Signing Contracts And Joined-up Thinking

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

Soft Middle

Dan Tuohy (26) takes on Simon Zebo (21) in an emblematic image that shows the differing age profile between the two teams.

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

Sarries – Three Cheers For Their Quarter Final Whipping

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

Team Selection: Wolfhounds vs Saxons

"The Irish wolfhound is relatively easy to train. They respond well to firm, but gentle, consistent leadership." So says the American Kennel Club. Chris Henry, are you listening? No shouting.

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.

Continue reading

The Laws Of Probability

Lady Luck! She wears green! She hates Connacht! The irony.

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

McLaughlin Makes Two Interesting Calls

Subtle.

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