Ireland brought only two scrum halves to this tournament and a third choice outhalf who played very little even in the event of the incumbent getting injured. The national inability to produce international quality scrum halves with any sort of consistency is a mystery to me. Of the twenty scrum halves selected for the last seven Lions tours, only two were Irish and Tomas O’Leary got injured before he could travel.
The Lions had a last minute kick to win the second test that, had it gone over, would have stolen the match from an Australian team that played all the rugby. Continue reading
Amidst the media furore, recriminations, denials, Twitter shit-slinging and overuse of the word ‘floodgates’ that surrounded Johnny Sexton’s move to Racing Metro, another ground-breaking move has gone largely under the radar. Continue reading
The Mole was fortunate enough to do a postgrad with a number of interesting, well-rounded people. At the weekends, they would pursue pleasant, sociable activities. The Mole would play matches of a Saturday and spend most Sundays hungover, like a good ol’ stereotype. What would it be like to pursue pleasant, sociable activities with well-rounded people? Where would the nerves come into play? That blood pumping, stomach churning switched-on feeling of a Saturday morning that served as a precursor to the main event. You’d miss it. Continue reading
Leinster battled out a teak tough eighty minutes against a gritty Glasgow side to seal a place in their third successive Magner’s League/Pro12 Grand Final. Continue reading
In a raucous and colour-drenched Stade Chaban-Delmas, Leinster edged out French heavyweights Clermonts in an absolute dogfight of a semi-final. Continue reading
After looking at Graham Henry’s Prefects and the ‘ideal’ number of caps (660) that a championship team should have, we thought we’d have a look at Ireland and how the numbers fitted the team. Can Graham Henry’s policy be replicated in other situations or is he simply fortunate to come from a country with a great rugby culture and a comparatively large player base?
The Mole thought in the build-up to the game that the absence of Yachvilli was overplayed by some commentators. Parra is such an accomplished operator in his own right, and is perhaps a little more dangerous as a runner. However, Yachvili has a wealth of experience that Parra can’t yet hope to compete with, and it showed in a couple of circumstances. Continue reading
Splintered from his early partnership with the unpredictable David Knox, Michael Cheika’s pragmatic streak grew wider and wider as his career at the head of Leinster progressed. Continue reading
It seems from his post-match comments after both games that Kidney is very, very big on establishing position on the pitch before every attack. No shit, eh? Well, sometimes it’s interesting to hear the coach talking about how Ireland are trying to play the game, because it can be difficult to make out from the action on the pitch. Continue reading