Sunday, October 30, 2016

Munster need out halves, Ulster need velcro gloves, and Leinster get the spoils!

 Dan Leavy

Ulster v Munster was a classic case of a game of two halves. In the first half, Munster were breathing fire but let down by a series of errors, and in a very ordinary display from their out halves. Is it time to be starting Niall Scannell when Bleyendaal is rested? Ulster did a lot of defending, and took their few chances well for two tries. But whatever Rassie said at half time had the right effect on Munster, who scored first early, kept Ulster scoreless, scored tries of their own and took the spoils with a late drop kick. With better out halves they would have won it easy. Ulster look flat, unable to handle the physicality of Munster and made a series of handling errors by the backs that kept on stopping their momentum. Time to break out the velcro gloves.  Sean Reidy is their stand out player for me right now. Good away win for Munster.

Then on Saturday Connacht came to Dublin to take on Leinster at the RDS. The Galwegians started well, playing their running game and drawing plenty of errors and penalties out of Leinster. But as soon as  Leinster got their game going, it was one way traffic for the rest of the match. With Carbery and Gibson Park pulling the strings, Leinster are a real handful, there is a great tempo back to their play that hasn't been seen since Joe Schmidt left. Strength in depth too, with Dan Leavy looking set for Ireland, and Jack Conan back in fine form so quickly. Adam Byrne and Barry Daly added speed and grunt, few rough edges there, but they just need to play more. Job done.