Connacht is the runt of the litter of Irish rugby. While there’s various dynamics at play between Leinster, Munster and Ulster, the attitude towards Connacht is that they’re everyone’s favourite underdog and that it’s a bitch of an away trip, to mix canine metaphors.
It’s only a matter of time before the word ‘embattled’ becomes synonymous with Irish coach Declan Kidney. He’s coming off the back of Ireland’s least successful Six Nations since the 2008 edition that caused Eddie O’Sullivan to hand in his resignation. Bringing an outgunned squad down to New Zealand for an end of season [well, end of the Northern Hemisphere season] three test tour against the world champion All Blacks is hard enough, but when you take into account the injury problems that are already mounting up – Paul O’Connell, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris, Luke Fitzgerald, Tom Court and Isaac Boss are all out and would certainly have made the flight were they fit, and Munster’s Felix Jones would probably have travelled – then it looks like a ‘Tour From Hell’ scenario. Continue reading
In the wake of their Heineken Cup semi-final win in Bordeaux against Clermont Auvergne, Leinster have released a statement detailing a whole raft of contract renewals and a few new signings. Continue reading
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
“One wonders how Connacht have viewed the progress of Seán Cronin with Leinster in the Heineken Cup, and the contributions of Keatley, the try-scoring Fionn Carr and Jamie Hagan to the weekend victories of Munster and Leinster, as they slipped to their seventh successive defeat. If the strong are to continue plucking selectively from Connacht, then there has to be more traffic going the other way too.”* Continue reading