Who doesn’t love a good interprovincial derby?
The passion, the energy, the brutal collisions and, of course, the winding up on the opposition message boards (yes, I’m looking at you Jackie Brown) all combine to ensure that games between two Irish provinces never end up as just rugby matches. Blood, sweat and tears go into these games and no side likes to lose them – I mean, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to hold bragging rights over their southern cousins?
For those of you who...
In typical Friday night conditions in Belfast, Ulster leapt up into second place in the Guinness Pro12 and handed the Ospreys their first domestic defeat of the season with a 25-16 win at the Kingspan Stadium.
In extremely wet conditions and swirling wind, both sets of forwards imposed themselves on the game, yet it was Darren Cave who stole the plaudits with a brace of tries on his return to Ulster from international duty.
Franco van der Merwe snatched a try of his own while Paddy Jackson and...
Rugby is not the main issue.
To begin with this week I would like to wish Chris Henry all the best in his recovery from his injury, and I hope he will make a full recovery. Whether he plays rugby again is a distant second to his personal health.
It’s been a good two weeks for Ireland all things considered. A controlling win over the Springboks coupled with the expected thrashing of Georgia last Sunday has elevated Ireland to a lofty third place in the world rankings, and with the Wallabies...
After two tough weeks in Europe, Ulster got back to winning ways in the Guinness Pro12 with a 23-6 win over the Newport-Gwent Dragons at the Kingspan Stadium.
Ireland international Stuart Olding, released from national duty, was superb at full-back, scoring two tries in a win that keeps Ulster in third place within touching distance of the Ospreys in first.
Two tries from Olding, a further score from Declan Fitzpatrick and two penalties from Paddy Jackson were enough to see off a tame Dragons...
For all intents and purposes the last two weeks didn’t happen.
Whatever you attribute our two losses to, they matter not any longer. We are back to Pro12 action tomorrow and that must be the sole focus: if there is any sort of a Champions’ Cup hangover then we risk losing ground in the Pro12 too and that would be incredibly detrimental considering it appears that it’s already the only competition we stand a chance of winning (including the British & Irish Cup).
Although we’re missing a...
Ulster suffered a massive blow to their Champions’ Cup hopes as they were soundly beaten 23-13 at the Kingspan Stadium by defending champions Toulon in their Pool Three clash.
The defending champions showed all of their quality as they blew away their hosts at the breakdown and then tore them to shreds in the backs, earning a priceless away victory in this tight pool.
Bryan Habana scored just before half time while Delon Armitage’s intercept score made sure of the win, with Leigh Halfpenny...