Leinster took their fourth consecutive Pro14 title – and eighth league title overall – with a terse and professional win over close neighbours and long-time rivals Munster in a deserted RDS a couple of weekends ago. The mid-season final brought a sudden close to what has been a strange, arhythmic competition: Glasgow Warriors and Benetton Treviso played out their practically meaningless fixture in Scotstoun at lunchtime on the same day, as if to highlight the ungainly scheduling that saw a league final played just a day after the last match – albeit a rearranged last match – of the Six Nations.
“OK,young lads against aul fellas. You stay here, Isa.”
In the Age of Aquarius, we looked at Cheika and Schmidt’s selections of young players at Leinster. The article’s genesis was based on another article, specifically the line “Henderson’s progress suggests that one of the prerequisites of a top provincial coach is the willingness to give young players game time and the ability to maintain competitiveness while doing so.” Continue reading →
Leinster have had an extremely poor league season by their standards, but are still in with a shout in the European Cup. It’s a moment of truth, but there’s more scope for disillusionment that there is for restorative belief. Can the province return to former standards and former glories, or will they continue to chart a declining course?
Thus far this season, Leinster have played 19 league matches and only won 9 of them: a .47 winning percentage. That’s quite easily their worst record in a decade. Continue reading →
Eoin O’Malley has had a very promising career cut short mid-stride. Serious injury is an ever-present threat in rugby, but it’s impossible to dwell on it and perform at your optimum. O’Malley’s early retirement means that not one of the Leinster players born in 1988 who represented Ireland at U20 level in 2008 – and there were ten of them – are currently contracted to the club.
The argument was made to The Mole recently that Clermont have missed their chance to win the Heineken Cup, with a number of their most prominent players having passed their prime. Continue reading →
Leo Cullen has been the rock on which Leinster’s success of recent times has been built, but he can’t go on forever. It’s natural that people are discussing his future, given that he turned 35 the other day. His toughness and disruption at the breakdown make him a sponge for punishment and cheap shots, but he’s hardly an innocent on the pitch himself.
Much has been written over the last few weeks on the subject of locks in Ireland, most of it orbiting around the leaked news that Mike McCarthy will be playing his rugby in Leinster for the next three seasons. Continue reading →
Leinster announced a huge number of contract extensions together, neatly defusing inspection of new recruits (Denton and Bent) and camouflaging some other calls which might have got more attention in the media were they announced piecemeal.
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 →
Paul O’Connell: Paulie had a welcome return to fitness and form. He made it his job to go looking for James Horwill in the Australian match and nailed him a few times. As noted here before, second rows have a long shelf life and it’s not unreasonable to expect Paulie to have another World Cup in him. Benefitted from losing a bit of bulk and became more mobile. Still not a great ball carrier although he puts his hand up. Continue reading →