Monday, October 31, 2016

British & Irish Lions fans given sneak-peek of the "Untouchable Jersey"

from Canterbury


Canterbury today provided a select group of British & Irish Lions fans with a sneak-peek of the new match jersey, bringing it to life as a stunning hologram for the first time in rugby history.

To reflect the special nature of the Lions jersey – ‘untouchable’ until players have earned the right to wear it –  Canterbury have created a truly ‘untouchable’ experience for Lions fans who had pre-ordered the new replica jersey.

A day before the official unveil, 30 lucky Lions fans received a limited edition mobile device that produced a hologram of the ‘untouchable jersey’ through the user’s smartphone.

On activating their device, each fan was able to experience the jersey as an untouchable mini-hologram, complete with a unique message from Head Coach Warren Gatland.

The opportunity for fans to get an exclusive first-look of the kit is Canterbury’s reward to rugby’s most committed fans and marks the biggest moment so far in their journey with the Lions to New Zealand.

Canterbury CEO Chris Stephenson said; “We’re really excited to provide committed British & Irish Lions fans with a unique opportunity to see the ‘untouchable jersey’ before the rest of the world. Some of these supporters have been waiting a long time to see what their heroes will be wearing during the tour to New Zealand, and to reveal that in such a distinctive way is something we’re very proud of.

“We can’t wait for the rest of the world to see the jersey in all its glory and are confident that it will be very well received”.

Canterbury’s partnership with the British & Irish Lions brings two of rugby’s most loved institutions together, cementing one of the sport’s oldest brands as the world leaders in rugby apparel.

The jersey, a replica version of the match jersey that will be worn when the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand next summer, will be revealed in full tomorrow and will be one of the most innovative ever made.
The new British & Irish Lions replica jersey is currently available to pre-order online through and

Front Five 31.10.16

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

If you can make it to Wembley next weekend
you have until 1pm Monday to enter for a chance
to win tickets for BaaBaas v Boks click here

The back-to-back world champions and runaway Rugby Championship winners await, complete with their unprecedented 18-match winning streak.

Gerry Thornley - Irish Times


"The CT scans of his neck were clear and he has since returned home. Marty will follow up with Wasps medical staff on Monday morning to assess his progress."

RTÉ Rugby


Dublin University showed composure beyond their years to see out their fourth win in five top flight games


Clermont have 32 points, five ahead of Montpellier and Toulon and 10 in front of Bordeaux, who occupy the sixth and final play-off spot. (via AFP)


"I am charged with the responsibility of trying to help whoever is available for Ireland to be the best team they can be." - Joe Schmidt

Conal Cahill -


Feel free to share any interesting links you spot yourself about t’internet by email, Twitter, Facebook, blog comment or carrier pigeon – whatever works for you. JLP

Note - views expressed in "Front Five" links do not necessarily reflect those of HarpinOnRugby

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Online comments after Leinster v Connacht

A selection of “keyboard warrior” reactions after the full-time whistle of our featured matches of the weekend.

If you’d like to contribute stay tuned to our Facebook page for our “Feel free to leave your thoughts…” posts which show up around full time after Leinster & Ireland matches.

Outstanding win by Leinster man of the match preformences all over the field and hard to pick out one guy real team win

Odran John OBrien

Solid, professional stuff. With a mix 'n match squad out that was hugely encouraging. Our back row depth is frankly ridiculous. Dom Ryan must be quietly crying in his beer.

Derek Tormey

Amazing what a backline with a bit of youth can do. Totally murdered their pack. Only negative again we left a bonus behind.

Chris Mcdonnell

Loving the young players coming through and showing their up to the challenge. Start of the next era !!!!

Colin Campbell

Good win taking in the 6 day turn around and enforced changes

Noel Hewson

Delighted with that. We actually started quite poorly and were according them far too much respect. Turning point for me in the match was about 25 min. in after SO'B had seen yellow, Connacht with the extra man go to run it, send the ball out the backs and Rory O'Loughlin clatters Aki with a tremendous tackle, driving him back about ten yards and putting him on his ass. From that point on we never looked like losing. Well done to all involved. (Line outs need a bit of work though...)

Riocard Ó Tiarnaigh

Forward pass for the try and the linesman bottled it. Leinster line speed was savage ' that was the winning of the game for ye. We (Connacht ) were well below Form and lacking the final pass as well as getting back on par around the breakdown . We are still missing a Muldowney type of lock. Carberry was super a gem of a player.

John O Halloran

Fine second half, things coming along nicely.

Pádraig Turley

Best side won

Paul Smith

Many thanks to all who offered opinions.

Look out Monday for our match writeup JLP

Front Five - 30.10.16

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

ICYMI click here to see our top 10 Vines
before we close the account

"Going into the close of play, we needed to be ahead and apply the pressure - but again, from our own mistakes, that cost us."

Cian Tracey - Irish Independent


"We'll get back into test mode and it's going to be great. It's an awesome city, a great place and team to play, too - the Irish."

Patrick McKendry - NZ Herald


The sad fact is that it didn’t require a great Munster performance to secure the win

Front Row Union


Either Cotter is worth the huge sums mentioned...or he isn’t, and Montpellier’s owner Mohed Altrad has more money than sense. We will see.

The Scotsman


"In 2006, when he lifted that trophy, it was special - for all of us obviously - but he was the right man to do it."

PJ Browne -


Feel free to share any interesting links you spot yourself about t’internet by email, Twitter, Facebook, blog comment or carrier pigeon – whatever works for you. JLP

Note - views expressed in "Front Five" links do not necessarily reflect those of HarpinOnRugby

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rugby League : Ireland smash Russia to secure World Cup qualification

T: Hope (7), Dunne (10), McMahon (13, 36), Grix (23, 62), T King (32), McDonnell (38), Roberts (46, 72), G King (59), J Kelly (64), Littler (69)
C: Finn 8/11, Littler 1/2
Russia 16
T: Eramin (4), Kalinin (26), Buryak (79)
C: Lysokon 2/3
(HT 38-12)
Steve Hogan
The Carlisle Grounds, Bray
Ireland secured automatic qualification for the Rugby League World Cup with an emphatic 13-try victory over Russia.

The Wolfhounds turned on the style at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray and the Russians had no answer to their high-tempo display of power and accuracy.

The victory means Ireland have qualified for next year’s tournament in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, while the Russians face an elimination play-off against Italy next week.

Russia got off to a great start and scored the first try but they couldn’t keep up with the Irish who ran in tries from all angles, including doubles from Galway Tribesman winger Alan McMahon, outhalf Scott Grix and back row Ollie Roberts.

The Irish won the tackle battle and ruthlessly punched holes in their opponent’s defence. The Russians were game and had spells when they gamely challenged Ireland — but the Wolfhounds’ were always firmly in control and as the Russians tired, Ireland’s ran up the score, with no try more popular than that scored by James Kelly after he came on as a replacement in the second half.

The Shankill native, who plays for the Dublin City Exiles, and Alan McMahon must surely be in the sights of the professional clubs in England after their recent displays for Ireland.

There was also a touching moment late in the second-half for long-serving stalwart Stuart Littler, who scored a memorable try in his final match before finally hanging up his boots after a long and successful career.
Ireland: Shannon McDonnell, Alan McMahon, Stuart Littler, Toby King, Casey Dunne, Scott Grix, Liam Finn (capt), George King, Joe Keyes, Luke Ambler, Will Holt, Dave Allen, Ollie Roberts. Replacements: Joe Philbin, Matty Hadden, James Kelly, Gareth Gill.

Russia: Viacheslav Eremin, Vadim Buryak, Kirill Kosharin, Leonid Kalinin, Dmitry Bratko, Aleksandr Lysokon, Denis Tiulenev, Sergei Konstantinov, Petr Botnarash, Ivan Troitskii, Andrey Kuznetsov, Mikhail Burlutskii, Nikolai Zagoskin. Replacements: Vadim Fedchuk, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Maxim Tsinkovich, Maksim Suchkov.

Some sips of vintage Vine - our top ten posts

We have been thrown for a loop here at Harpin Manor.  After what seemed like just six seconds of fame, Vine is to be no more by all accounts.

It took us a while to hop on this social media bandwagon (once we accepted that nobody seemed to mind if videos were recorded off the telly!) but eventually we did with our first offering on April 5, 2015 as we tried to work out if Francois Louw had a swipe at Ian Madigan’s head during this controversial Champions Cup quarterfinal at the Aviva Stadium.

From then the account became part of the Harpin On Rugby network to go with this site, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Instagram.  Before this season kicked off we closed down the Google+ it seems like a good time to do likewise to our Vine one, even if it makes a comeback.

So to provide some proper closure we thought we’d share with you the posts which followers found to be the most “loopy” from our 95 total offerings...some of our favourites didn’t quite make the cut like this one featuring a couple of disinterested Ulster fans but we’ll just embed a “top ten”...enjoy!

10.  What Mamuka Gorgodze wants, he gets, end of.  

This isn’t really the 10th most popular Vine but The Georgian Giant told me to include it anyway so I did!  In a World Cup fixture against Tonga, The Lelos were winning in the latter stages and their outhalf looked set to go crossfield with a penalty...he might have been bluffing but his skipper wasn’t taking any chances.

9.  The best drop-kick Thomond Park has ever seen?

You can be sure I was primed and ready to get some good-natured digs at Munster fans as Ian Madigan landed this unlikely drop goal conversion for Ireland against the Barbarians.  We were still on the losing side but it made for an interesting finish.

8.  Iain Henderson’s never-ending tackle

Remember when Ireland beat France in the World Cup and believed we could go on and win the whole thing?  O, how it was a simpler time.  Still, three moments from that match make our top ten and are definitely worth recalling, the first being this tackle from the mighty Ulsterman which knocked Bernard Le Roux and some of his team-mates into the middle of la semaine prochaine.

7.  A solo from Nadolo

Leinster fans now know full well how Nemani Nadolo can hurt you in several different way - back in Super Rugby 2015 he was giving us due warning for the Crusaders before his move to Montpellier.


Not all “Vine-able” moments happen on the pitch; often they are reactions from fans and coaches and this rare sight of Joe Schmidt letting his excitement show proved to be well worth a share.  It;s the second top ten entry taken from that match against France in Cardiff and happened right after Rob Kearney went over for a try.

5.  No army can stop the Tank

The final offering from that win over France was this super-human effort from Sean O’Brien and shows just how much Ireland will need him in November.  Here’s he is in full beast mode and two Frenchmen can’t stop him halting their progress.

4.  The next Paul O’Connell?

Last June the “Wolfpuppies”, aka the Irish Under 20s, went from 17-0 down against Wales in their first match to reaching the final, beating the Baby Blacks along the way.  And the fightback began with this inspirational hit from skipper James Ryan.  He has a long, long, long way to go to being the next Paulie as some are suggesting but he clearly has it in him.

3.  Go Go Gorumaru!

Everyone remembers Japan’s famous victory over the Springboks in the World Cup but what about this stupendous try-saving tackle by their full-back Gorumaru against Scotland?

2.  Whatevs, Pascal!

Neither Jamie nor Greig have a clue what the ref is on about yet are unanimous in ttheir desire to just get on with it...In my haste to get the clip on Vine I mistakenly identified the ref as Jerôme Garces - instead it was Pascal Gaüzère, but the followers got the idea!

1. Par(isse) Excellence

One thing we learned during our relatively brief spell on Vine was that the key to getting lots of loops is timing.  When Sergio Parisse did this incredibly cheeky offload in the Top 14 playoffs for Stade Francais on their 2015 march to the title, we were first to post a clip of it and it got picked up on Twitter & Facebook and shared far and wide.  

For a few days you could actually see the counter speeding along at rate of knots.  We know many bigger websites are used to cracking 100k loops on a daily basis, but for our humble independent selves we enjoyed watching this one do well.

OK that’s it - we had fun putting this together.  Many thanks to all who shared our Vines.  We won’t be deleting the account altogether, we just won’t be adding new content.  That’s not to say we won’t be adding videos on our other channels, mind you!  Stay tuned. JLP

Front Five - 29.10.16

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

ICYMI click here for our 
Leinster v Connacht preview

It is the first case of its kind to be taken in Ireland concerning a death due to Second Impact Syndrome

Johnny Watterson, Gavin Cummiskey - Irish Times


Mike Ross...once the first name on Joe Schmidt's team sheet, his name has, it seems, been rolled up and tossed in the bin.

Irish Independent


Munster’s pack, with the back-row of O’Mahony, O’Donoghue and O’Donnell covering acres of ground, set much of the pattern

Rod Nawn - Irish Examiner


The All Blacks have shown the ability to score plenty of points on tour but there is often one fixture in which they struggle.

Digging the data: The gap between the All Blacks and Six Nations champions isn't as big as you think


...if he's unable to tell the difference between a tackler and a player being tackled then perhaps he's in the wrong business.

Darragh Murphy -


Feel free to share any interesting links you spot yourself about t’internet by email, Twitter, Facebook, blog comment or carrier pigeon – whatever works for you. JLP

Note - views expressed in "Front Five" links do not necessarily reflect those of HarpinOnRugby

Friday, October 28, 2016

Preview : Leinster v Connacht

I know what the mainstream media is up to...

All these stories about Connacht having trouble at the RDS?  Pah!  They can only be classed as underdogs for this match in the sense that we have home advantage.  Given the expectations that go with being the reigning Pro12 champions, not to mention the impeccable standards achieved by Pat Lam’s men en route to earning that title, in many ways this is Leinster’s biggest challenge of the domestic campaign so far, and an interpro derby to boot.

Of course it is important to note that the fixture falls a week before the November internationals, and it certainly doesn’t help Leinster’s cause that there are a host of players in the Connacht lineup who could well feel aggrieved not to have been named in the squad for said test series.  But those are debates for another day...let’s see how this particular Leinster selection stacks up.
It’s a very different backline to that which started in Montpellier but still there’s a sense of youthful energy about it, with Isa back at 15 to keep an eye on things.  On evidence this season so far I’d put Gibson-Park ahead of Luke McGrath in our pecking order and this will be a good opportunity for him to cement that status.  Outside him is Joey Carbery who must be positively glowing from his Ireland call-up.
The centres are Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin, a pairing blessed with plenty of ability going forward but will also need to be especially vigilant on the defensive side of things against a Connacht side that will be poised to make the most out of every mis-step on our part.  On the wing Adam Byrne and Barry Daly have found the tryline many times for both UCD and Leinster A and now is the time to start doing it at senior level.
But looking at the lineups you have to think it’s in the pack where Leinster can have the winning of this match.  Connacht come with a cracking back row trio but the same can be said for us and I’d say the odds on someone named Sean O’Brien to win man of the match would be very narrow, though it could be for either side.
Still, I feel we might just have an edge on the visitors throughout the forwards all the way down to the bench...if we can continue our recent form particularly in set pieces I think we can get ahead in the early stages, though with a word of warning - this ref John Lacey isn’t a big fan of teams looking for penalties at the back of scrums so we’d probably be better off using the ball quickly.
As I said earlier, we know all too well what this Connacht side can do to us if we give them even an inch.  Their back three in particular is electric and we can expect them to test our defensive line at every opportunity, most likely by turning us hoping to force a mistake.
For this reason I’m thinking this could be a relatively high-scoring affair.  The bookies predict a home win by 7 points...I also think we’ll prevail but not by as much, say 4-6pts and we’ll probably need every bit of our bench to get the match points in the bag.
But if we do emerge victorious it will more than likely be because we earned it, not because of any “hoodoo” surrounding this fixture for the visitors.  Here’s to two more entertaining Irish derbies this weekend...I’m a bit surprised at the 9-point spread for the Kingspan tonight, thought it would be much closer.  JLP
Connacht :  15 Tiernan O’Halloran 14 Niyi Adeolokun 13  Peter Robb 12  Craig Ronaldson 11 Cian Kelleher 10 Jack Carty 9 Kieran Marmion
1 JP Cooney 2 Dave Heffernan 3  Conor Carey 4 Quinn Roux 5  Andrew Browne 6 Sean O’Brien 7  Jake Heenan 8  John Muldoon (captain)
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt 17 Dominic Robertson-McCoy 18 Finlay Bealham 19 James Cannon 20 Eoin McKeon 21 Caolin Blade 22 Bundee Aki 23  Stacey Ili

Guinness Pro12 2016/17 Round 7 Saturday, October 29, 2016 At RDS Arena, 5.15pm. Live on Sky Sports Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 57th competition game) Assistant Referees: Andy Brace, Jonathan Peak (both IRFU) Citing Commissioner: Tim Lowry (IRFU) TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU) 

Tickets available here >


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