Conor Murray and Andrew Trimble make an effective last ditch tackle on England wing Johnny May to prevent a certain try early in the game [photo copyright - Mark Pain].
Narrow margins! England versus Ireland was a high intensity game, and a different standard to the rest of the championship thus far. English coach Stuart Lancaster isn’t given to exaggeration, and his description of the game as “a real test match” was both accurate and, in its way, laudatory. The action was genuinely high-paced for much of the 80 minutes, and with that came individual errors from a lot of players on both sides of the pitch. Unrelentingly high impact collisions from gun to tape will do that to you. Continue reading →
Devin Toner goes high to claim one of the six lineouts he took against Wales. The lineout was the most important set-piece of the game, and dominance in the air paved the way for a resounding Irish victory.
Since Ireland ground Wales into the dirt of Lansdowne Road, the defending Six Nations champions have reclaimed their honour by thumping a patchy – but until that point unbeaten – France in Cardiff. Ireland narrowly lost to England the same weekend in Twickenham, a trial the Welsh have yet to undergo. Continue reading →
A letter from Joe to the Scots (Book of Schmidt II.1)
The road to being canonised in the Catholic faith goes through Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed before arriving at Saint. Two miracles must have been performed through the Saint’s intercession. Continue reading →
Paul O’Connell’s expression says it all. Ireland were seconds away from a first win over New Zealand in the history of games between the two countries, but it was snatched out of their hands.
Amidst no small dollop of carping and moaning about what a pain in the arse it was, we mentioned at the end of the last Ruck Marks article that we’d try and run a similar exercise using Ireland’s November tests as our subjects. We surprised ourselves by actually carrying this through [just like we carried through our tag index ... all the way up to 'D'] with a Boxeresque appetite for dumb labour. Continue reading →
As an occasional listener to sports radio, I’m often surprised by how much complaining is done post-match about the refereeing decisions. The ref got this wrong, he got that wrong ad infinitum. Given that there are many games each weekend in many codes, this allows for the same conversation to play itself out for hours over the course of the season with the names changing and the conclusion staying constant: the decision is made, the result stands. “They can complain all they want but France are going to the World Cup. Get over it.” Continue reading →
For the first time in a long time I was excited about an Irish team being picked. My anticipation of the weekend is very different than what I expected of matches under recent regimes. Continue reading →