Six Nations 2018 – Just Another Day In Paris

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I gave up. I won’t bullshit anyone, I flat out gave up. Why wouldn’t I though – we simply don’t come back from moments like that. How many times have Ireland mounted a last minute comeback that simply falls short? How many times have they given up the lead moments from the end? This was New Zealand 2013, the difference being that, for once, we were New Zealand.

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Six Nations – That’s All She Wrote

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I’ve deleted the first two drafts of this guys, bear with me. Last Friday’s loss in Cardiff was not only deeply upsetting in relation to Ireland’s title hopes – it was easily the most infuriating performance from the green army since Schmidt took charge of the team. Yes, I even include the Argentina loss in the World Cup and the 2013 loss to the All Blacks in there. This was awful.

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Six Nations – Into The Dragon’s Den

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No changes either side, roof closed, Cardiff on a Friday evening. We’ve been so fully focused onĀ thatĀ final fixture that it has been easy to lose sight of this one. Whatever about how tough or not it may be for Ireland and those dreams of a third championship in 4 years, it’s gonna be a cracking game of rugby.

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Six Nations 2015 – Ireland Brought To A Halt In Cardiff

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Hats off and all that jazz, Wales were superb. The most fair outcome of Saturday’s fixture was that the scoreline for Wales’ yellow card was 6 – 3 Ireland. Not that the yellow wasn’t deserved but it would have been an injustice to nab a lead against a Welsh side who were deserving winners from the first second in such unceremonious circumstances. There is also the issue that Ireland were extremely below par which all led to this absolutely enthralling spectacle in Cardiff. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Ireland Brought To A Halt In Cardiff

Six Nations 2015 – Changes Abound For England And France

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Two coaches ringing the changes this weekend in the other two Six Nations fixtures, however the balance of tactics and insanity are on fairly opposite ends. Ahead of facing a rejuvenated but floundering Scotland in Twickenham Stuart Lancaster has seen fit to make five changes in total to his 23 to ensure Scotland don’t pick up their first win against the second favourites. Phillipe Saint Andre on the other hand has reverted to form in his never ending quest to destroy the reputation of French international rugby. Let’s have a look so.
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Six Nations 2015 – The Oldest Enemy

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

There is no sweeter victory for an Irish rugby team than one sealed over England; 800 years and all that. Geoghaegan, Horgan, Gaillimh, McLaughlin – through the years this fixture has had a tendency to turn players into legends of the game. It barely needs to be discussed but a litany of (sporting) history explains why. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – The Oldest Enemy

Six Nations 2015 – Battle For The Title

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

Here we are again for the third consecutive year;Ireland face off against England for what looks to be the deciding game of the tournament (so far, of course). The last two years it hasn’t gone that well for Ireland, can anything make this year any different?
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Six Nations 2015 – England Seek Revenge

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Of course Irish fans want one team only to run in as title contenders when the Six Nations kicks off, but there can be up to four potential victors in a given year. Even Italy, when they started in 2013 with that famous win over France, looked hotter than ever. England are without doubt second favourites and Wales, well they’re just always a threat in this tournament year on year. Scotland have that Vern Cotter fella in charge, maybe you’ve heard of him. Yes it’s not plain sailing for Ireland by any means. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – England Seek Revenge

European Rugby – Leinster Face A Tough Run To The Final

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

When the European Rugby Champion’s Cup was announced the cries from this side of the pond were that the new structure was essentially designed to stop the Irish teams from winning all the time. Whilst not exactly true, this Round 6 weekend and the subsequent knock out lay out has shown exactly what is different about this new structure. The goal was to make the competition more competitive, and no team is seeing this more so than Leinster. In previous years a home quarter final was all but a guarantee of progression to the semi finals. This was down to the void that often existed between the top 4 and bottom 4 teams. However, with four less teams and therefore more competitive pools you would have to say that nobody, bar Toulon, has anything resembling an easy route through the quarter finals. And of course the draw for the semi finals can be cruel as always with Leinster likely facing down a Toulon in France engagement should they get past a resurgent Bath. Simple.

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European Rugby – “Not” The Heineken Cup

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Dual blogged on IrishNewsReview.info

“Four tries at the very least, and a 27 point margin to boot. No team could surely ever pull it off. Watch now, as Ronan O’Gara lines up the most important kick of his Munster career…”

Ok so, except that there’s one less pool (and four less teams as a result), let’s face it, this is the Heineken Cup. To Irish rugby fans in particular, the Heineken Cup even in name alone meant a lot more than just sponsorship. It’s a heritage, a legacy. It’s the reason we all looked forward to October. And the greatest Irish successes, be it winning finals or overcoming huge opponents in knock outs, all came at the peak of the competition’s popularity both with the public and financially. Is it any wonder there were calls for change from outside the country? Continue reading European Rugby – “Not” The Heineken Cup