Sunday, November 8, 2015

Four from four for the Irish provinces! However, 'scrappy' is the best description.

Hayden Triggs ( picture

Leinster on Friday night started in the worst possible way letting the Scarlets score a try in the first few minutes. This was supposed to be a relaxing Friday night, watching the returning names for Leinster sort out the Scarlets and get revenge for the defeat earlier in the season. Instead, it was the Scarlets who played most of the rugby in the first half, and looked a lot more cohesive and threatening. It was only Madigan’s kicking that were keeping Leinster in the game. But Leo no doubt issued the hair dryer treatment at half time, that steadied the ship, and it looked slightly more comfortable after that. 

The best description of the Irish sides I saw playing was scrappy. Scrappy scrappy scrappy. Healy and O’Brien giving away silly silly penalties and so many dropped balls from everyone.  Leinster also seem to lack grunt, we were getting beaten up by the Scarlets all the first half. I’ve been impressed by the difference Hayden Triggs has made, he offers uncompromising physicality which is very welcome! We had a breathless few minutes at the end that weren’t too pleasant. But, we got the win and that’s what counts, over a very tidy Scarlets side.

Connacht put Treviso away to go top of the table. Great start to the season for them!

On Saturday, It was another Irish side hanging on for dear life in the last few minutes.  Munster played well in the first half, Murray is pure class, Earls is energised, and Donnacha Ryan is awesome. But there’s still an issue of control lots of loose and bad kicking from Keatley among others. And just basic tactics, Munster were up a player in the last 5 minutes, but kept kicking the ball back to Edniburgh and tried to play an expansive game – surely it was time to hang onto the ball and stuff it up the jumper? Anyway, they got the win, and will just have to keep tinkering until they get it right.

Finally, Ulster got an away win over the Dragons, to complete a clean sweep for the Irish provinces.

Connacht 33 – 19 Benetton Treviso
Leinster 19 - 15    Scarlets
Ospreys 36 - 3    Zebre
Cardiff Blues 30 – 35 Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh 14 – 16 Munster
Dragons 12 – 17 Ulster

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