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Maybe time to cut Leinster some slack

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    Maybe time to cut Leinster some slack


    Gerry Thornley






    On Rugby: Matt Williams once observed that Leinster receive a much
    more critical press and hence more critical public analysis than their
    Munster brethren. Against that, it could be argued that over the years
    Munster earned their latitude the hard way, whereas Leinster too often
    flattered to deceive. But Williams had a point.






    That thought occurred again on Saturday that perhaps it's time to
    cut Leinster some slack. For the fourth time in a month, at four
    different venues, they helped attract a full house. Notably thanks to
    the marketing coup that was "The Last Stand" on New Year's Eve,
    Leinster as much as anyone have made the last few weeks the bumper
    month to end all bumper months so far for the league.






    The surfeit of festive derbies, coupled with the 20,000-plus crowd
    that witnessed the Ospreys putting 50 points on Llanelli, underlined
    again how the marketing of Scottish rugby is languishing well behind
    their Celtic brethren. Scarcely 2,000 saw their big derby between
    Glasgow and Edinburgh, in keeping with the relatively minuscule crowds
    that have turned up at Scottish grounds, even in the supposed heartland
    of the Borders when a star-studded Biarritz came calling. That should
    serve as a salient reminder that these are golden times for Irish
    rugby.






    Well refereed by Scotland's Malcolm Changleng, admittedly Saturday
    was Leinster's kind of match on what remains a well manicured
    Donnybrook surface, until that is, the daily dose of the cash cow and
    sacred cow that is the Leinster Schools' Senior Cup tears it up during
    February.






    What's more it had shades of one of those fait accompli home wins
    that adorn the French Championship on a weekly basis. Playing their
    fourth game in 14 days, the Ospreys' coach Lynn Jones had effectively
    thrown his hat at the game after targeting the home win over Llanelli
    and next week's rendezvous with French runaway leaders Stade Francais
    (who contrived to lose at bottom club Bayonne on Saturday).






    In this, and in Llanelli's festive freefall from second to sixth in
    the table, the Welsh are suffering for the backlog of fixtures caused
    by the Anglo-Welsh cup.






    Despite the 45-22 win, the Leinster players and coach Michael
    Cheika especially, were palpably unfulfilled afterwards. They wanted
    the Ospreys' best game, but didn't get it. Leinster's attitude to the
    league, no less than Ulster's, is refreshing. No doubt all Munster's
    withdrawals from their game away to the Dragons on Friday were genuine,
    but as an aside the reprise of their under-strength defeat at Rodney
    Parade last season has left Connacht five points adrift of their main
    rivals for that last qualifying route into the Heineken European Cup,
    and with two games more played.






    In any event, Leinster know they should have put the Ospreys away
    even sooner than they did in their three-try, 21-point blitz in the
    third quarter, and that the customary spate of replacements - a blight
    on so many games these days - stemmed their flow.






    Even so, there was no team in any of the major European leagues
    that scored such a quantity or quality of tries over the weekend. Six
    of the very best.






    Indeed, is there a better team to watch in Europe? It could be
    argued a backline of all the talents should be capable of this, and
    that a tailor's dummy could coach them to do it. But the way some of
    the scores were executed had the hallmarks of the Cheika-David Knox
    influence.






    Take their second try. In making one of five clean line breaks
    Gordon D'Arcy didn't throw out a Hail Mary pass when confronted by the
    last man, but took the tackle and waited a few crucial seconds until
    Brian O'Driscoll had time to cut in from 15 metres to D'Arcy's outside
    and take the short offload to break clear for the score. For a team
    that makes so man

    #2
    I agree.I think they have a great Chance in the HC.
    I distrust Camels and anybody else that go for 7 days without a drink

    Comment


      #3


      epaddy do you know if all that extra revenue goes to the Leinster branch or back into the IRFU main coffers?





      Expect Leinster to get through their group alright, then anything can happen.
      Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

      Comment


        #4


        I also agree , the confidence in their backline is contagious.


        I certainly hope they progress in the HC until they meet the Holders.

        Comment


          #5
          @@@@SPAN style="font-weight: normal;" ="postUsername">McCloud as far as I know the IRFU only take the gates from the knock out stages of the HEC. Could be wrong though



          Munster are the only team I want to avoid this year. If we can get through the comp avoiding them I reckon we will win it.

          @@@@/SPAN>

          Comment


            #6
            Leinster are 8/1 to win the HC , not a bad bet as I feel Munster are probably the only team likely to beat them on current form.

            Comment


              #7
              GT is so far up Cheika & Knox's respective arse's it's unbelievable. He's been coining terms such as "galatico's" & "ultras" all season long. It was a dead cert that the "Last stand" would be a sell out what with irish rugby on the up and a little simple marketing.

              That said they have looked somewhat impressive, but have flattered to decieve many times in the past and have mannered to choke only as recently as Edinburgh. They will get out of the group, would be impossible for them not too, even with their ability to feck things up, but then the only test they've had in the group was Edinburgh and they failed that, Agen were laughable, Glocs were amateurs, put Leinster in front of Biarritz, Stade, Llanelli and of course Munster then we can see if we'll cut them some slack or let them hang themselves again.

              Comment


                #8
                Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

                Comment


                  #9


                  Originally posted by RobbieG
                  GT is so far up Cheika & Knox's respective arse's it's unbelievable. He's been coining terms such as "galatico's" & "ultras" all season long. It was a dead cert that the "Last stand" would be a sell out what with irish rugby on the up and a little simple marketing.

                  That said they have looked somewhat impressive, but have flattered to decieve many times in the past and have mannered to choke only as recently as Edinburgh. They will get out of the group, would be impossible for them not too, even with their ability to feck things up, but then the only test they've had in the group was Edinburgh and they failed that, Agen were laughable, Glocs were amateurs, put Leinster in front of Biarritz, Stade, Llanelli and of course Munster then we can see if we'll cut them some slack or let them hang themselves again.

                  I wouldnt even call Edinburgh a test. They were woefully poor and Leinster somehow contrived to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


                  My computer thinks I'm gay
                  What's the difference anyway
                  When all the people do all day
                  Is stare into a phone

                  Comment


                    #10
                    as long as leinster dont meet munster HC is theirs for teh taking [img]smileys/cool.gif[/img]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Its all part of the marketing plan. Lose the soft away game, win the home game, release it on video, television, book, play and hollywood motion picture and bore the pants of the rest of the rugby world going on about it for the next decade. Call it the wonder match, or the miracle game and watch the gullible shell out their shekels by the barrowload. Its been done before however.

                      Comment


                        #12


                        Originally posted by Point
                        Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

                        Very apt Point, considering our season depends on the result in Scotland.[img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]


                        The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                        - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

                        Comment


                          #13


                          Originally posted by Rogfan
                          Its all part of the marketing plan. Lose the soft away game, win the home game, release it on video, television, book, play and hollywood motion picture and bore the pants of the rest of the rugby world going on about it for the next decade. Call it the wonder match, or the miracle game and watch the gullible shell out their shekels by the barrowload. Its been done before however.

                          There has been no indication that you can follow through with it though.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Upfront_1979


                            Originally posted by Point
                            Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

                            Very apt Point, considering our season depends on the result in Scotland.[img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]


                            What's happening in Scotland ?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Point
                              Originally posted by Upfront_1979


                              Originally posted by Point
                              Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

                              Very apt Point, considering our season depends on the result in Scotland.[img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]


                              What's happening in Scotland ?


                              oops meant to say on our result agaisnt the scots (edinburgh) [img]smileys/redface.gif[/img]
                              The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                              - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

                              Comment

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