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“The Rugby” March 22, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
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So I’m just going to come out and say it … I think Paul O’Connell ain’t all that !  He couldn’t handle a hot dinner on the weekend … dropped feckin’ everything.

(waits for inevitable reaction and sharp intakes of collective breath)

So there ! And as for Sexton, Best and O’Callaghan and a few more … they didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory either.

We lost to Scotland ! For the love and honour of Jaysis … not that they are a bad side but they aren’t supposedly as good as Ireland.

We couldn’t throw, couldn’t catch, couldn’t kick goals and couldn’t scrum and yet Ireland were still level with 5 minutes to go … please tell me we don’t have another manager afraid of changing things !

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My Only Lions Test July 3, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor, Sports.
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My Only Lions Test

by the Rambling Man

Last night I dreamed a lovely dream, like I’ve never dreamed before
I dreamed I was a Lion and touched down the winning score
their backline was a little flat, plain for all to see
As I chased down the grubber kick by the girl who makes the tea

I cross and dived, just left of post and smothered the rugby ball
three lads dived too, all red clad men, waiting for the call
the referee he raised his hand and we were in the lead
twas only then I realised, to pee I had a need !

I walked past Shane Williams (!), who was lining up the kick
and I remember thinking, Jaysis O’Gara must be sick
and then in that dreamlike way, the pitch was nowhere to be seen
I had obviously found the toilet, just what could it mean ?

Then the rest of the team were heading home and making for the bus
I was taking their congratulations, amidst the winning fuss
Darren Clarke shook my hand, for he had played scrum half
and the man that runs our golf shop, also joined the laugh

At last as I began to wake, I realised I was going mad
Bull Hayes was walking round my room, looking really sad
the local man who delivers milk had just blocked his clearance down
and was charging over the line again, sliding on the ground
the milkman wore a dark green shirt, shattering all our hope
and the Lions had lost my only test. I dream like such a dope !

Marian Finucane sickens my shite ! February 1, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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I’ll just say it again in case the title doesn’t say it loud enough ! Marian Finucane sickens my shite !!

I’m referring to an interview she did last week with English rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio on her RTE program on a Saturday morning. Dallaglio, presumably thought he was there to promote his book and golly gosh, talk a little bit about rugby ! But no, the whining Finucane went to town on him and it became plainly obvious that she disliked him and wanted to put him at distinct unease.

So lots of people in this country claim to not like the English, love to talk about how they don’t like the English all the while not really disliking the English in the first place. It’s a legacy from the much churned out phrase of “800 years of opression” … seems some people still want to continue it.

Anyway, I have a couple of points to make about the interview which made me squirm with embarrassment for a 6 foot 4 hulking rugby player who’s as tough as nails ! Firstly Finucane quizzed him quite stringently about his sister’s death. His sister and himself were invited to a party aboard a yacht and she tragically fell into the Thames and was drowned – so did a few others at the time. He was asked how she died, when she died, what was it like for you when she died  … I mean don’t bring stuff like that up – talk about rugby !

Then she went on to quiz him about his divorce and made him feel bad about it and snorted through her nose when she found out that Dallaglio and his wife had had children before they got married ! The impurity of them !!

But to cap it all off was the attack she whined at him when the topic of the English team not moving along the pitch to meet the president before an England / Ireland match in 2003 was rammed down his throat came up. The “incident” in question provoked great outrage at the time and the self important amongst us it seems, haven’t forgotten – the president was, after all, forced to walk on the grass for a while ! A national disgrace, they called it ! Anyway, Finucane set upon Dallaglio talking about this incident and why the English team didn’t want to move or wouldn’t move onto the red carpet etc. etc. and wouldn’t let it go. I mean the man wasn’t even the captain that day – go get on to Martin Johnson ! Dallaglio gave his explanation – they were “in the zone” and nothing would have moved them .. and it was a fuss about nothing. Which it was ! It didn’t effect the English as they won the grand slam by winning that match. And I’m sure some eejit from Lansdowne Road stirred up the confusion by not telling them where to go …

In any event, both rugby unions apologised for Mary McAleese having to walk on the grass and she, I’m sure, has recovered. But my main point is that we love to have a go at the English at all times – and it’s just not on. The country is under opression from nobody any longer, save ourselves !

So Marian Finucane has plummeted even further in my estimation and an interview I was looking forward to was peppered by me thinking “Why is she asking him that ?” or “Hang on, that’s a bit personal”. My favourite quote from her over the pitch incident was, when it became obvious Dallaglio wasn’t going to formally apologise to the Irish people 4 years on about something over which he had no control – she harrumphed through her nose …”Hmmnfff very unrepentant I see !”

Yep – that one made me proud to be Irish Marian. Turn the other cheek indeed …

Ireland squad for 6 Nations January 21, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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I finally managed to catch up with the rugby over the weekend and cheered on the Munster Lions as they battled to a great victory over London Wasps on Saturday.

It is with interest that I noted a few not-so-familiar names when the make up of the 6 Nations squad was announced – most, if not all of the World Cup squad make the grade … Eddie O’Sullivan and his back room staff have announced an initial squad of 35, presumably to be whittled down a little further before the competition starts.

Ulster has 5 players in the squad with Simon Best not considered due to injury. Paddy Wallace – in my opinion is lucky to be included, and makes the squad along with other backs Bowe and Trimble. Connaught have 2 players make the initial selection with Gavin Duffy and Jonny O’Connor making the squad – the latter coming back from international exile after a gap of several years.

As expected Leinster and Munster make up the bulk to the squad and Paul O’Connell excepted (injury), most of the names will be familiar to people. Nice to see Cian Healy of Leinster given a chance; there’s a recall for Leo Cullen and Keith Gleeson while exciting prospect Luke Fitzgerald also is included. Personally, I was disappointed to see that Bernard Jackman wasn’t included as cover for the hooker position – Frankie Sheahan makes the squad despite not playing anywhere near regularly for his province.

Jonathan Sexton also makes the squad but I think he got injured over the weekend so Paddy Wallace will probably be the main understudy to O’Gara …

All in all the squad is along tried and mostly trusted lines – one hopes that when the squad is further reduced, that some of the younger players get a chance.

Ireland : 1 October ’07 October 1, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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I haven’t attempted an “around the country” newsround for quite some time, and with so many things sticking in my mind, when better than now to start again …

Sporting wise, the country is trying to digest the rather shambolic performances of the rugby team, which have seen Ireland exit the World Cup competition at the earliest possible stage for the first time. Rugby giants like Fiji and Scotland march on … it’s beginning to dawn on me that we weren’t actually as good as everyone thought.

News reaches us this morning of the death of Irish born US soldier Ciara Durkin, a Connemara native serving with the Massachusetts National Guard. Ms. Durkin met her untimely end in an incident in Bagram airbase, near Kabul, Afghanistan. It is not yet clear as to the nature of the incident, vis-a-vis whether it was accidental or not, and there is to be an inquiry by the US military.

The funerals of the two tragic firefighters who lost their lives in a Bray, Co.Wicklow fire last week are taking place today and tomorrow. Mark O’Shaughnessy and Brian Murray were killed last week when a roof collapsed on them while attending a fire in the town. Ar Dheis Dé go rabhaid.

The new Minister for the Environment, John Gormley of the Green Party has increased the on-the-spot litter fine for litter louts to €150.  It goes up from €125 to €150 – I don’t know whether the extra €25 will frighten the louts into throwing their stuff on the ground anyway ??  “Litter is the most visible affront to the kind of environment most people want to see and live in.” says Gormley and sure who could argue with that.  It’s a pity though that he doesn’t put more money into policing and enforcing the rules, as and when the incidents happen … the litter in this town of a morning stroll to work is nothing but appalling … every morning …

Around 100 Aer Wingless Lingus pilots have written to their CEO about their interest in taking up one of the 30 new positions with the company based out of Belfast airport.  The pilots, who have been in dispute with management over terms and conditions, have threatened strike action … and want their pay and conditions in Dublin not to be inferior to those in the North.  Recently, however, Aer Lingus found out that Belfast was not in it’s jurisdiction as far as rule making went so couldn’t be held accountable … money does indeed make the world go round.

Construction on the second terminal at Dublin airport has gotten underway today so be sure to add even more time to your departure schedule, lest you be stepping over bricks and all sorts the next time you try to get away for a weekend.  €609+ million the project is costing … must be building it with the most expensive concrete blocks on the planet … looks like landing charges could be on the up too, in order to make some cash for the project.  You can sees plans and progress here … it’s set to open sometime in 2109 2009.

And finally ….

I came across this website which is proving to be excellent for doing up the old family tree – knock yourself out and hat tip to Keith in NZ for advertising this one.

I resign as an Ireland fan September 30, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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I resign as an Ireland fan – it’s official.

Out of the World Cup, a madman manager who is secure for the next 4 years, an out half who is finished (no smoke without fire ?) and a back row about as effective as that laxative I took last night after a feed of my mother’s famous spuds au gratin.

Not that anyone gives a sh*t. Much like the rugby team who played with all the passion and fortitude of a geriatric accountant’s daily enema.