23 May 2009

Well done, Leinster!

The Leinster 'Blues' have kept the coveted European Rugby Cup - also known (for its sponsors) as the Heineken Cup - in Ireland by beating the English club Leicester 'Tigers' at the Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh 19-16.
(People who believe in numerology might well see a special significance in this result, as the scores of both teams written in succession give us 1916, the year of the Easter Rising in Dublin, which is the capital of Leinster as well as the capital of Ireland.)

Leinster had reached the final of this prestigious annual European competition for the first time after they beat - for many rather surprisingly - their permanent national rivals Munster (which are usually seen as the stronger team and won the European Rugby Cup in 2006 and last year) in the semi-final at Croke Park in Dublin 25-6.

I am not a follower of Rugby, and certainly no expert on this sport. So, for an opinion I have to rely on the knowledge of a friend who played Union Rugby for many years. From what he tells me, Leinster "had generally the better of the game at Murrayfield, but were forced to stage a strong fightback after falling 16-9 behind early in the second half". Obviously they fought back successfully, scored 10 more points (while Leicester scored none) and won the match 19-16.

From an outside position as a complete Rugby layman - and even though I live in Munster - I like nevertheless to take this opportunity to say "Well done, Leinster!" and wish them good luck for the future.

Leinster's success is the fourth time an Irish team has won this Cup. The first to bring home the silver trophy were Ulster in 1999, followed by Munster in 2006 and 2008.
And if the recent form of Irish Rugby is anything to go by, we might well see more of the same in years to come.

The Emerald Islander

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