U20s international

Friday, February 27, 2015

Preview : Ospreys v Leinster

 

"The Ospreys face an in-form Leinster, who have won three of their last four fixtures in the league." 

Gareth Griffiths, WalesOnline yesterday

Ask me to name Leinster's worst performance since HarpinOnRugby came into existence and I'll go for our visit to the Liberty Stadium in November, 2012 under Joe Schmidt.

Many fans of the boys in blue would take issue with that, I'm sure, particularly on the back of two extremely below-par displays at home against teams in the lower half of the Pro12.  

But what made that particular defeat to the Ospreys stand out for me was that it was so unexpected, especially since we did so well in the first quarter to build a 10-0 lead only to appear to go out of our way to hand the initiative back to those pesky birds.

Well I have to offer my apologies in advance for a large dose of pessimism, but this time around as the lads head to Swansea, my expectation levels are as low as they have ever been going into a Leinster match.

Normally I try to be positive, normally I try to dig out a silver-lining, but on this occasion I gave one of my biggest ever "LOLs" when I saw what Graham Griffiths had to say in his preview.

Now...it IS worth noting that the Ospreys are hardly on sparkling form themselves.  In the space of two rounds they went from top of the league to fifth on the back of defeats to both Scottish clubs.

But every Leinster fan  will know they have the ability to raise their game to play us, at least when it comes in this competition.  Of all the Welsh regions they definitely have the biggest sense of pride when it comes to playing for the jersey and nothing brings that out more than the visit of 3-times European champions.  The likes of Hanno Dirksen, Joe Bearman and Dan Baker have all performed well against us before.

And on top of that, we have the reality of Leinster's form, which couldn't be more opposite than that laid out by Griffiths.  Whether he's trying to raise expectations of his opposition or whether it was just lazy journalism on his part we'll never know...but the evidence from our last two matches suggests that for all the experience in our lineup, there just doesn't seem to be the necessary glue holding them together.

Right the heart of my pessimism are two key combinations....at halfback and centre.  Isaac Boss takes the captain's armband tonight and it is imperative that he and Jimmy Gopperth are on the same page if we are to make any kind of headway against what is bound to be a stubborn home D.  But even if they do tee things up well, we'll need Messrs D'Arcy & Te'o to have a much better understanding than they did last Friday otherwise we won't get the maximum out of our extremely talented back three.

On the positive side of things if you look hard enough you will find something ;-)  I thought our scrum has done well over the past two weeks so there's a chance we can establish a decent platform tonight though there isn't a whole lot of front row experience in reserve.  Then there's the return of Rhys Ruddock to a young backrow which has the ever-eager Dominic Ryan ready to spring from the bench.  We could conceivably match our hosts in the forwards, and for the most part our D should be strong...it's just the area of creating try-scoring chances where I fear we'll struggle.

So as you can see, I'm not holding out much hope, and that is an extremely rare happening in HoR previews.  The bookies have a 2-point win for the home side...I say we'll be lucky to get a losing bonus and my prediction is for an 8-10 defeat.  Sorry!

Now all the boys have to do is go out and prove me totally wrong.  And noone will be happier than me if that's the case.

#COYBIB JLP

OSPREYS : 15 Dan Evans 14 Tom Grabham 13 Jonathan Spratt 12 Josh Matavesi 11 Hanno Dirksen 10 Sam Davies 9 Martin Roberts
1 Ryan Bevington 2 Scott Otten 3 Dmitri Arhip 4 Tevita Cavubati 5 Tyler Ardron>(Capt) 6 Joe Bearman 7 James King 8 Dan Baker
REPLACEMENTS : 16 Matthew Dwyer 17 Marc Thomas 18 Daniel Suter 19 Rhodri Hughes 20 Olly Cracknell 21 Morgan Allen 22 Tom Habberfield 23 Richard Fussell

Guinness Pro 12 - Round 16
At Liberty Stadium, 7.35pm. Live on BBC Wales/TG4 
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 42nd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Craig Evans, Chris Williams (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU)
TMO: Derek Bevan (WRU)

Front Five - 27.02.15

Start your day with five eye-catching egg-chasing quotes & links from around the ruggersphere.

Later on a busy day here at HoR Manor...
Ireland team is announced
Our Ospreys v Leinster preview
Your last chance to enter our Emerald Rugby competition

 

IMG_1598

 
Whether Healy’s 37 minutes for Leinster against Zebre last Friday...is sufficient game time to replace Jack McGrath...after being sidelined since September seems unlikely.
 

Jordi Murphy to step up for Ireland as Joe Schmidt gets ready to go again

Gerry Thornley - Irish Times
 
 

 
“I suppose as players the thing is - how do you keep yourselves motivated, how do you keep yourselves switched on?
 

Sophie Spence: Ireland always gear themselves up for England

 
Grainne McGuinness - Irish Examiner
 

 
England arrive in the capital as world champions but Ireland captain Nick McCarthy doesn't fear them in the slightest.
 
 
Cian Treacy - Irish Independent
 

 
If you are looking to watch all 48 matches of this year's Rugby World Cup, TV3 have your back.
 
 
Patrick McCarry - SportsJOE.ie
 

 
"Masochist, you know, when they tie you up and all..."
 

Rugby Term Or Sex Act?

 
Balls.ie
 

 
Feel free to share any interesting links you spot yourself about t’internet by email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, blog comment or carrier pigeon – whatever works for you. JLP
 
Note - views expressed in "Front Five" links do not necessarily reflect those of HarpinOnRugby

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rugby on TV : Feb 26-Mar 5

 
Hi there...we don't often editorialize this weekly HoR feature but even though there's an embarrassment of riches ahead on the quality rugby front this weekend, if you'd like to whet your appetite this Thursday evening we have a recommendation for you.
 
We suggest you head on over to the RTÉ player via this link and watch (or even re-watch) the recent U20 international between Nigel Carolan's Ireland and France.  
 
Some scintillating play by the Wolfpuppies, in particular by the backline which is made up from multiple provinces and definitely bodes well for the future of the game on these shores.  And for all that has been said about the supposed lack of long-term development in the French game, the visitors had several bright spots as well.
 
Just putting that out there for tonight...as you can see from the table below, there's plenty to keep you occupied from tomorrow.  Enjoy. JLP
 
DateTimeShowCompetitionChannel
Thu Feb 267:30pmLEEDS RHINOS V HUDDERSFIELD GIANTSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
 10:00pmRUGBY TONIGHT EXTRA BT SPORT 2
Fri Feb 276:30amHIGHLANDERS V REDSSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 1
 10:55amWESTERN FORCE V HURRICANESSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 3
 5:05pmCHEETAHS V BLUESSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 4
 7:00pmIRELAND U20 V ENGLAND U20SIX NATIONSRTE2 / SKY SPORTS 3
 7:00pmNORTHAMPTON SAINTS V HARLEQUINSPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 2
 7:10pmOSPREYS V LEINSTERPRO 12TG4 / BBC 2 WALES
 7:30pmIRELAND WOMEN V ENGLAND WOMENSIX NATIONSwww.IrishRugby.ie
 7:30pmULSTER V SCARLETSPRO 12BBC 2 NI
 7:30pmST HELENS V CASTLEFORD TIGERSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 1
 9:00pmRUGBY CLUB SKY SPORTS 3
Sat Feb 286:35amCHIEFS V CRUSADERSSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 4
 8:30amMELBOURNE REBELS V BRUMBIESSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 3
 1:00pmBULLS V SHARKSSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 3 RED BUTTON
 1:30pmFRANCE V WALES (REPEAT)SIX NATIONS 1999BBC 2 WALES
 1:55pmCATALAN DRAGONS V WIGAN WARRIORSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
 2:00pmSCOTLAND V ITALYSIX NATIONSRTE2 / BBC 1
 3:00pmEXETER CHIEFS V BATHPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 1
 4:30pmFRANCE V WALESSIX NATIONSRTE 2 / BBC 1
 5:05pmLIONS V STORMERSSUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 3
 7:15pmMUNSTER V GLASGOW WARRIORSPRO 12SKY SPORTS 3
 7:30pmFRANCE U20 V WALES U20SIX NATIONSS4C
 10:50pmRUGBAÍ BEO TG4
Sun Mar 112:25pmCARDIFF BLUES V EDINBURGHPRO 12S4C
 2:00pmIRELAND V ENGLANDSIX NATIONSRTE 2 / BBC 1
 5:05pmCONNACHT V BENETTON TREVISOPRO 12TG4
 6:05pmSIX NATIONS SPECIAL BBC 2 WALES
 6:45pmHIGHLIGHTSPRO 12SETANTA IRELAND
 8:00pmTRY TIMESUPER RUGBYSKY SPORTS 3
 8:30pmHIGHLIGHTSTOP 14SKY SPORTS 3
Mon Mar 27:00pmAGAINST THE HEAD RTE 2
 8:00pmRUGBY TONIGHT BT SPORT 2
 9:45pmHIGHLIGHTSPRO 12SETANTA IRELAND
 10:45pmHIGHLIGHTSPREMIERSHIPSETANTA IRELAND
Tue Mar 33:55pmCLONGOWES WOOD V BELVEDERELEINSTER SCHOOLS SENIOR CUPSETANTA IRELAND
 8:00pmCLONGOWES WOOD V BELVEDERELEINSTER SCHOOLS SENIOR CUPSETANTA IRELAND
Wed Mar 43:55pmROSCREA V NEWBRIDGELEINSTER SCHOOLS SENIOR CUPSETANTA IRELAND
 8:00pmROSCREA V NEWBRIDGE (REPEAT)LEINSTER SCHOOLS SENIOR CUPSETANTA IRELAND
 10:00pmRUGBY AMNRLSETANTA 1
 10:00pmBOOTS 'N ALLSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
Thu Mar 59:00amBRONCOS V RABBITOHSNRL 2015SETANTA 1
 8:00pmHULL FC V LEEDS RHINOSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
 8:30pmRUGBY TONIGHT EXTRA BT SPORT 1
 
Times generally refer to beginning of broadcast not kickoff
Check local listings for repeat showings
Feel free to let us know if something is missing! paganoblog@gmail.com
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