Posts Tagged ‘ Rabo Pro 12 ’

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

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 And Ulster Fight To The Final – Rabo Round Up

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©M+MD. Heaslip is back in flying form

Nobody said it would be easy, and Glasgow certainly made sure the script played out as such. But so it is we now have Leinster and Ulster for the second year in a row fighting head to head for silverware. Both teams have absolutely earned their places, the bloodied face of Jamie Heaslip after Saturday’s game a testament to that, but both Scarlets and Glasgow did show exact why they had the opportunity in their respective performances packed with muscle and determination.
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Ulster Take Command Of The Table As Munster Put In Another Scare – Rabo Round Up

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©M+MD. Connacht have two games left to finish on a high

Is this the new Munster? Flounder about in the league, put fans nerves through a blender ahead of crunch games? Maybe so, and hell if it’s working why change it? Once again they have churned out a lacklustre performance ahead of a crucial Heineken Cup game whilst their top tier allies Ulster and Leinster showed up massively. But it’s the southerners who are “still in the game” so to speak, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Munster Loss Will Hurt More As O’Connell Sure To Be Cited – Rabo Round Up

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Sometimes rugby weekends promise and just deliver across the board. This weekend’s fixtures did just that as Leinster travelled to and defeated a tired Munster in a cracking fixture, Connacht capitalised on Edinburgh floundering towards the seasons end and Ulster completely U-turned on even my own prediction to put in a stunning performance against Dragons and reaffirm their top spot in the league. There was negatives in every game, of course there was, but it was a great advertisement for Irish rugby. Continue reading

Leinster Travel To Take On An Invigorated Munster – Rabo Preview

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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.
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Leinster And Ulster Continue League Table Back And Forth

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It was a great weekend for comparisons in the Rabo this week as Ian Madigan and Paddy Jackson went head to head in the RDS having been battling each other in the Ireland squad for the Six Nations. But the player news does have to play second fiddle to the headline of the week of course, the news that Declan Kidney will not be continuing as Ireland coach.

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