Thursday, September 10, 2015

Clean sweep coming up for Irish teams in the Pro 12 - and does size count?

 UCD centre Garry Ringrose
 Garry Ringrose

Connacht take on Glasgow this weekend, with the Scots still smarting from their loss to the Scarlets, despite a last minute card frenzy by the ref.  John Cooney starts, Marmion is on the bench, that’s the only change from last week, and you’d fancy their chances of making it 2 from 2, Scotland have seriously plundered Glasgow for the World Cup.

The Scarlets host Ulster, haven’t seen the team Ulster want to put out, but again 2 from 2 is on the cards.

Leinster have Cardiff coming to the RDS, and you’d hope home advantage is going to see smidgen of form creep back in to their game. Watching them last weekend was like watching them most of last year – an exercise in frustration. But now is the time to stand up and support them, so many new combinations and a new coach, so give it time. I’m excited to see what Garry Ringrose can bring if or when he gets his chance. Leinster to just about scrape it.

Finally, Munster travel to the Ospreys. A patchy win over Treviso was nothing to get excited about, but the Ospreys mined an even poorer seam of form altogether in their loss to Ulster. So it could be a clean sweep for Ireland this weekend. Mark Chisolm has started training, and may not play this weekend, but he’ll be a big boost to the team when he does feature.

Finally, does size count? Well, in a rugby sense, maybe it does. Wales lost two real stars last weekend, in Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb – their two smallest players. With wings and centres 6’4’’ these days, attrition is going to mean you want get to stay on the pitch unless you’re 6’2’’ soon.

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