I hope St Patrick's Day finds you & yours well. It is a crazy time, no doubt about it.
Right about now we should be harping on a completed Six Nations campaign, getting ready for today's Leinster Schools Cup Final at the RDS, as well as looking ahead to the remainder of the domestic rugby season and hopefully a continuation of Leinster's unbeaten run.
But alas that is not to be and rather than lament that reality, here at Harpin Manor we have chosen to lean into it and find a way to stay active by way of what we're calling #RetroRugby.
Of course we're not trying to say we invented this concept - all over the world sports fans are passing the time by rewatching classic contests. We just want to do it our own way, and that involves spending the entire day of the rewatch attempting to recapture the sporting atmosphere of the time.
So for our first match, namely the first of Ireland's Grand Slam campaign from 2018 (not too far back I know but still fitting IMO since we were meant to play in Paris last weekend), we start by sharing our "Front Five" feature from the the morning of the match.
Later today we will re-post our match preview, and then at 3pm, the rewatch will begin and I will be tweeting updates along with @RugbyKino. I will be watching using this YouTube clip - the commentary is in French. After full time I will post a selection of online comments from the day in question as well as my match writeup and finally, @RugbyKino and I will have a chat for a podcast to round things off.
Hopefully you'll join us and this can be a good way to get through the rugbyless weeks ahead! JLP
A selection of quotes & links
"Hopefully I haven’t outstayed my welcome"
Gerry Thornley - Irish Times
What looked, for the longest time, to be a French rout turned into one hell of a game in Bordeaux.
Pat McCarry - SportsJoe.ie
Roscrea advanced to the last-eight of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup after overcoming a stern challenge from Wesley College
All five Ulster Bank League Division 1A matches on Saturday see clubs from opposite halves of the table go head-to-head
TV3 have taken over the coverage of the famous competition and will have to big boots to fill as RTE’s renowned coverage
Eddie Ryan - SportsJoe.ie