Ruck Marks – Ireland’s Autumn Series

Paul O'Connell's expression says it all. Ireland were seconds away from a first win over New Zealand in history, but it was snatched out of their hands.

Paul O’Connell’s expression says it all. Ireland were seconds away from a first win over New Zealand in the history of games between the two countries, but it was snatched out of their hands.

Amidst no small dollop of carping and moaning about what a pain in the arse it was, we mentioned at the end of the last Ruck Marks article that we’d try and run a similar exercise using Ireland’s November tests as our subjects. We surprised ourselves by actually carrying this through [just like we carried through our tag index … all the way up to ‘D’] with a Boxeresque appetite for dumb labour. Continue reading

Match Reaction: New Zealand 42 – 10 Ireland

Israel Dagg didn’t bag a hat-trick of tries, but he was just as damaging to Irish hopes. His much-anticipated match-up with Rob Kearney was a blow-out.

Ireland started their three test series against New Zealand with enterprise and verve, but the All Blacks were able to stand up well to the twenty-five minute onslaught, bought a lead with a couple of long-range Dan Carter penalties and then utterly took over, wrapping up the game before half-time. 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

Pass Or Fail

Eoin O'Malley doing that thing that he does ... what's it called again?

Eoin O’Malley didn’t start against either Munster or Montpellier. Fergus McFadden was chosen in the No13 jersey for those games in the absence of Drico, and while he didn’t set the world alight, he certainly had his moments. There’s every likelihood that he would have started the HEC fixture against Glasgow if he hadn’t injured his leg. As it went, O’Malley got the start and grabbed his chance with both hands … and then passed it. Continue reading