Sunday, January 10, 2016

Irish rugby - two parts delight, one part regret, one part despair!

 Dave Kearney
 Dave Kearney

Friday night was a good night for Leinster at the Liberty Stadium. Fair enough it was a full team from Leinster, while the Ospreys kept quite a few of their heavyweights on the bench. But there is a little bit of a swagger coming back into Leinster’s play, with a resurgence in form from Jonny Sexton. The forwards have rediscovered their grunt, no more so than Rhys Ruddock. And with Van Der Flier and Ringrose hovering in the wings, there’s plenty of reason to be playing your heart out if you want to stay in the first team. Three tries, two for Dave Kearney, and first away win over the Ospreys since 2009, a good evening’s work.

Saturday in Paris was a horrible day for Munster, an awful 2nd half that buried their Champion’s Cup hopes. Trailing by 10 ten points, but with an extra player for 40 minutes, it all seemed set for another storming comeback from Munster. But not this time, either a lack of strategy or a failure to implement it left them becalmed, while Stade Francaise reset, and ended up running rings around Munster. A lot of soul searching taking place in the Munster camp now, from coaches to players. Time for change.

Ulster put their supporters through the wringer, despair in the first half, exultation in the second, turning a 23 point deficit around, and finishing up with a monster penalty kick from Paddy Jackson to win. Pienaar and Jackson pulled the strings, and put the rhythm and intensity back into Ulster. Stuart McCloskey is in the form of his life, making ground every time he carries the ball.

Finally, Connacht got pipped right at the end, in a really intense battle against the Scarlets. It was a ding dong battle, Connacht probably had the better chances, and the Scarlets owe the TV match official a beer. You know things are looking up in the west when Connacht lose away to the league leaders and are disappointed. Jack Carty really looks the business at 10, loved the way he played the territory game.

Friday, January 8
Bordeaux Begles 10 - 28    Clermont Auvergne
Saturday, January 9
Racing 92 34 - 10    Glasgow Warriors
Stade Français Paris 27 - 7    Munster
Toulon 12 v 9    Bath Rugby
Oyonnax 23 - 24    Ulster
Friday, January 8
Edinburgh 28 - 13    Benetton Treviso
Ospreys 9 - 22    Leinster
Sunday, January 10
Scarlets 21 v 19    Connacht

No comments:

Post a Comment