Sunday, May 26, 2013

More cups and goodbyes

And that was that for the Pro 12 really. It was a good finish to the league, the best two teams, only separated by a try at the end of 80 minutes. Ulster brought fantastic home support, matched by a swirling sea of blue. It has hard, it was tense, and it could have gone either way. The difference between the teams was Leinster’s ability to force the game, and score tries when they had to. Ulster need another 5% of magic to convert some of the many chances they had into tries. Leinster are in rude health though, when you see the caliber of players like Jennings, Madigan and Boss coming in and playing a blinder. I feel for Ulster, before Christmas they looked unstoppable, like they’d go on and win everything. They have so many talented young players though, they are nowhere near peaking.

It was a fitting farewell for Jonny, Isa and joe, and Jack and Andrew. Leinster get their hands on the Pro 12 for the first time in 4 years, as well as winning the Amlin Challenge Cup and the British and Irish Cup.  Ok the Heineken would have been good too, but you can’t be too greedy. And Joe Schmidt leaves with 2 Heineken Cups, an Amlin and aPro 12 title. Not too shabby and big shoes to fill.

I watched odds and ends of the Premiership final, including Hartleys sending off, which killed off the match as a contest. He’s a good player..but he’s a loose cannon, and a bit of order has been restored with Rory Best on the plane with the Lions, and Dylan having a break. Leicester are some outfit aren’t they? Ben Foden put forward a gold plated claim for a place in the Lions if another injury comes through.

RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 18 - 24 Leinster
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , May 25
Leicester 37 - 17 Northampton 

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