Search Results for 'Declan Kidney'
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Some six and a half years ago John Muldoon, a newcomer to professional rugby, received his first cap for Connacht against the Scottish Borders. Back then coach Michael Bradley told the 20-years-old that he was there because he was an “all right” rugby player - not because he was home-grown Connacht. Today the Portumna man is one of only two from the province on the Irish team, and he knows he’s there on merit - standing proudly and taller than his 6’3” frame alongside Lions players like Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace, Paul O’Connell.
A 10 try, 66-0 victory, over Madrid rounded off an incredible European Pool campaign for Connacht on Saturday in the unusual surroundings of the Spanish capital. The result confirmed Connacht's position as top seeds in the Challenge Cup and European Rugby's only unbeaten side. The seeding guarantees a home quarter final, and, should they win, a home semi final.
Connacht's hopes of topping their European pool to gain automatic qualification into the quarter-finals lost momentum on Friday night when a stronger London Irish proved their credentials of regaining Heineken Cup status.
Connacht hopes of putting London Irish to the sword in a winner-takes-all meeting next January floundered in the Galway Sportsground on Friday evening.
It was Sigerson Cup last weekend so senior inter-county football teams had an opportunity to regroup and conduct a ‘where are we now’ review of their opening two games of the National Football League. In Mayo’s case the review might have involved the use of a ‘head doctor’ in order to establish how the team can mix the brilliance of the extraordinary second half comeback against Donegal, with the ordinariness of their performance in the first half.
In my lifetime I cannot ever recall such a momentous sporting weekend as the brilliant one we had last weekend. It was a mix of everything, with Mayo under 21s getting the weekend off to a great start with their impressive disposal of the Rossies in Charlestown. The big event of the weekend was, undoubtedly, the Irish rugby team’s clash with Wales in Cardiff Arms Park. To cap it off Bernard Dunne completed the perfect weekend for Irish sport by winning a world title in the early hours of Sunday morning at the new O2 in Dublin. There was a fantastic buzz about the place all this week as a result of these performances. It’s a pity in a way that Bernard Dunne happened to be in action on the same day as the Irish rugby team. Their sensational victory earlier in the day had us in such a spin that we almost forgot that we had the little Neilstown lad fighting for a world title. His incredible winning performance, I felt, was overshadowed by the boys in green who had made their own bit of history earlier in the evening. But either way it was mighty stuff.
Connacht rugby has achieved a huge boost with five players selected on Ireland’s summer tour to Canada and the US, and five on Ireland’s Churchill Cup squad.