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Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

What a weekend of rugby! Matt Cassidy is here to bring you through the heroes and zeros from this week’s scrummaging escapades.

Who’s Hot

Ireland

A simple game plan provided a simple result. The men in green won every single battle on the field on Saturday at Aviva as they secured a 26-3 victory over reigning champions Wales. Ireland played with an intensity and a will to win that the Welsh could not match. It is now two wins from two for Ireland and hopes of a third Grandslam may become more than just mere dreams.

Peter O’Mahony

The Munster captain put in a Man of the Match display as he carried, tackled and made numerous turnovers which stifled Welsh attacks and destroyed the Red Dragons’ momentum. He was a pain in Wales’ backside all day. Just ask Mike Phillips!

London Irish 

The Exiles stormed Allianz Park with a 22-13 victory. The win is vital for Irish as it eases their relegation worries and inflicts table topping Saracens first ever defeat at their new home. Onwards and upwards for the Reading based men.

Clermont Auvergne 

First played second at Stade Marcel Michelin and it was the men from the Mass Central who came out on top with a 25 -13 over Stade Français. Morgan Parra scored all the points for Les Jaunards as they moved into first place. That is 72 consecutive home wins and counting for Clermont. Could they make it to 100?

Who’s Not

Wales

When Plan A did not work, Wales used Plan B and when that failed, they used Plan A again. And when they did not succeed with that strategy, they resorted to fighting and cheap shots. They were out thought, out fought and out played. The Lions who roared in Australia became pussy cats in front of our eyes at the Aviva. Warren Gatland lost the tactical battle and had no answers to change the direction of the match. Three in-a-row they said in Cardiff. Dream on, Wales! Dream on!

Scotland

Rubbish! Useless! Manure! Adjectives which would not do justice in describing how bad the Scottish team’s performance was against England in the Calcutta Cup. Parasites have eaten the roots of the turf at Murrayfield and they must have devoured the brains and imagination of the Scots as they failed to create one try scoring opportunity during the eighty minutes at Murrayfield and actually struggled to get into the English half. Scotland did not trouble the scoreboard and on Saturday’s showing they were lucky to get zero points.

Mike Phillips

The sun was not shining in Dublin and it was probably for the best as the Welsh scrum half would have fought with the shadows that would have been formed. He was involved in a lot of the dust ups on the pitch and was constantly arguing with referee Barnes as frustration got the better of the Racing Metro man. The Englishman warned Phillips about his conduct and eventually sent him to the sin bin to cool off.

Biarritz

Serge Blanco’s club need a miracle if they are to avoid relegation. They are 21 points from safety with only nine games left as Toulon defeated Biarritz 33-20 at the Stade Felix Mayol. It is a dire situation for a side that lost a European Cup final only four seasons ago.

Pundit Arena, Matt Cassidy.

About Matt Cassidy

Matt is a graduate from Queen's University Belfast with a degree in Irish & Celtic Studies. A big Chelsea fan with a keen interest in GAA,Mat's greatest passion is rugby. Matt is an advocate for the Irish language and has spent many a summer in the Donegal Gaeltacht.