Munster, Leinster through to Heineken Croker Showdown

The Irish rugby success story of 2009 has continued with two of the country’s province teams winning through to a mouth-watering semi-final showdown in the Heineken Cup. Munster made light work of the Ospreys, winning through on a 43-9 scoreline from the impressive home surroundings of the refurbished Thomond Park (ahh, we can but dream of finished stadia like that up North…) whilst Leinster made hard work in defeating Harlequins 6-5 in a low scoring contest. The semi-final will take place during the first weekend in May. The romantics may want this one for O’Driscoll and Leinster, but it’s hard to look past Munster on current form.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Having booked my flight and bought my Heineken cup final ticket months ago it is good to have confirmation that if Munster dont actually make it I will have the compensation of watching Leinster instead.

    …and so to soccerball/ladyball – why the football authorities North and South insist on continuing with 2 funny leagues with about 20 funny teams in so called ‘premier’ leagues is a mystery – we clearly need an All Ireland league – with maximum of 8 teams (not to mention one ‘National’ ladyball/soccerball team for North and South) and then we might be able to produce some decent footaball in this country without having to travel abroad and watch foreign teams in Scotland and England. If it works in Rugby then after decades of failure in ladyball/soccerball it’s time to give it a go.

    mon Munster

  • Dewi

    three lucky tries…..(God help us)

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    …and it was forteold, by my goodself, many months ago, here on Slugger-me-tools, that a great force would rise up on the western edge of europe, the like of which had never been seen before (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), and it would sweep across the rest of Europe at National and club level and crush all before it…

  • Dewi

    ….Cardiff will take them….

  • Mulls

    “three lucky tries…..(God help us) ”

    Ulster V Connacht was last December.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    you wanna put your arian where your ceg is?

    pump punt – any Irish team aginst Kaydiff?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    I know Norn Iron Prods with their Scottish Background are reputedly unprofligate and this is backed up by the non show (on any threads I have been on) of the “future’s bright the future’s orange” since he lost the bet that Wales would finish above Ireland. Have you seen the tight fecker about the place?

  • congal claen

    Hi Sammy,

    The reason Ireland does well in the Heineken is that we are allowed to field provincial sides whereas everyone else are fielding proper club sides. It’s not a level playing field. Still, while we can get away with it…

    As for an all Ireland league. That’s not gonna produce much. Compared to the English league it’ll always be 3rd rate – if that. Scotland only have 2 decent teams due to sectarianism. If we really wanted decent football teams over here we would need an all British Isle league in which we could possibly supply 2 teams. However, whether the English FA we could go for this is very doubtfull. Never mind the various extreme nationalists. So, we’ll just have to stick with the crap football ;0)

  • Dewi

    Fiver it is Sammy (founder member of the Slugger benevolment fund)..not seen fbtfo sorry…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    a Pump-er it is.

    congal claen,

    “The reason Ireland does well in the Heineken is that we are allowed to field provincial sides whereas everyone else are fielding proper club sides.”

    Both Wales and Scotland have regionsl teams so not sure where you are going with that.

    The Province/Region/Club thing is a bit of a nonsense anyway as it simply boils down to money – Manchester United for example can poach players – like Macheda (17) from the Lazio academy – the fact that you are a club does not restrict who you can recruit with Saracens promising to populate their team with South Africans and the Guinness premiership chock-a-block with SouthernHemispeheresites.

    re. Irish football- it has failed to produce a singe decent club side in decades – clearly it needs to be thrown in the bin and start again. I think the problem of hooliganism/sectarinaism should be treated in the same way as the toxic loans/debts in the banks – some sort of institution/sporting club needs to be created in which they can chant and kick the feck out of each other and leave football alone.

    Lets have a joint league with 6 teams – they can play each other 3 times (45 games) and then feck off to the Amsterdam tounament and the myriad other non-national tournaments that have sprung up – if they need more games.

  • Reader

    Sammy: I think the problem of hooliganism/sectarinaism should be treated in the same way as the toxic loans/debts in the banks – some sort of institution/sporting club needs to be created in which they can chant and kick the feck out of each other and leave football alone.
    With a ‘Casuals Arena’ at the Maze? (again)

  • Dewi

    That full back wa fabulous btw – Warwick was it? (I;m revising my Lions squad as we speak…)

  • I hope you’re not thinking of including Paul Warwick in your Lions squad, Dewi. He’s an Aussie who has played Sevens for his native country, so sadly can’t qualify for Ireland (and by extension the Lions.)

    Don’t overlook young Keith Earls though.

  • Dewi

    Thank you GerryOS – (he looked Irish though with the Stringer shave..)- hard work this Lions selection business – I’m going through ten pencils a day……an outside bet for Nicky Robinson No 10,

    Keith Earls – in with a shout.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Time to include France and Italy in the Lions – why should it only be 2 countries (sorry Dewi – but we are talking proper countries here).

    ….and no fecking ridiculous princes, spin-meisters or any other uselss fecking hangers on.

  • Taking your idea one step further Sammy – how’s about a Lions XV drawn from the Six Nations versus a similar amalgam from the Southern Hemisphere (SANZAR + Argies)?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    GerryOS,

    Why not indeed.

  • skullion

    Why not Warwick for Ireland?Australia like the All Blacks operate a policy of not picking players who are playing overseas.Don’t know what period of time before player gets ‘rugby citizenship’ but warwick’s been here for a few years.And i guess whike we’re at lets try and get hold of Rocky Elsom as well.

  • jaffa

    “Lets have a joint league with 6 teams – they can play each other 3 times (45 games) and then feck off to the Amsterdam tounament and the myriad other non-national tournaments that have sprung up – if they need more games”

    Did you mean 15 Sammy?

    I’ve another idea.

    If the aim is to maintain attendances, develop youth interest and concentrate resources to build better grounds we’d need to make every game count and to minimise boring repetition.

    We could though make better use of the situation we’ve inherited and of the existing Setanta cup set-up.

    How about running two years in one?

    Start in August with 10 teams from each jurisdiction. Let them play each other twice. You could think of this as the Championship Stage. The final games would be in the Christmas break.

    After Christmas split up the top four and bottom six teams from each jurisdiction. The top four go into a UEFA champions deciding all-Ireland Premiership, the bottom six go into an all-Ireland relegation play-off. The Premiership teams are all already Europa qualified, so we know they’ll be getting more games from July.

    As far as UEFA’s concerned all Europa cup teams would have qualified in their local leagues which I think is the rule. We’d need to stretch the rules on the Champions cup entrant. All games in the second half of the year would need to count equally to UEFA rankings so that Linfield would be playing their best team against Cork and not just the NI sides (we don’t want a crappy Royal Cup scenario).

    The top team from each jurisdiction would go into the UEFA Champions League in July and the next three teams would go into Europa League.

    This would give Premiership sides 18 games pre-Christmas and 14 games after. They’d each have another six games guaranteed in the opening rounds of the European championships which is 38 games in the season (same as an English premiership side) with only six repeated games in the year.

    The play-off sides would have 18 games pre-Christmas and another 22 games after which gives them a full season of 40 games.

    If the premiership was based on today’s rankings it would be

    Bohemians
    Derry
    Galway
    Cork
    Glentoran
    Linfield
    Crusaders
    Distillery

    which looks about right to me. If Derry transferred to the IFA and displaced a Belfast team, then we’d have another Dublin team with Shamrock Rovers or St Pat’s based on today’s rankings, which looks like a fairish regional distribution of big teams.

    More premiership games, more European interest, better attendance, better grounds and no-one has to give up, or water down their national side until we’re all ready to.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    jaffa,

    sorry didnt see your message – and dont mean to be dismissive as I dont have (to be honest) a great interest in Irish footbal – I just think they should follow the example of rugby and have as few teams as possible if 6 teams – 2 Belfast , 2 Dublin and one each from Derry and Cork then if they played esach other 3 times -that would be 45 games – I think.

    re. Spliitng a season over 2 years – it should be as simple as possible and therefore with not that many fixtures probably not a good idea.

    The current set up is very, very poor but unfortunately those runnig it and supporting dontr seem to see that. The majority of the best rugby players play in Ireland and football coudl be the same – even if it meant only 2 good trams – after all there afre only 4 good ones in England.