I mean, it’s said every year, but this truly is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Six Nations ever seen. Four of the six teams have had plenty of reason to be optimistic in the last 6 months or so, whilst Wales and Italy have had a steady time at least, if not spectacular. Most importantly, all six of them have big, pressure intensive wins under their belts recently and are perfectly fired up. Oh, and did I mention the addition of bonus points to the competition this year? Bring it on! Continue reading Six Nations – Wherefore Art Thou, Johnny?
Two Irish losses in a row, England roaring back into form on the second of said losses, Scotland running close with France and of course Wales falling one by one against the Italians; it’s safe to say that nobody looks now like they did some weeks back with regards their World Cup condition. All eyes this side of the pond are on Ireland of course, up until three weeks ago running hot amongst the favourites but now the nation’s fears start to creep in. Turns out they’re not invincible after all. Should we have our collective hands hovering over the panic button? Is there a bit of coy work being done behind the scenes? Is this ’07 or ’11 all over again? Continue reading World Cup 2015 – The Eve Of The War
There was a world of difference between the display against Scotland that Ireland put in versus how alert and gelled they seemed against Wales, nobody will dispute that. Yet much like their win against France in this year’s Six Nations it was down and dirty but got the job done. We’re also nearly into double figures for tries scored, quite the opposite of all the Six Nations bemoaning. All in all, things still look well oiled and promising.
We’ve grown accustomed to warm up games being an open playing field for new players and combinations, but 14 changes and seemingly no dip in quality across the 23? Unprecedented. Continue reading World Cup 2015 – All Change For Scotland Clash
Comprehensive? Yes. Particularly educational? Maybe not, either way though; Ireland are off to a great start ahead of the long six weeks leading to World Cup 2015. For Wales, the fallout is severe but there is plenty of time left to fix what is broken. Continue reading World Cup 2015 – The Long Road Begins
The referendum debate has reached boiling point, RTE are having conniption fits over microscopic badges, registration staff are wearing away fingerprints opening letters and in general we’ve all gone a little mad. Time for some… Ahem… Normality:
Continue reading Friday Full House 15/05/15
On Saturday at 3pm a new era in the Pro 12 will be born. This year saw a heightened level of significance materialise within the league, as European qualification became solely hinged on Pro 12 table position. It might not be too much of a stretch to say that this relevance somewhat snuck up on some of the teams, with Leinster in particular leaving it until the penultimate game last week to secure qualification. Connacht, Edinburgh and Scarlets too are all finding themselves vying for the last ticket to Europe this weekend too. It is a pleasant sight to see seven teams in the table all still with some tangible reason to give it their all on the final weekend, here’s how they’re shaping up.
Continue reading Pro 12 – Knock Out Battle To Come
This weekend was all about qualification security for the provinces, with Leinster ensuring they will see top tier rugby next season and Connacht doing everything in their power to try do the same. For Ulster and Munster however it was all about trying to sway the balance of power in these last two weeks of regular season and in one of the only entertaining games of the weekend both sides did all and more to best each other and the result was as close to enthralling as the Pro 12 has come this season. Continue reading Pro 12 – Nothing In It Between Munster And Ulster
Ironic, given that they are the two Irish sides given the least amount of praise in Europe this season but Ulster and Munster are sitting second and third on the Pro 12 table in this penultimate round of games and look likely to serve up the game of the weekend this Saturday. As Leinster and Connacht take on the Italian underlings, north and south will be clashing to make one last push on who finishes with that all important home semi-final. Continue reading Pro 12 – All Eyes On Ulster And Munster
Two weeks to go and one would think we are already looking at the final top 4 order in the 2015 Guinness Pro 12. Aside from Munster the table toppers showed nearly all their worth over the weekend too and the knock outs are shaping up to be some absolutely mouth watering games. Continue reading Pro 12 – No Change At The Top