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

The Provincial Draft

With the second pick of the first round, Connacht select Ian Nagle, Munster Academy

Afficionados of American Football will be familiar with the NFL Draft. Each year in April, the best players from college are distributed amongst the 32 NFL teams in a manner designed to maximize competitiveness in the league: thus the team with the worst record gets the first choice in the first draft, and the team who won the last Super Bowl gets the thirty-second choice. It runs over seven rounds, so 224 players are selected. The last player selected is cruelly titled ‘Mr Irrelevant’, but funnily enough, that’s totally irrelevant to this article.  Continue reading