Airteagal ar rugbaí uimhir a caoga is a haon ó Keego…
Here we go with number 51. It’s not really a milestone, just a celebration of me lasting another week….much to the chagrin of a lot of you.
Mainly the population of Munster...
So we rocked the north stand last weekend against the ospreys. The team had moments of really good play. Jimmy G marshalled the troops expertly, Macken, Fanning, McGrath and Jennings (channelling Joe Montana in the line outs) all impressed and the Jimmy G cheeky side step set up what may end up being the Leinster try of the season. The Ospreys had no answers in the first half. They where all over the place. The first half was easily all blue. Biggar and his predators (adidas not sexual) kept the welsh side in touch. 16-9 at half time. The scoreboard was not showing the good from what was on the pitch.
We needed a strong start to put the foot down. Instead Leinster retreated and the Ospreys looked galvanised. They looked like the team that stole trophies from us in the past. Ashley Beck scored an amazing try; sparks flew from his boots as he ran up the line. Then the referee Leighton Hodges (WRU) started looking like he was doing the YMCA dance. Pointing in all directions whenever there was a penalty. He binned Sean Cronin for what appeared to be a build up of Leinster indiscipline at scrum time. We couldn’t see what was happening from the stand, but the scrum was a shambles all night.
This was the best part of the match for me.
‘But why when we were down a man’ I hear you shout in confused voices.
Well, the lads finally put the foot down and scored 10 points. 69 minutes in and uuu aaaaaahh Jack McGrath put on his man boots and scored a try. He has been immense whenever called upon and will be a stalwart of the Leinster front row for years to come…
Don’t tell Clermont I said that.
Leinster through hard work got into a 29-26 lead with 80 minutes gone. In fairness to the Ospreys they looked menacing in the closing seconds. A stupid mistake gave up a penalty and Biggar slotted the penalty home for a draw.
A lot of positives from the game. But Leinster cannot depend on tackling so much in every game. Gopperth is looking like a boss at 10. Madigan was not his usual self (that’s being nice) when he came on at 15. He starts there again this weekend with Jimmy G at 10. It looks like Dave Kearney (a great showing against Ospreys) will be brought on for Jimmy and Madigan will get some time at 10. He has a fight on his hands for the jersey!
A lot of younger players are stepping up; fanning and Moore look to be good prospects. Magic Mike is settling in nicely, and Macken is looking a nice fit for that 13 jersey when that other fella moves on to full time fatherhood.
This weekend against Glasgow will be another test. The starting team looks similar to last week. The bench looks tasty. Cian Healy makes his return into the blue. Dundon and Moore either side of him on the bench. Kearney Rob also sits there waiting for a chance. The senior lads are on the way back and it is a serious reason for optimism.
As usual, if you want to debate/discuss/abuse me then twitter is your best bet @nkeegan . If you want to add a bookmark to your rugby reading, then I would suggest www.thedailyclothesline.com more goodies being added there very week.
And finally, does anyone have an old Irish to English dictionary for me to use while watching the match on tg4 tomorrow?
Until next week…..
Keego (@nkeegan): 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.