PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

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[Jackass]
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PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by [Jackass] »

So thought given how these threads go, there's no point on wasting any time on getting the banter rolling! :twisted:

Coming into the game, both teams had had far from ideal starts to the seasons.

Leinster had traditionally tough opener away to Scarlets, where we were hammered last season, but a very young, inexperienced side turned that result a full 180 degrees, coming out 42 - 19 bonus point victors. That's not to say there weren't many concerns coming out of that game, most notably very weak defending around the fringes and a lack of ability to dictate the game for long periods.

Next up was a strong Ospreys lineup, a game in which Leinster showed total dominance for much of the game, but crucially failed to be clinical enough on the scoreboard and that natural panic of being the better team than the Ospreys in the RDS but just not doing enough to pull away from them set in, as we switched off for 5 - 10 minutes to suddenly concede to quick tries and find ourselves 7 points down. The boys snapped back into focus, and with a man in the bin, found 10 further points to edge a 3 point lead in the closing minutes, but it wouldn't be an RDS showdown with the Ospreys if it didn't end in daylight robbery, Dan Biggar again the man to duly oblige.

Next up Glasgow, the less said the better. I struggle to think of a worse Leinster performance at any point over the last several years, but we had zero control over the game, unable to dictate territory and unable to do anything with possession, it was a "Munster-esq" performance if you're an admirer of 15 men slugging a ball left and right and back again with zero penetration and zero creativity or skill on show. Worse yet, we were dominated at the break down and only seemed interested in tackling or having any defensive formation inside our own 22. We got out with a match point, but scantly deserved anything.

In all the above games, the scrum grew to be a major concern.

Then the Cardiff game last week. The quality of opposition, or at least attitude, can always be questions with Cardiff, but sporting 4 or 5 Lions, and a frantic opening, it soon became clear that they came to play. There were massive improvements in many areas on this outing, not least a dominant scrum lead by Healy, Strauss and best of all Moore, the Cardiff pack was shunted in every direction except forward. We also showed vastly superior backline play, with set moves as well as playing off the cusp seeing lots of penetration and much more stretching of the opponent. A massive part of this was to do with Madigans play making skills and play selection. A handy BP win, it was also a good workout but not without flaws, again not up to speed with defensive line which was sloppy and saw far too many linebreaks that were unimaginable only a season or two ago. Major area of work leading into the Thomond encounter.

Overall a decent start, results in most cases better than performance, but two BP wins home and away against Welsh opposition, a losing BP in Glasgow is no disgrace and arguably deserved a thrid win but for being Ospreyed, I'd call it a solid if unspectacular start which is showing signs of progress with reintegration of players.

As for Munster, they made very tough work of getting out of a Zebre game without red faces for the second season in a row, before being downed in Italy the next week by Treviso (for the second season in a row).

Better points for them were a fairly good win over Edinburgh, although shipping 2 tries and 23 points at home to a side of their class is not ideal, and another less than impressive victory over a Dragons side who, coupled with the other 3 teams in Munsters opening rounds - make up probably the 4 worst teams in the league, Zebre and Dragons by far being the worst.

I watched the Dragons game in full and frankly, thought Munster were absolutely woeful. Despite absolute dominance in the set piece (Dragons lost 7+ lineouts on own throw, not one from pressure, but just over throws and crooked throws) and had a scrum that couldn't withstand a gentle mid-summers breeze, Munster had a nice position (which they targeted, especially their scrum and no disrespect to the Munster props who can rightly claim having a very good game) of basically having all the ball and territory, but still lacked anything that resembled a game plan of a rugby team, the penetration of the backline was non-existant, I don't recall a single move or clever interplay to go through the Dragons line (in fact the Dragons back line looked much the sharper), and nearly all that could and was targetted was brute force. Both tries were a lean over the line from a yard, and both came from Dragons having no set-piece and no power in defence.

On that basis, I'm very very optimistic ahead of what has now become an annual trip of optimism down to Limerick, I've seen nothing what so ever from Munster that should trouble Leinster, I think bully boy tactics will work against the worst teams around (and thus Munster will do ok again in the Heineken Cup), but I think at the first sign of a good team, Munster will struggle heavily. All their tests this season have been against extremely weak teams and they've made hard work of it, I think Leinster look far sharper and have the big fire power mostly back for this one.

I think last season, without Owens, Leinster were a 20+ point better team, and I think it's there or there abouts again this season (don't forget a disallowed Leinster try, two extremely dubious Munster tries and no O'Connell yellow card for non-intentional reckless play), it was one of those days the ref tried to hand them the game but they still couldn't take it.

I strongly feel this will be another 5 in a row. "Five in a row, two point oh" , not forgetting Munster will always raise their game ten fold for Leinster, I still think we are just too far ahead of them. Not the miles ahead we were in the not so distant past, but still way too far ahead of them to not expect to beat them home or away.

Lets the games BEGIN!

My predicted Leinster line-up:

15. R,Kearney
14. McFadden
13. O'Driscoll
12. D'Arcy
11. D. Kearney
10. Madigan
9. Boss

1. Healy
2. Strauss
3. Ross
4. McCarthy
5. Toner
6. McLoughlin
7. Murphy
8. Heaslip

16. Cronin 17. McGrath 18. Moore 19. Roux 20. O'Brien 21. Reddan 22. Gopperth 23. Fitzgerald
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Peg Leg »

Dragons set piece may not be the best in the business at the moment, but I think on this seasons showing alone- you're doing them a disservice to put them in the bottom 2. Also, hard to blame the Munster lads (pro's and all as they are) for putting in a shadow outing in front of the 30 spectators in Cork, not 30 mins after Cork went down to Clare in the hurling.
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Alternative Ulster »

[Jackass] wrote:Haha, yeah I'm moving to Limerick, sooooo.....

Not really. But if it can't be done it's no big deal, I just didn't see an option to close account or whatever on user control panel. I am retiring from the internet.
Shortest retirement since...................

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johng
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by johng »

Healy
Strauss
Ross
McCarthy
Toner
McLaughlin
O'Brien
Heaslip

Reddan
Madigan
Tuqiri/D Kearney
D'Arcy
O'Driscoll
McFadden
R Kearney

Cronin
McGrath
Moore
Roux
Murphy
Boss
Gopperth
Fitzgerald

Without seeing an injury report, that's my take on it. Not much different from Jack's team.

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Fireworks
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Fireworks »

johng wrote:Healy
Strauss
Ross
McCarthy
Toner
McLaughlin
O'Brien
Heaslip

Reddan
Madigan
Tuqiri/D Kearney
D'Arcy
O'Driscoll
McFadden
R Kearney

Cronin
McGrath
Moore
Roux
Murphy
Boss
Gopperth
Fitzgerald

Without seeing an injury report, that's my take on it. Not much different from Jack's team.
I would see this as an important game for Madigan to start if he is going to be in Joe's plans. He will be up against an outside possible for the 10 shirt and needs to win that contest.

I could not argue with any of the rest. It would have been nice to see Fitz back a week earlier then I would wonder about him on the wing with Ferg in 12. But only really wonder for a second or two.

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Oldschool »

Our two main causes for worry are:-
Our fringe defense and midfield defense (no names, no pack drill yet).
If D'Arcy is available then our midfield defense should be fine.
However, if Munster were to finally realise that Denis Hurley is the solution to their lack of midfield penetration then I could see us having difficulties.
It won't happen so really it's our fringe defense is our main problem.
A lot of our scrummaging problems are down to ALL of our 7's being unwilling to push in any consistent manner.
The opposition do their homework on this and go for the second shove - result penalties and points.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Oldschool »

[Jackass] wrote: I think last season, without Owens, Leinster were a 20+ point better team, and I think it's there or there abouts again this season (don't forget a disallowed Leinster try, two extremely dubious Munster tries and no O'Connell yellow card for non-intentional reckless play), it was one of those days the ref tried to hand them the game but they still couldn't take it.
You also forgot to mention the, ahem, impartial TMO.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by AwayTheWell »

[Jackass] wrote:I think last season, without Owens, Leinster were a 20+ point better team, and I think it's there or there abouts again this season (don't forget a disallowed Leinster try, two extremely dubious Munster tries and no O'Connell yellow card for non-intentional reckless play), it was one of those days the ref tried to hand them the game but they still couldn't take it.
And reading and listening to the thoughts of a lot of Munster fans after - they seemed to be the ones who think they were robbed. Also, no mention of the tackle in the air on Dave Kearney in the lead up the famous kick of POC's, which in hindsight could have saved an awful lot of bother if it was called correctly.

Still think daftest Owens decision I saw was his binning of both Horan and Ross when Horan was instigating most of the illegality at scrum-time.

I don't make much of a case of being a Munster fan after that.

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Dexter »

The Leinster squad trained in UCD on Monday afternoon as the province's preparations continued ahead of Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 derby against Munster in Thomond Park (KO: 6.45pm)...
Aside from the usual bumps and bruises the medical team have reported no major injury concerns arising from Friday night's bonus point victory over the Cardiff Blues. Ireland quartet Gordon D'Arcy, Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin and Eoin Reddan are all expected to return to the panel.

McLaughlin and Fergus McFadden - who successfully came through his first outing in the RDS this season - both now lie three appearances short of the 100-cap mark for their home province.

Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll all came through their first starts of the campaign, while Sean O'Brien is in the frame for the first time this season ahead of the trip to Limerick. Dominic Ryan's next appearance will be his 50th in Leinster colours.

O'Brien could be joined in the panel this week by Australian international Lote Tuqiri, while fellow winger Darren Hudson (hamstring strain) is responding well to treatment and could return to action over the next fortnight.
Dont Panic!

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by Morf »

No mention of Luke. :cry:

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by deco »

Champions V Mid-Table team. Munster have improved this year though and they and Connacht always up their game against us, so it will probably be a tight affair. Hopefully Leinster to get the win.

Not surprised at Luke not being included in the squad update. I'd be surprised if Tuqiri makes the squad.

Healy
Strauss
Ross
McCarthy
Toner
McLaughlin
O'Brien
Heaslip

Reddan
Madigan
D Kearney
D'Arcy
O'Driscoll
McFadden
R Kearney

Cronin
McGrath
Moore
Roux
Murphy
Boss
Gopperth
Macken
Calendar of Leinster/Ireland fixtures: https://calendar.google.com/calendar?ci ... Z2xlLmNvbQ

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by johng »

Macken is a 13 and the player he would replace (Bod) is also a 13. If McFadden was playing 13 I could see Macken on the bench as McFad could move to the wing.

I would see a back 3 player at 23. If not Tuqiri then Fanning. Either that or Luke is there but they are not mentioning him.

Gopperth can cover 15. Wing cover is the issue.

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deco
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by deco »

johng wrote:Macken is a 13 and the player he would replace (Bod) is also a 13. If McFadden was playing 13 I could see Macken on the bench as McFad could move to the wing.

I would see a back 3 player at 23. If not Tuqiri then Fanning. Either that or Luke is there but they are not mentioning him.

Gopperth can cover 15. Wing cover is the issue.
Fanning is still out according to the squad update. So it's Tiquri if he's available (I don't think he will be), or Macken.
Calendar of Leinster/Ireland fixtures: https://calendar.google.com/calendar?ci ... Z2xlLmNvbQ

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johng
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by johng »

deco wrote:
johng wrote:Macken is a 13 and the player he would replace (Bod) is also a 13. If McFadden was playing 13 I could see Macken on the bench as McFad could move to the wing.

I would see a back 3 player at 23. If not Tuqiri then Fanning. Either that or Luke is there but they are not mentioning him.

Gopperth can cover 15. Wing cover is the issue.
Fanning is still out according to the squad update. So it's Tiquri if he's available (I don't think he will be), or Macken.
Is there another squad update that I missed? Fanning bruised the part of himself that lets Tuqiris into the squad for Glasgow I reckon.

I'd say he's fine, and sure isn't Lote running round in the picture on the squad update n'everything.

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deco
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by deco »

johng wrote:
deco wrote:Fanning is still out according to the squad update. So it's Tiquri if he's available (I don't think he will be), or Macken.
Is there another squad update that I missed? Fanning bruised the part of himself that lets Tuqiris into the squad for Glasgow I reckon.

I'd say he's fine, and sure isn't Lote running round in the picture on the squad update n'everything.

Apologies, it's Darren Hudson, not Darragh Fanning who's out. So if fit,Tuqiri in for Macken, failing that Fanning get in.
Calendar of Leinster/Ireland fixtures: https://calendar.google.com/calendar?ci ... Z2xlLmNvbQ

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by cormac »

Poite is the ref
Look out Itchy, he's Irish

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by johng »

deco wrote:
johng wrote:
deco wrote:Fanning is still out according to the squad update. So it's Tiquri if he's available (I don't think he will be), or Macken.
Is there another squad update that I missed? Fanning bruised the part of himself that lets Tuqiris into the squad for Glasgow I reckon.

I'd say he's fine, and sure isn't Lote running round in the picture on the squad update n'everything.

Apologies, it's Darren Hudson, not Darragh Fanning who's out. So if fit,Tuqiri in for Macken, failing that Fanning get in.
We can agree on that so, as it is almost exactly the team I posted up the page before the squad update.

Fitzer on the bench and Tuqiri penciled in for the left wing along with Dave Kearney was the only difference.

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by johng »

cormac wrote:Poite is the ref
He's got history with Munster........

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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by simonokeeffe »

Well of all people Poite will get the crowd going, if we get going forward in the scrums which I think we will then thats an advantage to us (and Healy's boring in)

Reddan v Boss and whether O'Brien starts seem to be only debates

Murray is out (only back training this week), BJ not back yet, is Ryan out at the moment too? would love to see Earls at 13 and no one is nailing down 10 shirt for them
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Re: PRO12 Munster v Leinster Sat 5th Oct KO 6.45pm

Post by sid »

I'm going!

I'm going I'm going I'm going! :D
johng wrote:Classic bit of Sidness there.

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