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PA’s Top 5 Irish Sporting Moments of 2013

It’s that time of year; Christmas parties, yuletide joy and all sorts of Top 10/Top 5 lists of the year. A Top 10 list may have diluted the quality somewhat, so here are James Clancy’s Top 5 Irish Sporting Moments of 2013: 5. Conor McGregor keeps unbeaten UFC record intact Dubliner McGregor had just two fights during 2013 but they …

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A thorn in Ireland’s side?

Northampton’s stunning 18-9 victory over Leinster last weekend shows a glimpse into the future without the English clubs, writes Dominic Evans. The Heineken Cup as we know will be very different next year. Mark McCafferty, CEO of Premiership Rugby, has stated the intentions of the English clubs are “pursuing other options”. While much has been written on how the English …

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New Zealand of 2013: The Greatest Team Ever?

As the dust settles after another momentous rugby championship, and now having become the sole side in the game’s history to go an entire calendar year without tasting defeat, the question has to be asked…….is this current New Zealand side the greatest international rugby union team to grace the game? This New Zealand side seems to have moved on to …

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CALLOUS IGNORANCE MUST BE REMOVED FROM SCHOOLS RUGBY

David O’ Connor speaks passionately about all that is wrong with schools rugby in Ireland. No one does drama quite like Munster. Last Saturday’s final phase raid will rival any achievement managed by this drama addicted province to date and let’s face facts, there have been quite a few. J.J Hanrahan’s last gasp try reminded us all of why we …

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TBT: Ireland 43-13 England

For this weeks Throwback Thursday, we look back at the famous Six Nations fixture between Ireland and England at Croke Park in 2007. With Lansdowne road under construction, controversially the home of the GAA was opened to both rugby and soccer. The thought of losing to England at Croke Park seemed unimaginable. An emotional day followed with Ireland producing an …

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Munster rugby: Why has the conveyor belt of talent stopped working?

Munster rugby faces tough challenges ahead and needs to invest heavily in youth development to ensure a strong future, writes John McEvoy. Munster may face a precarious future.  That’s not an entirely unreasonable prediction; the weaknesses of the youth system, coupled with IRFU stipulations restricting the provincial sides from importing foreign talent, mean that Munster certainly have problems to overcome. …

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Munster Romance: The Heineken Cup Story

After this weekend’s heroics in France, Ozer McMahon discusses Munster’s love-affair with the Heineken Cup. Scholars and academics may have their say, and debate will rage on for decades, indeed for generations. What truly is the greatest love story of all time. Is it Romeo & Juliet, Casablanca, Wuthering Heights or Anna Karenina? Everyone will have their opinion of one …

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Irish Soccer Can Learn From Rugby’s Provincial Model

Can Irish soccer learn from the rugby model? Could the four Irish provinces, teams from both of Scotland’s largest cities, and all nine teams from the Welsh Premier Division compete in the RaboDirectPro12?  Kit O’ Keeffe argues that this is exactly what Irish soccer needs. What Irish soccer has been short of since the inception of the League of Ireland …

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PA Rankings: Top 5 Irish Rugby Players So Far This Season

Ozer McMahon delivers the PA Rankings of the ‘Top 5 Irish Rugby Players So Far This Season’. So far this season, from an Irish perspective, we have witnessed quite a mixed bag, both internationally and domestically. With Irish sides occupying first, second and fourth in the Rabo Pro12, and Connacht pulling off the result of the season away to Toulouse …

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A momentous Heineken Cup weekend for the Irish provinces

Behind every cloud, there is a silver lining. Two weeks ago a nation sat heartbroken and crestfallen as Ireland stood toe to toe with the All Blacks for 81 minutes, before losing in the cruellest of circumstances. Yet perhaps the belief that performance instilled in the players is already coming to the fore, and rubbing off on the provinces. Leinster …

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How will the Irish fare during Heineken Cup Weekend?

Ozer McMahon previews the upcoming Heineken Cup action, which sees all four Irish provinces face  stern tests. Dark December nights are often illuminated by the prospect of tense back-to-back Heineken Cup group fixtures. Thanks to recent revelations, we now know that this is the last season of the Heineken Cup as we know it. The English clubs have confirmed they …

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TBT: The Career of Jonah Lomu

jonah lomu

This week’s Throwback Thursday is dedicated to one of the greatest players to grace the game, New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu. Blessed with remarkable speed and strength, Lomu was the perfect winger. Having made his debut for the All Blacks in 1994, Lomu was the first real superstar of rugby union. He accumulated sixty-three caps for New Zealand before his health …

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What To Expect From The New Era in Irish Rugby

joe schmidt, irish rugby

Having unknowingly boarded a rollercoaster of emotion during the opening three weeks of Joe Schmidt’s tenure as Irish rugby coach, we can all breathe a little easier for now. The best results and performances of the Autumn series were bookended by the entirely forgettable Australian debacle. For the first time since beating the Wallabies in the World Cup in 2011, …

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Onwards and Upwards for Joe Schmidt’s Ireland

Last weekend’s loss to New Zealand left a bitter taste in the mouths of Irish rugby fans. However, there was most definitely a number of positives to be taken from the defeat. With the clock ticking ever slowly towards the 80th minute in last weekend’s thrilling encounter, Irish supporters could barely bring themselves to watch. Having faced the Haka (Cian …

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TBT: The 2009 Grand Slam

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we look back at the historic Irish Grand Slam of 2009. Having come so close to beating the All Blacks last weekend following a truly remarkable performance by the men in green, hopes are high for the Six Nations 2014. Can Ireland build on that world-class performance and reach the heights of the 2009 campaign? …

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TBT: New Zealand win the World Cup in own backyard

new zealand rwc 2011

This week’s Throwback Thursday moment looks back at New Zealand’s historic World Cup success in 2011. With the All Blacks just one win away from an unbeaten 2013 season – immortality awaits. Of course, Ireland will have other ideas. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we look back at their 2011 season which saw them become world champions in their own …

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Stage Fright: Ireland vs Australia

Ozer McMahon discusses the upcoming Ireland vs Australia clash, as Joe Schmidt looks to keep his unbeaten record intact. Stage fright. Opening night jitters. Excuse it how you want, but ultimately Ireland flattered to deceive in their debut performance of the Joe Schmidt era. Ahead of the encounter with the Samoans most punters would have gleefully accepted the prospect of …

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