Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Aftermath

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Aftermath


    Tears of the down as clubs' comprehensive European Cup exits expose a lack of depth</font>
    <table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="122"><t><tr>
    <td>

    SK,3 Leinster's Jamie Heaslip shows his dejection after his side's Heineken Cup exit
    </font></td>
    </tr>

    </t></table>


    Tuesday April 3rd 2007</font>




    It was always going to end up in tears - so goes one of the Heineken
    Cup advertisement billboards ahead of the knock-out phase of this
    season's top club competition.


    Certainly for Munster and Leinster it made for a weekend of
    drowning in self pity such was the comprehensive manner in which each
    of our premier provinces went down to Llanelli and Wasps respectively.


    And let there be no ambiguity we were hosed first up at Stradey on Friday then even more painfully at Adams Park on Saturday.


    There were some mitigating elements not least the absence of
    talismen Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll from the sides. That plus
    the tournament coming on the back of the Six Nations didn't help but to
    defend either Irish performance on these issues alone is deluding
    ourselves to reality.


    In both must-win matches the hungrier side playing the more rounded
    and more meaningful rugby won . . . every bit as convincingly as the
    final scoreline suggests. It made for an abrupt end to a season which
    early in the New Year had promised so much but in professional rugby as
    in life, you reap what you sow and quite frankly save for the finish in
    South West Wales and the second quarter in North West London it was the
    home sides dictating the tempo.


    The damage in practical terms for Munster was done in the first half
    but at least the defending champions gave it a blast in an honest if
    futile attempt at second half catch up.


    That said, they were poor, out-Munstered by Llanelli and for
    Leinster no such signal, once the going got tough, as in falling
    behind, there was no way back. When Leinster heads drop the individual
    and collective body language smacks of 'get us out of here'.


    With justifiable reason the vast majority in the significant band of
    travelling supporters felt let down yet again. For if ever opportunity
    knocked for Leinster rugby to make a statement as the flag-bearer for
    Irish rugby on the European trail this was it.


    Events in Stradey the previous evening had set it up, yet come the
    final whistle in High Wycombe and it was the Munster performance - poor
    and all though it was - being viewed some 24 hour on in the healthier
    light.


    There is no doubt it is Eddie O'Sullivan who is the winner given
    that the truly intensive part of the rugby season is effectively over
    for Munster and Leinster. I say that with all due respect to the
    Magners League. Expect Leinster to go on and take the Celtic title but
    it is small fry by comparison.


    Three defeats on the road in this European campaign alone leaves
    little room for doubt that as currently constituted Michael Cheika's
    squad is as far off the winning podium as they have ever been.


    Once again when the chips were down the forwards buckled with only
    Bernard Jackman, Trevor Hogan and Stephen Keogh delivering to the
    mental and physical level required. Quite what logic - other than
    waving the white flag from the stand - went into withdrawing these
    three from the second half action goes beyond me. One can only assume
    injury at the root, for Jackman anyway, but all in all it added to the
    co

    #2


    here's what happened to me last weekend;
    <DIV ="itemC&#111;ntent">
    <H1 style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt">Friday</H1>
    It was the day of the big game; Llanelli vs. Munster, in the quarter final of the European cup. The last few times we’ve had a Friday night quarter final in town, I’ve gone to the game after work but there were so many people coming over from Ireland that my mates wanted to make a day of it and I booked a half day in work. I was too excited to do any work in the morning, preferring to read about the game on t’interweb. According to the Munster fan’s website, all hotels and B&amp;Bs in Llanelli were full and most of the ones in Swansea as well. I did have a slight panic when I emailed the mate with my ticket. He emailed back to say that he’d sold it on ebay. I panicked and started emailing and phoning around, looking for another ticket. I found one and was about to buy it when I noticed that I hadn’t read all of my mate’s email. If I would have scrolled to the end of it, I would have seen that he’d typed, “only joking mate, I’ll see you down the pub with your ticket later”.
    My mates were going for a meal first but I would have missed that so I had food in the house and then went for a haircut before meeting up with them. As it was a Friday afternoon, I thought I wouldn’t be long in the barbers and would make the pub in plenty of time. Unfortunately, the schools were off due to teacher training so I had to queue behind a load of kids getting flash haircuts. When I was getting my haircut, the barber asked if it was okay as it was or if I wanted it shorter. I wanted it shorter but I wanted to be in the pub more so I left with it half done. By the time I was done my mates had moved on from to another pub so I went to meet them there.
    I hadn’t been to that pub in a long while as they don’t have the best of clientele so I hadn’t seen their new beer garden. It was great though, all wooden decking, gazebos and outdoor heaters. I had a couple of speckled hens there and then moved on. The rest of the gang were moving onto a pub near the ground that had erected a big marquee for the day but I wanted to meet some of the Munster fans, who I thought would be in the Irish pub. They just weren’t inside the Irish pub but they were also outside it. The pub had a band on so not everyone could fit in and so the street was full of people drinking. I had no chance of getting in so I went to my mate’s pub next door. The front room there was full as well but there was some room in the back.
    The kids who usually call there were already hammered so I joined them. The mate with my ticket, had imbibed a fair few beers that day was so confident of a Llanelli win, that he bet me £10 that we’d win by twenty points. There were a few tickets going for sale in the pub, which surprised me, as there hadn’t been any available for months. The kids went down to the ground apart from one of their mates. He stayed in the pub and sat with my mates. I tried to introduce him to the rest of the gang but I couldn’t remember his name. It was particularly embarrassing as I speak to him every week in the pub. As I’d already made a fool of myself, I introduced him as Cupcake. It turned out he wasn’t going to the game, as he didn’t have a ticket so I phoned a mate of mine at the ground, who had a spare so that worked out okay. The landlord said he couldn’t wait for everyone to go to the ground as he’d been serving a packed pub all day. He didn’t have a rest though as people without ti
    I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I\'d rather dance with the cows until you come home.

    Comment


      #3


      fozzie, I presume your mates pub is the princes head and your mate is Karl?


      Was there before the game and for the fights after, impressive fights, no wonder he was knackered the following day. Nice pub and very friendly minus the fights. Was funny the amount of people apologising for the fights and embarrassed that it was all welsh lads involved.


      Just got back from Bristol last night having also seen Sunderland v Cardiff city in the football and cardiff city fans v Swansea city fans V the cops in Cardiff central station at 8pm sat night (about 30 cops involved).



      Enjoyed Llanelli (except for the game) nice beach but shame about the unbeleivable amount of litter on the way to the beach, swansea, the mumbles and Bath were pretty cool too, Shame that it is close to impossible to watch a rugby match in Cardiff bay though.


      As you said earlier in the post, I was impressed with the scarlets fans at the game, the silence for kicks was excellent but equally impressive was the way there was no booing of each others songs, hymns and arias side by side with the fields, lovely friendly atmosphere, shame our side didnt turn up for the second half.
      Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by scotscor


        fozzie, I presume your mates pub is the princes head and your mate is Karl?


        that's the one. I missed the fight myself. I'm surprised they still had the energy.
        I could dance with you until the cows come home. On second thought I\'d rather dance with the cows until you come home.

        Comment


          #5


          Good thread this-lots of interesting reading[img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]


          Ward is spot on there in fairness-who in the Leinster backroom team is he referring to?

          Comment


            #6
            Sad but basically true
            Con Artist

            Comment


              #7


              Unusually good article by the Wardmeister[img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]although I think the coaching and tactics are getting off light.

              Comment


                #8
                Thornely wrote a good article today as well- he had some praise for Mafi who in fairness did brilliantly for last try-he needs some defensive coaching but does have ability going forward-to me he looks more suited to the wing

                Comment


                  #9


                  Originally posted by toomey
                  Thornely wrote a good article today as well- he had some praise for Mafi who in fairness did brilliantly for last try-he needs some defensive coaching but does have ability going forward-to me he looks more suited to the wing

                  I've been arguing that one most of the season but doesn't seem likely to happen.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Evil Omer


                    Originally posted by toomey
                    Thornely wrote a good article today as well- he had some praise for Mafi who in fairness did brilliantly for last try-he needs some defensive coaching but does have ability going forward-to me he looks more suited to the wing

                    I've been arguing that one most of the season but doesn't seem likely to happen.


                    Ya he would seem a more obvious wing than bambi-If bambi bulked up and retained the ball in contact better he would be an excellent OC. Someone has to move-next season we will have Lewis,Mafi and Murphy to play 13. Playing one of them at 12 won`t work as they will be weak defensively. Mafi`s one handed pick up for the last try was class and he could be a good runner from the wing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Evil Omer


                      Originally posted by toomey
                      Thornely wrote a good article today as well- he had some praise for Mafi who in fairness did brilliantly for last try-he needs some defensive coaching but does have ability going forward-to me he looks more suited to the wing

                      I've been arguing that one most of the season but doesn't seem likely to happen.


                      It DOES seem odd having this march hare in the center, while kelly is on the wing. Swapping them seems plain as day to me. I like kelly in the centre. He's got everything but a little pace, which mafi clearly does have.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X