Posts Tagged ‘tours’

First up, sorry to blog twice in a day, but i meant to write my blog last night and couldn’t find the inspiration, whereas today, i appear to have the bug!

I had a couple of ideas for a blog this week, 1 was my opinion on how Ireland can dominate the Euro club scene, yet come up short against the big nations, the second was to be my review of the various home nations tours this summer, so in short, i will ramble on both. 


I wrote a little a couple of weeks ago about my misgivings over the general strength of the RABO12 and mainly, the guarantee’d Heineken Cup places that take a lot of the competitiveness out of the league games and also encourages the coaches to ‘rest’ or ‘rotate’ the key international players.

This, in my view is partially what is to blame for why Ireland can’t carry the club form into international games. The players aren’t used to playing 3 high tempo, full blooded games in back to back weeks For example, these are the line ups for Leinsters first two RABO12 games last season (when the side was disrupted by RWC duties)

Round 1

round 2 :

some of the mid-season games, when the side SHOULD be full strength

Round 12

Round 13

and for the final 2 rounds of the season 



You can see the quality differences in the team. Obviously the early season was affected by the World Cup call ups, but the mid season and end season teams vastly differ in quality. Partially this is down to injury/suspension/unavailability but its also down to the sides keeping players fresh for Heineken Cup and Irish duty. 

The players simply aren’t geared up to play competitive games back to back. 

Thats my theory anyway. I could go more in depth, but i’m not going to!!! 🙂


The Summer Tours

England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland all headed south for their summer tours, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific isles, respectively.

England took a pretty young, inexperienced team down to SA for a 3 test tour, the first test was a 22-17 South African victory,followed by the ‘midweek side’ taking a 54-26 win over the SA southern Barbarians.

The second week of the tour, and the second test, which was again a Springbok victory, 36-27, when a tweaked England side switched off in a dreadful first half before almost pulling it out of the fire before JP Pieterson scored a cracker to seal the game, the midweek game vs the SA Northern Barbarians was another midweek side victory 51-37

The final test was a 14 all draw after Owen Farrell dropped a daisycutter when a clean strike would have clinched a first England victory over SA in 10 attempts.

Final score SA 2- England 0 (1 drawn)

Overall thoughts. A more balanced backrow and a savvy backline could see this England side develop into something special. A lot of under 23’s in the squad, it bodes well for the future, i just wish Mr Lancaster would pick people in their playing positions!!!!

Wales/ Ireland

I only saw highlights of the Welsh/Irish games, so can’t review them in any depth, but the Welsh will see a losing 3-0 total rather than concentrating on the fact they could have won EVERY game.  27-19, last minute heartbreak to lose 25-23 and finally 20-19 in the last test. In my eyes they are very much the best team in Europe, despite the fact they didn’t win a test on tour

Ireland lost 3-0 to New Zealand. Its almost a travesty that they get the same scoreline as the Welsh. The first test was a hammering. 42-10 (i had predicted 42-12 i believe, on #rugbyreckon, cos i’m awesome.) and it could only get better, right…. well, test 2 was a MILE better, if it wasn’t for Dan Carter and a last minute drop goal (take heed, Owen Farrell) they’d have salvaged a magnificent draw, but had to take a 22-19 loss instead, but actually deserved much, much more. 

The third test was simply an annihilation. 60-0 in tier 1 rugby should NOT happen. The Irish players, coaches and fans will not be impressed by the capitulation and there was some call on twitter for Kidney to resign. It was a horrific way to end a below par tour.

Scotland did a seldom done tour and visited Fiji and Samoa stopping en route in Australia and pulling off an absolutely fantastic 9-6 upset victory. (Mssrs Strokosch and Ansbro will have scars to remember the wild celebration at full time!!) They also beat Fiji 37-25 and squeaked passed Samoa 17-16 to complete a magnificent 3-0 test victory


Whilst these tours were taking place, there was also the U20’s JWC on as well. South Africa and Wales both beat the Baby Blacks, SA doing it in the final to be the first non NZ team to win the Junior world cup. The final placings were 

Champs: South Africa

Runner up: New Zealand

Third: Wales

Fourth: Argentina

Fifth: Ireland

Sixth: France

Seventh: England

Eighth: Australia


 Tenth: Samoa

Eleventh: Fiji 

Twelfth: Italy.


Enough rambling for one day. my teas ready!!!