Archive for November 2014

Blues Talk TV – Episode 162   Leave a comment

This week we take a look back and Ireland’s victory over The Wallabies and discuss the clean sweep of the Autumn International series and the depth of the Irish squad. We then review Leinster’s disappointing draw away to Treviso before discussing this weekends fixture against The Ospreys.

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Posted November 28, 2014 by bluestalktv in Ireland, Leinster, Rugby

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Blues Talk TV – Episode 161   Leave a comment

This week we take a look back at Ireland’s second win of the Autumn International series over Georgia, before previewing the clash of two Heineken Cup winning former Leinster coaches when Joe Schmidt’s Ireland take on Michael Cheika’s Wallabies. We also take a look forward to the rest of the weekend’s international action and Leinster away to Treviso in the Guinness Pro12



 

Blues Talk TV – Episode 160   Leave a comment

This week on Blues Talk TV we review Ireland’s great victory over South Africa and take a look at the rest of the weekend’s international action before previewing the next match in the Guinness Autumn Series against Georgia.



 

Leinster Contract Renewals   2 comments

When the great news broke today that Rob Kearney had signed a new contract, it seemed like as good a time as any to look at the Leinster squad for next season.

Quite a few players have contracts expiring this season. More than 2/3s of the squad

There are also 8 Academy players finishing.

So to break it down into categories…….

1/ The Aulfellahs

Ross
D’Arcy
Boss

The 3 oldest members of the squad. If all or any of them decided to call it a day after the WC they would owe Leinster and Irish Rugby nothing and we could pat them on the back for a job well done.

However. If any of them were up for another year they would be a great addition to the squad and 2 of them are starting Irish Internationals. Entirely up to the players themselves. I’d say they would all be given another year if they were up for it.

Also it feels good to call guys who were born when I was a teenager aulfellahs.

2/ Stand alone Eoin

Reddan is in great form and will turn 35 just after the world cup. Not that much younger than Boss but if we can only keep one……… He definitely has another year in him.

3/ The Prime beef

Strauss
Cronin
Moore
Fitzgerald
Toner
McFadden

All Irish Internationals in their prime. Sign them up now! All of these players are under 30 and have many years left in blue and green. Barring injury of course.

4/ The back row…… forwards.

Ryan
Murphy
Conan
McLaughlin
Jennings

With Heaslip, Ruddock and O’Brien signed up already; can we keep all of these guys? I am hoping the answer is yes. 3 of them are already Irish Internationals. Ryan must be not so much knocking on the door as kicking it off its hinges. Conan looks the real deal too any time he has played.

We also have Leavy and Van Der Flier coming out of the Academy who are very likely to get development contracts. Leavy in particular looks mature beyond his years and well able to step up.

5/ The second row…. backwards.

Marshall
Denton
Roux

With McCarthy and Douglas and hopefully Toner signed up, the race is on to see who will fill their size 15 boots when they are away or injured?

Beirne & Thornbury finishing the Academy too.

8 locks is probably a couple too many. For me Marshall is a good abrasive player and Denton is a reliable back up.
It remains to be seen if Roux can deliver on his early pre injury promise and the 2 academy lads have not had many opportunities to shine. They could be overtaken by their younger academy colleague Ross Moloney

6/ The Happy Hookers

Dundon
Tracy
Moran

The 2 starters (Cronin and Strauss) will hopefully be looked after, so we will not need all of these lads. Bryan Byrne looks to be ahead of them so I’d say perhaps only one of them will be still here next season. Dundon is excellent but ageing and we have not seen enough of the other 2 to judge.

7/ Back by Propular demand

Furlong
Bent

No brainer to sign these guys again with 4 props missing to Team Ireland for up to 15 games per season. Furlong has massive promise and Bent must be one of the best 3rd or 4th choice props in Europe.

8/ The Byrnes

4 of them in the Academy but it is the twin brothers we are concerned with here.

Loose head props and hookers work together as a team at scrum time. How much advantage can you get by having a team of guys who have been together since they emerged from the womb?

Add to that the fact that they both have looked the real deal individually any time they have played first team Rugby and you are looking at the words development and contract. We may well have to sweeten the deal as I can see other teams wanting to have a sniff round these lads.

9/ The Scrummies

Luke McGrath and John Cooney.

With ageing players ahead of them, will Leinster go to the market or back one or both of these guys? Perhaps they will go to the market AND develop one of them. McGrath looks like he has pole position.

10/ The NIQs

Gopperth
Kirchner

It looks like Jimmy will be away on his toes at the end of the year due to Jonny’s return. I would be happy to sign Zane again as he is a great pro. Will Leinster look to the post world cup exodus for new blood though? Or will the IRFU “guidelines” kick in as he is over 30?

If neither one is signed we have 3 full NIQ spots available as Te’o qualifies as a project and Quin Roux (should we re-sign him) would be Irish qualified next season.

11/ The squad men

Macken
Coghlan-Murray
M McGrath
O’Shea
Fanning

And the remaining academy graduates Marsh and Coughlan.

Not everyone can be a Sean O’Brien or a Rob Kearney. These guys get the job done when the chips are down, and our run of 10 top 3 finishes in the league is testament to the strength of guys like these.

Coughlan-Murray, and O’Shea do not seem to be getting a look in this season, Jordan Coughlan’s experimental journey to the backs seems to have been forsaken which leaves us wondering will they be here next year?

But Fanning (in particular) and Mick McGrath have performed well, and Marsh (with Gopperth leaving) should have plenty to do.
Brendan Macken, we always felt, had more to offer but time is ticking on him to kick up a level now and push for international honours. He has had a decent amount of game time this season and has not looked much more than solid. He certainly has the goods to go further. Perhaps a spell away from the province would help him ignite his career? Who knows?

What do you think?

Posted November 11, 2014 by johnnyg321 in Leinster

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Blues Talk TV – Episode 159   Leave a comment

This week on Blues Talk TV we take a look back at Leinster’s bonus point win over Edinburgh and discuss the state of Scottish Rugby, we review the weekend’s Pro12 action and discuss how the league is developing three tiers, and finally we preview Ireland’s match with the Springboks in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.