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Match Preview: Munster Rugby vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-10-04

At the moment there are dark clouds hanging above the Heineken Cup and as a consequence, the very future of professional rugby in Ireland. Both Munster and Leinster were huge contributors to the growth and success of the Heineken Cup and though they only played each other twice in the actual tournament both those games were seismic moments in the history of the cup. Those two semi-finals in the old Lansdowne Road in 2006 and Croke Park in 2009 brought club rugby to places no one could have ever believed when the tournament was first launched in the early days of professionalism.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Cardiff Blues

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-09-26

After the try-scoring exploits of the first two weeks, last week's game against Glasgow brought Leinster's mood back down to earth. The result in itself wasn't a disgrace, nabbing a losing bonus point away to Glasgow isn't so bad given how much the Scots have improved in recent years. However Leinster's self-assessment process is far too honest for them to take much comfort from that as even the losing bonus point was largely down to Glasgow's almost comically bad place-kicking. It resembled the early episodes of the X-Factor as a succession of kickers came up to take their turn to miss, each player doing worse than the last. It denied Glasgow the comfortable victory they deserved, even though they themselves were far from their best.
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Match Preview: Glasgow Warriors vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-09-19

It was going to plan and we would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those pesky Ospreys!! - Matt O'Connor

Okay, Matt O'Connor may not have said that exactly, as he isn't a Scooby Doo villain, but it does pretty much capture the gist of his frustration last week. After an opening day bonus point win away to Scarlets, Leinster looked to be on their way to another comfortable win when Jimmy Gopperth sailed through the Ospreys defence to set Dave Kearney up for a try that can only be described as sumptuous. Though it only put Leinster 10-3 up, the very manner in which it was scored would have caused most Pro12 teams to drop their heads and bow to Leinster's superior skill set. If it was the Scarlets, Blues or Dragons they would have collapsed, but the Ospreys, damn them, are made of different stuff.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Ospreys

by Jim O'Connor, 2013-09-13

As starts go, new Leinster coach Matt O'Connor couldn't have wished for a better one. With Leinster's abysmal recent opening day record, things appeared to be going the normal route when the Scarlets took a 13-0 lead after 20 minutes. However Leinster scrambled well in the first half to only be six points behind at half time. Then in the second half, they upped the pace and blew the Scarlets away with a mixture of power, pace and skill to run out 23 point winners with a four-try bonus point to boot.
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Match Preview: Scarlets vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Conor, 2013-09-05

Matt O'Connor has arguably the toughest job in European rugby this season.

He's got a hard act to follow in Leinster's last two head coaches Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt. His fellow Australian Cheika changed the whole culture of Leinster and brought home that precious first Heineken Cup. Cheika's replacement Schmidt built on the foundations laid down and added in a fair bit of style as Leinster conquered Europe twice more, playing rugby that had rugby fans all over the world purring in approval.
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