Sakoku

Axel Foley's Shogun

Axel Foley’s Shogun

As Rob Penney departs for the Land of the Rising Sun, the Mole stumbled across a reference to an era of that proud nation’s history that struck him as appropriate for the times. Continue reading

Northern Lights, Southern Cross

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The Munster coaching ticket. Bitterness not pictured.

I was going write something about Eddie O’Sullivan being overlooked for the Connacht post but Brendan Fanning did it this morning already. If Pat Lam is selected as Connacht coach then Ireland’s provinces will have four Kiwis at the helm. For a union so staunchly opposed to imported players, even if they have started families here, the IRFU’s approach to foreign coaches seems very inconsistent. Continue reading

Hip Young Gunslinger Not Required

The Heir Apparent. But when does his reign start?

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Caine: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not? Continue reading

Match Reaction #1: Rory Best’s Try

Chunk Jacobsen has gotten past the Healy-Ross contain, but it's too little and too late: Best has smashed through Mike Blair and is about to dot down Ireland's first try of the day.

The Mole enjoyed Liam Toland’s early morning article in today’s Irish Times – a good read all the way through, and you can tell that he enjoyed the technicality of Rory Best’s opening score, a well-contrived lineout move that created a potent mismatch of running a big forward at a small back over a short distance. Continue reading

The New Generation

"Kick it into the corner, then maul it over. Else drop a goal."

Failing to get out of the pool stages of last year’s Heineken Cup was perhaps a blessing in disguise for Tony McGahan and his need to find replacements for Generation Ligind. The journey was always going to have to end somewhere but until then it was difficult for McGahan to jettison proven campaigners. Kidney’s silverware gave him the status to make some structural changes, notably introducing O’Leary and Hurley against Gloucester. McGahan’s status as an “outsider” without silverware meant he lacked the political capital to rock the boat too much. The fact that Munster finished the season by winning the league and beat Leinster in a match that mattered was very important for Dumper. Continue reading