Friday, September 30, 2016

Preview : Cardiff Blues v Leinster

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logo post blueThis has been the best September for Leinster since 2004/05.  Of course that’s awesome.  But what were saying through all those rotten Septembers in between again?  Oh yeah - “nothing is won in September”.  There’s no chance that works both ways, right?


Seriously though...our first four rounds in this season’s Guinness Pro12 campaign have definitely seen a net positive.  Three wins out of four.  Three league points better off than corresponding matches against the same opposition last season.  A spot in the top four.  Playing some adventurous rugby.  Uncovering some more promising talent who look ready for the highest level.


Yes, there are some drawbacks, like serious lineout yips and dwindling in form for the final half-hour.  Maybe a tackle or two missed more than we’d like.  But certainly nothing that can’t be fixed especially when you consider we’ve a coaching ticket that is in the process of re-adjusting to new circumstances.


So despite the fact that it is now October and our schedule throughout the months shows no sign of let up (Cardiff-a, Munster-h, Castres-h, Montpellier-a, Connacht-h), you can be sure each of our opponents will be just as wary about facing us as we are of them.


This Leinster lineup has a “Top 14 away” look about it when you compare it to last week, ie changes made on the assumption that a losing bonus point would be considered a decent result.  Johnny Sexton continues in the 10 jumper and assumes the captain’s role but there are several changes around him, most notably at 13.  As much as I do like continuity in selection particularly in the centre, judging by our schedule this was the perfect opportunity to both give Rory O’Loughlin a much-deserved start after an impressive pre-season and allow Garry Ringrose a break.


Jack McGrath and Mike Ross will be there to steady the scrum but not for the first time this season all eyes will be on the back row battle.  Cardiff will be putting a lot of faith in their breakdown brigade with Warburton, Jenkins and Nick Williams starting and Josh Navidi on the bench.  But while the Welsh fans may not be too familiar with the names Leavy and van der Flier, I have a feeling they will do come full time on Saturday, and it’s not as though Messrs Ruddock and the rarely-seen-on-bench Heaslip are exactly slouches.


In my Ospreys writeup I said how I felt Toner, Mick Kearney and Molony was our ideal trio of locks for the immediate future...perhaps that was a bit unfair on Ian Nagle who did his shoulder in the final preseason game against Bath and finally gets his chance to play this weekend, best of luck to him.


Unfortunately we can’t discount the referee being a factor.  Not that I have anything in particular against Dudley Phillips, it’s just the whole idea of what I call “bias-phobia”, ie when the Pro12 appoints an official from the visiting team’s union, can often result in several head-scratching decisions.


Bookies are going for a home win by 4 points.  Using the template that Leinster have shown this season so far, I’d say that’s about right though just to be a little contrary I’ll say three.  But if we can both take the match to the home side AND fix what has ailed us over the past few weeks (our strong bench of forwards could help here) then there is definitely more than one match point to be taken from the Welsh capital.  Here’s hoping that’s what happens.  JLP


#COYBIB


Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Blaine Scully, Cory Allen, Rey Lee-Lo, Tom James; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams;

Gethin Jenkins (capt), Kristian Dacey, Taufa'ao Filise, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Josh Navidi, Tomos Williams, Steve Shingler, Dan Fish


Guinness Pro12 2016/17 Round 5

Saturday, October 1, 2016

At BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 7.35pm. Live on S4C and TG4

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU, 64th competition game)

Assistant Referees: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Ian Davies (WRU)

Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WRU)

TMO: Neil Paterson (SRU)

Montpellier 42-13 Brive (8-0-review)

Leinster face Castres, Montpellier & Northampton
in the Rugby Champions Cup and we have been
following their progress with some"8-0-reviews"...


Montpellier host Leinster on October 23 and displayed against Brive everything Leo & co need to prepare for. Give them a scrum at halfway and their two Georgian props will win a penalty; from the resulting lineout a crossfield kick will lead to a try. Fumble in midfield, they’ll retrieve and put someone through for another. Give them a 5m scrum and they’ll grubber through for yet another dot down. And those were just the ones finished by Nadolo. Nuff said.
JLP
***
Fancy penning an 8-0-review for HarpinOnRugby?  
Let us know at paganoblog@gmail.com

Front Five - 30.09.16

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

Can you only imagine the reaction if
Paddy Jackson was allowed to leave Ulster?


...reports from the northern hemisphere have indicated Schmidt will re-commit to Ireland through to the next global tournament.


Richard Knowler - Stuff.co.nz

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Everyone at Leinster Rugby wishes Shaun the very best of luck with the move.


Marcus Ó Buachalla - Leinster Rugby

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With three games played in the revamped Women’s AIL to date, it has allowed the players the chance to build their match fitness, while also competing against one another on a weekly basis.


Donn O'Sullivan - Limerick Post

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...the Northampton Saints have also registered an interest in Ulster’s Paddy Jackson.


Alan Drumm - Pundit Arena

(hat-tip Breffni Martin)

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"We go shopping in Dunnes. We shower. We do all the things that everyone else does."


Patrick McCarry - SportsJoe.ie

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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, September 29, 2016

Rugby on TV : Sep 29 - Oct 6


Officially this is the 100th weekly "Rugby on TV" post on the site
though we started on the Facebook page so there have been more
Who cares, we're celebrating anyway - any excuse, right?

Many thanks to all who have helped out by pointing out programmes
we missed...a bit like Pokémon it's hard to catch 'em all!!!

DateTimeShowCompetitionChannel
Thu Sep 297:30pmTHE WORLD RUGBY SHOWSKY SPORTS 3
7:30pmWARRINGTON WOLVES V ST HELENSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 1
Fri Sep 307:30amWELLINGTON V SOUTHLANDMITRE10 CUPSKY SPORTS 1
3:55pmGOLDEN LIONS V SHARKSCURRIE CUPSKY SPORTS 3
7:00pmCONNACHT V EDINBURGHPRO 12TG4
7:00pmNORTHAMPTON SAINTS V EXETER CHIEFSPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 1
7:30pmNG DRAGONS V GLASGOW WARRIORSPRO 12BBC 2 WALES
7:30pmWIGAN WARRIORS V HULL FCSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
Sat Oct 17:30amAUCKLAND V OTAGOMITRE10 CUPSKY SPORTS 5
1:30pmSUPER LEAGUE GOLDSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
1:40pmCLÉRMONT V CASTRESTOP 14SKY SPORTS MIX
2:30pmGLOUCESTER V BATHPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 2
2:55pmHULL KR V SALFORD RED DEVILSSUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 2
3:30pmSOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIARUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPSKY SPORTS MIX
6:15pmULSTER V OSPREYSPRO 12SKY SPORTS 5
7:30pmCARDIFF BLUES V LEINSTERPRO 12TG4 / S4C
8:30pmBRIVE V RACING 92TOP 14SKY SPORTS 5
9:00pmHIGHLIGHTSPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 1
11:00pmARGENTINA V NEW ZEALANDRUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPSKY SPORTS 5
Sun Oct 25:45amPANTHERS V ROOSTERS (U20S)NRLEIR SPORT 2
8:30amSTORM V SHARKSNRL GRAND FINALEIR SPORT 2
10:01amJOUR DE RUGBYTOP 14TV5MONDE
2:30pmWORCESTER WARRIORS V NEWCASTLE FALCONSPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 1
6:00pmHIGHLIGHTSRUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPSKY SPORTS 3
6:00pmSCRUM VBBC 2 WALES
10:45pmHIGHLIGHTSPREMIERSHIPBT SPORT 1
Mon Oct 37:30pmCARDIFF BLUES V LEINSTER (REPEAT)PRO 12EIR SPORT 1
9:30pmULSTER V OSPREYS (REPEAT)PRO 12EIR SPORT 1
10:00pmFULLTIMESUPER LEAGUESKY SPORTS 3
Tue Oct 44:00pmSPORTING GREATSSEAN FITZPATRICKSKY SPORTS 3
5:00pmSPORTING RIVALRIESENG V FRASKY SPORTS 3
5:30pmSPORTING RIVALRIESRSA V NZLSKY SPORTS 3
7:30pmHIGHLIGHTSPRO 12EIR SPORT 1
7:30pmSUPER HEROESALI WILLIAMSSKY SPORTS MIX
Wed Oct 511:30amLONDON IRISH V BATH (REPEAT)PREM 11/12BT SPORT 2
8:00pmRUGBY TONIGHTBT SPORT 1
Thu Oct 66:30pmLEICESTER TIGERS V NORTHAMPTON (REPEAT)PREM 11/12BT SPORT 2
8:00pmBACKCHATNRLEIR 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

Castres 31-23 Racing 92 (8-0-review)

Leinster face Castres, Montpellier & Northampton 
in the Rugby Champions Cup and we have been 
following their progress with some"8-0-reviews"...


A Ben Arous try broke the deadlock on 15m but the home side didn’t fear the star-studded champions and their Kockott-led fast-paced rugby had the scores level by half-time. A yellow for Racing’s Andreu allowed them the space to nudge ahead when Caminati flicked it as he was getting smashed to Palis who scored. The ever-offloading Nakarawa pinched a try to get them within 3 but Urdipaletta crossed to seal it at the death. Castres looking good in 4th spot.
JLP
***
Fancy penning an 8-0-review for HarpinOnRugby?  
Let us know at paganoblog@gmail.com

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