Oh, how much easier it is to look optimistically at this season after a game like last weekend. I had more than a little trepidation facing into Friday evening. Sure, they had a few injuries, but so did we. They were resting their best scrum half but it seemed ours only had one arm. Whether they have been playing well coming into the derby or not, Ulster have traditionally been able to outmuscle Connacht and drag a result out of the game. When Ulster have been on form, they’ve often ripped Connacht to shreds. And Ulster had been on form so far.
[I’ve been really busy this summer and didn’t get the chance to put up the more in depth previews you may have come to love/hate in previous seasons, but I had to get something in digital ink before kick off this weekend. I hope you’ve all ready!]
When I watched the Connacht bus roll into Murrayfield, I gave the auld thumbs up to Pat and he replied with a resolute thumbs up back. Strange as it may seem, once I saw that I knew we wouldn’t lose. However, it wasn’t until I saw pictures of Muldoon wearing that gold patch that I really knew we were champions. Maybe its partly because I don’t live in Ireland anymore and therefore couldn’t participate in the homecoming but even though I felt elated it also seemed unreal, as if it couldn’t really have happened.
Connacht V Leinster, Pro12 final – its happening!
The teams have finally been announced, the week is over and the day is almost upon us. Every time I think about tomorrow I feel tingles.
While you’re visiting Edinburgh for this historic weekend you may find yourself with a few hours to spare and looking for a bit to eat or sup. This isn’t anything close to a definitive list – its just some places in my local area that I would recommend to anyone visiting. There are a number of cafes and eateries that could have been included but I’ve avoided places that are a bit small or difficult to seat a group, which might not be suitable for fans coming over this weekend. Without further ado, here are my completely subjective, unscientific and highly unqualified suggestions.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been as nervous about a game as I was last week. I was on tenterhooks every day waiting for a morsel of news, but it was pointless because no matter the news it was impossible to decipher what effect it might have on the game. Connacht had beaten Townsend’s Glasgow once in 10 attempts, and were setting out to do it again, to go one better than they’d ever done before and achieve a final. Glasgow were out to retain their title and be the first team to win an away semi. Given their depth, their internationals, their experience, their historic comfort playing Connacht, it seemed more than reasonable that they should win, hence why I didn’t offer a prediction last week.
Going into this game, I was not particularly confident. Having achieved our best ever finish, and qualified for the semis, but also lost to Treviso, I feared that there was a chance Connacht may be running on fumes, and Glasgow in comparison seemed to be on a mission, coming into form at the right time in the season.
After a few minutes and Finlay having to leave the field these fears worsened, as Rodney had not had a particularly memorable game against Treviso and has never been an 80 minute player. Glasgow were all over Connacht in the first 15 minutes, bursting out of the traps to put pressure on in our 22, forcing penalties and rucking frenetically. It looked bad. Continue reading
Connacht 7 – Leinster 6
Rarely have we seen a game of finer margins. Against Edinburgh I never really felt we were in danger, but against Leinster tonight I’m not sure I ever really believed we were winning.