IRFU hire Johnnie Cochran for Flannery defence

25 02 2010

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"Jerry, We can get you off, trust me"

Yes, I know that Johnnie Cochran is no longer with this world, but if ever there was a call for one of his slippery criminal defences, it’s now. Cochran was the defense lawyer involved in the acquittal of American NFL player OJ Simpson for the murder of his former wife and her friend back in 1994. This week the IRFU decided to launch an appeal for the 6-week ban that Jerry Flannery received following a wild tackle on France’s Alexis Palisson.

In my opinion, a 6-week ban was deserved and deemed to be a fair punishment for a tackle that could have resulted in serious injury. Flannery had pleaded guilty to the offence, the 6-week ban meant he would miss the rest of the 6-Nations tournament. By appealing the ban, the IRFU are risking that the ban could potentially be extended due to the cross-appeal that is automatically launched by the IRB to comply with European legislation.

Now, the Irish squad has plenty of depth, with Flannery’s number 2 jersey being filled by Ulster’s Rory Best, with Connaught’s Sean Cronin as 3rd choice, Munster, on the other hand, are facing quite a different story. Should Flannery’s ban be extended by one week, He will miss their Munster’s crucial Magners League match with Leinster on Good Friday. Should the band be extended by 2 weeks, he will miss the HEC quarter-final against Northampton.

Even Jesus can't bear to watch

In a radio interview today, Flannery refused to drawn on what the defence they intend to present at the appeal, he only stated that he had taken a blow to the head  90 seconds earlier and was dazed. This alone cannot form the basis of the appeal in my opinion. It’s far more likely that the IRFU have found a legal loophole that they intend to exploit to get Flannery off (Which in itself leads to some serious moral questions on the behaviour of the IRFU).

Either way I can’t see this ending well for Munster or Jerry Flannery. The appeal will be heard in London next Wednesday, The case will be heard by an independent appeal committee chaired by Judge Jeff Blackett, the disciplinary chief of England’s Rugby Football Union. Blackett will be assisted by Italy’s Marco Cordelli and Douglas Hunter of Scotland.


Flannery to be cited.

14 02 2010

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*** Please see latest update at bottom of this post ***

As I watched the Ireland-France game yesterday there was an incident which made me wince, No, it wasn’t when Cian Healy got yellow-carded for a professional foul on Morgan Parra, but a different incident, that went unpunished, a few minutes later.

France had Ireland on the rack, looked like scoring a try, Ball had broken loose around the middle of the field and flanker David Wallace had fumbled the awkwardly bouncing ball. French winger Alexis Palisson gathered, but not for long, as Jerry Flannery arrived with a very late challenge for the ball. The Irish hooker made no attempt to tackle Palisson, instead drew a wild kick across the player up-ending him.

It seems referee Wayne Barnes did not see the event nor the Touch Judge, who  only recommended that Flannery get a warning for not tackling with use of the arms/shoulder. In my opinion it was a yellow card at least. But it seems that Barnes may have chickened out of the decision as Ireland were already down to 14 men. This was a moment of utter madness from a very experienced player.

Flannery being cited will certainly mean the end of his participation in this years 6-Nations, possibly his ban will extend into the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup. This is very bad news for Flannery as he has just returned from a very long layoff due to injury.

The citing commissioner will be making a decision in the next 24hrs.

The slow-motion version of the video makes the incident look a lot worse than it actually was in my opinion. Here’s the slow-motion version from French TV (of course!)

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Reasons to beat France

12 02 2010

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Well, well, well, it seems the frogs have really been stirring it up this week, As if Ireland didn’t need enough motivation to beat them in Paris, both the French Rugby Union and the players have been throwing more petrol on the bonfire.

1. Gouging

Julien Dupuy - 'Gouger' in every sense of the word.

Earlier in the week the officials from The French Rugby Union and Rugby League met in Paris to discuss whether the 23-week ban that their scrum-half, Julien Dupuy, picked up for gouging Stephen Ferris during a Heineken cup game, should be applied to all competitions.

Stade Francais president Max Guazzini said he would do everything to dilute the ban.

“A private company based in Ireland (European Cup organisers European Rugby Cup) is preventing a salaried club member from working and playing (in France),” he said.

This shows complete arrogance of the French, thinking they can contest Dupuy’s over some legal loophole. The fact is, that on not one, but two occasions, Dupuy intentionally stuck his fingers in the eyes of another player.

2. Calling the Irish cheaters

Dupuy’s replacement in Saturday’s game is Morgan Parra. Mr Parra gave an interview during the week claiming that Declan Kidney’s side “cheat every weekend”. “They have a great defence. (They’re) cheating, but intelligently cheating. It’s very well done,” said Parra.
“If we did the same thing, we would be punished each time.”

“The Irish have a great team, with a Munster spine, but I am not impressed. We can be (impressed) by certain players but not in general by their team.”

Whilst I admire his comments highlighting the Munster “Spine”, the rest of his comments are pretty typical of the whining nature of the French.

It seems to me that every team who are successful get accused of cheating by the teams trailing them. Teams whinge about New Zealand playing offside, Richie McCaw in particular knows every trick in the book, You can complain about it until the cows come home, but until referee’s start punishing him, he has the uppper hand in a game. This upper hand, this edge can be the difference between winning and losing in a tight game.

Referee is always right – get on with the game. If you don’t like it don’t watch.

3. Hand of Henry

No comments needed for this one!

And they accuse us of cheating?

Just get on with the game France, quit your excuse making and play ball.

Give the one you love a Chabal-Bear this Valentines

10 02 2010

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This is brilliant!!

6-Nations Week 2 All team announcements here

9 02 2010

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Saturday, 13 February 2010

14:00 Wales v Scotland


Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Gareth Cooper (Cardiff Blues); Paul James (Ospreys), Gareth Williams (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, captain).
Replacements: Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Richie Rees (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues).


C Paterson (Edinburgh); T Evans (Glasgow), S Lamont (Scarlets), G Morrison (Glasgow), R Lamont (Toulon); D Parks (Glasgow), C Cusiter (Glasgow, capt); A Dickinson (Gloucester), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Northampton), Jim Hamilton, A Kellock (Glasgow), K Brown (Glasgow), J Barclay (Glasgow), J Beattie (Glasgow).
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow), A MacDonald (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh), P Godman (Edinburgh), M Evans (Glasgow).

16.30 Ireland v France


Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster),Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster),Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
Replacements: Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), Tom Court (Malone/Ulster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)


Clement Poitrenaud; Vincent Clerc, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yannick Jauzion, Alexis Palisson; François Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Imanol Harinordoquy, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Thierry Dusautoir (capt); Pascal Pape, Lionel Nallet; Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Thomas Domingo
Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Sylvain Marconnet, Julien Pierre, Julien Bonnaire, Frederic Michalak, David Marty, Julien Malzieu

Sunday, 14 February 2010

14:30 Italy v England


Luke McLean, Andrea Masi, Gonzalo Canale, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco, Craig Gower, Tito Tebaldi; Alessandro Zanni, Mauro Bergamasco, Josh Sole, Marco Bortolami, Quintin Geldenhuys, Martin Castrogiovanni, Leonardo Ghiraldini (capt) Salvatore Perugini.
Fabio Ongaro, Matias Aguero, Valerio Bernabo, Paul Derbyshire, Pablo Canavosio, Riccardo Bocchino, Kaine Robertson.


Delon Armitage (London Irish); Mark Cueto (Sale), Mathew Tait (Sale), Riki Flutey (Brive), Ugo Monye (Harlequins); Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Danny Care (Harlequins); Tim Payne (Wasps), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Dan Cole (Leicester), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Saracens, captain), James Haskell (Stade Francais), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Nick Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: Steve Thompson, David Wilson, Matthew Mullan, Louis Deacon,  Steffon Armitage,  Paul Hodgson,  Toby Flood.

Irish Team to face France 6N 2010

9 02 2010

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Declan Kidney partially named the team that will be playing in Paris this Saturday. Andrew Trimble drops to the bench and is replaced by Munster’s Keith Earls.

Donnacha O’Callaghan has not passed a fitness test on the knee injury that kept him out of the Italian game last Saturday. Stevie Ferris is due to undergo a fitness test on Thursday, thus the 6 jersey has been left open. There are 9 replacements currently named and this will be cut by 2 on Thursday pending the results of Ferris’ fitness test.

IRELAND will line out as follows:

15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
9 – Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)

1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 – Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
3 – John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
4 – Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
6 – Stevie Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster
Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

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