Sunday, 17 February 2013

Winners and Losers from the weekend

Winners:

Dave McSharry

Who knew that not playing this weekend would increase his chances of playing against Scotland. Being retained with the Irish squad means that he has a fairly good chance of being involved, and with a strong contender, Luke Marshall, picking up another injury, it seems the odds on McSharry being involved would have shortened. Not guaranteed, but feasible nonetheless.

Ian Madigan

Another stellar performance from young Madigan. 4/5 from the kicks beats the other competitors in the race to Sexton's 10 jersey with Jackson and Keatley not kicking, and a tidy performance with width and the usual creativity has done his Ireland credentials no harm at all. Jackson seemed to be on autopilot with Pienaar at 9, and Madigan continually shows his willingness to step up and take responsibility.

Luke Fitzgerald

Another energetic and industrious performance, albeit from fullback, shows that not only is Luke back, but he is in form. His eyes are on that left wing slot, and his break for Cronin's first try will have impressed the management.

Iain Henderson

What a performance. It has taken me a long time to realise why he was hyped up so much, but everything Henderson did was awe-inspiring. In a great performance from Ulster as a collective, Henderson shone with some huge carries where it frequently took several defenders to take him down.

Darren Cave

Darren Cave put in his usual solid defensive performance with an added dangerous looking performance too. Two great unselfish offloads for Diacks tries underline a good performance from the man everyone in Ireland, except Deccie thinks should be next in line at outside centre.

Connacht:

Some great performances in there to beat a strong Ospreys side that included Fotauli'i, that beat Ulster on their own patch last week. Great stuff from the Westerners.

Dominic Ryan

Hard to pick the hat trick try scorer out as a winner. Especially on a day where his future contender for a 7 jersey, Tommy O'Donnell struggled to impose himself on the Scarlet's. Win win for Ryan.

Losers:

Ronan O'Gara

Not one of his best. 2/5 kicks, and a host of mistakes. In a game where Munster were crying out for leaders and someone to give them shape, the elder statesman buckled. If Kidney was any other coach you'd be certain O'Gara wouldn't be near the team based on that performance. The less said about it the better. He knows himself that he is better than that.

Donnacha O'Callaghan

Speaking of elder statesmen; Munster's pack were being beaten up all over the park. Surely someone with a bit of experience such as Donnacha should have learned how to shut his mouth. Alas, seemingly back to the penalty machine days as opposed to his unseen dirty work.

Munster supporters

The Munster supporters on twitter last night were distraught. And rightly so. It's hard to watch that and feel enthuastic about the future. It will get better though. Mostly because it can't get any worse. Bit of effort from all involved, and injuries coming back. It might just be the kick in the arse some of them need.

RTE

Not showing the Leinster game for a second week in a row was a questionable decision. Especially when the turd that Munster offered was shown in it's place. Both games should have been shown, and there's definitely an audience for it. Sort it out RTE


Ian Madigan & Luke Fitzgerald

They may have put in great performances, but due to RTE and TG4 not showing it, no one really knows how good. There would be bigger calls for them to be involved, and every now and again Deccie shows that he listens to our calls for players to be involved.