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AIL GOTW In Pictures: Dolphin 18 – 27 St. Mary’s

Last Saturday’s AIL action saw a great win for St. Mary’s in Musgrave Park, Cork. Nick Timoney was the standout player for Mary’s and even managed a try in the final few minutes. St Mary’s started the game off as they meant to go on with a penalty from Gavin Dunne to make it 3-0 early on. This was followed by two …

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Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

It’s time for this week’s edition of ‘Who’s Hot and Who’s Not’. Matt Cassidy looks at the positives and negatives of the weekend’s rugby action. Who’s Hot Ireland What a win! Rewind 12 months and the men in green were being taken to town by the Wallabies. Fast forward to the present and the Irish side produce a performance against an …

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Rugby: Can Ireland Win The World Cup?

Ireland dug deep to defeat Australia 26-23 on Saturday to complete three wins from three in their Autumn series, which meant it was Ireland’s first November clean sweep since 2006. As 2015 beckons, focus now turns to the World Cup. It may be taboo to even mention, but nonetheless, the question must be now posed – can Ireland capture the Webb …

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Glorious Ireland Hold Out Against Australia

If one was told Ireland would go undefeated in the Guinness Autumn International Series, we all would have bitten the proverbial hand off.  However, is this Irish team at the peak of its powers? Ireland backed up their win over South Africa two weeks ago as they held off a determined Australia fight-back to edge victory in a thrilling game in Dublin. …

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Connacht Run Riot Against Zebre

Connacht 43 Zebre 3 Attendance: 5486 The crowd gathered at the Sportsground to give a warm Galway greeting to their new Kiwi recruits and the expectation of another home victory. And they were not disappointed as the men in green ran riot over an abject Zebre outfit. After early possession, Connacht earned a penalty due to a high tackle on …

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Ireland Vs Australia – Three Key Battles

Ireland face Australia at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday at 4:30pm. Brian Barry has selected three key battles ahead of the game. Rob Kearney vs Israel Folou Folou is the best fullback in the world. With 17 tries in his 27 caps, Folou can be devastating. An all-round athlete, he has tried his hand at Rugby League and Australian Rules …

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Sports Doc Of The Week: The 16th Man (Rugby)

In the second of our new weekly series of sports documentaries, Jonathan Abbott discusses ‘The 16th Man’, which charts the role of Rugby in creating an Apartheid free South Africa. Narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman, this documentary is one of, if not the Greatest Sports Story of all time. A country which lived through segregation its whole life, transitioned into integration, …

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Australian Overseas Player Policy In Need Of Review

Raffaele Rocca takes a look at the Australian overseas player policy and argues that this policy is in need of review. Under current Australian Rugby Union rules (ARU), players playing their club rugby outside of the Australian super rugby teams are not eligible to play for the wallabies. But with 2002 being the last time that Australia held the Bledisloe …

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Focus Friday: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Simon Zebo?

Simon Zebo exploded onto the scene in Munster, moving quickly across the radar with impressive cameos and bit part appearances. An academy prospect; he started to get more regular gametime for the senior team across 2011/12 – finally making his breakthrough. A hat-trick against the Northampton Saints in the Heineken Cup just after Christmas illustrated there was a new man …

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Michael Cheika: The Art Of Risk Taking

Alan Dempsey looks at how the risks Michael Cheika has taken on some relatively unknown players can often pay off.  January 2013; Before the start of the Super rugby season, a video surfaced of a New South Wales Waratahs pre-season warm-up game. Pre-season games tend to be dry affairs and generate little interest because few first choice team are likely …

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Cheika: I Was Never Going To Be Kurtley Beale’s Social Worker

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika insists that he hopes that the team can help Kurtley Beale regain support for the right reasons rather than be “maligned for the wrong ones”. Beale is named as a replacement against Ireland for the first time since having been dropped over the text message controversy and questioned whether he was the person to put …

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Ireland Vs Australia – Top Five Irish Performances

With Ireland taking on Australia this Saturday at the Aviva Stadium, Brian Barry selects his top five Irish performances against the Australians.  5. 1991 World Cup – Ireland 18-19 Australia It may ultimately have been a loss which left a true sense of ‘what might have been’, but the old Lansdowne Road witnessed one of its great moments on 20th October, …

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Schmidt Names Ireland Team To Face Australia

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt has made two changes from the side that defeated South Africa to face Australia this weekend. Rory Best returns in the front row while Gordon D’Arcy comes in at centre.   Ireland Team To Face Australia: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 …

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The Worrying State Of Australian Rugby

Ricky Walsh assesses the current state of Australian Rugby and the need for a World Cup win to save the domestic game from oblivion. In the opening fixture of this year’s Rugby Championship, Australia faced New Zealand in Sydney seeking their first Bledisloe Cup win in six attempts.  The Sydney based Waratahs had won the Super 15 competition at the …

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Will Genia Leaves Door Open For European Move

Australian scrum-half Will Genia stated that wearing the Australian jersey is still in the forefront of his mind despite being linked with a post-World Cup switch to the Northern Hemisphere. Having seen the likes of Kane Douglas, Matt Giteau, James O’Connor and Drew Mitchell switch to the Northern Hemisphere in recent years, the financial benefits of a such a move …

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A Tale Of Two Chris Henrys

With Irish Rugby player Chris Henry in the news due to a blocked blood vessel in his brain, the names evokes memories of his namesake in the NFL, whose life so tragically came to an end. Dublin, Ireland, November 8th, 2014. – Ulster rugby player Chris Henry pulls out of the Irish squad to play South Africa complaining of severe headaches. Tests show the …

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Ireland’s Chris Henry To See Brain Specialist

Ulster flanker Chris Henry is set for a spell on the sidelines, following the shocking news that the Ireland international suffered a blocked blood vessel in his brain. Henry had been due to start for Ireland in their crunch November international with South Africa just under two weeks ago, but was withdrawn prior to kick-off with complaints of a severe …

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Dominic Ryan: It Was Like Waking Up On Christmas Morning

Irish debutant Dominic Ryan spoke of the anticipation leading up to playing his first senior international as Ireland defeated Georgia 49-7. Having played at U20s, Emerging Ireland and Wolfhounds level, Ryan is now cherishing his first senior cap. “I was very nervous. It was like waking up on Christmas morning. It’s kinda like ‘today is the day’. I got butterflies. …

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