Saturday, July 30, 2022

Some thoughts on the debate surrounding the RFU ruling on "gender participation policy"


Normally I try to use "seeing both sides" as a starting point when it comes to forming an opinion on an issue, but for the "debate" surrounding Friday's RFU ruling it has honestly been very difficult.

At one extreme, the premise seems to be that if you are against the ban, you either "don't care about women's safety" or you are "being too political".

For me, it is obvious that the indifference to safety one is nonsense.
Even in the hyperbolic opinionated world of social media, virtually everyone wants sport to be played as safely as possible, and to briefly reference another issue, I believe this applies to 20m red card supporters too.

As for the "being political" argument, while it is not nonsense IMO, it is not necessarily a bad thing either. If standing up for things like inclusion and basic rights is being political, then so be it. No matter how much we want politics out of sport, their paths will always cross.

Meanwhile at the other extreme there is a premise that if you are for the ban, then you are a bigot/TERF/transphobe. 

In reality, this of course does not apply to all by a long shot, but it definitely does for many of the opinions I have seen expressed. It's hard to deny there is a significant group which clearly doesn't care a jot about women's safety nor sport nor anything else but their own anger and hatred, and the abuse we're seeing in this debate is a fraction of what happens online outside rugby.

So this is why my opinion lands firmly on the "no ban" side. Of course we can talk about safety, of course we can recognize that this is an issue which needs to explore individual cases and scientific data and other such things.

I just don't understand why it all had to be framed as a vote on a certain date to ban certain people, surely knowing the type of attitudes and attacks it was going to bring forward? If anything can be described as "political" in a negative sense, it's that decision.

There are of course many, many figures in the ruggersphere that are far more qualified to talk about the specifics than I am. I just hope that not only can this issue be resolved rationally in the real world, but also that in future similar ones are approached with greater sensitivity. JLP

PS This post was originally written as a Twitter thread but I prefer to express longer thoughts in the form of an article so I transferred it here - cynics might say I "just wanted the clicks" but for this I'm happy to let them think that if they must.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Leinster Rugby 21/22 - the writeup of all writeups

It's the end of July, we've seen the snazzy new jersey for next season plus news is starting to trickle through about fixtures...so before we're really counting the days to when it all starts up again, time for one post to look back through the timeline of Leinster's 21/22 campaign.

On the "End of Season" episode of our podcast we talked about it in a general sense so be sure to have a listen - the whole point of this post is to remind you of the progress from September all the way through to June.  

Naturally there were disappointments towards the end, but I have a funny feeling that if you were the type of fan that only cared about the province when we were winning silverware, you wouldn't be following a fansite like this one!

Personally, I really do think the matches that stand out most for me are those in South Africa.  Obvs I wouldn't be saying that had we won a final or two, but still the fact that we were able to not only send an inexperienced side down there but also for them to do so well and come back with something from both matches, bodes really well for the many challenges that lie ahead.

Anyway - here's a list of all the matches we played, also the ones we didn't, plus of course the one we didn't which was given a final score anyway...

SEPTEMBER

Leinster-40 Harlequins-21

Fri Sep 10 - Aviva Stadium - Preseason friendly

"By far and away our catalyst was none other than Johnny Sexton...He was on top of his game, showed the very leadership we’d expect from our club captain, and clearly inspired those around him to rack up four quality tries before halftime against a Harlequins XV not a million miles from that which won the Premiership a few months ago." - WELCOME BACK

Leinster-31 Vodacom Bulls-3

Sat Sep 25 - Aviva Stadium - URC Round 1

"By far the most eye-catching change was in the front row, with both Porter starting and Healy on the bench sporting new jersey numbers. And you simply could not have written a better script to open the match.  Bulls 10 Johan Goosen kicks off and puts it straight into touch, giving us the first Leinster scrum before the clock has barely gotten going.  After one reset, Adamson’s arm goes straight up in the air for a penalty to Leinster on Porter’s side - just how satisfying must that have been?" - THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...

OCTOBER

Dragons-6 Leinster-7

Sun Oct 3 - Rodney Parade - URC Round 2

"The bottom line that made us able to come away with four match points on the day was that not once during the 80 minutes did the Dragons look even remotely like they were ever going to cross our line." - THE KNOCK ON EFFECT

Leinster-43 Zebre-7

Sat Oct 9 - RDS Arena - URC Round 3

"Sexton scooped the PotM gong courtesy of another legendary Ireland skipper Fiona Coughlan in the RTÉ commentary booth.  I might have leaned towards Adam Byrne to help celebrate his return but in reality it is hard to argue that Johnny’s introduction made a significant difference to the proceedings." - 10K'S A CROWD

Leinster-50 Scarlets-15

Sat Oct 16 - RDS Arena - URC Round 4

"Ciarán Frawley won Player of the Match and while I probably would have given it to a forward, his role in our attacking structure was definitely worthy of recognition because although a lot of the moves and formations on show didn’t quite pay off as designed, at times we actually looked capable of creating space at will." - FORWARD MOMENTUM

Glasgow Warriors-15 Leinster-31

Fri Oct 22 - Scotstoun - URC Round 5

"...all in all a very satisfying end to the opening five rounds by Leinster.  Top of the URC pile, just the one point dropped, defenses in order, new evolution of attack starting to come good, and still with things like a creaky lineout keeping us honest." - WRITEUP TITLE/LINK

NOVEMBER

Leinster-10 Ulster-20

Sat Nov 27 - RDS Arena - URC Round 6

"...while (Max Deegan) seemed to expect the ball to come to him, James Hume was lying in wait to pounce, totally earning the right to recover a little bobble and run it in to not only nail down the historic win but also deny us a losing bonus we might have actually been thankful for all things considered." - LYING IN WAIT

DECEMBER

Leinster-47 Connacht-19

Fri Dec 3 - RDS Arena - URC Round 7

"A mere mortal would have known Jordan Larmour was with him and simply fixed his first tackler and put his winger through.  But not this guy (Dan Sheehan).  Instead he does a little shuffle step putting Mack Hansen on the deck (remember, big hooker vs pacy winger…not crashing through him, rather actually skipping around him) before powering to the line for a wonderful YouTube clip-worthy try just before half time." - MORE LIKE IT

Leinster-45 Bath-20

Sat Dec 11 - Aviva Stadium - HCC Round 1

"...I'm going to do my best train myself to stop and take a deep breath whenever I'm getting too annoyed when my beloved Leinster doesn't achieve perfection in absolutely everything they do, instead remembering the chants of those faithful younglings from Saturday.  We could probably all do with watching sport that way more often." - "LEINSTER!!! LEINSTER!!!"

Montpellier-28 Leinster-0*

Fri Dec 17 - GGL Stadium - HCC Round 2 (match forfeited)

"The pandemic goalposts keep getting moved on a near-daily basis so it's not just sporting types which have to handle it.  So what happens, happens and of course we all hope above everything else that all who tested positive are actually ok." - ASTERISKS AND THE OMICRON

Munster v Leinster (postponed)

Sun Dec 26 - Thomond Park - URC Round 8

JANUARY

Ulster v Leinster (postponed)

Sat Jan 1 - Kingspan Stadium - URC Round 9

Leinster v Lions (postponed)

Fri Jan 7 - RDS Arena - URC Round 10

Leinster-89 Montpellier-7

Sun Jan 16 - RDS Arena - HCC Round 3

"...for this try JVDF was "only" involved at the start of the move, making the most of Jack Conan’s catch at a lineout at halfway, and at the end when finishing it by dotting down, again taking it from his number 8.  What happened in between was a wonderful series of passes, offloads, clearouts and recycles from pretty much the rest of the XV, with the highlight being a guided missile of a long pass from James Lowe into the path of Jimmy O’Brien.  Plus we originally won back possession after a strong bout of defending at halfway." - NO MERCI

Bath-7 Leinster-64

Sat Jan 22 - The Rec - HCC Round 4

"Over the past couple of weeks the measure of (Jimmy O'Brien's) displays can be found in how easily the more experienced backs around him include him in virtually every move.  Whether you've played European rugby before or not, if you're selected for this Leinster team you're guaranteed to be involved in everything and he was able to back up the confidence with a bucket load of scores and quality contributions." - GRAND JOB

Cardiff Rugby-29 Leinster-27

Sat Jan 29 - Cardiff Arms Park - URC Round 11

"When the two defences came out of the blocks looking stingy, the home side tried something different and it kept paying off, while we stuck to our guns and although it did get us three tries, I really think if we had taken a similar approach to our hosts we could have gotten more and even killed the game altogether up to half an hour" - EVANS ABOVE

FEBRUARY

Leinster-26 Edinburgh-7

Fri Feb 11 - RDS Arena - URC Round 12

"Not much to summarize...only that while we definitely deserved to win because our try line defense was far superior to theirs, we really should treasure that bonus point because whatever the rugby gods had against us in Cardiff, they most certainly looked keen to make amends here." - BIT OF A STRETCH

Leinster-29 Ospreys-7

Sat Feb 19 - RDS Arena - URC Round 13

"Personally I wish it could be possible to nominate an entire bench for a match gong.  Our starting XV did well here it's true, seizing control early and staying strong defensively but were it not for the collection of cameos the all important bonus point was by no means certain." - BENCH BONUS

Leinster-21 Lions-13

Fri Feb 25 - RDS Arena - URC Round 10

"It was a certain try.  It just was.  And even if Pienaar was caught, that wasn't going to be enough - he had to be hit just right so he couldn't power through and touch the ball down anyway as the best wingers are wont to do.  And boy did he hit the guy just right, it was one the best try-saving tackles the RDS has seen." - THAT TACKLE

MARCH

Benetton-17 Leinster-61

Sat Mar 5 - Stadio di Monigo - URC Round 14

"I wouldn't feel too badly about things if I were Benetton, we were in determined mood on this particular day and they are getting used to a new coach and definitely have the talent to get back, especially when their internationals return.  Plus, had the URC schedule gone as originally planned, they would have been stronger for this match, not having had to face the Sharks a week before." - CLOUD NINE

Ulster-18 Leinster-13

Sat Mar 12 - Kingspan Stadium - URC Round 9

"For Leinster the last two weeks have shown us exactly how much a functioning lineout means to us.  Without clean ball last time out, no way would we have racked up 60+ points.  This time, the inaccuracy arguably cost us the 5 points we were short at the end, although we still had the Ulster D to contend with." - DOUBLE TROUBLE

Connacht-8 Leinster-45

Sat Mar 26 - Sportsground - URC Round 15

"When it comes to intent on this challenge, obviously nobody is suggesting (Daly) wanted to injure (Frawley), but he was attempting a tackle so this was always going to struggle to find mitigation down from a red card." - HAWKS OVER EAGLES

APRIL

Munster-19 Leinster-34

Sat Apr 2 - Thomond Park - URC Round 8

"Naturally I was hoping for a big shove from our pack, but...I did not expect one...like I always say when I have reservations over my team, I'm delighted to be proven wrong and what followed was a really good 8-man shove from Leinster which had our hosts under pressure, so much so that when Kendellen reached down and grabbed the ball, he was met by Caelan Doris." - SWITCHED ON

Connacht-21 Leinster-26

Fri Apr 8 - Sportsground - HCC Rd of 16 (1st leg)

"When it comes to these two-leg rounds, well I'm not as against them as many seem to be, and for sure there a lot of ties still well poised going into the reverse fixtures, but overall I'd be very happy to see a return to the "four team pools leading to quarterfinals" format as soon as possible." - ALL TO PLAY FOR

Leinster-56 Connacht-20

Fri Apr 15 - Aviva Stadium - HCC Rd of 16 (2nd leg)

"With the margin on the day already at 29 and the aggregate at 34...all (Lowe) had to do was place it down where he stood to bring his personal tally to four and it was a perfect end to the match, right? Wrong...Ever grateful to his out half for setting him up, James made sure the placekick was that much easier by skipping around towards the posts..." - THE LOWE SHOW

Sharks-28 Leinster-23

Sat Apr 23 - Jonsson Kings Park Stadium - URC Round 16

"Frawley's poise was really impressive, so much so that I'm wondering if he's not better suited to a 10 role.  I know that doesn't speak well for Harry, who was good on occasion here, but with his 12 taking the placekicks I reckon it's a fair observation." - POINT TAKEN

Stormers-20 Leinster-13

Sat Apr 30 - DHL Stadium - URC Round 17

"Sure, we fell short in the end, and sure, there were frustrating moments like those blocking penalties at lineouts, but overall it was a second consecutive 80-minute display that can only be met with immense pride from all fans." - STORMCHASING

MAY

Leicester Tigers-14 Leinster-23

Sat May 7 - Welford Road Stadium - HCC Quarterfinal

"Naturally we needed a bit of luck along the way, every winning team does, but on a day when fans are bound to be nervous whether their team are favourites or not the boys in blue made their return to Leo Cullen's stomping ground look perhaps not "easy" or "comfortable", but definitely controlled." - GAME MANAGEMENT

Leinster-40 Toulouse-17

Sat May 14 - Aviva Stadium - HCC Semifinal

"...the fact that James Lowe did...two amazing kicks, also helping himself to two tries while playing a pivotal role in our fourth, DIDN'T get Player of the Match, which nobody, not even he would dispute, tells you all you need to know." - LEINSTERTAINMENT+

Leinster-35 Munster-25

Sat May 21 - Aviva Stadium - URC Round 18

"..it was kicked ahead into our 22 it was gathered by Jordan Larmour....I reckon it was the sixth Munsterman that had a go at defying his steps and weaves who actually brought him down, but not until he was at the halfway line.." - FIRST OF ALL

Leinster-21 La Rochelle-24

Sat May 28 - Marseille - HCC Final

"I truly believe it was simple.  Two great teams went at it for 80 minutes, the lead exchanged hands a few times, and when a push came to a shove towards the end, the better team won.  Just." - OUTSTRETCHED

JUNE

Leinster-76 Glasgow Warriors-14

Sat Jun 4 - RDS Arena - URC Quarterfinal

"...this was a good performance and a powerful result, on a bright (if really, really cold for some reason) day back at the RDS where we hadn't been since February.  And while it may not have told us much about our chances of winning this new competition, it was definitely an excellent way to put last weekend behind us...- D4GGER

Leinster-26 Bulls-27

Sat Jun 11 - RDS Arena - URC Semifinal

"...no matter what has gone before, you still have to go out and get the job done and besides, the more success you've had throughout the season, the more likely opponents are going to find a specific way to beat you." - BUSINESS END

****************************

Next week we'll do a similar post for Ireland's matches, but outside that we're kind of in "coccoon mode" here at Harpin' Manor as we hope to change a few things around in time for next season.

Of course we're always keeping tabs on the day to days happenings in the rugby world, so feel free to follow the conversation on the twitter machine and jump in with your two cents when the mood takes you.  JLP

Thursday, July 21, 2022

3.50 : “End of Season Special” featuring Keego, Mark Jackson & Tom Coleman



Listen to the pod using the player above or better still,
subscribe to our feed we're on most major platforms




Twitter accounts for our guests:

Neil “Keego” Keegan > https://twitter.com/keegolaughs_irl

Mark Jackson > https://twitter.com/hoomanbear

Tom Coleman > https://twitter.com/LeinsterRoyalty

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