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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

LEINSTER PROVE WORTH OF PROVINCES’ PARISH POWER

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
20 Apr 2015

OKAY, so let’s get the negatives out of the way first. To lose the European Cup semi-final they way they did in Marseille on Sunday was crushingly disappointing for Leinster. It certainly feels like an opportunity missed as all the ideal-world scenarios painted here last week in relation to Toulon came to pass. There was…

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Daniel McDonnell

why John O’Shea’s season shouldn’t be judged on…

Daniel McDonnell
Aviva Soccer Writer
14 Apr 2015

JOHN O’SHEA didn’t need to be told that he had endured a nightmare for Sunderland on Saturday. The body language after Yannick Bolasie completed his hat-trick for a rampant Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light offered the clearest insight into how the Waterford man was thinking. He knew that he was enduring an awful…

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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

HOW LEINSTER CAN STUN EUROPE

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
13 Apr 2015

THERE is a heavy cloud hanging over Leinster as they prepare for the biggest game of the Matt O’Connor era this Sunday in Marseilles. After a season when the province’s performances have been mixed, at best, the last two weeks have done little to engender confidence ahead of their intimidating European Champions Cup semi-final against…

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Daniel McDonnell

The Irish edge to Championship conclusion with five games to go!

Daniel McDonnell
Aviva Soccer Writer
7 Apr 2015

For Martin O’Neill, England’s second tier is extremely important, even though his starting XI for the 1-1 draw with Poland actually featured just one player from that stage – Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan.

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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

How do Connacht save their season?

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
6 Apr 2015

The next few weeks will be the ultimate test of Lam’s coaching credentials and his players’ ability and resolve. Salvation is still in Connacht’s hands but they will need to be proactive for it to happen…

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Daniel McDonnell

Wes Hoolahan : The impact he made v Poland..

Daniel McDonnell
Aviva Soccer Writer
31 Mar 2015

TWENTY five years ago, when Ireland charged to the quarter finals of the World Cup, events in a television studio back in Dublin managed to make the headlines. Eamon Dunphy’s anger with Jack Charlton’s approach in the scoreless draw to Egypt was a moment which cemented the importance of the RTE panel in the coverage…

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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

Jamie Heaslip: Arts and graft

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
30 Mar 2015

THE plaudits have been raining down thick and fast following Ireland’s back-to-back Six Nations triumph. Coach Joe Schmidt has been beatified by an adoring Irish rugby public, who have swooned at the two-try man of the match performance by Sean O’Brien in Murrayfield and exulted at Ireland captain, and new centurion, Paul O’Connell being named…

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Daniel McDonnell

5 reasons to be optimistic..

Daniel McDonnell
Aviva Soccer Writer
24 Mar 2015

THE lengthy countdown to Ireland’s crucial clash with Poland is nearing an end, although the unusual wait until Sunday evening means this week could drag. Depending on whether you’re a glass half full or half empty type person, this either lends itself to optimistic thoughts or doom-filled ruminations on all the things which could possibly…

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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

IRELAND AND THE WORLD CUP: REASONS TO BELIEVE

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
23 Mar 2015

O, that’s it, then – the last competitive preparation for the big one later this year. And, with the Six Nations title safely tucked away for the second season in a row after an incredible final day of entertainment, drama and intrigue, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt finally turned his attention directly onto the World Cup….

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Daniel McDonnell

Imperative McCarthy stays fit for Poland

Daniel McDonnell
Aviva Soccer Writer
17 Mar 2015

FOR Irish football fans, Everton’s opening goal in their badly needed victory over Newcastle on Sunday was a heartening sight.

Ok, so the Geordies Dutch netminder Tim Krul will likely be flicking the channel when there’s a danger of James McCarthy’s strike being replayed on screen. It was a goalkeeping horror show from Krul as the Glaswegian’s daisy cutter from distance managed to pass through his legs without a hint of a deflection.

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Hugh Farrelly Aviva Rugby Blogger

No need for panic, just some tweaking

Hugh Farrelly
Aviva Rugby Writer
16 Mar 2015

All of a sudden, Joe Schmidt’s coaching credentials are being questioned, as is Ireland’s playing pool as disappointed pundits and supporters seek targets for their angst. Yes, it was hugely frustrating to see the dream of only a second Grand Slam in 67 years crushed by a stupendous Welsh defensive performance, and an Irish display which was out of sorts compared to the three which had preceded it, but there is still a Six Nations title to be pursued when the team runs out to take on Scotland this weekend.

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