17 April 2014

Running down the clock.

In recent times teams have become more adept at running down the clock. Despite the introduction of the TMO, one of whose jobs is to manage the game clock over the eighty minutes and inform the referee when time is up at the half and at the end, the practice by teams has become even more cynical.

Most teams leading with a few minutes remaining want to slow the game down, keep the ball away from the opposition and allow the …..


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08 April 2014

You have got to get in the air!

The red card brandished at Jared Payne in the Heineken Cup quarter-final has wrecked Ulster’s season. It is even more frustrating that they eventually lost the game by a mere two points playing with fourteen men for all of seventy-six minutes. If they had competed with a full compliment for the entire game Ulster have every right to believe they would have been victorious.

The decision, regardless of which way the TMO went, was always going to be controversial. The rights …..


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04 April 2014

Thoughts on the Heineken Quarters

Munster V Toulouse:

This is a clash of two of the great teams in Heineken Cup history. Both teams have had patchy form in recent times and Toulouse are just about hanging on to a play-off spot in the Top 14. But the Heineken Cup seems to bring out the best in both of these clubs so it will be an intriguing battle to open the weekend action.

Munster have always had the capacity to deliver the big performances especially at home …..


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01 April 2014

Newstalk Sport

Newstalk – Off the Ball – Monday March 31st  – Part 2

Timeline: 06:50 – 30:45

 Listen Now

 

27 March 2014

Qualification anomalies from the Pro 12 to the new Heineken Cup?

After much turmoil the Heineken Cup battle seems to have reached a resolution and the French and English Clubs can claim victory. It is difficult to argue with that as the LNR and PRL have achieved what they initially set out to do.

The European money will be split three ways between the French, English and the Pro 12 competitions. The new competition will involve a meritocracy for qualification. The Top 14 and Aviva Premiership each guaranteed six teams and a …..


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20 March 2014

What makes him the greatest?

The difference between a good player and a great player is a combination of talent and motivation. Some players are good because they possess talent, they are born with that ability it makes them a cut above the rest. Others players are good because they are so motivated they work and work to maximise their potential.

But the great players possess that rare combination of talent and extraordinary motivation.

Undoubtedly, Brian O’Driscoll was born with a phenomenal talent for playing rugby. But …..


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14 March 2014

History beckons for Ireland

Irish supporters are daring to dream that we can become 6 Nations Champions for the second time in five years. The team have proven to be consistent in their performances throughout the tournament.

At the same time few will argue that England are right there with Ireland in terms of their performances and some may even argue they are the best team in this year’s tournament. It is fair to say they were just a couple of minutes from defeating France …..


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05 March 2014

Still all to play for

We have reached the penultimate weekend of the Championship and Ireland, England, Wales and France all believe they are right in there with a chance of winning the tournament. Each team will plot their own path to victory and as always in the 6 Nations each pathway is distinctly different. The one factor that remains the same for all four teams in a defeat will end their interest in the tournament.

Ireland V Italy

This is a game that Ireland simply will …..


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26 February 2014

Ireland in the driving seat

There are a couple of certainties around this year’s 6 Nations Championship. There will be no grand slam winner and the tournament will be won on points difference. Technically there are still four teams: Ireland, England, Wales and France in with the chance of being crowned champions.

But despite losing to England in the best game of the tournament to date, Ireland are in the driving seat when it comes to winning the 6 Nations Championship of 2014.

Ireland’s points difference of …..


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