Thursday, May 30, 2019

Rugby on TV : May 30-June 6

Rugby on TV is brought to you by
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NOTE - times and channels for U20 RWC may be subject to change

THURSDAY, MAY 30

6AM - RUGBY TONIGHT - BT SPORT 3
9AM - GLASGOW V LEINSTER (R) - PRO 14 - EIR SPORT 2
10:30AM - RUGBY TONIGHT - BT SPORT 1
12PM - THE PRO 14 HOUR - EIR SPORT 1
1PM - THE BACK ROW - EIR SPORT 1
6PM - RUGBY 7S HIGHLIGHTS - SKY SPORTS ACTION
6:30PM - THE WORLD RUGBY SHOW - SKY SPORTS ACTION
7:30PM - HULL FC V CATALANS (L) - RL CUP - SKY SPORTS ARENA

FRIDAY, MAY 31

8AM - THE PRO14 HOUR - EIR SPORT 2
8AM - RUGBY TONIGHT - BT SPORT 1
8:30AM - BLUES V BULLS (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION
10:40AM - REBELS V WARATAHS (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION
10:55AM - EELS V RABBITOHS (L) - NRL - SKY SPORTS ARENA
12:30PM - THE PRO14 HOUR - EIR SPORT 1
7:30PM - HULL KR V WARRINGTON (L) - RL CUP - SKY SPORTS ARENA
8PM - THE PRO14 HOUR - EIR SPORT 1
8PM - RACING V LA ROCHELLE (L) - TOP 14 - SKY SPORTS ACTION
9PM - THE BACK ROW - EIR SPORT 1
10PM - GLASGOW V LEINSTER - PRO 14 - EIR SPORT 2

SATURDAY, JUNE 1

6AM - RUGBY TONIGHT - BT SPORT 3

6:10AM - SUNWOLVES V BRUMBIES (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT
8:30AM - CHIEFS V CRUSADERS (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION
9:50AM - RUGBY 7S PARIS - SKY SPORTS ARENA/MIX
10:30AM - BULLDOGS V RAIDERS (L) - NRL - SKY SPORTS MIX
10:40AM - REDS V JAGUARES (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION
2PM - EXETER CHIEFS V SARACENS (L) - PREMIERSHIP - BT SPORT 1
2:05PM - SHARKS V HURRICANES (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION
3PM - THE PRO 14 HOUR - EIR SPORT 1
3:55PM - LYON V MONTPELLIER (L) - TOP 14 - SKY SPORTS MIX
4PM - THE BACK ROW - EIR SPORT 1
4:10PM - LIONS V STORMERS (L) - SUPER RUGBY - SKY SPORTS ACTION

SUNDAY, JUNE 2

8:50AM - RUGBY 7S PARIS - SKY SPORTS ARENA

11AM - EXETER V SARACENS (R) - PREMIERSHIP - BT SPORT 3
12:30PM - ENGLAND V BARBARIANS (WOMEN) (L) - SKY SPORTS ACTION/MIX
2:45PM - ENGLAND XV V BARBARIANS (MEN) (L) - SKY SPORTS ACTION
MONDAY, JUNE 3


4:30PM - EXETER V SARACENS (R) - PREMIERSHIP - EIR SPORT 2

9:45PM - SUPER LEAGUE GREATEST GAMES - SKY SPORTS ARENA
TUESDAY, JUNE 4


2:20PM - AUSTRALIA V ITALY (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 1

2:20PM - SOUTH AFRICA V SCOTLAND (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 2
4:50PM -  NEW ZEALAND V GEORGIA (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 1
4:50PM - ARGENTINA V WALES (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 2
7PM - ENGLAND V IRELAND (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 1
7:20PM - FRANCE V FIJI (L) - U20 RWC - EIR SPORT 2
9PM - EXETER V SARACENS (R) - PREMIERSHIP - BT SPORT 2

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5


10AM - QUEENSLAND V NSW (L) - STATE OF ORIGIN - SKY SPORTS ARENA
3:30PM - EXETER V SARACENS (R) - PREMIERSHIP - EIR SPORT 2
4PM - NRL TRY TIME - SKY SPORTS ARENA
8PM - RUGBY TONIGHT - EIR SPORT 2
8PM - NRL TRY TIME - SKY SPORTS ARENA
10PM - RUGBY 7S HIGHLIGHTS - SKY SPORTS ACTION


THURSDAY, JUNE 6

2PM - GLASGOW V LEINSTER (R) - PRO 14 - EIR SPORT 1
4PM - RUGBY 7S HIGHLIGHTS - SKY SPORTS ACTION
10PM - THE WORLD RUGBY SHOW

L = LIVE
R = FULL REPEAT
T = TAPE DELAY
H = HIGHLIGHTS

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



Why Is Rugby Such A Popular Sport

screengrabs like this are becoming more common

With the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo and the Super Sevens having commenced, the internet is on fire when keyword searches for rugby. So much so in fact, we have to wonder, why is rugby such a popular sport? What makes fans go crazy for the hype surrounding a rather odd looking ball? Why is rugby featured all over sites like novibet.co.uk? Looking into a rather good question, we debunk the strategies, the sport and most importantly the reason why rugby holds so much fame.

A Unique Sport in Its Own Right

Rugby, in itself, is a unique sport with a game plan unlike any other. The complex nature of trying to get the ball has intrigued millions for decades of years and being so unique has grasped the attention of fans around the world. For example, the lightest man weighing approximately 80kg plays in the same team as a heavyweight man weighing approximately 120kg. Usually sports will have its own division in weight, handicap or even age groups. Rugby, however, well this sport doesn’t discriminate.

Social

Rugby is a relatively social sport with teams getting along just fine after the game. Unlike other sports which include boxing, MMA or karate, there is no real animosity toward other player of the opposing team. Even basketball has more on court drama than rugby does on the field, something that may come as a surprise to rugby fans.

Respectful

Rugby is a respectful sport. Taking a knee and doing a little dance is something that is quite common for rugby players. In fact, before big games the respect is shown to religion, culture and their countries.

More Awareness

Because rugby is all over sportsbooks, betting sites, live TV and even in print media, there seems to be an underlining unity that brings in more awareness. The internet is a funny thing. People tend to act like sheep and where one goes the others follow. When internet users see loads of online activity, such as the Super Sevens, their curiosity gets the better of them and they will click on it. In more cases than one, fans have been made like this.

Women’s Division

As mentioned above, with the summer Olympics fast approaching in 2020, more attention has been focused on rugby and this hasn’t missed the sights of the women’s rugby teams around the world. This has become a popular attraction for rugby enthusiasts as women are beginning to dominate the industry that was once exclusive to men.

Overall it really depends on your sporting preferences. If you enjoy a one on one contact sport, something that involves high speed, massive attack and defence strategies then rugby is your go to sport. So far, according to statistics, fans who have watched rugby for the first time were immediately hooked on the body contact sport. So if you are looking to expand your sports selection, you may very well want to consider adding rugby to your list of sports events to watch.

HarpinOnRugby.net

Monday, May 27, 2019

GLASGOW WARRIORS-15 LEINSTER-18


Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

A look at the final Pro 14 regular season standings in the 2018/19 campaign might suggest the Glasgow Warriors had to be favourites in this final, especially given it was virtually a home match for them.

They ended their 21-match campaign with a league-leading 81 match points, while even the Conference A runnersup Munster finished with more than we did.  But as anyone who followed the tournament's progress since the beginning of September will know, that's missing loads of context as we had our Conference sewn up by the beginning of March.

Next you might look at the final score from Saturday's showpiece and think it must have been a very close encounter given the winning margin was just the three points.  And to be fair, watching the 80 minutes live there was never a time I really thought we were well and truly 'safe'.  The second watch, however, told a different story, and not just because I knew the outcome.

It's not that I thought that this was an easy victory, but watching the way Leinster set about the entire match put me in mind of one word : 'comfortable'.  And if you want a number which I best explains what I mean by that word, I offer you '25'.

On minute 48, after the 9th phase of a Glasgow attack in our half, a tackle from Garry Ringrose forced a loose pass which the Leinster & Ireland centre dutifully retrieved and returned all the way into the opposition 22.  How many minutes were to elapse from then until the next time the Scots had more than one phase in our half?  You guessed it, 25.

Now of course a lot happened in between those moments, and not all of them were good things on Leinster's part by a long stretch.  But if you build a halftime lead (which also looked reasonably comfortable on second look) and manage to have a stranglehold on territory for such a key portion of any match let alone a final, then you'll win way more than you lose.

The road from the kickoff to the opening score, in fairness, was anything but comfortable for Leinster.  It wasn't that we were struggling, but it could be said that in what was always going to be a battle of the defences, ours was the first to blink.

If you're not a fan of box kicking then the first few bouts of possession for either side were not for you.  I don't mind it as much as most, once it's done as part of a coherent strategy (in our case possibly to negate the opposition 'targeting' our halfbacks early in a phase count) as opposed to being a last resort.  And more than once both Sexton and McGrath were putting enough hang time on their efforts to allow team-mates to get the jump on their opponents and bat the ball back for us.

Eventually we got enough benefit for Rob Kearney to make a real foray into their half and not long afterwards Warriors hooker Fraser Brown shipped a penalty which gave our skipper the chance to give us an early lead.  In the wet conditions and amid a chorus of Glaswegian booing across Celtic Park, he pushed his kick wide right.

A few minutes later, Brown was in the wars again, only in much more serious fashion.  Jack Conan had just stolen a lineout dart from him and in his eagerness to make amends, clearly tried to tackle Tadhg Furlong, who had the ball, only instead he clattered into Luke McGrath, who not only didn't have it but was off the ground at the time.

What I always say about Nigel Owens is that whether or not you agree with his decisions, he at least offers detailed explanations for them.  This was definitely one of those times - he deemed Brown's challenge as 'only a penalty' because he wasn't aiming to grab McGrath.  For me, that's not enough mitigation for the dangerous play laws as they currently stand.

But stay in his pocket the cards did, and our attempt to make hay from the ensuing attacking lineout fell flat when a pass went to ground to be collected by Tommy Seymour, who looked to have a clear run to our line until he was well tracked and hauled down by Robbie Henshaw.  However, shortly afterwards, Adam Hastings planted a wonderful territory kick to touch well in our half.

Then Glasgow were on the attack themselves as Johnny Gray rose high to complete the turned table by pinching our lineout, allowing them to roll through the phases and this time they were managing to inch close to our line.

Already we had seen a part of their special strategy when the vast majority of their territory kicks were aimed at our left wing, which made sense when you consider either Rob Kearney or James Lowe would be the ones forced into left-footed clearances in those situations, although both managed relatively well.

Now when on the attack we saw another element to their plan, as support runners would edge themselves a shade ahead of the ball carrier as he's brought to ground, making it that much more difficult for our defenders to set up to tackle the next phase.  Of course I'm not suggesting they're the first to ever do this, it's just that it seemed much more pronounced and eventually it led to their opening try.

It was Rob Harley and Zander Fagerson who performed the most blatant example of this right at our try line, allowing the latter's brother Matt to take and barge over the line on 13m.  Just to be clear, I'm not calling this 'cheating' per se; as with most grey areas in egg-chasing, if you're getting away with it then it has to be a good thing.  So now it was 7-0 to the Scots and there was to be certainly the most 'Leinster' response imaginable as I doubt there's a better side in Europe at reacting to a conceded score.

Off the restart we had an amazing chase by Jordan Larmour who stopped the ball-catcher in his tracks.  But it wasn't just himself bearing down on the Warriors 22 - a couple of phases later it was Luke McGrath charging down Stuart Hogg's attempted clearance and once over the line, the ball dutifully sat up on it's edge and spun in play long enough for Garry Ringrose to dive on it and get us on the board.

While of course the score was crucial, I doubt that this would even crack the top three of Garry's most important contributions to this match.  About five minutes later, after he was beaten all ends up by his opposite number Steyn, he made it his business to get back and clatter the last man, namely DTH van der Merwe, to help prevent what looked a certain try that could have turned the match.

Add this to Henshaw's vital tackle on Seymour, plus several different bouts of precision tackling that snuffed out Glasgow's set plays (especially their quick inside pass) and you have a virtual masterclass from our centres that demonstrated just how valuable they are to both Leinster and Ireland.  They were 'credited' with seven missed tackles between them but that's another deceptive number as they were rarely costly.

That try saving challenge from Garry did eventually result in three points for the Scots giving them a 10-5 lead, but shortly after Fraser Brown was taken off for what looked like a nasty injury having gone over on his leg, we set about a simple yet effective series of 17 phases that included a Sexton wraparound which helped Rob Kearney get into the 22 before carry after carry was finding soft shoulders and gaining us ground until we got to their line.

When we found ourselves in this position, we didn't resort to players positioning themselves ahead of the ball to get it over the line.  All we needed was the power of Cian Healy with a little shove from behind offered by Scott Fardy.  Despite all the gains we had made to that point, there was a lot of work to be done in the finish yet it was made look easy.

Having pushed two placekicks to the right, I'm sure I wasn't the only one to implore Sexton to favour the left post a lot more for the conversion which he duly did, giving us our first lead of the day, and for the record, one at the 29th minute we would never let go.

It was at this stage the Glasgow confidence really started to wobble, or at least it was clear that they required some extra tactical strings to their bow if they were to get back into the lead.  

Our tackling just got better and better as the match progressed, with James Ryan and Rhys Ruddock among our leaders.  For the remainder of the first half everything the Warriors tried fell flat and courtesy of a scrum penalty and a second accurate kick from Sexton, we went into the break five points to the good.

We always seem to say at halftime that the 'next score is crucial' but it really did apply here.  If it went our way, we'd be two scores clear.  If it was Glasgow, we were into 'squeaky bum' territory.  About a minute after the restart a promising set of phases for them ended when Johnny Gray knocked on.

Shortly afterwards, Sexton and Henshaw looked to have Hastings perfectly wrapped up for a choke tackle only the result was even better as Henshaw broke away with the ball.  While there was no score as yet in the half, we seemed to be growing in confidence until we got to that 48th minute I mentioned earlier - and although Ringrose was unable to turn the broken play into a try, a penalty shipped at the breakdown by Steyn was rightly (though surprisingly as I thought Owens would be more lenient given the occasion) shown a card for slowing front foot ball.

We chose to go for touch from the penalty, but 7 phases after the lineout the hosts shipped another (this time under the posts and arguably could have been another card), Sexton took the easy three and hey presto we not only have our two-score lead but we also have some time with an extra man to stretch it further.  And as a further note - that score, on 51m, was to be our last of the 2018/19 season.

It looked like Glasgow were going to get right back at us when Tommy Seymour brilliantly caught the restart, yet Stewart's knockon a phase or two later highlighted the kind of evening it was for the Conference A table-toppers.

Next when our captain piled more pressure by kicking one deep into the Glasgow 22 forcing them to be tackled behind their own goal line and giving us a 5m scrum, it looked to all intents and purposes that the match was there to be won.

Things didn't go QUITE that perfectly for us, as Nigel Owens proceeded to get very fussy with the scrum.  My closest estimate is that between that set piece and the one we took for a penalty there were 10,000 resets, which proceeded to both kill the Steyn penalty and give the Glasgow D plenty of time to recover from the previous onslaught and prepare for the next.

Eventually, when a little knock on from Luke McGrath meant the points scoring opportunity was gone, Glasgow players and fans alike celebrated like the championship had been won, when in fact the deficit was still 8 points and they were still deep inside their own half.  When Stuart Hogg finally did put the ball to touch in our territory and Luke McGrath took it quickly to Rob Kearney, we had the game's most pivotal moment/decision.

All the time before this incident and all the time afterwards, we seemed to be making all the right decisions, which makes sense because we are well used to occasions like this one.  And of all the boys in blue, the one guy you'd expect to do the right thing is Rob Kearney, yet for some reason he felt the need to challenge Hogg as his own high ball came down.

Much like the incident earlier, I thought Nigel's ruling was one degree below that which it should have been.   Brown got 'penalty only' rather than yellow; Rob got yellow rather than red.  In both cases I'm referring to the player safety guidelines as I understand them.  The only 'excuse' I can offer  (though it's a really weak one) for Nigel not brandishing red is that perhaps he felt he was 'making up for' the earlier leniency.

But even with that penalty, which was put into touch in our half, the Warriors were still unable to create phases in our half - although their maul rolled well towards our 22, their strike runner Steyn ran straight into the grateful arms of both Sexton and Henshaw who held him up for a choke tackle before a (perhaps fortunate) penalty from the scrum gave us the chance to clear.

Once back down the other end, we returned to our 'smart rugby' by running a straightforward series of 24 phases which included pinpoint accuracy in carries and clear outs.  Again, Glasgow eventually won a penalty but again, not before another sizeable chunk had been taken off the clock.

As the penalty was taken, Sexton was replaced by Ross Byrne who, perhaps not now but definitely one day, might remind the more senior player that when roles were reversed a week earlier Leinster's lead was greater.

Finally the Warriors were able to get a move going at our end, and although it took them 7 phases to get into our 22, by the 8th they had stretched us enough to allow the space for their replacement hooker Stewart to get in 'Dane Coles style' in the widest channel.

So the good news for Glasgow was that they had finally narrowed the gap.  The double whammy of bad news was first that Hastings was unable to convert the try and by the restart, Rob Kearney was back on the pitch for what some are saying could have been his final five minutes for Leinster.

We naturally put the restart into their 22 and set about trying to keep them there.  If we thought Owens was lenient up to this stage, I think you probably needed to bring a weapon onto the pitch to run a risk of getting pinged for this series, and try as they might for 17 lung-busting phases (with many key Leinster tackles throughout many from our bench), Glasgow's attempts to break through our blue wall just weren't getting anywhere until finally a knockon on the 18th phase gave us the scrum and possession we needed to close out our 6th Celtic League title.

Many will call this 'winning ugly' but this particular beholder's eye can definitely see the beauty in what we achieved both this week and last.  We had a decision to make after Newcastle - do we throw in the towel and hope to regroup next season or do we unleash all the lessons we learned on both Munster and Glasgow?  The trophy we brought home to Dublin gives us our answer.  And the rewards don't end at silverware - we're now guaranteed a top seeding for next season's attempt at our fifth star.

So in the end it wasn't quite as successful a season as last year but let's face it, that was a monumental ask as there was bound to be at least one team to emerge from the chasing pack to challenge us.

When it came time for the presentation, on a day of brave yet mostly correct decisions from Leinster, fair play to Johnny Sexton for sacrificing his first chance to lift a trophy as skipper to allow the honour to fall to Sean O'Brien, who no doubt knew his World Cup hopes were dashed.

And thus ends another exciting season of writeups here at Harpin Manor.  It seems like ages ago since we pipped the Blues in Cardiff, and that's probably because it IS ages ago...it's a long bloody season but there can be no doubt that Leo, Stuart and co have been the best at managing the long haul in recent times.  Long may they continue!  JLP

NEXT FROM HARPIN MANOR - Most of our regular features will keep going for the next while, and next Monday we'll do one of our month-by-month 'season summary' posts before our attention turns to the Junior World Championship.  Do stay tuned!!!!

HarpinOnRugby match writeups are brought to you by 


#CommittedToTheGame  

Keego on...keeping the blue jersey on


Check out Keego's podcast
at thecouchpundit.podbean.com
So as we sit here at 9:17am on the Monday after the final game of the club rugby season I am 50% delighted and 50% not so delighted. I am delighted that we got to see a slug fest of a final between Glasgow and Leinster, but I am sad that the season is over. But, maybe we all need a break for a few weeks before we put the big green jersey on and put our provincial bias / passion / insert word here, away.
As we mentioned previously, both teams entered the final on the back of a demolition job in the semis. Glasgow won by 30 against Ulster and Leinster smashed up the other old enemy of Munster. Both teams looked fit and ready. The main difference being that the final was a comfortable place for Leinster, it will be for Glasgow but they haven’t spent as much time at the top table as the defending champions. Would this affect them? 
In short, no. 
Glasgow showed up ready for war. The pressure of a home final, Hogg bowing out in a home final and the knowledge that beating Leinster in a final is something that can really help the team jump on and progress, didn’t affect them. They played like veterans and this will pay off for them as the season’s progress. 
Starting with the score before we get into the game, Leinster won 18-15. We called it here as a 1 score game and it proved to be just that. It may be a little closer than it should have been in the end but the score is probably close to being reflective of the game. 
Glasgow started with Glasgow intensity. The kind of intensity that you might find on the dockside at closing time. It was fantastic to watch, it galvanised the crowd and the team looked to be putting a footprint in the final. Scoring at 14 with a bruising and bullying try that may have sent a shock through the blue side. It was well deserved and well worked. Marker put down, how would Leinster reply? Well 120 seconds late they replied after a McGrath block down and a Ringrose chase down. A real champion’s response to adversity, McGrath tracked the ball back into the Glasgow try area and jumped like Michael Jordan in his prime to block a slightly lazy Hogg clearing kick, Ringrose pounced and the game changed. 
From that moment on, Leinster played like the veterans. Marching forward and strangling a determined Glasgow. A team who never went away even in the face of a blue wave, a blue wet blanket and let’s not forget, the vaunted Leinster-jitzu.
Healy scored at 28 minutes which kept the game moving. A Sexton penalty at 36 minutes kept the scoreboard ticking. Leinster are masters in scoring in the ‘championship minutes’, that being the 10 either side of half time. It must be demoralising to see the scoreboard move like that just before the oranges at half time. Or whatever players have at half time these days.
But let’s have stats check:
Leinster ran 30 more metres at 381, passed 94 times less at 101, and had 34 fewer runs at 152. Leinster had 49% possession for 54% territory (at least whatever possession they had was in the right areas for the most part), Leinster where called into making 230 tackles (making 205), Glasgow only where called upon 191 times. The big stat, the stat that shows that these are the 2 best teams by a mile in the competition. Glasgow conceded only 7 penalties, Leinster 4! To operate under that pressure and leak only 11 penalties in 80 minutes is a testament to the skill on the pitch. 
As for the set piece, Glasgow lost 1 scrum and 1 l/o. Leinster leaked 1 l/o. Again, top level execution from both sides. The second big stat, the Irish provinces have been conceding more turnovers this year, on Saturday Leinster conceded only 7 (the best of the year so far), Glasgow where turned over 14 times. 
In terms of player stats, well it is the usual suspects in blue. Ryan with 28 tackles, missing only 1. Ruddock with 27 only missing 1, Cronin and Healy with 16 and 13 respectively. Henshaw and Ringrose had a big day too on the tackle count with 18 and 11. Glasgow appeared to have taken aim at the blue midfield and the pack. Attempting to batter them like Saracens did. Leinster where more than up to the challenge. 
Glasgow has 8 players in double figures for tackles but everyone else on the pitch had at least 3 on the counter. Hogg aside, the entire team had to put in a big shift on the day. 
So back to the second half. The teams began as the first ended, with the Leinster wet blanket being thrown on the Glasgow fire. It was a big scrap. Glasgow never went away and fought hard throughout, but they just couldn’t find fresh air in that sea of blue. Anytime they got a whiff of air, a Leinster player snatched an ankle, made a tackle or made a big hit. The fitness on both teams was unreal. 
The subs began and that was the point Glasgow popped back into the game with a Stewert try on 75 minutes with Kearney in the bin (rightly so), for a tackle on Hogg while in the air (more on the cards, or lack of below). They took advantage of the extra man and looked dangerous. But Leinster put the ball in the right areas, less box kicks in the second half took the dangerous Hogg out of the game and Leinster strangles their way to another deserved trophy. 
Sean O’Brien lifting the trophy had tears shed on the couch. A massive servant in blue and green, a leader on the pitch and off. And an example for the players coming up behind him. All the best in LI and on the recovery Seanie!
So let’s look at the controversial points of the game. Firstly the booing of Sexton. The Glasgow side of social media say it was because he took so long for the opening kick. The blue side say the booing started well ahead of the allotted time he has to take the kick. The answer lies on the blue side in this one. Not 30 seconds in did the boo start. This isn’t football lads that needs to be sorted. When the MC said over the loud speaker to respect the kickers, he got booed as well. You know you’re in Glasgow when ….
The second (and third) are the tackle from Fraser Brown on Luke McGrath at the side of a lineout. Referee Owens (usually great, but this season has seen him slip a bit) not card him due to Brown thinking that McGrath had the ball. Well if I could have used that excuse when I played, then literally every single player at any time of the game would be in danger of a tackle, just because ‘I thought they had the ball’. Silly decision and the linesmen really let themselves down here too. It was a yellow card, end of. The Brown injury looked horrific and hope the lad will make the world cup. 
The second moment was the Kearney card for a challenge on Hogg as the Glasgow FB was jumping for the ball. A fair outcome here I think. There was nothing malicious here, unlike the Brown tackle which was completely malicious. Both players had eyes on the ball and these things happen when two 15 stone fellas are competing. Classy stuff from Kearney after the challenge and after the card to check on Hogg, but a fair result in terms of the card. 
So the season is over for the blue jersey. There have been ups and downs, but with 58 players used and Dr Felipe slipping in nicely this year it has been another good year. Navigating a dip in form and finishing with a trophy is a fantastic return. Having a fire in the loins after that Champions Cup loss is no bad thing either. 
We take a break, and we go again!    
@nkeegan on twitter and www.thecouchpunditireland.com for more. 

Keego (@nkeegan): Blogger, 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.

*****
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Front Five - 27.05.19

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

ICYMI click here for a selection
of online comments after Pro14 final


"We need to be a bit more Robbie Henshaw because he's not as pretty as Garry, so that's how I word it anyway."


Brendan Fanning - Irish Independent

Everyone at Leinster Rugby wishes SeΓ‘n the very best of luck with his recovery and of course with his move to London Irish later in the year.


Irish Examiner

Overall, it was an incredibly positive tournament for Ireland who defied expectations


Sean McMahon - Pundit Arena

...a streetwise Leinster side expertly closed out a game that was...short on pure quality but enthralling from first whistle to last


Duncan Smith - The Scotsman

Usually, a sequel is a letdown compared to the original. Not so this time.


PJ Browne - Balls.ie

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, May 26, 2019

Online comments after Leinster's Pro14 final triumph

A selection of the “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.



Cian Ormond 80 minutes of squeaky bum time.

Bert McLoughlin Not on top form but had the experience to see out the 80 mins with a win



Cian Γ“ Muilleoir Not a perfect game from either team, but a great 'away' performance from Leinster. Leinster's superb defensive line, well-managed rucks and consistently winning the collision area did for Glasgow in the end. Tighter in the end than the difference between the sides I'd say, but I wouldn't press my argument over it. The better team on the day won, and it's another trophy in the cabinet. Happy feckin days!

Mike Reidy Well done Leinster, much needed boost for Irish Rugby, after a relatively disappointing season!



Colin Mcconaghie Well done Leinster but what a horrible place for fans for a rugby final. Please never again Pro14, rugby stadiums only

Karl Walsh Leinster’s defense was immense. And they proved, yet again, that they know how to win games. The Sarries result hurts and is one that got away but this result ends the season on a high. Super stuff!



John Broderick What was Sexton thinking not taking 3 points 

Sexton’s form worrying

Conan miles ahead of Stander as an 8

Luke mc Graths work rate unbelievable and will def push Murray depending on how joe wants to play 

Big boost for World Cup 

Glasgow would have destroyed Munster

James Griffin (Munster fan) Congrats Leinster people! Happy for you!



John Peeters Back to back Pro 14 winners. Not to be sniffed at. And we go again next season. Was hugely impressed by Leinster’s back row. 

We go again next season

Ginette Mifsud Weeeeeeee are the Champions my friends!!!!! πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™



Cormac Mannion Quite a different win to last year in the Aviva but probably more impressive. Thought we should have made more of that period in the second half when we were camped on their line. 

Great to defend the title and round off what has been a mixed bag of a season as a Leinster and Ireland supporter.

Noel Hewson Tough game as expected. Leinster’s experience was a factor. Stellar season good to get a trophy and that’s 3 from 4 in two seasons.



Conor Cronin Leinster know how to grind out a win even in the toughest of circumstances. That was a very difficult Glasgow team, they wanted to give nothing away. But Leinster showed that with a little luck, a lot of preparation and determination anything is possible. Very proud of the lads for putting aside critics, bad results etc and showing what champions are made of

Andrew Potts Good win just about, seriously there is a few generations of Leinster out halfs who will be wondering why at about ten mins to go on their 22 and multiple phases why Leinster did not set up a drop goal. 21/10 would have been a killer



Riocard Γ“ Tiarnaigh Luke McGrath was my MOTM. That charge down on Hogg was the deciding act. It took the wind out of their sails and got us on the scoreboard. Great performance which shows mental fortitude after the disappointment of Newcastle.

Sharon Murphy Best team won; not impressed with Glasgow fans. Come on leinster



Olwen Barrett What a result!! Great way to end the season after the disappointment of Newcastle!

Never gave up but just kept going to grind out a win over a tough Glasgow side, showing what true champions are made of! Healy, Ringrose, McGrath, Conan, Ryan all immense but all players made their presence felt.

Lovely to see SOB lift the trophy, great way to say goodbye and thanks! 

Onwards to 2020..... can we do the triple?? πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

Richard Collumb Great win! Nice way to end the season



Alan Eastwood Great game. Fair play to Leinster fuck all teams would lose a heino final and come back to win them 2 games.

Kate O'Leary (reply to Alan) fair point. Thought larmour had a storming game. Great win!



Many thanks to all who offered opinions.

Look out Monday for our match writeup JLP

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