To say that Leinster will define their season this Sunday is somewhat of an understatement. Pro 12 involvement on the line, consecutive defeats worse than anything in the last decade and a general air of division amongst their fans; this trip to Toulon didn’t need added importance but it has it now.
Continue reading European Rugby – Snowball’s Chance In Hell?
History has a funny way of repeating itself and never more so than in rugby. Once more Leinster find themselves facing elimination from the European platform at the hands of Toulon and once again they look likely to be at least in part architects of their own demise. Continue reading European Rugby – Leinster Too Good For Bath… Just
Indeed a faux pas on my part, there are of course two Irish teams in European contention this weekend. Contact travel to Kingsholm to take on Gloucester at 7.45 this evening and a win would be a massive leap towards solidifying this as their best season in their history. Returning to the Connacht fold is Robbie Henshaw after an inspired Six Nations and alongside the big hitters of Mils Muliaina and Danie Poolman the Westerners should be fit to make this a cracking game. Continue reading European Rugby – Connacht Welcome Henshaw Back
Can anyone else remember the last time only one Irish team managed to make the European knock outs? Eleven years ago, back when Ulster still couldn’t find a way out and Leinster lost out to Stade Francais and Munster were the sole hope in the Quarter Finals. Is it a reflection on the Irish club game that only Leinster have progressed or is it the new format living up to its name and providing a greater challenge to the Celts? Hard to say in this inaugural year but the fact is there to see that only one province from the back to back Six Nations champion country is present this weekend. Pity. Continue reading European Rugby – And Then There Was One
Ryle Nugent’s words have never been more appropriate as we go into one of the most exciting final weekends of the Six Nations in some time. Last year two teams remained in contention at this juncture, this year it’s three and if some abbhorently strange sequence of events were to unfold, four. It’s what it’s all about, it’s what we came for, let’s dive right in.
Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Don’t Forget To Breathe
Far from perfect, anything but simple and in general; tense as hell. Ireland VS France has always been anything but a straight forward fixture and yesterday in the Aviva reached lofty new heights. It didn’t have as much riding on it as last year of course but it was the chance for Ireland’s first back to back win over Les Bleus in 13 years and you could see every inch of that on the pitch. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Ireland Scrape Past France
It couldn’t entirely be classed as debatable to begin with but it looks like the question of whether Jonathan Sexton returning straight into the fold for Ireland after 3 months concussion rehab only ever had one answer. With little change from the team that faced Italy last week Sexton is due to return to the driver’s seat for Ireland this Saturday. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Sexton Returns For Ireland
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.
Continue reading European Rugby – Leinster Face A Tough Run To The Final
One round left and relatively little change from Matt O’Connor. When your team has demolished Castres a week previous, why tinker with the formula I suppose. The other provinces aren’t quite as lucky, all three listing worrying injuries, but unfortunately only one of the three from south, north and west have any role potentially beyond this weekend in Europe. Continue reading European Rugby – Leinster Look To Lead
It’s bad, it really is. Munster and Ulster are out of contention in the European Rugby Champion’s Cup. For Munster this is the campaign that began with Ian Keatley channeling Ronan O’Gara and sealing the opening win with a sumptuous drop goal. For Ulster, it hasn’t looked too good all season but damn it hadn’t once looked this bad. Leinster and Connacht now carry the European hopes for Ireland as north and south must regroup.
Continue reading European Rugby – Munster And Ulster Bow Out