Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Southland sensational try after big bump


Female Streaker has no regrets


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Why you should always tackle low

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leinster into the semis after seeing off Leicester Tigers

Leinster into the semis after seeing off Leicester Tigers

Leinster were too strong at home for Leicester Tigers as they progressed to a Heineken Cup semi final meeting with Toulouse after beating the English side 17-10 at the Aviva Stadium on the weekend.

The hosts were in control for most of the game, and while a late Tigers try gave them some hope of a comeback, Leinster showed their experience to hold on and take the deserved win.

The Tigers came close to scoring a try through Alesana Tuilagi earlier in the game, but he was ruled to be in touch. It was a bit of justice as the pass that got him there looked suspiciously forward, as did one that started Isa Nacewas great try, but the Fijian got away with it, taking the chance brilliantly.

"They are a good side. Did they deserve to win? The scoreboard says they did. We had opportunities. We didn't take them," said an unhappy Richard Cockerill of Leicester.

"I can't manage the referee if he's not penalising tackle assists and not penalising guys for not entering through the gate. That's up to him how he referees but it was refereed very differently to how the Test matches were refereed and refereed very differently to the Premiership."

Cockerill also took a potshot at Englands coaching setup. "Floody left us in the autumn at 80 per cent, worked with England and came back at less than that. You'll have to ask England's kicking coach Dave Aldred why."

"He's changed his kicking style, which was news to us. We weren't consulted at all."

Leinster will face Toulouse in the semi final, after they beat Biarritz 27-20 in San Sebastian.


Time: 06:21

Posted at 1:29 pm | 64 comments

Viewing 64 comments

jolindien April 13, 2011 11:40 am

damn ! second ! :oP

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 11:40 am

He's changing his name to Bitchy Cockerill.

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ConnachtFan April 13, 2011 11:53 am

Epic Try!!!

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stirling April 13, 2011 11:57 am

did Tuilagi run over BOD for his disallowed try? great effort, don't see that every day!

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Tom April 13, 2011 11:58 am

Surely Alesana Tuilagi's got to score from there? Just needs to cut in a metre...

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 12:06 pm

he did run over BOD, probably just slowed him enough for SOB to hit him and cause that slight push onto the whitewash.
BOD runs an awesome support to Nacewa when he scores, it was part reason why it took so long for somebody to put a tackle in.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 12:07 pm

Forget cutting in, Tuilagi's dive is really poor.

Nearly the entire length of his body is in-goal before he is put in touch. Everything hit the ground before the ball did.

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Mike April 13, 2011 12:09 pm

Yeah, Tuilagi went past BOD alright in that move. BOD took a stinger from an early collision with the Argentine guy whose pants were pulled down. He played for 70 minutes with one arm - I thought they should have taken him off before he hurt himself seriously, he's far too committed for his own health and kept throwing himself at the Leicester runners.

Great game, a real arm-wrestle. I think it was always Leinster's game, but you can never write off a great club like Leicester, as they showed at the end.

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Daaave April 13, 2011 12:20 pm

Another big Leinster game, another hour of watching endless minutes of Drico milking another 'non-injury'.

Probably the most talented player of our generation, but he does love a bit of wendyball 'magic sponge' action. Plenty of other players gave as much (or more - Strauss) than Drico that weekend, but managed to pick themselves off the floor to carry on playing.

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Daaave April 13, 2011 12:23 pm

PS - I actually thought the referee was incredibly lenient on Tigers at the breakdown. I ran out of fingers and toes counting the number of times Leicester players were diving off their feet, coming in at the side and failing to roll away.

Not sure what the Tigers management have to complain about on that basis...

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paper_tiger April 13, 2011 12:30 pm

Tuilagi's technique is awesome trying to get to the line but showboating cost him the try.

Ball down first is a must. none of this swan dive crap.

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gf April 13, 2011 12:32 pm

What a terrible finish by tuilagi.. I can't believe he didn't slide early. Great ball carrier but that was crap. On another note O'Brien is becoming one heck of a force. Absolute monster.

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Laz April 13, 2011 12:33 pm

If Nacewa's try was scored in Super 15 you all would say it was crap defence. Yet it's up north so it's an amaaaazing try.

I myself agree it's a good try, but think about that next time you can't control yourself from criticising Super rugby.

Also, is there any other player in world rugby who has the 'charge-bash' perfected as well as Alesana Tuilagi?! He seems to do it almost every match! :)

Well done Leinster. Totally outplayed them.

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Laz April 13, 2011 12:34 pm

Yeah, Sean O'Brien is becoming a real force. Powerhouse!

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I hate ppl who write April 13, 2011 12:52 pm

@Daaaave, if the "non-injury" you're talking about is the one in this clip, then it was Darcy not O'Driscoll.
That said, O'Driscoll tackles like a loose forward but does it at high speed, it's only normal that every now and then he feels the effects, others (Wilkinson) don't go without injury for quite as long while playing at that pace.

To the SH guy, why would you even bring that up? Are you trolling? In lots of cases it's bad defence, in others it's good attacking, each try needs to be judged on it's merits not where it's from.

I can't seem to go on any forum without someone harping on about how SH is superior NH is slow, bla bla bla.... Now you're playing the victim aswell? Come on you're having a laugh surely!?

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 12:55 pm

Well, we had 13 comments before someone started the usual SH/NH crap. Better than average, I guess.

Daaaaave, I presume you feel the reason that BOD was tackling with no force in one arm was just a bit of 'milking', even though it exposed him to serious injury?

Some folks here really do make me laugh. Because he won't go off a pitch unless he's carried off, he's accused of 'wendyball' antics.

You remember his clash of heads with Danie Rousouw in 2009? He mistimed the tackle because he was playing with a concussion from another bang on the head a few minutes earlier. He continued to play on AFTER this second bang (http://tinyurl.com/6ft2koz) until the management finally got out the shephard's crook. Coincidentally, the Lions went to pieces after this collision. I wonder why?

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ImeldaMarkII April 13, 2011 1:03 pm

Tigers supporters were great but their coach is a graceless sod!

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Daaave April 13, 2011 1:11 pm

If it was just the occasional bit of 'magic physio' action, then it would be understandable because he plays a high intensity game.

However, when he seems to be milking it every single game, yet he appears to suffer few actual discernible injuries, it just smacks of a bit of hamming it up. As I've said, there were Leinster players, forward and back, who put in as physical a shift as him without resorting to flopping to the deck and demanding the smelling salts at every break in play.

I love the guy as a player, but you get the impression that he just wants to be remembered as a 'trooper' as much as a talented player.

Try watching any Leinster/Ireland game and playing drink-along-Drico (two fingers of beer when he goes down, drink a shot every time he receives physio treatment, finish your beer if he leaves the pitch) without getting completely wasted, which tells the story.

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superrr April 13, 2011 1:13 pm

"penalising tackle assists" what does he mean by that? I mean you are allowed to assist a fellow player in bringin someone down, aren't you?

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Coops April 13, 2011 1:18 pm

As a Leicester fan, I should first say well done Leinster. I think, looking back on the game now, they just about edged it in most departments - especially the lineouts - and deserved the win.

I'm not blaming the ref for the defeat - Tuilagi should have scored and then Ed Slater knocked on with the line at his mercy - but I think Cockerill had a point. Aside from the forward pass for their try, Leinster players were constantly coming in from the side, and pushing the offside line suspiciously close. They also won the lineouts by pulling the inside arm of the Leicester jumper. I'm not saying any of this is bad, but it shows the difference in class between the teams. Leinster got away with it - fair play, but Leicester needed an old enforcer to make sure that Leinster didn't keep doing it. My point is the Tigers didn't deserve to win because we weren't as smart as Leinster.

On another point, thought Manu showed up really well against BOD. One big hand off on him and a big tackle on O'Brien, as well as a great run in the 2nd half, showed he has the ability to mix it with the best.

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DaveJ April 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Daaave - if you exposed your body to the amount of punishment that BOD has for almost 15 years of professional rugby I think you would feel the pain every now and again. I don't think there is any centre with a better defensive game in the world. He throws his body at any player, any size with absolutely no regard for his own well-being. The guy is an absolute legend. The sponge every now and again is the very least that man is entitled to.

As for that comment about SH rugby, shut up you troll, it was a fantastic individual try.

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Von April 13, 2011 1:32 pm

P155 off Cockerill, go and find a football team to coach if you want to bitch and moan about the referee.

Alesana Tuilagi's non-try reminded me of Cueto's in the 07 world cup final, slam-dunking the ball instead of just getting the bloody thing down as quickly as possible. Amazing how you can be an international wing with years and years of top-class experience and still occasionally fail on the basics. Bonkers isn't it.

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animal April 13, 2011 1:37 pm

"Totally outplayed them"

Laz, that's bullsh*t. I'm a Leinster fan, and the game was close as anything. It was a game of inches, and Leinster won the inches when it mattered. At Welford Road it could have been another story.

Probably the toughest game we'll play all season - deserved win but hats off to Tigers, hard team as always.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 1:54 pm

some quare sound Leicester fans in Dublin, some laugh! We will miss the craic when there are no opposition fans around for the semi.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 2:49 pm

"One big hand off on him and a big tackle on O'Brien, as well as a great run in the 2nd half, showed he has the ability to mix it with the best."
So on the basis of three cameos in the 80 minutes that he was shepherded out of the match he has "the ability to mix it with the best"? I think he's talented and a great prospect for England (no more crowing about NZ stripping the Islands of talent hey?) but lets not do a Cipriani on the young lad before he gets his 1st cap.

Also disappointing to hear Cocerill come out with that Wendyball inspired rubbish too.

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Third Centre April 13, 2011 2:53 pm

The Leicester fans over in Dublin were great, a real credit to their team. I would love to have them over again in dublin next year!!

Hell of a close game, delighted with the win and know Toulouse will require another big display.

As for BOD...he's had seven or eight pretty serious injuries over the years, plus a couple of bad concussions. Think about it, one shoulder crocked, both hamstrings done in, he's done his ankle, cheekbone, collarbone and possibly one of his knees(?) and yet he still goes back for more punishment. If someone wants to say he's going down easy, fair enough but they clearly haven't a clue what they're taking about.

For his own sake (not Ireland's or Leinster's) I hope BOD retires after the WC. I'd hate to see him struggling to walk when he's in his 40s. He's given everything to his country and province and deserves to leave the game with his body still intact

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 2:56 pm

For those that care and don`t pipe back with rugby being a physical game.

The 2 Tuilagi brothers are both a disgrace , notice Manu Tuilagi`s "tackle" on Horgan after he had passed the ball to Nacewa for his try, you can see it in the background there was no wrap around and he clearly tackled dangerously. These 2 guys are reckless and irresponsible and soon enough one of them if not both are going to cause a serious if not critical injury to a player.

Every game i have seen of them they have tackled recklessly , dangerously and outside the laws of the game

Referees appear to tolerate it , the IRB / RFU are tolerating it and clearly the Leicester coaches are encouraging it.

Rugby is a physical game , I have played it and it should always be a physical game but the way these guys tackle and clear out rucks is beyond the laws of the game and should be dealt with.

Don`t justify what these guys do under the banner of rugby being a physical game

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Colombes April 13, 2011 3:10 pm

it was nearly a copy&paste of the last 6N ireland-england.
Leinster dominated the whole thing but Leicester could have turned it with more determination. isn't it tuilagui bro's?

Leinster-Toulouse can be an hell of a match. the winner will be favorite for this edition

ps: Is cockerill serious..? have a guinness and replay the match please

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Laz April 13, 2011 3:22 pm

If the troll stuff referred to my comments, its an observation thats all. He coasted through 4 defenders. If that happened elsewhere, you'd be slagging the try and the competition (not to mention the forward pass!). Total double standards by rugby fans sometimes. I'd rather enjoy all good tries, and wish more would have the same attitude.

About the being outplayed reference, I'm not saying it was an easy game, but the score was 17-3 up until the 76th minute. That's fairly dominant!

Cockerill hasnt done himself any favours with his comments post match.

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Jonno April 13, 2011 3:24 pm

as an avid Leicester supporter a have to concede that that was probably the right result...though I do wish tuilagi had scored, would have been a great try!!

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dreathor April 13, 2011 3:58 pm

I watched the same tackle on Horgan and thought to myself wow what a perfect tackle. He was in open field with support so try to wrap his arms to prevent the offload when tackling him. So Horgan fell and the tackle slid up but that isn't going to do anything more than maybe a bloody nose or cut on the ear something that is fairly common that doesn't need a penalty or yellow

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Daaave April 13, 2011 4:01 pm

@Coops:
Leicester actually got a lot of leeway from the referee, particularly at the breakdown. If you rewatch the game, you will see countless rucktime examples of Tigers forwards diving off their feet and coming in at the side. The penalty count would suggest that they were unfairly treated, but the reality could have been far worse.

The English commentators summed it up well when, following Tigers' official warning for a string of cynical penalties, they came out with the line "Tigers aren't afraid to concede a penalty to slow down opposition momentum".

PS - this comes from an unbiased perspective (I'm neither Irish nor English).

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:07 pm

To the anonymous above crying about the Tuilagis. Firstly Alesana made the hit on Horgan and there was nothing wrong with it, nor any of Manu's. Manu rarely puts in illegal hits, just tackles hard, get over it.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:32 pm

To anonymous

Bo*@oc$s

You cannot justify how either of these tackle week in week out

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:33 pm

They are legal tackles so yes I can. Stop crying

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:36 pm

to the guy whos moaning about the tuilagis, yes a.tuilagi does put the bad hits in now and again but manu tuilagi tackles good and proper within the rules, he just hits them hard.

i take it when or if you played rugby you moaned about taking a hard hit eh?

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Coops April 13, 2011 4:39 pm

@Daaaave

Respectfully disagree - even on the highlights reel you can see Leinster coming in from the side. Not saying there were no incidents where Liecester should have been penalised (especially when we were defending our line), but whilst we seemed to be making efforts to get round the back, Leinster seemed to be taking the short route, as well as failing to release the tackled player on several occasions.

BUT like I say, this isn't a whinge, they could get away with it, fair play - we should have followed suit!

And @Anonymous - I'm not basing it on 3 individual moments. He's been excellent all season: Top try scorer in the premiership and a constant threat. Look at his try vs Saracens. And besides, I said he has the ability to mix it with the best - whether or not he will have the application and mental toughness at international level will be another matter.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:47 pm

@Coops that big tackle was on mc Laughlin not o brien

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Mike April 13, 2011 4:52 pm

Dreathor - the tackle you are referring to was on D'Arcay in midfield. That tackle looked fine to me. The tackle the other poster was referring to was on Horgan.

In case you are confused between the two, D'arcy is about 5'9" and Horgan is about 6'4".

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 4:55 pm

Looking at the hit on Horgan in the move that led to the try, Tuilagi probably should have got a yellow card for a shoulder charge. He had a good game other than that though, amazing that he's only 19.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 5:36 pm

Yet another coach turns into a whiny little bitch after defeat to Leinster. What happened to good sportsmanship?

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Daaave April 13, 2011 6:19 pm

@Coops:
We will have to agree to differ, but I don't think that the highlights reel is a particularly good way to judge any match.
Watching as a neutral, I was actually more interested in the technical performance of each team (and the referee), so I was quite inclined to judge this pretty objectively.

It just strikes me as incredibly disingenuous for Leicester to blame their loss on the referee, when in fact he could have penalised them far more than he did (if so inclined, I could probably highlight something at almost every defending ruck). Sure, there was 'leniency' on both sides (as you mention), but the evidence of the game suggests that Cockerill is completely incorrect to apportion any blame for the result to the referee.
While Leinster would be unlikely to have any criticism of the referee after a win, I feel he applied the law in a manner which was fair to both teams (although somewhat lax).

Leicester were on the bad end of the penalty count, and there was still a LOT that they didn't get pulled up for. With this in mind, how can anyone possibly suggest that the referee had a bearing on the result?

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olwakachangchang April 13, 2011 8:41 pm

Isa should play for Fiji!

Oh wait, he can't be fucked

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Mike April 13, 2011 8:52 pm

I agree - he should play for Fiji, he's probably the best fullback in Europe right now. I'm a big fan of the PI teams being allowed to compete on an even playing field by having access to their best players.

Nacewa would walk onto the Irish team I reckon - he's ahead of Rob Kearney, the B&I Lions fullback, because he's such a great counter-attacker.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 8:59 pm

Definite shoulder charge by Tuilagi at 4.11 on Horgan that should have been the bin.

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Anonymous April 13, 2011 10:43 pm

What is the story with Nacewa, could he eventually play for ireland, is there something about living in the country for seven years and then you can play for them?? He's surely at leinster 4 to 5 years now???

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themull April 13, 2011 11:29 pm

from what I remember Nacewa has got one or two caps for Fiji during the 2003 WC and has not played for them since...I believe he tried to persuade the IRB to allow him to become eligible for the All Blacks but they wouldnt let him, due to those caps during the WC..

So I highly doubt they're gonna let him play for Ireland if they would for NZ

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Canadian content April 14, 2011 12:04 am

Agree with the criticism of cockerill, really sounded like sour grapes, even taking shots at the eng coaches? Bad show

It's been said but daave u truly don't know rugby if u think bod "milks it". I for one am seriously concerned about this guys health, he plays wig an absolute disregard for his own safety on a regular basis and should leave the pitch on many occasions but stays on. What purpose wold he have for milking it? He's recognized as one of the greats? Have u ever made a high speed tackle? Somehow I doubt it.

Nacewa should have been the player of the game, every time he touched the ball he was a threat, pity he won't be in the rwc, should be a bas bas though!

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Anonymous April 14, 2011 12:12 am

Isa was capped once by Fiji for about a minute... he was brought on in the 79th minute. They wanted to make sure he couldn't go to New Zealand.

As for Manu Tuilagi being the top try scorer in the Premiership, the Premiership only has 2 or 3 top quality sides. Most of the matches are mismatches. And then when those top 2 or 3 teams play in the HC, they get beaten easily outside the group stages. OK, lets be honest, Northampton are still to play a top quality HC side. They've had the easiest possible passage so far. The bloody Sky commentators make them out to be the best HC team this year but they've just had the easiest ride. They're good, just not that good.

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mise April 14, 2011 12:21 am

@Daaaaave: I look forward to the psychoanalysis PhD on Bod. Sheesh. miles off the mark there - how do u know what's in his head?

DO u really think (or, specifically, know) he wants to be perceived as sth warrior like in a sacrificial sort of way, and will destroy his body in so doing?
In soccer, you get penos for pretending to be fouled. In rugby, BOD (or anyone else) gets nothing of the sort.

Hopefully u are mixing up him and D'Arcy (same height, look similar in general) but even then, you'r theory is sort of interesting but actually miles off the mark.
Don't backs get more credit/kudos for, well, scoring tries and shit? Which he also does?

@Laz - Nascewa try would not be called poor defence anywhere for 2 reasons: great movement from hand to hand with the ball (whcih not enough players do); great support runner who always dispoportunately draws defenders.

Nascewa and SOB are on fire at the mo.

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Jono April 14, 2011 12:26 am

Some good hits, but jesus the commentators go overboard.
Seriously, when Moore rabbits on about Tuilagi's hit on D'Arcy, what the hell is he talking about?
It was just a good hit, not the biggest hit I've seen, just a good solid hit.
They really get histrionic.

Looked like a good game though, and I like the way Leinster play for the most part. Seem to have a good attacking attitude. They should use more decoy runners and trick plays though (most European teams should). Take the next step. Use modern backline plays.

Not impressed with either teams attitude to the breakdown though. Blatantly slowing down the ball illegaly, from both sides. Why didn't the ref grow a pair and penalise them? Pull out the yellow cards if the players don't listen.

Great crowd. Good rugby overall.

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Anonymous April 14, 2011 12:34 am

Soft defence on Leicester's try.

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mise April 14, 2011 1:04 am

@Jono
Leinster usually do the things u describe, in relative terms, but when matches go into the knockout stages of big tournaments, teams seem to get v cautious. (CF last world cup)

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mise April 14, 2011 1:06 am

re the Leicester try and soft defence: I think the pace of the prop (plus angle of run and timing of pass) were spot on, though I see your point.

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Jono April 14, 2011 1:52 am

Yeah Mise, but the game has changed massivley since last WC. Massivley.
Teams can actually play running rugby again, they just have to have the courage to do it.
That's why I like Leinster's attitude, they are really trying to embrace the running game (and it works - it's the most effective way to play rugby if you can just develop the skill set, fitness and discipline to pull it off - for evidence see NZ).

I just think they need to take the next step, which means more decoys, more complicated backline moves, with dummy runners, decoys, switches and offloads (with support runners running off every forward's shoulder).

For the best example, look at the Crusaders and NZ.

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whatdidyousay April 14, 2011 7:45 am

@ superr:
the phrase "tackle assists" is referee's shorthand for players who are part of the tackle but do not end up going to ground as a result of being involved. They remain on their feet yet they are still subject to the requirement that they must first release the tackled player before competing for the ball. It is a common misnomer amongst players that as long as they remain on their feet they needn't release. This is what Cockerill was whingeing about.
Atb,
k

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Maui April 14, 2011 8:43 am

@Jono

Leinster have some backline moves which are complicated as fuck. Against Leicester they used a simpler approach but they did use some more complicated moves from time to time.

I love SH rugby, the pace, the moves, and I think it is superior to most NH rugby, but some of the moves, both planned and unplanned that Leinster do are just mind blowing and no other team, club or country, can do the same. Some are just so intricate I don't get how they can pull them off sometimes... They just have a brilliant connection between players when running with the ball. Look at the blind switch that Fitzgerald did with BOD. They opened a giant gap out of absolutely nothing. BOD has done this sort of thing with Horgan before leading to tries. That doesn't happen in SH rugby (but they do have other moves and tricks).

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Von April 14, 2011 8:50 am

Jono said...
Some good hits, but jesus the commentators go overboard.
Seriously, when Moore rabbits on about Tuilagi's hit on D'Arcy, what the hell is he talking about?


It's Stuart Barnes. He just personifies Sky Sports' generally hyperbolic style. But if you want to really hear him going overboard wait until you hear him on a Bath (his former club) game.

(By the way the easy way to tell if it's Brian Moore is that he constantly sounds like his false teeth are going to fall out).

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Anonymous April 14, 2011 11:37 am

Is anyone else who hates 3d sick of this pandering to it. Watching in 'regular vision' the amount of slo mo replays of absolutely nothing was pretty annoying, clearly for the 3d veiwers, suprised they didn't show a super slow mo replay of Agulla's ass for the effect. The golf was even worse for it, slo mos of tees spinning and sand particles through the air. Enough says I.

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Daaave April 14, 2011 12:06 pm

Just finally got around to watching the highlights reel back, and there are plenty of examples of Leicester getting away with murder there!

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Nick April 14, 2011 1:47 pm

Cockrill is annoyed because Leicester got beaten at there own game. As it was commented on in the match they are quite happy to give away infringements at certain points and push it to the limit. Now its happened to Leicester Cockrill is throwing his toys out the pram.

Von, I know what you mean about Barnes, whenever he talks about Bath (especially Barkley) its actually uncomfortable.

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Jono April 14, 2011 11:04 pm

@ Maui, Look, I didn't see the move, so I'll have to take your word for it.

I like how Leinster play, as I said, it's a very SH approach.

The main thing I've noticed from watching them (and I don't watch as much as a Leinster fan, obviously), is they don't really use decoys enough and they don't have enough depth in their backline moves at times.

But they are ahead of most other European teams backline moves.

The other thing I would lvoe to see more of is offloads from the tackle to a support runner. Too many times teams go to ground with the ball, when if they just kept popping the short passes, they would carve the defence up.

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Maui April 16, 2011 10:54 am

@Jono

They do have that sort of depth in the backs. They just seem to have resorted to simpler moves in the latter stages in the HC. I'm not sure why really.

As for the offloading game, I agree. I don't understand why they don't work on that. They seemed to be doing that as well at the start of the HC (first time I've seen them play like that) and they destroyed Racing Metro at the RDS when they did but they seem to have returned to a simpler approach. Maybe it's tactics, maybe it was just a run of good form, maybe it was a trial, I don't know really.

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