Irelands RWC15 Report Card: Part Six – The Back Three

Tommy Bowe: Probably one of, if not the most, popular players on the team, and one of the most accomplished. Beside being the second highest test try-scorer in the history of Irish rugby – behind only Brian O’Driscoll – Bowe is also a five test Lion, a double IRUPA Player of the Year [2008 and 2010] and a former Six Nations Player of the tournament [2010].

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Ulster: A Season At The Brink Or A Place At The Top Table?

“Stand Up For The Ulstermen” rings out and Stephen Ferris is all ears. Having had a taste of Heineken Cup knock-out rugby over the last two seasons, Ulster will be looking to get to the top of the mountain next season. Do they have what it takes?

Ulster are a fine team who got into the Heineken Cup final on merit: they beat ASM Clermont Auvergne, Leicester and Munster [in Thomond Park, no less] in the competition, a very worthy set of scalps in any season.  Continue reading

The Core of Ireland & Wales

He's got the qualification but can he spread the word?

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?

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Match Reaction #2: Tommy Nooooooooooooooo!

Tommy Bowe was denied what seemed an inevitable try by some stout defending by Scotland’s Graeme Morrison from a crossfield kick by Jonny Sexton which almost caught the Scottish defence napping. As he took the ball, it look as it if was harder to score than not to and eventually he did wrestle the ball into contact with the ground. In the now time honoured fashion the Telly Ref was summoned. There can not have been a tournament with more references to the third umpire than this Championship. Continue reading

France 17 – 17 Ireland – Match Reaction #2: Tommy Bowe!

Tommy Bowe: with five tries in three matches so far, he's giving Ryle Nugent every chance to roll that name out with abandon.

The first one may have been a gift, but Bowe’s second try was a thing of beauty born of a turnover in the Irish half and two key attacking decisions. It certainly qualifies as playing rugby in your own half … but probably ‘just enough’, rather than ‘too much’. Continue reading

Report Card: Back Three

I wanna be a superstar

Tommy Bowe: Could have put a nail in Australia’s coffin with a flourish if he hadn’t missed the summer through injury as he looked to tie up in the last few yards. Or he could have put in a cross kick. Bowe caused the Welsh a bit of trouble and was denied two tries against the Italians by dodgy refereeing decisions. Continue reading

Match Reaction: Nick Mallett’s Outhalf Plan

Don't worry little fella, in twenty minutes time I'll be doing the same thing to your replacement

It’d be labouring a point to say that Gorgeous George’s outhalf policy backfired; it just didn’t work out quite as effectively as he had planned. Continue reading

Is there any reason that I can completely bottle this decision?

It is a good thing that when we wuz robbed by the Telly Ref, it didn’t really matter and similarly that we got another fine try just a minute later through Trimble’s lovely blindside break. Perhaps it is even a good thing that this has happened now and the issue has been brought to light, despite it already making waves when Clancy and his Third Umpire cohort on the day Johann Meuwesen followed the spirit of the laws rather than their precise wording to deny Jimmy Cowan a try versus the Springboks in Port Elizabeth during the summer’s Tri-Nations. Continue reading