Posts Tagged ‘ Rabo ’

Rabo – Last Roll Of The Dice For At Least One Province

MUN_552655kAnd so we come to a close, the regular league season done with Leinster on top and Glasgow at their heels. You could say it’s all becoming a bit repetitive, or you could say it simply is a representation of how far beyond the rest of the league Munster, Leinster, Ulster, Glasgow and (sometimes) Ospreys are year in year out. The Rabo will change dramatically next season, the new importance of qualification fresh in minds from day one, but for now, like its grown up European counterpart, we will see out the last of the current incarnation and see what lies ahead this weekend. Continue reading

Heineken Cup – Munster Finish Their Heineken Cup History On A Low

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“Not with a bang, but a whimper”. The words of T.S Elliot may seem a somewhat harsh reflection on the weekend’s rugby, but for two teams like Munster and more significantly Clermont to bow out of the competition’s final ever incarnation in such fashion was deflating at best. Munster can take heart from the fact that they lost to the best and that they were at least extremely close to functioning fully, whereas Clermont will only be too happy to close the door on the competition that has caused them such mental anguish over the years, in the hope that the new Championship brings more prosperous times. Continue reading

Heineken Cup – Munster Seek Final Berth

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Sad as it is, the Heineken Cup, that has been such a happy hunting ground for Irish teams through the years, has now got three more days of action to its name. This weekend’s semi finals and the final in May will be the last hurrah these four teams get in a competition that has been the sight of some of their most famous days. None more so of course than Munster. Holding all the remaining Irish hope in their hands, there’s no question over which game is the “must-see” of the weekend. Two giants of the game are set to go head to head, the second French thriller of the year, and the result should be worthy of legend. Continue reading

Rabo – Connacht Fight For European Qualification

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Ah yes the news has finally officially come, the Heineken Cup is no more. Next year it will be replaced with the European Rugby Champion’s Cup (or, ERCC, hmmmm) and as well as having a second tier challenge cup there will also be a third tier competition. Arguably this is the best news of the entire deal, and that the ERC could never pull it off maybe justifies their exit from proceedings. The biggest news from this announcement however is that Connacht now know for certain that the final leg of the Rabo is crucial for their European dreams. Continue reading

Heineken Cup – Munster Brilliance Keeps Irish Interest Alive

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Well, that was emotional. Be it the dream of another fairytale for Brian O’Driscoll, the anger and passion that followed Jared Payne’s red card, or the sheer and utter dissection Munster undertook, that was yet another Heineken Cup knock out round that simply had it all. It was yet another reason why the dissolving of this competition next year is little short of a travesty, though at least the new tournament looks set to more closely resemble this one than it could have. Continue reading

RABO : Ulster Impress As Leinster Climb Leaderboard

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Ulster 29 – 19 Munster

Munster came into this game as league leaders heading into 2014 but faced a tough open running Ulster side with brilliant trying scoring potential.

Ulster started this game at a frantic pace and with Ruan Pienaar in excellent form, Ulster seemed unbeatable in the first half when they split the Munster defence which resulted in Jared Payne getting the ball over the line to open their account. Ulster never let up on Munster in the first half and turned over possession and a brilliant running move by Jared Payne , which resulted in Andrew Trimble setting up Darren Cave for the try to give Ulster a commanding lead approaching half time. Two conversions and two penalties from Pienaar gave the Ravenhill men a 20-0 lead in the final few minutes before half time. Munster scored a late try in the half through Ivan Dineen to cut the gap to 15 points at the break.

The second half was to be a different affair as Munster set out to try to cause an upset. Munster made progress through the maul which resulted in Dave Kilcoyne scoring Munster’s second try and brought them back into this game. Pienaar was still impressive with the boot as his penalties would be vastly important to Ulster approaching the last 20 minutes of this game. Munster’s maul had Ulster in all sorts of problems when a second maul resulted in James Coughlan adding a third try for Munster to reduce the gap to just four points. Three penalties by Pienaar meant Ulster remained in front despite the Munster fight back. Ulster won on a score of 29 to 19 in what was a game of two halves.

Connacht 8 – 16 Leinster

Leinster were visitors to the Sportsgrounds for first clash of the New Year and faced an ever improving Connacht side under the management of Pat Lam. The game started rather slowly with both sides guilty of kicking away possession too often in the poor conditions. Connacht took the early lead when Robbie Henshaw saw an opening in the Leinster defence and exploded through it and offloaded the pass to Fionn Carr on the wing, who finished off the move with a great burst of pace. Both sides traded penalties towards the end of the half as Connacht showed more enterprise in the first half, leading by 8 points to 3 at the break.

Leinster showed more intent and desire to win in the second half as things began to go their way. Two penalties from Jimmy Gopperth edged Leinster ahead as the game began to swing in their favour. A late try by Gordon D’Arcy gave the visitors an eight point lead as Connacht searched for a losing bonus point in the late stages of the game, but to no avail. Leinster march up the table winning on double scores 16 points to 8.

Rabo Direct Pro 12: Munster And Leinster Emerge Victorious

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This post Christmas instalment of the RABO saw some great encounters as Ireland’s four provinces battled to earn the bragging rights heading into the new year, with Munster and Leinster occupying first and second place in the table. Continue reading