Not an oul fellah in sight: Ben Youngs, Joe Launchbury, Peter O’Mahony and Cian Healy are four youngsters who will have big parts to play over the coming decade in these clashes. The torch has been well and truly passed in England, and Ireland have some catching up to do.
There are always a dozen good reasons why a team loses a relatively close match – invariably, some of them are to do with the other crowd playing well. Continue reading →
Jeremy Staunton: not only could he have been a contender, he should have been a champion. How Irish rugby failed one of the most talented players of his generation is still beyond me.
The Mole read an anecdote about Jeremy Staunton on a message board about four or five months ago, and it has stuck with him since: an Irish rugby fan was at Welford Road with his English Tigers fan mate for a Premiership game, and Staunton was introduced off the bench relatively early in the match. “Great, Staunton,” the Tigers fans said to his mate, “no more tries.” Continue reading →
Mick O’Driscoll leads his team off the pitch at the Liberty Stadium. Munster had just suffered their worst defeat in eight years in his last game for the province he represented more than two hundred times. He deserved better.
An Irish derby quarter-final in Thomond Park really re-enforces the fact that Ulster have finally emerged from a decade-long slump. They fought their way through a difficult but fortunately timetabled group, and after a rocky start to the season are now on something of a run, having won their last four games. Continue reading →
The Mole was pretty excited about what promised to be an entertaining, high octane game between Munster and Leinster, the biggest derby in the Pro 12 and a game that always has a natural spark. Continue reading →