Soft Middle

Dan Tuohy (26) takes on Simon Zebo (21) in an emblematic image that shows the differing age profile between the two teams.

The Mole has written before about how the failings of the Munster Academy in the second Declan Kidney era are now affecting the fortunes of the province. While Kidney handed over a hard-nosed championship team to Tony McGahan in June 2008, things weren’t quite so rosy under the surface. Continue reading

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Match Reaction #1: Munster vs Ulster

Ulster performed an astonishing smash-and-grab raid in the first half-hour at Thomond park, then stuck around to take an absolute walloping from the suddenly awakened and irate home-owners before finally staggering away with the spoils. Continue reading

Frontrow Timebomb

Two thirds of Munster's front-row. Guess the odd one out.

Tony McGahan leaves Munster at the end of the season. Over the last couple of years he has seen the province through a particularly tricky rebuilding phase, and while it’s not yet complete, The Mole thinks that the body of the work has been done.  Continue reading

Dumper Dumps/Dumped – Part The First

Tight-lipped, ashen-faced supremo Ron Knee, 59,* is to leave Munster at the end of the season

Has Dumper become the dumpee? Or has the poker-faced Aussie dumped an expectant Munster at the altar? Regardless of the circumstances, we’ll plow on with the obituaries and speculation; after all, this is the internet. What do you want, sources? I’m afraid you’ll be a long time finding them. Try Fergburger. Or don’t.  Continue reading

Tomás O’Leary To Perpignan?

Canal+ are reporting that Munster’s Tomás O’Leary has signed for Perpignan. This move has been rumoured for a couple of weeks, and while O’Leary’s agent has issued a typical non-denial denial, there are a number of factors which point toward it being as good as a done deal. While Donal Lenihan reckons that O’Leary has not yet signed on the line that is dotted [thank you, Glengarry Glen Ross], there’s every indication that O’Leary is off to the sunny sud-ouest. Continue reading

Ospreys vs Munster: Defensive Line Speed And How To Check It

Andrew Bishop - the key to the Ospreys' line-speed and defense against Munster

The Ospreys’ quick line-speed in defense severely hampered Munster’s attack for the greater part of the match. Sean Holley and Scott Johnson have done an extremely good job with the region over the last six months; they’ve shed some seriously talented but somewhat egotistical players in Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne, and in the recent past have been operating with a number of important players unavailable due to injury. Continue reading

Munster, Leinster And Their Experimental Teams

And then you chop-block the defensive end, Moose

Munster and Leinster have named ‘experimental’ teams for their upcoming fixtures in the Pro 12. Joe Schmidt has gone for a 5-5-5 formation, picking two scrum-halves and three out halves in midfield to try and control possession in a move that owes much to the influence of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Tony McGahan has named only 11 players in his starting line-up, and will spring the remaining four one-by-one at five minute intervals from the fifteenth minute onwards. Continue reading