Match Reaction #1: Munster vs Ulster

Ulster performed an astonishing smash-and-grab raid in the first half-hour at Thomond park, then stuck around to take an absolute walloping from the suddenly awakened and irate home-owners before finally staggering away with the spoils. Continue reading

Match Reaction #2: Where The Game Was Won And Lost

The England scrum is about to disappear stage right in about three seconds ...

Twenty-four of England’s thirty-point haul came directly from scrum penalties; the other six were from two penalties late in either half for offside. Rory Best was pinged for “taking up the space” on the English side of a ruck on about 33 minutes, and the Irish defensive line were penalized en masse at 76 mins in front of the sticks, from which Farrell mercifully took the points instead of inflicting another scrum. Yep, it could have been even worse …  Continue reading

Match Reaction #1: Sins Of Omission

From an English perspective, it has been a hugely encouraging Six Nations:  the team improved with every performance, won four out of five games, were narrowly [and somewhat controversially] beaten in the single game they lost and finished with a resounding thumping of a team who have had their number in recent years.  Continue reading

Send In The Clowns … Or Not

Impervious to hypnotism and all that sort of stuff – Declan Kidney's mind games are his own. Sure let's just get ready for the next cup final, after all, this is the reason why you get involved in rugby!

Declan Kidney’s substitution decisions have The Mole hearing footsteps, so to speak. With Kidney’s deserved reputation for inscrutability, and his über-questionable loyalty to some players, he’s the sort of coach that’d have you believing in conspiracy theories.  Continue reading

Match Reaction: Leinster 16 – 13 Scarlets


Fergus McFadden: has banged over 33 kicks this season for Leinster – 17 conversions, 15 penalties and 1 drop goal – but last night's match-winner was a big 'un

A lot of huffing and puffing and not a great deal of blowing your house down from Leinster last night at the RDS, when a misfiring home team took out a well-drilled, hardworking Scarlets outfit with the last kick of the game.  Continue reading

Match Reaction: Leinster 42 – 8 Treviso

Nacewa collides with Brendan Williams, Treviso's creative spark - all the honours went to the Leinster man on the night, however.

A bunch of early tries generally leave people feeling that the game was over at half time or that it petered out; a bunch of late tries sends the people home happy. Continue reading