Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Queen’s RFC–Update #4

Roots & All is a project where we pick a few teams that don’t normally make the spotlight week in week out and feature them regularly throughout an entire campaign.

Queen's banner

The season is now in full swing and we are very busy as I’m sure are all the Rugby clubs throughout Ireland. Including preseason our players have been training hard in the gym and on the pitch for around 3 and a half months now.

pitch 8- training pitchOctober is an interesting month at Queen’s as the academy spots are awarded to the Male and Female students who have been selected. We feel that our Rugby Academy offers an excellent support system to young players who aspire to fulfill their potential as players. We seek to work with players on an individual basis, investing money on their behalf in services such as Nutritionists, Sports Psychologists, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and other Sports Science Services. We also have a number of specialist workshops geared towards supporting the modern student athlete.

Our 1st XV have continued to play well in the Ulster Senior League, looking impressive in beating high flying local rivals Malone at home, despite missing a number of regulars. However, the All-Ireland League has been a struggle thus far, due to a combination of facing tough opposition in our opening 3 games, and trying to gel as a young team after the loss of 13 first team regulars at the end of last season. However , the coaching team is convinced that the current crops is one of the club’s most talented in years and are sure that we will see them show that during the remainder of the season.

The 2nds have started to build momentum with convincing wins over Rainey Old Boys, and Belfast Harlequins, but will face a test this weekend with the ever- physical Banbridge the visitors to Upper Malone. The 3rds and 4ths have also started the season well and look certain to be challengers in their respective leagues come the end of the season.

jj scoring vs quinsThe women’s team go from strength to strength in their first year playing All Ireland Rugby, and currently have won all their games this season, and gaining an attacking bonus point in all but one. A number of the squad have also been training with the Ulster Provincial squad and we hope to be well represented when the final squad is announced. We will also be hosting the Ulster vs. Munster women’s interprovincial game on Sunday 2nd December.  In the photo to right you see Jemma Jackson after scoring the winning try in our recent game against local rivals Harlequins.

Finally, we have broken new ground this season with two additional teams taking the field representing the club. The men’s 5th XV had a midweek outing today against Stranmillis College in an entertaining game, which they narrowly lost. Also, our women’s 2nd XV took to the field on Sunday past against local Qualifying side Ards, and managed a convincing victory. It’s great to see more players finding an avenue to continue their rugby alongside their studies and hopefully both teams will be able to secure more fixtures as the season goes on… injuries and weather permitting!

conroy cup side u20s

‘Keep the Blue Flag Flying High... until next time.’

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JJ earns his stripes in bonus-point Munster win

Despite the shamozzles, it turned out to be comfortable victory over Zebre, writes Trevor Murphy

Last weekends match saw the Italian side Zebre make the trip to Thomond Park. Matches against the supposed smaller teams in the Rabo Pro 12 are amongst the more difficult in my opinion. Sometimes it is hard to bring the same level of intensity as say a Leinster fixture. Zebre had lost all of their previous fixtures and let’s be honest, that statistic was not likely to change much. At the same time, write these teams off at your peril. The normal ebb and flow of every game means that all teams have periods where they are in the ascendancy. No matter how poor you perceive teams to be, they are still made up of genuine hard men. You cannot play this game without toughness. The smallest rugby player has to contend with 100kg to 130kg players running at them at full speed intent on mayhem and destruction. For anybody reading this in the USA, that is 220 to 286 pounds running flat out and not a pad or helmet in sight! No disrespect to the NFL, I am a fan and have even donned the helmet and pads of a defensive line man!

The Munster team on the night are much changed from the previous weekends fixture. O’Dea was back on the wing with JJ Hanrahan starting at first centre. Hanrahan was an interesting selection at 12. He has the appearance of a player that is comfortable on the ball in any given situation. As an experiment I think it was a good one. He’s not shy in the physical aspect and his passing was sharp. The first half was a very scrappy affair with opportunities being snuffed out by errors and penalties. We had to wait until the twenty sixth minute to put points on the board. Keatley converted a penalty from between the Zebre 22 and 10m line.

A shamozzle developed in the thirty second minute, which took a few minutes to sort out. To be honest, considering there were two players from each side called over to the referee I was expecting a bit more of a bollocking to be handed out. The lecture served to further slow down a game that was already lacking fluidity. The TV coverage didn’t shed any light on the shamozzle so that is a few hundred words you don’t have to read!

The scrappy nature of the play so far was in large part down to Zebres line speed. Any team that has good pace to its defensive line will be hard to break down. It’s about limiting the space for the opposition to play in. Passes and decisions are rushed which leads to more errors and poorly executed plays. Zebre put their stamp on the scoreboard in the thirty ninth minute with a penalty by Halangahu. Given their effort in the first half they deserved parity on the scoreboard. Had their kicker being on slightly better form they may well have had the lead at half time! However much they deserved it you can be sure the Munster boys were in no mood to give Zebre anything without a fight. They would certainly have been unhappy with the results of their endeavours so far

Thankfully Munster came out of the sheds after half time in a far less charitable mood than the previous half. Four minutes into the second Zebre conceded a penalty after Munster disrupted their lineout. A few phases later Sherry popped a soft no look pass to release O’Callaghan down the left wing. In the next phase of play Hanrahan left the defence chasing shadows when he took on a forward on the outside. A couple of yards out an Italian defender was easily brushed aside for our first try of the game. Keatley added the conversion and the scoreboard stood at 10-3. Better late than never! More than thirty minutes to go and the first signs that Zebre are wilting.

The following few minutes were a bit more fluid but still the Zebre defence was proving tough to break. A lot of the play was between the two 22’s. Munster made their way into the Zebre 22 with a penalty after an infringement at a ruck. Unfortunately we butchered the opportunity losing possession at a lineout 5 yards from the Zebre line. Thankfully Zebre obliged us with another penalty to allow us to gain a foothold in their 22. The forwards rolled up their collective sleeves at this point, pounding away at the Zebre defence. We managed to retain possession at a ruck under the posts when the referee deemed the ball unplayable. This was in no small part to the hard work of the forwards because it looked like Zebre had good position over the ball at the beginning of the ruck. Zebre conceded a penalty at the scrum but Munster played on. It looked like Zebre had snuffed out an attacking play during the advantage. Laulala passed the ball to Felix Jones just outside the 22. From a standing start Jones darted left to wrong foot the defence. Within a few yards he turned towards the goal line and parted the defence like Moses at the Red Sea. It is no exaggeration to say the route Jones took was right through the centre of the Zebre pack of forwards. There was a flock of white jerseys left in his wake as he darted through to score under the posts.

25 minute left and two tries to get to score the bonus point. The old ticker could do without these helter skelter finishes to game... 17-3

Zebre make a break into our 22 with their big South African No 8 Schalkwyk. It came to nothing as Luke O’Dea displayed an open side’s instinct to get himself over the ball immediately in a strong position. Penalty Munster in front of our own posts inside out 22. Keatley missed the clearance to touch but the Munster defence stood strong to push the Italians into touch on the half way line. Another shamozzle and some handbags! Be still my beating heart 

At the next ruck the Italian winger Pratichetti hit Butler with a cheap shot from the side and methinks he is lucky that Butler didn’t get a hold of him properly. I wouldn’t have fancied his chances! Play continued after this remarkable display of restraint by Paddy Butler. Munster continued to make life hard for themselves however. The midfield runners were receiving ball standing still and this is in no way conducive to attacking play.

On sixty minutes Munster lost possession at a ruck in midfield. How the referee missed the ample frame of David Ryan lying on the wrong side making no attempt to roll away... is beyond me. He didn’t budge an inch after making the tackle. Zebre gave up position soon after with another ruck penalty for diving over the top. Hanrahan was looking for ways to get behind the Zebre defence. He put in a nice grubber kick but was undone by the fact that a Munster player was a good five yards ahead of him when he kicked the ball.

On sixty five minutes Munster were again in the Zebre half on foot of a penalty kick to touch. Fifteen minutes to go and the finger nails were well and truly chomped. Munster managed to lose possession at the lineout but regain it on the floor within a minute. We pushed into the 22 with Marcus Horan after a decent pass from Murray which cut out the on rushing defence. Laulala burst through the line eventually being brought down by the fourth tackler. Johne Murphy avoided big tackle from Belardo to form a ruck. Quick ball from the ruck to Keatley allowed him the time to put through a beautifully weighted grubber for Hanrahan to pounce on. Try number three on the board. Keatley converted from the left touchline to make the score 24-3

Twelve minutes left on the clock. Munster try to up the pace but the handling gives Zebre possession in our half with a scrum. Munster put a big drive in but the scrum is reset. The Zebre loose head is penalised for turning in under pressure. Keatley pushed Zebre back to their 22 with the penalty. Munster coughs up possession again and Zebre break to the half way line before their handling lets them down. We kick away possession when attacking on the right wing but manage to push the Zebre man into touch. Another shamozzle... I can’t take much more of this excitement in a game! I thought Murray was going to unload on the Zebre winger at the tail end of that. I have never seen that much aggression on display without a punch being thrown. Usually there would be a couple of slaps long before it dispersed. Oh well we can’t have our cake and eat it  As much as I may be enjoying the festivities it’s not the kind of arm wrestle that Munster need to be getting involved in. Happily the penalty goes to Munster after the referee talks to the linesman. Based on the report Pratichetti is luck it wasn’t worse than a penalty. After a couple of phases Laulala takes the ball to the line and pops a pass through traffic to find Luke O’Dea who beats the fullbacks despairing tackle to score the all important bonus point try.

I’m Trevor, 39. A passionate Munster and Irish Rugby Fan. I have strong opinions on this beautiful game of ours. Stand up and fight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Premiership Round 7 wrap

Once in a while the English clubs stop moaning about the HCup and actually play some rugby – Felix McCabe gives his latest update…

Aviva Prem column

After two weekends of exciting European action we’re back with some Premiership mayhem. Kicking things off at Sixways, Worcester met Sale in an intense battle that didn’t disappoint. The Warriors were first off the mark from the boot of Andy Goode, but this lead didn’t last long as Sale would ground the ball with their first attack; Danny Cipriani feeding Mark Cueto who was able to spot a gap in the Warriors defence. The Sharks seemed up for this game, despite losing their lead to the boot of Goode again. They were superior at the lineout and dominated the possession. Worcester didn’t look threatening until the 31st minute when Samoan winger, David Lemi, powered through the gain line and slammed over the Sharks’ line for his side’s first try. The second half continued much the same; Sale playing good rugby and threatening the Warriors line. Andy Powell and Richie Vernon beating away at the Worcester defence would pay dividends when Cueto managed to deliver an expert pass to fullback, Nick Macleod and see him cross the line. Cipriani was again unable to convert and was replaced by Rob Miller at fly-half. Andy Goode crossed the whitewash and converted to give Worcester back the lead, but it looked as though Sale would clinch a draw when they came storming to the line in the dying minutes. Only a last minute tackle from Paul Hodgson, which knocked him out, was enough to push the Sharks into touch and seal the victory.

26599On Saturday there were three more Premiership games for us to sink our teeth into; Sarries would travel to Franklins Gardens to meet The mighty Saints and Gloucester would battle it out with The Leicester Tigers in Kingsholm, but first Bath welcomed Exeter to the Rec. Nick Abendanon fed Ben Williams and he crossed on the touchline with the game only 3 minutes old; a tricky conversion was just standard for fly-half Stephen Donald. Captain Francois Louw breaks the line minutes later and comes up just short of the Chiefs’ line. Donald cleans up and throws a smart pass to Kyle Eastmond who scores in the corner bringing the Bath surplus to 12 points. Exeter manage a try of their own through Brett Sturgess; keeping them in it for the time being. Louw scores another try to assure victory for Bath, but the second half’s most notable moment was when Dan Hipkiss, already sin-binned, gets red-carded for hitting the ball into the crowd, preventing a quick Chiefs’ lineout.

Saints and Sarries would play out a kicking contest for all intents and purposes; really against the head stuff. The only try coming from some nice hands all the way to the Saints line; Schalk Brits breaks the gain line and gets the pass in to Alex Goode, who scores like his brother the day before. A second try-scoring effort presented itself for Saracens late in the second half; Chris Ashton kicked on a wayward Ryan Lamb pass but his awkward boot led to a bounce that Sarries could get on top of. Own Farrell kicked a couple of penalties and Saracens walked away; knocking Northampton off the top of the table.

Saturday’s blockbuster event was always going to be the clash of Gloucester and Leicester. The Tigers were going to be riding high after last weekend in Europe, as will Gloucester who have won two from two in the Amlin. Charlie Sharples pounced on a lovely grubber kick in the first minute to give the Cherry & Whites the opening score; Freddie Burns converting. Scott Hamilton, with help from Manu Tuilagi, brought Leicester back within two points of the home side with a try in the corner. But Gloucester were just too good for the Tigers. Freddie Burns, surely disappointed with not having been called up to the English squad, showed Stuart Lancaster what he was missing out on. He chipped and chased his own kick and scored from close range. Toby Flood was kicking on well on the day, after a great performance in against the Ospreys last weekend, but not even that could stop Gloucester on a day where they were throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors. James Simpson-Daniel, another man who should have been included in Lancaster’s England squad, set up a great third try for the Cherry & Whites. His pass to the openside, Qera, saw the flanker power across the line and sum up a great afternoon at the Shed.

Sunday would be London derby day. A standard enough affair at Adams Park where it was a case of wingers let loose; with both Christian Wade and Tom Varndell scoring a brace of tries for London Wasp. Welsh would claim back two tries through Phil MacKenzie and Franck Montanella but Wasps were able to hang on and claim the bonus point for their four tries.

26622Elsewhere, at the Madejski Stadium, London Irish would hope to claim another top class Premiership victory; this time against the champions Harlequins. All was going to plan for Irish when Jamie Gibson charged down a clearing kick and Guy Armitage was all over it to snatch the try. The conversion from Humphreys would put The Exiles in front by a point. It wasn’t long before Danny Care showed all of Reading why he’s going to be first choice scrum-half for the Autumn series. An crafty intercept and some immense pace saw the little halfback touch down between the sticks for Quins. Tom Williams, blood-free, goes over in the corner, but Ian Humphreys kicking is phenomenal and puts Irish in the lead with minutes to go. But the wind of fortune blows in favour of the champions as the TMO rules a touchdown a try, saying there was no knock-on and Harlequins regain their table top position by the skin of their teeth. Devastating for Irish who probably deserved the win on the day.


Worcester Warriors 23-16 Sale Sharks

Bath Rugby 23-15 Exeter Chiefs

Northampton Saints 6-16 Saracens

Gloucester Rugby 27-21 Leicester Tigers

London Irish 28-31 Harlequins

London Wasps 29-19 London Welsh

Eng Prem table

Next Round

Friday, 2 November 2012

Sale v London Irish, 20:00

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Leicester v Northampton, 14:15

Exeter v Worcester, 15:00

Harlequins v Gloucester, 17:15

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Saracens v Wasps, 14:15

London Welsh v Bath, 15:00

Top half of Pro12 pulling away

We’re not happy here at HoR covering just the Irish provinces in the RaboPro12, so throughout the season Liam Sinclair will keep an eye on the rest of the league for us.

non Irish Pro12

An interesting weekend in the Pro12. All the teams in the top half beat teams in the bottom half meaning no positional changes at all. Ulster show no signs of slowing down, traditional powerhouses Leinster and Ospreys continue their steady progress up the gears and the best of the rest, Scarlets, Munster and Glasgow all recorded wins to keep themselves in the mix. In the bottom half Connacht, Dragons and Zebre are where most people expected them to be, Treviso are performing slightly above expectations and Edinburgh and Cardiff continue doing their best to prove my optimism on their behalf wrong languishing in 7th and 9th respectively.

The internationals have gone to their camps so the upcoming matches will heavily involve squads. Hard matches to predict but we’ll have a go.

treviso_1609594aWarriors; Stadio di Monigo is building a reputation as a tough place to visit so Glasgow would have been happy to navigate this. Treviso deservedly led at the break but an impressive 2nd half performance, inspired by Tommy Seymour and substitute Scott Wight, saw them turn things around and escape with a hard earned victory. A morale boosting day out has them in rude health as we head into November.

Dragons; More of the same for poor, besieged Newport. The runts of the Welsh litter are getting further from the Pro12 teat with every week. Shipping 40 plus points for the second time this season and doing it in front of their own fans is a hard blow to absorb. Big improvement needed. Fast.

The Match; The international break can be the great equaliser and that counts extra in this match. Warriors have a long injury list of 6 or 7 and this will be compounded by the loss of 13 players to Scotland. There aren’t many squads that could handle this loss and any team sent onto the pitch is bound to struggle. The Dragons are being left in much better condition. Only Toby Faletau heads off to Poland leaving the Dragons with, essentially, their full complement. It’s easy when seen from that point of view and I see a much needed win for the Dragons.

Scarlets; A hard earned win for Llanelli in the Scottish capital. Despite having the try BP secured before half time it took a 78th minute penalty to secure a one point victory. The match swayed back and forth for the entire match and always had that ‘’could go either way’’ feel. Five points away from home always represents good value but the manner leaves a lot of questions.

Zebre; Still not giving us much to discuss with the talking points from this match centering mostly around Munster’s, admittedly impressive, JJ Hanrahan. They managed to keep the score low and drawn until half time. The second half was all Munster, a try at 46 minutes and they continued in this manner securing BP win. Zebre stayed on 3 for the duration and remain bottom.

The Match; Scarlets are another team that will be hit by the international break with 13 players unavailable. Zebre are losing five to Italy so neither are at full strength. In this case I don’t think it will be enough. Despite the shallowness of the Scarlets squad this is probably the match for them, what every team wants in these circumstances.

Cardiff; Cardiff were rolled over on easily on Saturday. While there was no denying that Leinster were at their ruthless best the Blues made it easy for them. Lowered expectations were needed for Cardiff leading to this match but they still landed well below acceptable. A deserved hiding for the Welsh region and down seems to be the only way for a team who looked to be building towards something at the end of last season. Next up are Munster in Cardiff Arms. Another match where teams will be changed due to call ups. 8 for Cardiff, 10 for Munster. Munster have, by a distance, the better squad. Closer than the weekend but Cardiff will have another in the loss column.

14981084Edinburgh; That they were involved in the most entertaining match of the weekend will provide no comfort to Edinburgh. The biggest losers of the European break restarted domestic affair with a home loss to the high flying Scarlets. It leaves them very near to last year’s dismal end position and it will get harder before it gets easier. The Ospreys visit soon and a trip to Connacht in deepest winter follows that. First up though are Ulster. Unstoppable at the moment, it’s a big ask. I’ll save my Ulster are due a loss mantra until they have a toughish away game. In Ravenhill against a misfiring Edinburgh there’s only one likely outcome.

Treviso; A disappointing defeat for Treviso at the weekend, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Bigger picture? 8th is a decent position for Treviso with only 6 points between them and 5th. Home form has been the backbone for lots of teams throughout the ages and they’ve had a go at making this part of their arsenal. Definitely a team looking forward they are the showing that the Italian-Celtic league experiment was worth a whack. Connacht are next for Treviso and it’s a big one for both teams. Taking points off your closest rivals is the way to achieve positional goals. Treviso’s 17 players on International duty dwarves Connacht’s 3 and, once again, this could be key. Timing is the killer for Treviso here and Connacht should see this through.

Ospreys; A stylish showing against Connacht in Galway was the 4th consecutive victory for the Ospreys in the Pro12. Groove well and truly found just in time for the renewal of an epic rivalry. They really had Leinster’s number last year and will fancy their chances in the Liberty Stadium. It will be a tough outing though with so many players unavailable. Leinster are in a similar situation but their squad is stronger. Really not much in it and a losing BP no matter which way it goes. I’ll call Leinster this time for the usual unscientific reason of them being ‘due one’.

That’s that for this week. Not always the silkiest of rugby at these times but it’s a great time for the fringe players to put their hands up and a great chance for us to have a look at the stars of the future.

Liam Sinclair (@liam_bs) – Guesses, generalisations and clichés.

Ulster still keeping the Pro12 quiet

Mark Anscombe’s men had a slow start but still pulled away from the Dragons, writes Kristian Ross


Ulster made it three wins in Wales on the bounce to stay top of the PRO12 with yet another try fest against the Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday night.

It was yet another slow start for the Ulstermen in Wales, Ulster stealing the ball illegally early on to give Tom Prydie the chance to fire the Dragons ahead after just a minute, and he didn't disappoint with a kick from distance to give the Welsh side a 3-0 lead.

Prydie then kicked the Dragons further in front on the 8 minute mark, following more errors by a new look team in white. Ulster sensed they needed to get the next score and that's exactly what did, a good free flowing move saw Darren Cave move the ball to Dan Tuohy and Ruan Pienaar offloaded to Tom Court to score the games first try allowing Pienaar to convert for Ulster to take the lead at 7-6.

Ulster looked however to be the masters of their own downfall just a few minutes later as they came in from the side allow Tom Prydie to have another shot at goal but this time he skewed it wide.

The Belfast side were then awarded a penalty themselves moments later as the Dragons weren't ten metres following a quick tap and go, but Pienaar was unable to extend the advantage, pulling the kick very wide.

As the game move towards the 25 minute mark, Ulster had the better of the possession and play and were awarded another penalty via an infringement in the scrum by the Dragons, but Pienaar again failed to make amends, this time curling the away from the posts.

The Dragons pushed forward in search of their own try and were awarded when a good pressure was finished off by Andy Tuilagi after bouncing off some tackles and Tom Prydie easily converted for a 13-7 lead.

However it was a case of anything you can do as Maori born Nick Williams continued his fantastic form smashing his way through the Dragons defence and reaching over the line and Ruan Pienaar converted a straightforward kick to give Ulster a one point advantage.

Again though, the Dragons were awarded another penalty, the fourth of the night as Declan Fitzpatrick was called for hitting down at an angle, and Prydie put the Dragons back in front at 16-14 with his boot with another decent kick.

Missed chances by Ruan Pienaar had been a theme in the game so far, but when he charged down Prydie's kick, he had no one in front of him to get Ulster in the lead yet again, but he failed to add the extras with missed kick, this time from a very difficult angle. But it was enough to give Ulster a 19-16 lead going into half time !

The second half began with Ulster knowing they needed just one more try for a bonus point but the opening points of the first half came from a penalty just seconds after the kick off. Ruan Pienaar making sure he wouldn't miss this one as a six point advantage opened up.

After an error strewn first half, Ulster were looking to try and make up for the mistakes in the second, and after a good scrum that forced a mistake from the Dragons, Pienaar popped over another three points to give Ulster a nine point advantage.

Now the Ulstermen sensed the chance to bury this game and following a line out and the PRO12 leaders going through the phases, Darren Cave came inside well to touchdown another Ulster try as the bonus point was sewn up and Ruan Pienaar got his seventieth point of the night as Ulster started to like very dominant at 32-19.

And the Ulstermen were at it again when Coleraine born Andrew Trimble intercepted allowing the wing in for an easy fifth try of the evening and South African, Pienaar added more misery for the Dragons with the conversion.

And the rout was completed three minutes from time when Jared Payne, the man of the moment scored underneath the posts to score number six and Pienaar added the final points of the evening to give Ulster another huge win to stay at the summit of the PRO12.

So the positives. Well it's eight wins in eight games across the PRO12 and Heineken Cup. And it's also Ulster's third win in Wales this season, a fantastic record so far. Jared Payne was firing on all cylinders, Iain Henderson again showed his talents, Nick Williams was... well Nick Williams and Ulster showed that they had depth, with positional changes that included Tommy Bowe at full back.

The negatives are that it was at times, error strewn. Ulster need to cut out the mistakes, and if they do there's a chance that they will rack up even more tries and concede less points against the opposition.

In the end, it has to be said, Ulster were purely unstoppable in the second half, they look the real deal this season, not fearing anyone and showing just how much talent they have. Anscombe has got most of the cogs working perfectly in a well oiled machine. And as the Ulstermen take on Edinburgh next week at Fortress Ravenhill, we ask ourselves....

How many points will we score next week ?

I'm Kristian. 18. And my mind is filled with rugby shaped thoughts. Supporting Ulster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and of course the mighty Ireland. Tommy Bowe is the MAN !!!! SUFTUM.

Lessons learned by young Connacht side

Still plenty of positives as Connacht faced their third reigning champions in five weeks, writes John O’Sullivan


After a physically and emotionally draining loss to Harlequins there was an air of inevitability that an inexperienced Connacht team would lose to the reigning Pro12 champions. The 26-9 loss to the Ospreys somewhat flatters the Welsh region, though, as Connacht, though the boot of Dan Parks, frustrated their opponents for large parts of the game.

At any time, the Liberty Stadium is a tough venue-just ask Munster- but Connacht were hampered by the seven enforced changes from their loss against Harlequins. Indeed, the Westerners, along with the aforementioned seven changes, had to play players in positions that are alien to them. Impressive full back Robbie Henshaw was drafted into second centre beside Tongan Mata Fifita, whilst the Sportsgrounders incumbent number eight George Naoupu was deployed at lock alongside Michael Swift. Youngster Darragh Leader is the latest off the province’s impressive conveyor belt and the full back will be happy with his solid showing, particularly in defence. Despite the loss, coach Elwood can be proud that his young team, many of whom who had never played with each other before, held the five time league champions at bay for large parts of the game.

Dan Parks' two penalties kept Connacht in the game after pacy winger Eli Walker had given the home team the lead, but, alas, The Ospreys scored two tries at crucial junctures either side of half time though Justin Tipuric and Jonathan Thomas. For all the talent of Connacht youngsters, there is no substitute for experience and the Ospreys game management was superior to Connachts last weekend. Connacht's youngsters, though, will benefit from playing against quality operators like Hano Dirksen and Ian Evans.

Connacht, too, will be happy that South African utility back Danie Poolman made his debut. Poolman was highly regarded in his native South Africa and many Springbocks fans questioned their Unions decisions to let the youngster move to Ireland and potentially represent his adopted nation in the future.

Connacht only have three players included in Declan Kidney's autumn international squad, meaning the men in green will have more players to chose from for their hosting of Treviso next weekend. It's a small victory for Connacht, though, as it proves that Declan Kidney, and his staff, clearly haven't been watching much of Connacht this season. Dave McSharry, in particular, can feel hard done by his exclusion from the Irish squad. This season McSharry has been , along with Darren Cave, the former Irish centre scoring tries against both the English and European Champions(Leinster and Harlequins). Also, with the lack of Irish full backs, due to injury, Robbie Henshaw can consider himself unlucky for not being selected. All Conancht's youngsters can do is to continue impressing and make themselves impossible not to pick. The young men in green can start with a victory over Treviso next weekend.

I’m John O’Sullivan, 20. Part time student, full time sports nut. Love rugby and am currently the PRO of Connemara RFC. I also do some radio work for my local station. One day, I would love to be a Sports Journalist/Broadcaster.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Few squad surprises as All Blacks head north

All Black fan Tim Cronin from looks ahead to the European tour


All Blacks’ management announced a relatively conservative squad as they prepare to embark on this year’s Northern Hemisphere tour, with just two uncapped players joining the squad which contested the recently concluded Rugby Championship.

Despite compelling form from a number of exciting youngsters in the ITM Cup national competition which finished on the weekend, Wellington hooker Dane Coles and Waikato halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow are the only two players in the squad yet to experience test football, and neither were particularly surprising selections, having been on the fringes of the squad throughout the Championship.

The selection of Coles is bad news for Hawkes Bay hooker Hika Elliot, who has sat on the cusp of selection for several years now, but has failed to kick on and cement a spot in the team. The number two jersey continues to be a concern for the powers-that-be in All Blacks management, with very little emerging talent coming through the system, a fact reflected in their commitment to veteran players Keven Mealamu and Andrew Hore. Short term, these two continue to perform well at international level, but the day when they hang up the boots must be drawing ever-closer, and Steve Hansen will be hoping that the traditionally volatile Coles can gain some maturity during the course of the up-coming tour.

That Ali Williams made the squad says much about the lack of depth in the second row as well. In Sam Whitelock, Brodie Rettallick and Luke Romano the All Blacks have three young locks who look set to be the future of New Zealand rugby, and I can’t envisage that Williams will genuinely challenge for a starting spot. But they obviously felt that no-one else did enough in the ITM Cup to warrant selection, and have stuck with Williams, who will obviously bring some experience and steel to the squad, despite waning form.

Andy Ellis will be disappointed to miss the tour, having been on fine form as Canterbury claimed a fifth consecutive national title on the weekend, but the selectors have gone for a solid mix of experience and youth in their halfback selections, with incumbent Aaron Smith and the experienced Peri Weepu set to resume their duel for the starting jumper, and Kerr-Barlow bound to benefit hugely from the experience.

The continued faith in young Sam Cane, despite Matt Todd’s exceptional form in the ITM Cup, adds further weight to the suggestion that Canterbury’s openside flanker is well and truly out in the cold on the international scene, and one wonders what the relentless worker needs to do to propel himself back in to contention.

But, overall, few surprises, with Hansen and co. obviously looking to continue to develop their preferred combinations. I can’t help thinking that Scotland will struggle to give their fancy new away jersey an appropriate debut when they meet the All Blacks first up, potentially receiving a backlash after the All Blacks’ awful performance in Brisbane, and I would envisage a number of young players getting an opportunity to shine in that first match.

Tim Cronin is a Rugby fan and full time writer based in the rubble of the Canterbury Crusaders’ home town, Christchurch. Tim is a part of the Pukeko Sportsteam, where his role is watching, writing, and complaining about all things rugby.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

HoR highlights : Oct 22-28

HOR highlights

Here's some links to all the rugby we've been harpin on for the past week...

Another busy week here at HoR Manor ... stay tuned for more!

With November starting during the week, keep an eye out for news on the next window for the Irish Rugby Tours competition! JLP

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leinster-59 Cardiff Blues-22

The Rabo is a very tough competition. You see that every year. People think it's easier, but it's not...It's more a case of how the Rabo is perceived and reported on; that it's a step down. But in reality it's not. As players, you have to realise that all week you'll be told that this game [against Cardiff] isn't as hard as last week -- but it probably will be.”
No doubt after Saturday night at the RDS, Eoin Reddan would like a chance to put his words from the Indo a little bit differently. Thing is...he was talking about the IRISH approach to the Rabo. Based on the evidence of this match, the perception of the competition of which he speaks seems to be spot on when it comes to our Celtic cousins.

First up, it has to be said that this mauling did not just come about because Cardiff were awful. Leinster were well up for this from the kickoff, and with successful offloads on the rise and frustrating knockons on the decline, I'd be pretty confident that they still would have won this game if the visitors actually remembered to bring their A game to Dublin with them.

But I'm not sure the alphabet has enough letters to describe the game the light blue jerseys showed at the RDS. And this is evidenced by Leinster's first of their nine tries. We had a scrum on our own 10m line and before you knew what was what, Richardt Strauss was stretching out to plant the ball down much as he had at the Aviva Stadium against Munster a few weeks ago.

Sure, there was great inside pass to the returning Dave Kearney who broke through the line, but it still took a few phases before the try was scored and when you look back at the replay you see half of the Cardiff pack still crossing the halfway line making absolutely no real attempt to put themselves in a position to thwart the Leinster attack.

And seeing how that was just in the second minute, you could say the writing was on the wall. At the risk of sounding more like a Cardiff Blues blog than a Leinster one, I have to wonder how they could have such quality in the park without having the performance to match it?

When we won by a similar scoreline last December, the reason was that the WRU had scheduled an international with the Wallabies outside the normal test window and thus it was virtually the Blues' second string. This time, that excuse doesn't wash.

But do you honestly think the likes of Warburton & Roberts will fail to make the national team based on this display? Absolutely not. In fact if anything I'd wonder if they were told NOT to tackle too hard just in case they were injured! There's simply a different approach to the game over there, with the national side not just being the main thing, but the only thing. And looking at their test results of late, it seems to be paying off.
Plus, although I'm not exactly privy to what goes on behind the scenes at the Blues, I'd have to question the wisdom of appointing a player who has recently retired to the position of defensive coach. Yes, I know Munster practically did the same with Foley, but even that has taken a few years to bear fruit, and when he started out, he was primarily with the “A” side.

Xavier Rush walked straight off the pitch into a coaching role that is becoming more and more important with each passing year, giving him responsibility over troops he fought alongside for many campaigns. Maybe this isn't a factor, but it is definitely worth investigating, because whenever Leinster had the ball, the opposition parted like a light blue sea with no apparent structure or purpose.

It was as though Cardiff went out with a mindset that only players with numbers on their backs of 14 or higher were allowed to give a damn. Cuthbert and Halfpenny seemed willing to try things, and once the bench came into play (like Robin Copeland) you saw some urgency, though this wasn't surprising since there will be starting places up for grabs in the coming weeks.

But when Sam Warburton is deservedly beaten to the man of the match award by his opposite number Jordi Murphy (any Welsh fans ever heard of him before the weekend?), you have to call into question just how much they care about regional rugby at any level in the principality. The passionate reaction on social media of the Pontypridd fans to their B&I Cup win over Leinster last week was further proof of this.

That's quite a bit of space devoted to Cardiff's woes I know, but when we look back over this match in years to come, I feel that has to be the central issue. Hopefully I don't take too much away from the performance of the home side, particularly Jordi's, as I thought of him before kickoff as a possible weak link and I am very happy to say he proved me wrong with a fine display of tackling & carrying that surely earned him the high praises of Shane Jennings afterwards.

Also we had our stars on song...O'Driscoll being foremost amongst them until he picked up his knock, playing a big role in tries number two and three. (sidenote – can the Leinster’s physios carry some chloroform or something with them so they can knock him out when he limps on when he doesn’t need to?) Jamie Heaslip was back scoring tries and getting more practice holding the ball in a scrum driving forward, while Johnny10 had some beauties in his seven successful placekicks. They say all good things come in threes, but not this time as every time he used the tee it was for a conversion.

Another area Sexton was excelling was in the restart, and I feel he is leading an evolution of the sport where this may one day be a set-piece where sides kicking off will be expecting to win as much as they would a line-out or a scrum. Though it could be argued that after Devin Toner nabbed the second half kickoff, a team with some defensive organisation would have prevented him doing it a second time – not only did Cardiff fail but Fionn Carr caught one as well.

Should I bemoan the fact that we allowed the Blues to come close to a totally undeserved try bonus point? I really don't think so. Yes, they are professionals and in an ideal world they should play at full throttle for the full 80 minutes every week, but when you're 40-3 up at the break and score a 7th try virtually from the start of the second half, given the way our season has gone offensively I can certainly forgive them for taking things down a gear or two towards the end.

If nothing else Cardiff's quasi-recovery gave a bit of an edge to the final few minutes and the home crowd (of which I wasn't a member for the first time in yonks due to thankfully non-critical family matters) were Leinstertained right to the end courtesy of that cross-field kick from Sexton which Fionn Carr somehow caught, then somehow managed to stay on his feet, then somehow managed to wrest the ball from Halfpenny's clutches to put the cherry on the icing on the cake.

So our Pro12 record now stands at 5 wins out of 7, we are in the top four, our points difference is finally in the positive, and although the Ulstermen are standing up atop the table, we still have two cracks at them to come. But next up, we must travel to face those pesky Ospreys, whom I feel will be a tad more up for a battle whatever the selection. JLP

Also this weekend

Friday, October 26, 2012

Movember Irish Rugby


Movember and Sons is open in Ireland for 2012.

Irish men prepare for the month when Moustache is King and Knowledge is Power.

The Irish Movember campaign is back for its 5th and biggest year yet. Irish men prepare to celebrate the month where ‘moustache is king’ and ‘knowledge is power’ by offering up their upper lip as a billboard for men’s health.

Irish Mo Bros simply register at, start the month clean shaven then have the remainder of the month to become purveyors of knowledge and fine moustaches, all to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. All the money raised in Ireland goes directly to the Irish Cancer Society’s initiative, Action Prostate Cancer.

Movember is not just for the boys. Girls can get in on the action by taking on the role as a Mo Sista for the month and encouraging the men in their life to grow the Mo. Remember, behind every great Mo Bro is an even greater Mo Sista.

Last year 15,500 Mo Bros and Sistas raised over €1.7 million for men’s health in Ireland with over 854,000 Mo Bros and Sistas raising €92.4 million worldwide.

Amongst some of the men joining Irish Mo Bros on their quest for facial hair doMOnation are Irish rugby international players, Jamie Heaslip, Tom Court, Conor Murray and Cian Healy.

Speaking about Movember Jamie Heaslip said, “I’ve been doing Movember since 2007. I grew handlebars and it looked absolutely disgusting and I got a load of abuse from my family and friends, but it was worth it to get people talking about men’s health and awareness around it.”

Key Movember facts:

· Once registered at each Mo Bro must begin his hairy journey on the 1st of Movember with a smooth, clean shaven face.

· The moustache is Movember’s ribbon; it’s the vehicle men use to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer initiatives.

· At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their mighty Movember journey by throwing their own Movember parties or attending one of the famous Gala Partés held in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Sligo and around the world.

· Over 2,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland each year.

· 1 in 8 Irish men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

· Movember’s Global Action Plan (GAP) aims to accelerate prostate cancer outcomes by bringing together the best researchers from around the world. GAP facilitates a new and unprecedented level of global research collaboration, not previously seen within the prostate cancer community.

Movember Ireland country manager Neil Rooney said, ‘Knowledge is most certainly power and over the last five years we’ve seen the number of Mo Bros, and Mos grow exponentially. As well as raising much needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society’s initiative, Action Prostate Cancer, Movember continues to create talk around the issue of Men’s Health. As a result of talk comes action and men are becoming more and more aware of their own health, in turn leading to early detection.”

Perfect start for Ulster

As Ulster resume their assault on the #RaboPRO12, Kristian Ross has a look at their season so far.


So now it begins. After the best possible start to the season, now everyone really is starting to pay attention to Ulster Rugby.

Currently it's 5 wins from a possible 5, and sitting pretty at the top of the PRO12 as well as Pool 2 in the Heineken Cup with a 100% record. It's been tough, the loss of Nevin Spence hit every player, fan and staff member of Ulster hard. The rugby community came out in full voice, the support was tremendous, the tributes fantastic.

Not only are Ulster playing some brilliant rugby building on last season, but their paying tribute to Nevin with every hard earned win. I'm sure that he'd be proud.

Three players for me, have stood out. First of all Nick Williams. One of the newest Ulster players, Nick has joined and became the person that so many love to see at Ravenhill on a Friday night. A human battering ram, he doesn't need tricky or deft footwork to elude defences... He merely plows right through them.

A man who does use the twinkletoes effect is Jared Payne (pic). Payne is electric at the moment, he seems to be involved in everything, running lines, getting tries here and there and coming back from his injury with the look of a man determined.

And then comes Paddy Jackson. What can we say about the young man. Will first of all, he's mega cool under pressure. Nailing so many kicks for Ulster from the tee this season as well as some incredible boots for territory, he's looked magical, a real future star, a man with the potential to go on, to become the next Jonathan Sexton or Ronan O'Gara.

That's my pick. But there's so many more. Everyone has dug in and proved that Ulster aren't just the gutsy team that made the Heineken Cup final last year. They're proper competitors. Proper challenges.... Here for the long run.

I'm Kristian. 18. And my mind is filled with rugby shaped thoughts. Supporting Ulster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and of course the mighty Ireland. Tommy Bowe is the MAN !!!! SUFTUM.

Lions Selector Panel–2nd Round (IRE)

It’s one of the hottest debate topics egg-chasing has to offer.

Given we live in something of a green goldfish bowl on these Irish shores, there’s no harm getting input from elsewhere. And so we have the HarpinOnRugby Lions Selector Panel, made up of one fan from each nation, with even the Irish panellist based abroad.

And it is that very same Irish panellist Mark Jackson who gives us his latest selection today.


With the season well under way and the Heino 2 games in , players are putting their hands up for selection with some others being sent to stand in the corner for lacklustre early season performances. Not too many changes to earlier selections but enough form players to include to make sure that they are being recognised for endeavours on the pitch . With people coming back from injury and others getting injured its a tricky time of year for selectors so just before the Autumn Internationals here’s the First Class Selection along with their Economy Class counterparts

First Class (Test XV)

15. Leigh Halfpenny ( steady rather than spectacular injuries to Kearney and Foden make him the standout selection)

14. Tommy Bowe ( Class personified in his brief appearances back from injury still best all round wing for me )

13. Brian O'Driscoll ( Try vs Munster rolled back the years but a position well up for grabs)

12. Jonathan Davies ( Jamie Roberts still not fully fit so Davies has done enough to keep the 12 shirt , just )

11. George North ( Poor showing vs Leinster but still enough early season form for test berth)

10. Jonathan Sexton ( Not firing on all cylinders but all round game still gets him the pivot )

9. Danny Care ( Phillips indiscretions aside , Care is buzzing bringing backs and forwards into play well for his club)

8. Jamie Heaslip ( Has upped his workrate and has been one of Leinster’s better performers so far )

7. Justin Tipuric ( Bit of a bolter but has been impressive for a good Ospreys resurgence , before last Sunday obv)

6. Stephen Ferris ( Even if Lydiate was fit , Fez would be my 6 , wrap him in cotton wool , he is a game changer)

5. Paul O' Connell ( Showed more in 60 mins vs Edinburgh than most other 2nds rows do in a season . Still the yardstick for locks in this part of the world)

4. Courtney Lawes ( A defensive beast with subtle skills , improving all the time )

3. Dan Cole ( Excellent season so far , offer more round the park than Adam Jones or Mike Ross especially in defence where he is turning over ball every game )

2. Richardt Strauss ( Now he is officially eligible he goes straight into the Test XV , great ball carrier good in tight and excellent at turning over ball on the ground )

1. Joe Marler ( With Healy and Jenkins not showing enough Marler's improved tight play allied with his loose skills get him the nod )

Economy Class

15. Stuart Hogg  14. Alex Cuthbert  13. Jonathan Joseph  12. Manu Tuilagi  11. Tim Visser  10 . Dan Biggar  9. Mike Phillips   8. Dave Denton  7. Sam Warburton  6. Ryan Jones   5. Ian Evans   4. Richie Gray  3. Adam Jones  2. Dylan Hartley  1. Cian Healy

Thats my two cents for the season so far , as always great to get feedback on the selections and see others thoughts , till next month rugby people .


Mark Jackson (@markusjacksonus) is an Irishman living in London, a lover of this game we call Rugby along with Gaelic Football and NFL (All Hail The New York Giants), having played it for fun and money in many countries around the globe, am now earning a crust coaching, hopefully inspiring and passing along some knowledge gained to the next generation of players.

We take the four panellists’ selections and put them together to form the HoR Composite Lions XV.  Mark’s choices this week have really shaken up the pack – follow this link to take a look.

Next week, we go back to our English panellist Rich Church-Keen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Naas RFC–update #5

Roots & All is a project where we pick a few teams that don’t normally make the spotlight week in week out and feature them regularly throughout an entire campaign.

Naas RFC banner

After the Naas First Teams last outing in the AIL they took a well earned rest for a week but that did seem to lessen the intensity. Last weekend they play Navan RFC in the Leinster Senior League Shield, Semi-Final played at home in Forenaghts. In a game played in perfect conditions Naas ran in 7 tries to 2 for a comprehensive win and a place in the final against Skerries to be played on 15 Dec at Donnybrook. This has been the Naas senior team’s sixth successive win in the Leinster Senior Shield and Ulster Bank Leagues and their desire to maintain early season momentum was obvious as their backline led by the very experienced Daragh O’Shea played a high tempo game which provided the home side with many try scoring opportunities.

With both teams due are to meet again in Naas in the Ulster Bank League on 2nd November, (under lights) it was evident at the end of the first quarter as Naas raced into a 19 point lead that the visitors faced a formidable challenge.

From the off Naas threw down the challenge to Navan and outran a sluggish defence. They kept the Meath side pinned between their 22 and midfield for most of the first half. Navan’s inability to breach the Naas defence meant that any momentum they got from very good scrummaging was lost as each of their attacks were stopped by excellent defensive work by an ever alert Naas backline. The 5th try of the afternoon came on 36 minutes with Naas leading 38-0 at half time and a 45-0 lead early in the second after a well worked team try. Navan did finish of with two trys of their own, but it was too little to late even against a Naas team that had empty the bench.

Naas play Skerries away in their next Ulster Bank League match at 2.30 on Saturday 27th October lets hope we are celebrating the continued run of victories

Our U21’s are following in the Seniors footsteps, coming away with a loosing bonus point from round 2 of JP Fanagan Pennant away to Seapoint and following that up with an impressive 75-0 win over Greaystones at home in round 3 last Sunday.

Else where in the club the positive atmosphere is filtering down through the ranks with all the youth teams 13’s 14’s 15’s 17’s 19’s, Minis 7’s 8’s 9’s 10’s 11’s 12’s and 2 girls teams, all playing last weekend, that’s about 650 boys and girls putting on the Naas shirt over the weekend.

The future of Naas Rugby Club in their 90th year looks bright.

On the social side we look forward to welcoming Mick Galway to our annual Business lunch this Friday. This is always a great day out, good food, wine a beer or two, good conversation and a good speaker! A friend of my once describe it “It’s like The best wedding your were ever at without the dancing” training Saturday morning should be fun!!

By the time we talk again Naas will have played two more Ulster Bank League matches, here’s hoping they can continue their good run – its all about momentum and keeping the injuries to a minimum at this stage. We could even be sitting in the number 1 spot in the league.

Personally I did complete the 16 hour Foundation Course so I’m now allowed to coach and Ref! youths rugby, didn’t learn a whole lot more about the game just how to coach it. Apparently I need to do level 1 to learn more about the game, so that’s next on my list but maybe next year

Till next time Happy Rugby   MC

You can follow me on twitter @michaelcahill67 or Naas RFC @naasrfc

Click here for the official Naas RFC website

Keego on…Defending & Defeating

Jamie Heaslip’s shaving habits could be key for Ireland’s chances, writes Keego…


Making a sandwich into a manwich…

So we got through another Heineken Cup match with a tough defensive display, but lack of forward momentum. Similar to the Exeter game, we defended really really (twice for emphasis) well. The only loss of concentration cost us a try, which was more annoying that worrying.

I think the long season last year is costing us a few yards this early in the season. Shane Jennings is doing the work of four and a half men, trying to make up for the lack of sharpness in the forwards. The good thing is we have a few games between now and Clérmont.

The worry at the moment is Clérmont looked great against Exeter. That result put our performance in context, I thought it would should how tough Exeter are, but in reality, it just showed how lacklustre we where against them in the rds. In fairness, the Chiefs dropped their heads for the last 15 minutes costing them a couple of scores, but it really didn’t make a difference. Clérmont were big, tough and had some Fossets circus handling which was great to watch.

So now we look forward to Clérmont on the 9th of December in the Stade Michelin. My head hurts at the thought of it.

So we play Cardiff (27/10), Ospreys (4/11), Glasgow (23/11) and Zebre (1/12) before we get to the Clérmontians (is that what we call a person from Clérmont) in December. In between we have the November series (more on that below) all of which should have our available players firing on all cylinders. We may even have a miraculous recovery from a couple of players that will strengthen our starting 15. I am sure King Joe has a plan that will get the players in position to do some damage. Rumours say Sean O’Brien and Luke Fitzgerald will be back in time for Clérmont, which would be huge.

Moving from the blue jersey to the green jersey.

The team for the November series was announced yesterday. It was mostly the same old same old from Kidney, with the addition of 4 new faces in the 31 man squad. The most notable of the 4 is Richardt Strauss.

The coaching team has been strengthened by Munster releasing Anthony Foley to work in defence which means Les Kiss can concentrate on attacking plays. This makes sense; one person one job surely is the way to go.

There are two more players to be added next week. One back and one forward. The selection by Kidney has no out and out full back. Kearney Rob’s injury looks to keep him on the aforesaid back for 10 weeks. Felix Jones has only had 2 minutes play in what seems like the last decade. And there is Ian Madigan, which appears to be a dirty word in the Kidney camp at the moment. As usual there will be changes in the squad with injuries (O’Gara and O’Callaghan at the moment along with Ferris) which may bring in Madigan.

We should be looking at winning at least 2 of these games for it to be a successful series. Argentina is always tough, but we should be beating them. The game in Thomond should be a good run out for some of the fringe players, and should be another victory. The South Africans are also tough, but they are susceptible to losing in November in the cold in Dublin, when Jamie Heaslip has his Movember porno stache.

I have changed my mind we should win the 3 games in November. Positive thinking.

Keego (@nkeegan): Newbie blogger, former professional wrestler, sometime attempted rugby player (@TheThirsty3rds), professional procrastinator and attempted musician with a fondness for long walks on the bar, tea and the couch. Opinionated Leinster fan and constant gardener.

BOX-KIX : Oct 25-Nov 1


[feature to be updated every Thursday and is for Irish TV only]

Times refer to start of broadcast not kickoff

Union in yellow, League in red

(note - Sky also offer alternative Heineken Cup matches via the red button)






TG4 – 7:20PM













RTE2/S4C – 6:15PM



ESPN – 1:45PM











NB – This weekly feature needs your help...if you know of any other rugby on telly in the above timeframe please email me! Cheers, JLP

© JL Pagano 2012


Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019