Ivan Dineen’s blistering performance when allowed off the bench against the Scarlets was an enjoyable feature of a mistake-ridden game and hugely encouraging for fans of the player. To describe Dineen as a peripheral figure over the last two seasons is to do injustice to those peripheral figures in the Munster squad … in truth, with just one start in his Munster career [and that coming a full eighteen months ago] he had more or less slipped off the radar entirely. Continue reading
The Mole has written before about how the failings of the Munster Academy in the second Declan Kidney era are now affecting the fortunes of the province. While Kidney handed over a hard-nosed championship team to Tony McGahan in June 2008, things weren’t quite so rosy under the surface. Continue reading
There’s always something satisfying about seeing a big talker being cut down to size, and Saracens home quarter-final loss to Clermont Auvergne was not so much a classic of the genre as merely a run of the mill example. Nevertheless, it was rewarding to watch. Continue reading
Eric Elwood/Declan Kidney/The Troika have picked a Wolfhounds team high on diplomacy that also stands a fair chance of beating the Saxon hordes.
Almost with a sense of perversity, it must be pointed out that the Irish run cannot continue forever. Perhaps Ulster have not yet had the proverbial “rub of the green” in the Heineken Cup this season – and Connacht certainly haven’t – but neither Munster nor Leinster can claim that to be the case. Continue reading
The Ulster game against Aironi is pretty hard to get excited about. Aironi are a fairly brutal team, pinned to the bottom of the Pro 12 table; it’s all so different from last year, when they were pinned to the bottom of the Magners League table. Continue reading
As draws go, the emergence of Bath, Glasgow and Montpellier to accompany Heineken Cup champions Leinster in Pool 3 seemed to the Mole, like the best of good fortune last summer. For sure, Leinster did not get an Italian minnow (the pleasure reserved for Biarritz it seems) but no Clermont, Racing or even Castres to send a shiver of nerves down the back, at the prospect of a tough away fixture in the frozen weeks before Christmas, seemed like the sort of Champions League start usually reserved for Man U and Barca. Continue reading