Heineken Cup: Ones to Watch

Fickou punches above his weight and is a good ball carrier. You’ll hear a lot more about him in the years to come.

The committee room negotiations have dominated the conversation so far but the on-pitch action begins this evening and will remind everyone of what a great tournament this is. The Heineken Cup provides a step up from each of the domestic leagues and is a good chance to see if the young guns can convert from potential into a first team fixture. Continue reading

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Two Sides of the Coin

I’m the boss, I’m the gaffer and at the end of the day what I say goes.

I like Rob Penney, I think it’s hard not to. The press like him, which is important because their portrayal of him colours the public’s perception. Penney gives good copy and is enthusiastically positive, most of the time. Continue reading

The Fingers Of The Red Hand

Even for The Mole, there has almost been surplus coverage of the Heineken Cup final in Twickenham. Ulster and Leinster have been analysed, examined and dissected in such depth that it is very difficult to consider any angle that would contribute anything further in the search for clues as to which team might have the ascendency in this game. Continue reading

Heineken Cup Final Preview: Leinster vs Ulster

Having produced some weighty previews for the two semi-finals [and here] , there’s not a whole heap new to say about the two Irish provinces competing for the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

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Pre-Match Nerves

The Mole was fortunate enough to do a postgrad with a number of interesting, well-rounded people. At the weekends, they would pursue pleasant, sociable activities. The Mole would play matches of a Saturday and spend most Sundays hungover, like a good ol’ stereotype. What would it be like to pursue pleasant, sociable activities with well-rounded people? Where would the nerves come into play? That blood pumping, stomach churning switched-on feeling of a Saturday morning that served as a precursor to the main event. You’d miss it. Continue reading

Match Reaction: Clermont Auvergne 15 – 19 Leinster

Vintage Drico.

In a raucous and colour-drenched Stade Chaban-Delmas, Leinster edged out French heavyweights Clermonts in an absolute dogfight of a semi-final.  Continue reading

Match Reaction: Ulster 22 – 19 Edinburgh

Ruan Pienaar was the Magner's League Player of the Season in his first term with Ulster, and was in a different class than everybody else on the Lansdowne Road pitch.

Ulster and Edinburgh played out a fast-paced semi-final in front of their boisterous supporters, and while the end-game wasn’t quite as tense as the final score would suggest, everyone in Lansdowne Road got their money’s worth.  Continue reading