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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Northampton Saints

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-12-13

If this was to be Leinster's last competitive trip to England, and let's hope it's not, they certainly went out in style. Northampton lived up to its reputation as a proper rugby town and the few thousand Leinster fans that were lucky enough to be there last week certainly had a weekend to remember. The Northampton fans were welcoming before the match and extremely gracious in defeat afterwards, especially in the circumstances. Losing at home is one thing but taking a hiding like that is soul-destroying so to see so many of them come over to applaud and congratulate the delirious travelling fans was a mark of the club's true character.
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Match Preview: Northampton Saints vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-12-06

Well it was nice while it lasted.

England's on-off relationship with the Heineken Cup finally seems to have reached the bitter end with their clubs voting on Thursday to boycott next season's event. They now seem to be trying to set up some sort of replacement tournament with their love-struck lapdogs the Welsh regions, which is equally hilarious and sad at the same time. The Heineken Cup without them will undoubtedly be poorer, even though the knock-out stages will largely be the same as recent years given how most of the English clubs have struggled to qualify from their pools (an average of just two a season for the past five years).
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Scarlets

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-11-29

What a bloody sickener!!

Some defeats you can brush off, but Ireland's last-second loss to New Zealand last Sunday will stay with all true rugby fans on this island forever.

So close and yet so far, you can only hope that the quality of their performance in pushing the best team in the world to their very limit, will finally convince this Ireland team they can compete with the very best. We've been here before though, great one-off performances followed by a slump back into mediocrity. Coach Joe Schmidt's challenge is to reproduce that kind of intensity combined with accuracy that made the first 40 minutes perhaps the finest half of rugby Ireland have ever played. If he can find a way to do that on a regular basis, then Ireland will be a force to be reckoned with again in the Six Nations.
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Match Preview: Benetton Treviso vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-11-22

After a three-week break, Leinster return to action this week with a tough trip to Treviso. Of course the two o'clock Sunday kick-off means it will clash fully with Ireland's match against New Zealand in Dublin. Great planning from the organisers there! At least TG4 are showing the full match in delayed coverage afterwards so there will be something to distract Irish fans from the post-mortem on the latest shambolic performance from the national team.
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Match Preview: Newport Gwent Dragons vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-11-01

Leinster kept their winning run going against Connacht last week but it certainly wasn't pretty. Connacht were typically gutsy and obdurate, as they always are against Leinster, but there was no getting away from how poorly Leinster played for most of the game. After a bright start to the season, Leinster have increasingly found tries hard to come by with only three in their last four games. None of those three tries were scored by the backs either, who have been making line breaks, but have failed to take advantage of them. It's easy to say that it doesn't matter as long as they're winning, but you can only grind out so many results before a lack of scoring power comes back to haunt you.
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