Stuart Barnes: Irish provinces lead the way in the Heineken Cup

Stuart Barnes: Irish provinces lead the way in the Heineken Cup

The Heineken Cup was painted green on the weekend.

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Comments (9)

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Richard Shuttleworth says...

Hi Stu, I believe your commentary and broadcasting of your thoughts on players skills and decision making will help change coaches mindset and hopefully their philosophy toward coaching players. Unless the learning environments created are conducive to individual self-expression and creativity and players are allowed to practice making decisions collectively then will continue to have a handbrake which limits our performance. Some coaches confuse structure for getting order into the game. Southern teams are prepared to operate outside of structure and indeed break from structure as soon as it has provided them with opportunities to act. Having individual skills and heads up scanning to engage opponents is structure in its own form. Structure from chaos is a skill which great players recognise and can operate within and indeed feel comfortable to operate within - being comfortable in the uncomfortable - because it affords them many more opportunities to break the equilibrium especially if the opponents are structured and predictable like many teams are nowadays, perhaps due to professionalism, stats driven decision making, low risk default plays, fear of relegation and a copying mentality. Just some thoughts appreciate your comments on this.

Posted 17:27 20th December 2013

Mick Collyer says...

Leinster were good but it was an abject performance from the Saints, the worst since the Solomons era. From Pisi dropping the ball in the 1st minute it got steadily worse. There is no chance of the Saints winning the return but lets hope that they at least show some passion and pride in the shirt and regain a little respect.

Posted 17:32 10th December 2013

Ruairidh Norman says...

Stuart, don't you think that the amount of money and foreign players in the league is damaging the national sides? France is suffering internationally due to the influx of foreign players; do you not think this might happen to England if this big money route is continued by the English clubs? On Saturday, 1 to 15 on Leinster were Irish Internationals. Shouldn't English clubs be trying to replicate this rather than copy the French model of big wages and big foreign players. Rugby is all about the grassroots and it seems like the lack of trust in blooding English players is going to hurt England in the long run.

Posted 21:10 9th December 2013

Kevin Mitchell says...

All nations north and south have to deal with schedules so how about a L ions north v Lions south what a match.

Posted 19:48 9th December 2013

Barry Kerr says...

Stuart, Not only has it happened before, but it is the second round in a row that all four Irish provinces have won. In round 2 Leinster beat Castres, Ulster beat Montpellier, Munster beat Gloucester and Connaught beat Zebre. Although it is unlikely to happen again in round 4, if I were a betting man I would place a wager on it happening in round 5. Being a Munster fan, looking for a ticket to Kingsholme, I am quietly confident of nipping past Gloucester away. Do you think this will ruffle the hair of McCaffery even more, and we will hear him pulling out the 'resting' players because there is no qualification card again?

Posted 17:21 9th December 2013

Pat Smalley says...

Scrap the cap and see English clubs flying in a level playing field competition ! Imagine MUFC not being allowed to spend more on wages than Wigan

Posted 17:16 9th December 2013

Cathal 12 says...

Stuart, After the weekends victory, and playing convincing rugby in the Rabo, do you think Munster fans can realistically say we have a shot at winning the Heineken Cup again?? An achievement in its own, but even bigger considering its without the greatest 10 in the cups history.

Posted 12:11 9th December 2013

Paul Ennis says...

Great read,from and Irish perspective. We don't get many weekends like that. From a European perspective, out of 12 games, only 2 games failed to inspire someone in some form or another. Leicester v Montpellier for the neutral, Clermont v Scarlets for the power, Northampton v Leinster for the intensity, Exeter v Toulon for the purist, Toulouse v Connacht for dreamers & Munster v Perpignan for the ... well Munstermen. I am not interested in starting a PRL bashing exercise. I just want to ensure that we have an all inclusive, fair & equitable competition next year (& beyond) with a long term plan in place to expand it beyond the existing territory. However, it should be run by those who have the interests of the current minority at the centre of their thoughts. ie NOT Mark McCafferty OR Pierre Camou. If we fail, professional rugby union worldwide will tumble into financial meltdown.

Posted 12:09 9th December 2013

Enda Cassidy says...

Hi Stuart, what would you say are the main positives that the Irish side can take from the last month overall ahead of the 6 nations. Have we discovered anyone or have we enough to do the business. The smaller pick we have i feel we need to find a few every year.

Posted 11:19 9th December 2013

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