Sunday, October 04, 2009

Leinster-30 Munster-0


The hangover’s gone, the head is now clear, and, well, fancy that…the scoreline’s still the same!!!

And although we couldn’t get the fourth try, we still got a bonus in that the Hairsprays managed to overcome Edinburgh to leave us sitting proudly atop the Magners League going into the first break for Heineken Cup action.

Superlatives which befit this Leinster performance are hard to come by. I’m not sure if many international teams would have been able to break through our defence the way they played, and the big difference on the night was that going forward, things are beginning to click as well.

Remember folks…this was MUNSTER we beat. All due respect to the following teams I’m about to mention, but these weren’t Connacht, they weren’t the Dragons, they weren’t Calvisano. These were the guys whose fans once called us the “Ladyboys”.

Well I sincerely home that moniker is put to bed once and for all, for if we’re ladyboys, what does that make a team which hasn’t crossed our line for 166 minutes of rugby? (Fogarty got one in 74th min back on April 5).

And here’s a sentence I never thought I’d be able to write…WE OWNED THEM IN THE FORWARDS. Even when their strong bench took the field. Be it the scrum, be it the rolling maul, be it the line out, be it turning the ball over in the ruck, we were a step ahead of them at every turn.

Now...on the subject of John Hayes...yes, Cian Healy was making mischief at the base of the maul but in NO WAY was Ireland's highest-capped player justified in what he did in return. And just what the hell do phrases like "Oh, that's not like him" and "It's not in his character" have to do with anything???? The same was said of Alan Quinlan at Croke Park.

All I can say is...if we're getting the Munster boys to do things like that out of what is clearly sheer frustration, we must be doing something right.

Back to actual rugby matters, there was also the tackling. The marker was laid down in the first few minutes when Jean de Villiers made his first attempt to crash through and instead was sent crashing to the turf by Jamie Heaslip. And it didn’t let up, right to the 80th minute, with Nacewa stopping Williams in his tracks one of many big hits by the men in blue.

Going into last night’s encounter, the LettinOn Irish were clear favourites for our big Heineken Cup showdown next Friday. Once the final whistle blew, it was a whole different story. If we can play like this, we can beat anybody, and that’s a cast iron fact.

Happiest man in world rugby right now has to be Michael Cheika, who will be more than willing to put up with the headaches he’s bound to have to get the right 22 for the RDS.

Hopefully the Leinster faithful will be equally chuffed come fulltime on Friday.

Congratulations again lads, that night alone made the purchase of the season ticket worthwhile. JLP

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