Pro 12 – Tough At The Top

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Finally into the business end of the league now that all Pro 12 teams are out of European contention, the table is looking awfully crowded. Funny that it is given that form would suggest the top 4 teams are as good as qualified but with three weeks remaining it could fall either way. There’s a lot of notions and permutations to rattle through so we’ll do our best to get our heads around them now. Continue reading Pro 12 – Tough At The Top

European Rugby – Snowball’s Chance In Hell?

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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?

Pro 12 – Leinster Running It Close

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Ok so they’re not technically down and out mathematically, but Leinster look even less likely to make the Pro 12 knock outs after a shambolic display this weekend and we are finally at the failed questions to he asked stage. Munster and Ulster enjoyed much better success whilst Connacht still remain in mild contention for a top six finish. It’s all looking a little alien from an Irish perspective in the league this season. Continue reading Pro 12 – Leinster Running It Close

Pro 12 – Leinster Look At One Last Chance

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Three weeks remain in the Pro 12 regular season and for the first time this decade Leinster are looking at a slim chance of Top 4 qualification. Munster and Ulster sit relatively comfortably with Munster travelling to Edinburgh and Ulster heading West to Connacht but Leinster, en route to face the Dragons on Sunday, are staring down a real possibility of not making the league knock outs whilst also trying to figure out Toulon before their European Semi Final. A lot to ask, no question. Continue reading Pro 12 – Leinster Look At One Last Chance

European Rugby – And Then There Was One

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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

European Rugby – Munster Face Down Their Biggest Milestone

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Dual blogged on Irish News Review

New competition, new beginnings and a chance for Munster to reclaim some of their former glory. That is what awaits Anthony Foley’s men on Saturday when they travel to meet Saracens. It is getting tired and it is beyond cliche to say it, but Munster are a backs to the wall team at their finest moments. When all is required and all can be lost, that is when Munster sincerely find their place in European Rugby. There is no better recent example than that exemplary performance against Harlequins in 2013 when Munster were all but written off and came out blazing to send ‘Quins home licking their wounds. Of course, these scenarios don’t always go their way but there seems to just be a little in the air to suggest that won’t be the case this weekend.
Continue reading European Rugby – Munster Face Down Their Biggest Milestone

European Rugby – Time To Separate The Men From The Boys

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Round 2 of the European Rugby Champion’s Cup and already we’re looking at a whole new playing field. Ulster VS Toulon, Munster VS Saracens, Leinster VS Castres and Connacht VS Exeter. Certainly far more fitting and mouth watering challenges for the provinces, and though it may be true that you don’t lose any competition in the first round, the second is where those short fallings and mistakes can be made that haunt you for the rest of the season. Continue reading European Rugby – Time To Separate The Men From The Boys