Sunday, April 3, 2016

Wow am I grumpy, even if Leinster did win!

 Johnny Sexton
 Jonny Sexton

In a weekend of Irish derbies, Ulster and Connacht got things going with a tight contest at Kingsholme. Connacht’s lack of resources are starting to show – they’re down to their fourth choice fly half at this stage. But as ever, they put in a combative organised performance, and kept in the match nearly to the end. Ulster gained a much needed win, with points of any kind at a premium, and shored up their position in the table a bit.

Then on Saturday, it was the El Classico, Leinster v Munster at the Aviva, and I was there to soak it all up. It was a tight competitive match, with a lot at stake for both teams. The result put Leinster into first, and leaves Munster rooted in 6th. Sexton had a good game, and for Munster it was the usual suspects, with Stander and O’Donnell the stand out players for me. On reflection, though, there wasn’t too much on show, a pretty workmanlike performance from both teams. It seems like there’s a settling the quality of the teams. Remember Sexton shouting at O’Gara? O’Connell kicking Kearney in the head? Contemponi going to pieces in the Heineken Cup? We hardly got that did we?

It’s indicative of the quality of the coaches really – Cullen v Foley. And probably harks back the to the basically Irish only policy for signings. If you’re applying for the Leinster or Munster job, a question you might ask is – what budget have I got to sign some world class players? And the reply would be Budget? No, you simply develop a world class plyer from your academy. Okayyyy, well I’ll probably send you my CV sometime.

Elsewhere, Scarlets lost ground on the leaders, and Glasgow are coming steaming up.

Friday, April 1
Dragons 20 - 26    Ospreys
Edinburgh 29 - 0    Zebre
Ulster 18 - 10    Connacht
Saturday, April 2
Scarlets 22 - 28    Cardiff Blues
Benetton Treviso 16 - 38    Glasgow Warriors
Leinster 16 - 13    Munster

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