Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Won! We Won! We bad! We Bad! Even handed look at Leinster's win over Munster

Stand up for Stefan!( Picture )

Starting off with Leinster Munster in Dublin, as a Leinster supporter you’d have to say it was very satisfying result, it would have been horrible to have lost three in a row to Munster. It wasn’t really a classic – it was impressively intense, but skill levels and discipline were nothing to write home about. Leinster were better for the first 60 minutes, and Munster for the last 20. Can we not add a bit of unpredictability to this fixture, or is it always going be Munsters forwards against Leinster’s back?

Leinsters scrum was underwhelming – I think we are going to miss the out and out grunt and aggression Nathan Hines provided. Devin Toner adds a lot, but why are we getting pushed around by Munster? McFadden, Fitzgerald, and Kearney all look shook sharp and inventive and broke the line with relative ease.
Munster still bring an immensely physical presence in the pack, but are fairly devoid of ideas in their back line. Mafi always seems to look for contact, and it’s very seldom that he runs over anyone. The one time he took the gap and offloaded they made about 30m. Barnes looks like he has a lot to offer, but they are really going to miss Earls while he’s out. I would just love to plug someone like Conrad Smith in there and see what he could do.

So we have the bragging rights until we meet again at Thomond, where I suspect it’s going to be a might tougher for Leinster.

I also caught the first half hour of the Ulster/Connacht match – the wrong half hour I think. Ulster have got some great names playing for them now, but God what they could do with a few simple basics like catching the ball. This match put Ulster back on track, and with a little more patience they could do well. Stefan Terrblanche is really handy player to sign, pretty similar to Paul Warwick in versatility and composure.

Connacht don’t look half bad either, they attack well, but then lose concentration, and their kicking was atrocious. Pretty difficult when half your stars disappear every year though.

I also caught a smidgen of the Irish/Tigers match – come on Irish! Great result against a major team like Leicester – Richard Cockerill must be having their guts for garters.

RaboDirect PRO12
Aironi Rugby 6 - 18 Glasgow 
Ulster 22 - 3 Connacht 
Ospreys 9 - 9 Scarlets 
Benetton Treviso 11 - 22 Edinburgh
Leinster 24 - 19 Munster

Aviva Premiership
Newcastle 16 - 16 Worcester
Bath 13 - 26 Harlequins 
Exeter 19 - 24 Gloucester 
Leicester 24 - 24 London Irish
Wasps 13 - 24 Northampton 
Saracens 23 - 10 Sale

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