Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ulster and Connacht fly, Munster scrape and not good enough from Leinster

Jamie Hagan (picture http://bit.ly/YFE5ws)

Things went fairly well to plan this weekend for the Irish sides, well up until Sunday anyway. I watched the Munster match on Friday night, figuring it would be a better match than the Ulster one. Was I right – no, I’d say I made a  bad decision, as it wasn’t the greatest match.  I couldn’t stop watching though, the match held a terrible fascination as Munster labored to overcome a Cardiff teams with no stars and playing only marginally better than they did against Leinster last week. Munster’s pack looks good though, and that’s where they should be keeping the ball, route one. There seemed to be a lot of aimless passing which just moved the team backwards. Felix Jones had some good touches, and Tommy O’Donnell was full value for his two tries. That’s the kind of good old fashioned forward Munster need more of. Meanwhile, Ulster put Edinburgh away to keep topspot and their 100% record.

Connacht bagged a win against Treviso, and it was left to Leinster to complete the clean sweep for Ireland. Or not. They have 10 players away on international duty, and a good few influential injuries. But the Ospreys have their own absences as well, and on paper Leinster were the stronger side. They were the stronger side on the field as well in the first 50 minutes, way on top in the scrum, and narrowly missing out on two trys. Conditions were appalling, but Leinster couldn’t turn them to their advantage, and watched the game slip away in the last 20 minutes. Dave Kearney played really well at 15, Madigan showed brilliant touches but never really controlled the game, Boss did good, and Jamie Hagan was probably Leinster’s best player ( not the babelicious Jamie Hagan I found when I googled his name. You're welcome). Not nearly good enough.

RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , November 4
Ospreys 19 - 10 Leinster 
Saturday , November 3
Connacht 18 - 3 Benetton Treviso 
Scarlets 22 - 13 Zebre 
Friday , November 2
Cardiff Blues 18 - 24 Munster 
Ulster 45 - 20 Edinburgh 
Glasgow 37 - 6 Newport-Gwent D'gons

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