Sunday, November 20, 2011

Can he kick it? Yes he can! ROG boots Munster home, while Leinster get a bonus point win.

ROG (picture )

This week I did get to watch the Leinster match, as they  put away Glasgow in a bonus point performance. And they scored two tries while Toner was in the bin! Not taking anything away from Toner, but they definitely played better without him. Heaslip had a good match, O’Briens all round game is fab and his ball handling skills are sublime. Nacewa is in a class of his own, and O’Malley and Madigan all put in good performances. In fairness Glasgow weren’t great, they have a competitive scrum but not much behind it – they should get the cash from selling Richie Gray and buy one decent back.

Munster had everyone reaching for the superlatives again, as that man ROG drop kicked them another win. His prowess sits on the foundation of some awesome work done by the pack, O’Mahoney, Ryan and O’Connell all really shone. Competition for places in the Irish scrum is going to be very healthy indeed. There’s life in the old dog yet!

Ulster played some really good rugby but still came away empty handed at Welford Road. They should really have got a least a point, and the Tigers are looking pretty ragged round the edges, hanging on for dear life for a while there.  I thought Tuohy was outstanding, as were Trimble, Ferris and Muller.

Connacht were fairly well thumped by Toulouse, but that’s no disgrace, it’s happened to teamas far more august than them.

London Irish faltered again, but considering they played most of the match with 14, they were good value for their losing bonus point.

The result of the weekend was Scarlets win at Franklin Gardens.  The Saints last minute loss last weekend, and the departure of Fodden before the match, really knocked the stuffing out of them. They’re not my favourite team, Hartley leads from the front with a brash in your face style that doesn’t endear him to most. There is a lot to admire about their brutally efficient style though, but they sure missed Fodden, and looked a bit blunt and clueless without him. Scarlets are growing with each match, Priestland North Davies are all top performers, and Morgan at 8 was awesome.

I also watched Bath hang on for dear life against Montpellier. Did you know that fly halves Trin Duc and Donald played for France and New Zealand in te World Cup final? Well, you would have if you’d watched the match, because the commentators only mentioned it about a 100 times. Montpellier are going to be a handful at home for Leinster, while Bath need a bit more x-factor if they want to really succeed.

Wales 2 ½ /3
Scotland 1 /2
Ireland 2/4
England 3 / 6
France 3/ 6
Italy ½ / 2

Edinburgh 48 - 47 Racing Metro 92 
Cardiff Blues 24 - 18 London Irish 
Clermont Auvergne 54 - 3 Aironi Rugby 
Northampton 23 - 28 Scarlets
Benetton Treviso 26 - 26 Ospreys 
Biarritz 15 - 10 Saracens 
Gloucester 9 - 28 Harlequins 
Connacht 10 - 36 Toulouse 
Leicester 20 - 9 Ulster 
Castres 24 - 27 Munster
Sunday , November 20
Leinster 38 - 13 Glasgow 
Bath 16 - 13 Montpellier

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