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    Planet Rugby

    <DIV =LeadPara>Borders squad react </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The bottom line in the sad, sorry saga of the Borders' demise is that almost a third of Scotland's professional playing force is being made redundant and yet despite such a gross failure of management, no one is seemingly taking any responsibility. The current SRU management, headed by president Andy Irvine, merely point to the £23-million debt they have been saddled with by their predecessors. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The Borders squad have reacted bitterly by issuing a statement which demonstrates the odds that were stacked against them: "The feeling among the players is that they were set up this season to fail. Despite qualifying for the Heineken Cup, the club was subjected to negative comments from Gordon McKie, the SRU chief executive, after only three matches. This drove away two local sponsors.The SRU also dragged their heels when it came to issuing season tickets; marketing was either negligible or non-existent; the club was only able to employ three administrative staff, who were moved into portacabins mid-season; the pitch was poorly maintained, and two coaches were redesignated to the national team midway through the season. We believe the reason we have been having poor crowds is people in the region do not want to support the SRU." </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Viewed in that revealing light, what chance did they have? </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Murty also deflated </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>You've just seen the opposition fullback land a penalty from half-way via the crossbar followed by a marginal decision for a converted try to trail 17-0 at half-time. So to the interval entertainment. "Murty", the inflatable Munster mascot, is taking on his Llanelli non-inflated counterpart Cochyn the Dragon in a race over mini hurdles to halfway before transferring two rugby balls to one young supporter each in a foot race to the end of the pitch. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Murty, who had been winding the crowd up from long before the game, needs the assistance of two helpers to push him on his way, but soon falls to ground, whereupon Cochyn theatrically jumps on him. That takes the wind out of Murty's sails. Literally. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>To uproarious laughter from the Llanelli supporters, Murty deflates in front of their very eyes. There's no saving him. He can hardly stagger. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>So the race resumes from a standing start on halfway with the two young fans without any "tag" element to the relay. The Scarlets girl beats the Munster boy. At 17-0 down, if you didn't have a good idea already, somehow you knew it wasn't going to be Munster's night. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Munster return </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Ideally, the players and managements of both Munster and Leinster would like to crawl into a hole for the next few weeks, but while the latter at least have a tilt at the Magners Celtic League to contemplate, Munster are not only out of contention but won't be able to avoid painful memories of losing their European crown. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>As fate would have it, their next League fixture is away to the Ospreys, in Swansea's Liberty Stadium, next Saturday. And who do they play in Musgrave Park the following Saturday? The Scarlets. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Rugby can be a sadistically cruel game. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Peace in Portugal </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The fall-out from Portugal's dramatic one-point aggregate win over a 14-man Uruguay in Montevideo a week ago for the last World Cup qualifying place is only now being put to bed, so to speak. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The ha
    Seas suas agus troid!

    The Borders thing is an absolute disgrace. It's no co-incidence that
    Leinster 2 biggest ML games (attendance wise) were also the most
    heavily promoted, there is an audience who will go to games if it's
    marketted correctly.
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win