Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ulster look dead handy, Leinster turn up, and the All Blacks are all powerful.

Damian Brone (picture

I started off the weekend watching Connacht get comprehensively beaten by Ulster. Ulster are in some serious from, Marshall looks really sharp, Bowe did well, but the whole team functions as such a tight unit it’s hard to pick out stand out players. Connacht played well, gutsy is their by word, and it’s a shame Eric Elwood is throw in the towel, because with a bit more support from the IRFU to retain players, they could turn into something really good.

The Leinster/Munster match was way better than I expected, in fact it was a belter. Reddan made a huge impact for me, combined with Sexton, and a pack that stood up. I’d pick Damian Browne out as a top performer, and Jodi Murphy’s work rate is top notch.  I’d like to see more of Fionn Carr, he’s earned his place. As much as I rate Madigan, maybe it’s worth giving Carr a shot at full back? Munster are there, nearly there, they have a counter attacking game now I can’t ever remember them having, and with a few more tweaks they will be awesome. That pack is getting better and better.

It was a black day in Soweto as New Zealand pretty comprehensively dismantled the Bokke, after an impressive start by the home team. Those All Blacks are pretty well invincible at the moment, best team in the world by a country mile. I will say this though, the Springboks are starting to evolve. It’s going to take a while to get from Neanderthal  through Cro-Magnon to Homo Erectus, but they have started on a journey, and when they arrive, they are going to be fearsome.

The Wallabies wrapped up their tournament by beating  Argentina. Great result for a team cobbled together with bits of string, and Argentina are getting their act together, and will be so much better next time around.
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster  25 - 0  Connacht 
Zebre 16 - 34 Ospreys 
Scarlets 24 - 13 Newport-Gwent D'gons 
Edinburgh 22 - 27 Benetton Treviso
Cardiff Blues 3 - 18 Glasgow 
Leinster 30 - 21 Munster 
Rugby Championship
South Africa 16 - 32 New Zealand
Argentina 19 – 25 Australia

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