Sport: Oval Digest – 4 From 4, But Not The Good Type
After a fortnight in which one man threatened to create a mini civil war in Irish rugby, things couldn’t have panned out much worse in the Heineken Cup fourth round for the provinces.
Before Sunday, a whitewash on the same weekend in Europe had only happened twice. And, with at least three of the Irish sides realistically targeting a victory, not many could have foreseen what canadian pharmacy online occurred over Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.
CONNACHT were the first team into the firing line. Following another historic one off win in the Sportsground the previous weekend, the Western men faced the daunting trip to a rain sodden South of France to face Biarritz.
A town known for its surf and good weather, there weren’t many opportunities to get the sunglasses out in the Parc Des Sports Aguilera, and the home side were in no mood to throw the ball around and draw their visitors onto them. In a dour game, Connacht went down 17-0 and suffered at the hands of the opposing pack.
Perhaps this wasn’t too bad of a result, given the feared backlash, though it was to set the tone for a horrid weekend.
It was the turn of another strapping French side to take apart their Irish counterparts on Saturday. A lame duck performance from LEINSTER in a big game is, thankfully, a rare enough occasion these days, but this was exactly what the 50,000 or so thronged into the Aviva got. From the off, the home side looked strangely underpowered, and struggled to make much of an impact in terms of yardage, and most noticeably in terms of rucking. This was as poor a performance from a Leinster pack as we’ve seen in recent cialis online pharmacy years, though one must note that Clermont are surely one of the best club sides in the world, and brought a fearsome intensity to their play.
Time and time again the men in white made yards, while Leinster struggled at the set piece, both lineout and scrum. The centre partnership of Goodman and D’arcy, so solid in the Auvergne, looked toothless in attack, and, in reality, this game can you buy viagra was over soon after half time, by which stage the excellent Clermont fans were in full voice. It wasn’t an evening to remember for Joe Schmidt and his side, who will now surely miss out on Quarter Final qualification for the first time since 2008.
What odds a home Amlin Cup Final in May for the men in blue?
The real shock of the weekend was still to come.
Unbeaten so far this season, ULSTER welcomed English side Northampton to fortress Ravenhill and, like Leinster, were fully expecting to fillet their visitors. Northampton hadn’t read the Belfast script though, and in an exciting yet mistake filled game, buoyed by Ulster missed chances and mistakes, they duly took four points home. Ulster will be disappointed with the performance, though at least they hold their destiny still firmly within their grasp, albeit with a daunting trip to Castres canadian pharmacy cialis super active to come.
And so, it fell to the men of MUNSTER to pull it out of the fire once more. Thousands of the famous red hordes made the soulless Vicarage Road almost a home venue, and it took some very heavy P.A. work to drown out ‘The Fields’ from the Sarries marketing staff.
This game too though was to swing the way of the English side, by 19-13.
Munster will be worried about their inability to really look threatening in terms of try scoring, with most of their opportunities coming from Sarries errors, and will also be worried about the lack of form of Ronan O’Gara.
The familiar red cheeks of yesteryear were glowing on Saturday, though ROG is really raging against the fading light. Despite showing some memorable glimpses of his territorial game, the Cork man struggled to link his pack and backs, felt the full force of some big Saracens hits, and even missed a gimme three points at a crucial stage to boot.
Munster won’t be unduly disappointed with the result one would suspect, and still probably hold their own destiny, with the 20/21 points that should be enough for a bonus within pharmacy assistant salary canada grasp.
The IRFU will be perturbed that such a rollercoaster year for Irish rugby is bookended by a very bad weekend, though perhaps a bit of a wakeup call is needed. European action returns in January, with a full Christmas fixture in canada pharmacy list of derbies to come first.
Featured Image ©2012 Ken Bohane, used with permission.