Sunday, September 23, 2012

Leinster stagger along, and Connor Murray as a center?

Minutes silence for Nevin Spence at the RDS - Picture with kind thanks to @eoinmcdon

Well, I was a bit red faced watching Connacht after writing them off and seeing how well they got on.  That is such a well drilled team, they weren’t making up the numbers against Glasgow, they weren’t going for a point, they were going for a win, and pushed Glasgow all the way. I was impressed by Mathew Jarvis – what do you say we grab him for Ireland, or is he already tied in to Wales?

Leinster’s match, as did all the Pro 12 matches, started with a minutes silence for Nevin Spence, and then the Leinster crowd singing Stand Up For the Ulstermen. I was so impressed they did the minutes silence in England as well. Makes me proud of my sport.

Leinster still look vey rusty, they could easily have been the team in red they were that rusty. We all know Leinster have great backs, but their strength is always based on a rock solid pack, which it isn’t at the moment. They are trying to do all the pretty bits before the hard work is being done, which is why they are only scraping by. Come back Nathan Hines, pleeease. And we need a SOB like you can’t believe.  Scrumhalf is a bit of problem area, I’ve been impressed by John Cooney so far, but his inexperience told, passing to isolated players, kicking to nowhere in particular. It’ll only get better I suppose. I thought Fionn Carr was at the heart of everything did well, he  deserves to be up the pecking order now.

Munster meanwhile were in smashing form against the Dragons. They have fearsome forwards again, loose forwards to burn, and have developed an off loading game from somewhere that is going to take them far. Downey continues to impress. O’Gara doesn’t though, he is a bit out of sorts, which I suppose game time will fix. If I was the Munster coach (which, thankfully for all concerned, is not the case) I’d take Earls out of center and play him at full back. He’s a dangerous runner, but has all the ball handling and passing skills of a prop forward. Then I’d put Murray into the centre, and play a lot more of Kearney at Fly Half. I’m not blown away by Murray at scrum half, never have been, but with his size he’d make a great centre.

RaboDirect PRO12
Scarlets 16 - 23 Ospreys 
Glasgow 27 - 17 Connacht
Leinster 22 - 16 Edinburgh 
Cardiff Blues 34 - 18 Benetton Treviso 
Munster 33 - 13 Newport-Gwent D'gons

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