Home Tag Archives: european rugby (page 9)

Tag Archives: european rugby

Joe Schmidt’s Masterplan Keeps Ireland On Course

joe schmidt, irish rugby

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland kept their Grand Slam aspirations very much alive following a pulsating 19-9 victory at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon. Robbie Henshaw’s first test try gave Ireland enough momentum to make it past a stubborn England side, and in pole position to defend their Six Nations crown. Billed as Ireland’s toughest challenge of the championship, England came to Dublin …

Read More »

Keith Earls Stars As Munster Go Top

Keith Earls was the star of the show at Irish Independent Park last night as Munster went top of the Guinness Pro12 with a 22-10 bonus point win over Glasgow.  The game was the official opening of the newly-renovated ground but what will please Munster fans far more that the addition of comfy new seats and covered stands is the …

Read More »

The Story of James Hook’s Neglected Talent

So far in 2015, Wales are looking like a team in desperate need of some creativity. Their over-reliance on power running and high kicking has left them without a ‘Plan B’, if a team like England matches them physically. More than ever, they need a creative spark. Alan Dempsey contends that James Hook is that spark.   For many years …

Read More »

The Best Of The Rest: European Rugby’s Outsiders

Is there scope for Six Nations expansion to allow other European nations field teams in European rugby’s top competition? Stephen O’Connor discusses.  Rugby union has proved to be one of the world’s most conservative sports, ever since the day William Webb Ellis picked up a football and decided to run with it under his arm. In Ireland, we have proof that …

Read More »

Ireland vs France: Irish Bench Is The Key To Victory

With Ireland taking on France this evening at the Aviva Stadium in a crucial Six Nations clash, Patrick Ward discusses how Ireland’s bench could be key today.  So here it is. The first time since possibly 2009 that Ireland have their best squad fully-fit for a game and the excitement is intense. This writer says squad, because Cian Healy would …

Read More »

Wales 16-21 England: Gatland Left With Plenty To Ponder

England’s effective gameplan must leave Wales coach Warren Gatland pondering his options; Patrick Ward discusses.  What an efficient and professional performance that was from England. From being ten points down within the opening ten minutes to restricting a normally potent Welsh side to just two penalties for the final 70 minutes, it was a display of supreme discipline from Stuart Lancaster’s …

Read More »

6 Nations 2015: Five Predictions

The 6 Nations kicks-off tonight with Wales hosting England at the Millennium Stadium. Brian Barry discusses five of his predictions for the tournament, ahead of this weekend’s opening games. 5. Wales to win the Championship and Triple Crown While all the talk is surrounding Ireland, entering the tournament, the championship may move across the Irish Sea for 2015. The Welsh come into the tournament …

Read More »

Munster’s Nine Try Victory Can’t Cover Cracks

Getting a team physically and mentally prepared for a dead rubber is not an easy task for any coach and is unfamiliar territory for Munster. Thinking back to thrilling do or die round six encounters against Gloucester, Wasps, Racing Metro and today’s opponents Sale made the occasion all the more strange. The game against Sale represented the first since 1998 …

Read More »

PREVIEW: Connacht vs Exeter Chiefs

Lam names his strongest Connacht side ahead of Exeter Chiefs visit.   Pat Lam’s team selection for the visit of high flying Exeter Chiefs this week was eagerly anticipated by Connacht fans, as it would show where the Kiwi’s priorities lie this year. Many argued that Lam should rest some of his more important players to ensure they would remain …

Read More »

PREVIEW: Toulon vs Ulster

This is probably the last Match Ulster will want, but then there aren’t many better times to take on Toulon.   A trip to the home of the European champions is not what an out of sorts Ulster side need at this moment in time. Last week’s performance against Treviso pretty much summed up Ulster’s season in one game. In …

Read More »

PREVIEW: Leinster vs Castres

Leinster go into the Castre match with an exciting Back Row and expectations aplenty.    In what has been a well documented inconsistent season, Leinster will be desperate to notch up five points at the RDS on Saturday evening. Matt O’Connor has been able to name a close to full strength team, with just Jack Mc Grath(Leinster have opted against …

Read More »

Keatley Late Strike Keeps Munster Alive

A penalty deep into the eightieth minute kept Munster’s European hopes alive in Clermont, but only just. Anthony Foley couldn’t have asked for more from his team in the opening ten minutes. Hanrahan was shining out wide, the scrum and set piece was solid and Keatley was taking this chances. Two penalties inside the opening 12 minutes one of which …

Read More »

Focus Friday: Challenging Weekend Ahead For Leinster & Munster

This weekend offers the European Rugby sequel, as we prepare for the return leg of the December double headers. While Ulster and Connacht will look to stretch their winning records over the two legs, eyes will be on both Leinster and Munster, as they strive to eliminate the woes of weekends past. Munster suffered a loss at Thomond Park against …

Read More »

Autumn Internationals Report Card: Italy

Italy had a tough time of it in their Autumn internationals series, losing twice to Argentina and South Africa but they did manage one win over Samoa in their opening game, Rafaelle Rocca discusses the positives and negatives of the Italian performances.  Record: W1 D0 L2 Grade: D.  An opening win over Samoa made up for a disappointing performance against the same …

Read More »

Autumn Internationals Report Card: Wales

Raffaele Rocca reflects on Wales’ performances over the course of the Autumn internationals series. Wales were outdone in the two games against Australia and New Zealand, they unconvincingly defeated Fiji and ground out a victory over South Africa.  Record: W2 D0 L2 Grade: C.  Wales opened with a defeat to their bogey team Australia in a close affair that Wales ultimately surrendered …

Read More »

The Knock-On Effects Of The Heineken Cup

Raffaelle Rocca discusses the lasting effects of the now defunct Heineken Cup, all of which have helped to promote grassroots rugby in Ireland. The Heineken Cup changed the Irish rugby landscape forever. Since it began back in 1995, 26 new rugby clubs have been formed representing growth of 11 percent and with 161,534 registered participants, the game has never been …

Read More »

Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

In this week’s edition of ‘Who’s Hot and Who’s Not’, Rugby expert Matt Cassidy looks at the positives from the Barbarians vs Australia game as well as the negatives of the weekend’s action such as Ben Te’o’s injury and London Welsh losing.  Who’s Hot Barbarians vs Australia Both sides served up a cracking match at Twickenham on Saturday. The Wallabies, …

Read More »