Analysis: Sterner Test Awaits As Scarlets Size Up Munster

A HOME PRO 12 semi-final defeat of the Ospreys was largely expected. Munster have been exceptional this season and coming into the weekend no side had ever lost a semi on their own turf. That said, beating the Welsh region was never a straightforward task and Rassie Erasmus’ men broke down their opponents admirably, emphatically underlining their … More Analysis: Sterner Test Awaits As Scarlets Size Up Munster

THE LEARNING CURVE: Munster Fall To Saracens’ Supremacy

Sometimes the better team wins. Simple as. When you’re simply outclassed in a match, there isn’t a whole lot you can say. Luckily for Munster, there’s a greater picture than just Sarries – there’s a future and more imminently, there’s a Pro12 title waiting to be contended for. Most importantly, many of the players involved … More THE LEARNING CURVE: Munster Fall To Saracens’ Supremacy

Gatland Goes For Power As Three Munster Players Make The Plane

A few surprises… Warren Gatland revealed his talent-packed squad this morning to the anticipation of wide-eyed rugby fans either side of the Irish Sea; a squad that had seasoned pros right at the heart of it. If you’re looking for a standard-driver, someone physically dominant and experienced in the heat of battle then take your pick, because … More Gatland Goes For Power As Three Munster Players Make The Plane

Shackles Off: Time To Stand Up And Fight

RONAN O’GARA WROTE in his latest book, “When you get into bonus territory the shackles come off. There’s a massive emotional release.” It’s one of my favourite lines from a rugby player because of what it means when put into practise. Everything is different at the semi-final stage. A stage that I think has probably been … More Shackles Off: Time To Stand Up And Fight

How Good Are Joe Schmidt’s Ireland Really?

Doomsday? Only if you’re surprised. It wasn’t a disastrous performance, instead a welcome reality check for everyone. I’d hate to say “hate to say I told you so”, but this has been coming. Even despite the defeat to Scotland, this Irish team had an invincibility in the media and among supporter’s conversations. For this week at least, … More How Good Are Joe Schmidt’s Ireland Really?

ANALYSIS: Plenty Of Subtlety, But Not Enough Impact From Jamie Heaslip In 2017

Six Nations 2009, Ireland Vs France, Jamie Heaslip scores a vital try. Rapid, powerful, talented. Heaslip epitomized Declan Kidney’s Grand Slam winning team. I think Ireland were on a different level back then and I would have similar feelings about Jamie Heaslip.   Ireland Vs France 2017, Ireland win and Heaslip has had what is … More ANALYSIS: Plenty Of Subtlety, But Not Enough Impact From Jamie Heaslip In 2017

COLUMN: Stander Is The Ultimate Ambassador For The Residency Rule But The Concept Remains Wrong

CJ STANDER IS the ultimate advertisement for the project player rule. Kimmage, Hunt have made strong cases against foreigners playing in Irish jerseys but have wrongly targeted the players who are simply doing the best thing for their rugby careers.  The residency rule is a farce but the people that have lived by it deserve … More COLUMN: Stander Is The Ultimate Ambassador For The Residency Rule But The Concept Remains Wrong

Hold Your Horses: Ireland Six Nations Preview

‘We beat the All Blacks, we can beat anyone’ Form The Six Nations is a championship. A test of consistency, one week to the next. Supporters remember 2016 for the two blockbuster performances. Defeating South Africa on their home turf for the first time and famously overcoming the All Blacks in Chicago What isn’t mentioned … More Hold Your Horses: Ireland Six Nations Preview