It’s Grim Up North: Ulster’s Malaise

 

Les Kiss_Ulster Coach

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

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Ireland RWC 2015 Report Card: Part 8, Irish Rugby

Eddie is Establishment now but the Randwick man got his big break coaching the upstart Brumbies. The great Rod MacQueen had laid the foundations for a team originally composed of discards from Queensland and NSW. Innovation comes from the margins.

Eddie is Establishment now but the Randwick man got his big break coaching the upstart Brumbies. The great Rod MacQueen had laid the foundations for a team originally composed of discards from Queensland and NSW. Innovation comes from the margins.

The RWC being hosted so close to home meant that I was bound to travel, particularly with the previous edition being in NZ and the next in Japan. I decided that Cardiff would be the most likely destination for Ireland to see some decisive action and booked the necessary for the France game and both quarters. Continue reading

5 Up 2012 – Year 2

JJ Hanrahan was begun to assume the mantle of Munster's number 10, compiling a success rate from the tee of nearly 90% in the process

JJ Hanrahan has begun to assume the mantle of Munster’s number 10, compiling a success rate from the tee of nearly 90% in the process.

We started the 5 Up Series two years ago. We were interested to see how aspiring professional players developed and what factors affected their progress. Five players were chosen: one from each of the provinces and a second, from Leinster, who would have another season at underage level the following year. Continue reading