Sunday, January 5, 2014

Giving Out about Giving Out

Paddy Jackson (picture )

Two Irish derbies, two top International refs who are also Irish, and two big controversies. It’s a game of rugby, get over it! On the balance of play , over 80 minutes in each game, in my opinion, both games ended with the right result. If you want a game with a perfect result, play it on Xbox! And accept the fact that there’s swings and roundabouts, but over 80 minutes it’s evens out. If at any point during a game when reffering to the referee, commentators, studio analysts or fans, you realize you sound like you’ve just seen Niall at a One Direction concert – step away from the mike, step away from the Twitter machine!

They should go back to only being allowed to check the grounding – because if you applied the letter of the law to every single facet of the 4-5 plays before a try, there probably wouldn’t have any tries scored this weekend. And I want to watch rugby, not replays. Another thing, don’t bother your bollocks to critcise the referee until you’ve read the complete rules of the game ( ) which I can assure have been read by 0.00001% of fans, commentators and analysts, me included. Let’s get the respect back into our sport!

Irish action in the Pro 12 kicked off at Ravenhill, with a thrilling up and down match between Ulster and Munster.  Ulster ruled in the first half,  and could easily have been further ahead, with Munster looking sluggish and out of sorts, and missing their kicks. But they got a well worked try in the dying minutes of that half, which kick started a resurgence that carried on in the second half and nearly won them the match.  Ulster have a great pack these days, Dan Touhy is in top form, as was Chris Henry, and Paddy Jackson bossed the game, and the fly half contest well. I was impressed by Munster, that wasn’t quite a full team, but they have stepped up from their much looser performances over the last few years, and look like they really mean business.

Connacht/Leinster was another tight affair, which saw Connacht take a deserved lead in the first half with a committed performance, only to fall off the game in the last twenty minutes. Most impressive for me were Darragh Leader and Jack Carty at 15 and 10 for Connacht, coping well with Leinster’s aerial game.  Leinster won’t be using highlights of this match in their season review DVD that’s for sure. We are either amazing at the moment, or allowing play to be dictated to us. Jordi Murphy was great again, D’Arcy was strong, and I thought Heaslip made some good ground.

RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 14 - 12 Benetton Treviso 
Connacht 8 - 16 Leinster 
Ulster 29 - 19 Munster 
Ospreys 17 - 12 Scarlets 
Cardiff Blues 21 - 13 Newport Gwent D'gons

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