Leinster’s Second Row Puzzle

Leo Cullen has been the rock on which Leinster's success of recent times has been built, but he can't go on forever. It's natural that people are discussing his future, given that he turned 35 the other day.

Leo Cullen has been the rock on which Leinster’s success of recent times has been built, but he can’t go on forever. It’s natural that people are discussing his future, given that he turned 35 the other day. His toughness and disruption at the breakdown make him a sponge for punishment and cheap shots, but he’s hardly an innocent on the pitch himself.

Much has been written over the last few weeks on the subject of locks in Ireland, most of it orbiting around the leaked news that Mike McCarthy will be playing his rugby in Leinster for the next three seasons. Continue reading

LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS [Little Bit Of Time For Actually Talking About The Match That's Currently On] LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS etc.

Dylan Hartley and Rory Best went  head to head last Friday night and there was only one - LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS

Dylan Hartley and Rory Best went head to head last Friday night and there was only one – LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS LIONS

The Mole was recently moved to speak out in defense of Sky Sports in a social situation. Suffice it to say that said defense went down just about as well as Randy Marsh’s appearance on Wheel of Fortune. Ohhhhhhhh. “Naggers”. Continue reading

Play La Marseillaise; Play It!

Freddie’s back at No10 and Les Bleus have scored 94 points in three games in front of clamourous home crowds, hammering the Wallabies 33-6 before gutting the Pumas 39-19, then breaking down a super-physical Samoan challenge to ride out 22-14 winners and end their series undefeated. Something is very, very right with French rugby at the moment. That isn’t a good advent for Ireland, but it does wonders for the rugby world as a whole. Continue reading

When the Music Stops

There are doubts about Marshall’s pace and his error count but he is an astute footballer who creates space.

It was said of Irish rugby long ago that the difference between it and NZ rugby was that in NZ the situation is often serious but never critical while in Ireland it is always critical but never serious. That has changed in recent years as every next game seems to be our most important one. Continue reading

The Ill Fitting Glove

Warning: playing for Ireland may prove harmful for your career. Bizarre and unfortunately possibly true.

One of the opinions that has surprised the Mole during the season to date is that Peter O’Mahony isn’t a number 8. It’s not universal but it’s quite widespread and runs contradictory to my own beliefs. Continue reading

All Hail Sur Rutchie

When the machines rebel and create their backrow, this guy will be the prototype. “Give me your fush’n’chups, your chully bins and your Jandulls.”

One of the ironclad truths in rugby is “the older we get, the better we were”. It applies at all levels of the game and allows for sepia toned nostalgia and the swapping of tall tales and whenever old comrades meet up. Continue reading

What’s Wrong With The Wallabies? Pt.3

“What should I do, God? Should I continue acting the mickey and threatening to go to league every year? If you don’t answer, I’ll take that as a yes.”

Deans has more tangible problems than a sceptical rugby public and a greedy union: he’s got a serious rash of injuries to contend with, and some of his marquee players are not just out of form on the pitch, they’re out of sorts off it. With a shallow playing pool like Australia, that’s a big deal. And it’s not as if the coach is blameless either: some of his selections – and some of his omissions – have hurt the Wallabies’ short-term prospects with little long-term pay-off.  Continue reading