview

image

Time and time again it’s mentioned, religiously by yours truly, but there is just something that bit extra special about Leinster taking on Munster, an event that is only heightened by the home fixture for Munster given the impenetrable nature of Thomond Park. It takes a serious slug through the books before you get to the days of Munster regularly handing out losses to Leinster, the Donnybrook army have had a near 100 percent success rate against their rivals since 2009.
Continue reading