Leinster ground and brutalised their way to a sixth league trophy in a manner that was redolent of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland at their peak. Up against a raucous hometown crowd in a tight stadium on a wet day, the reigning champions measured pragmatism against ambition and tuned their game to the key of W.Just win, baby.
If you get to the Pro14 final, and you’re not Leinster, odds are that you’re going to face them there. The Big East have appeared in eight of ten finals since the competition adopted the playoff format.Continue reading →
Robert Kearney is not given to off-the-cuff comments; there’s a whole Twitter persona — with 86,500 followers! — that is built on that premise. So when, in the immediate aftermath of the Grand Slam victory against England on St Patrick’s Day 2018, he gave a brief interview to Sinead Kissane of Virgin TV in which he said “For the next 18 months, this group and our coaches will have our focus entirely on the World Cup…”, he revealed more than usual in a spot made mandatory by media demands.
Armand Vaquerin raises the Bouclier de Brennus for A.S. Beziers.
How can you avoid generalities when it comes to discussing culture? A culture is by definition shared. The more widespread its reach, the more people who partake in it, the less possible it is to balance the clarity of the specific against the scope of a less definable but more important gestalt. Continue reading →
Munster typically carry the heaviest squad of the Irish provinces, and their senior panel for the 2018-19 season conforms to type. No fewer than 48 players are listed in the first team squad. That’s a lot of mouths to feed – both in terms of a pay check and in terms of gametime.Continue reading →
Ulster are giving their fans something to cheers about after a couple of dreadful seasons where the province has let its supporters down, both on and off the pitch. A real test of their mettle is around the corner when rivals Munster make the trip up to Ravenhill at the weekend.
Munster are travelling up to Ulster on Friday night for the first of the Christmas season interpro series, and The Mole was just struck by the realisation that, at this moment in time, both sides sport identical records for the season: P14 | W9 | D1 | L4 Continue reading →
Les Kiss, the now former Director of Rugby at Ulster, did the state a hell of a lot of service – not in the Charlie Haughey way, and I’m not implying any infringement on the nature of cross-border co-operation in Irish rugby, or unduly politicising his role … Jaysis, probably should just say something else nice about him. I only have so many non-Simpsons quotes though.
It’s been a long time since The Demented Mole shook the dirt off his mighty paws and focused his myopia on once-proud Ulster. There was a background article in the works – there always is, it’s just that time and topicality seem to escape them – before Les Kiss resigned his post, but the timing of his departure set against the background of the Jackson/Olding trial throws the disfunction of the organisation into relief. Continue reading →