169 : Leinster v Benetton wrap

Catch the full pod using the player below

169 : Leinster v Benetton wrap Harpin' On Rugby

With the help of our two longest-serving contributors we wrap Leinster's home opener against Benetton. Harpin’ On Rugby match wrap ups are brought to you by The Irish Rugby Store Our guests… NEIL “KEEGO” KEEGAN https://twitter.com/keegolaughs_irl http://www.keegolaughs.com Apologies Up Front on Apple Podcasts CONOR CRONIN https://twitter.com/ccbooms FRONT FIVE ARTICLES 1. Stuart Lancaster set to leave Leinster to take up Racing 92 post from next season – The Irish Times : Gerry Thornley 2. Fans In Awe Of Breathtaking Ulster Win Over Scarlets | Balls.ie : Colman Stanley 3. Bundee Aki sees red as Connacht well beaten by Stormers in URC clash – Independent.ie : John Fallon 4. Dragons 23-17 Munster: Welsh side secure thrilling win despite off-field upheaval – Wales Online : Tom Coleman 5. All Blacks happy with 'hard' title win (sarugbymag.co.za) Where to find Harpin’ On Rugby Website > https://harpinonrugby.com/ Twitter > https://twitter.com/HarpinOnRugby Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/HarpinOnRugby Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/harpinonrugby/ TikTok > https://www.tiktok.com/@harpinonrugby YouTube > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafwnpGYCmC-gO5y9zGIhew — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/harpinonrugby/message

FRONT FIVE ARTICLES

Stuart Lancaster set to leave Leinster to take up Racing 92 post from next season – The Irish Times : Gerry Thornley

Fans In Awe Of Breathtaking Ulster Win Over Scarlets | Balls.ie : Colman Stanley

Bundee Aki sees red as Connacht well beaten by Stormers in URC clash – Independent.ie : John Fallon

Dragons 23-17 Munster: Welsh side secure thrilling win despite off-field upheaval – Wales Online : Tom Coleman

All Blacks happy with ‘hard’ title win (sarugbymag.co.za)

FULL TIME TAKES

Richard Collumb Positives: Frawley looked good at 10, line out functioned well as did scrum (mostly).

Negatives: too many aimless kicks, defence shaky, Ross Byrne didnt stamp authority on game

Gavin Hegarty Needing work: first up tackles. The backline seemed to have a nice rush defence but this broke down quite a bit when the first up tackles were missed or broke. It was very unleinsterlike.

Marcas Mac Siacais  much improved obv from a stronger side than last week..Baird is a 6 leave him there please…hope frawley off was precautionary…that Josh VDF has a future if he works hard….

Chris McDonnell Jenkins is better than i thought, mcgrath and byrne are playing the wrong sport, all they want to do is kick the ball. Frawley was good, josh was josh, dan is unstoppable, great achievement for healy, larmour was very good and was henshaw. worried about Doris.

Kevin OCeallaigh I was disappointed with Benetton. The final score didn’t reflect the gulf between the teams.

If you want to get involved in the discussion, just head to our Facebook page around the full time whistle and leave your thoughts.

URC ROUND 2 WRAP

Round 2

ZEB 37-42 SHA
GLA 52-24 CAR
LEI 42-10 BEN
SCA 39-55 ULS
BUL 33-31 EDI
STO 38-15 CON
OSP 27-28 LIO
DRA 23-17 MUN

Round 3

FRI SEP 30
BUL V CON
ULS V LEI
CAR V LIO

SAT OCT 1
STO V EDI
OSP V GLA
MUN V ZEB
BEN V SCA
DRA V SHA

HARPIN MATCH WRAPS ARE BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE IRISH RUGBY STORE

The 80+ : Lancaster, RDS, Injuries

Welcome to my 80+ column, a new weekly post featuring final thoughts from the week of rugby just gone.

LANCASTER

As I sit down to type this column, the official word of Stu Lancaster’s future is making its way through the ruggersphere so I’ll move this point up to top billing.

To go with my tongue in cheek initial thoughts, I first have state a general opinion that I really, really, don’t like the way announcements like these are made mid-season at the best of times, but absolutely not when the talks which led to the announcement involving two teams which are slated to meet in very important HCC encounters over the coming months.

Now I know how my complaint may sound.  Like it means Lancaster would somehow be “compromised” when it came to those matches.  But that’s far from what I mean – I have no doubt everyone involved is professional in their approach to every match regardless of what is due to happen when the season is over.

But still I believe questions need to be asked.  Did Racing make their offer before or after the draw pitted them against Leinster?  Is that not a reasonable thing to want to know, even if it’s unlikely to ever be officially known?

A similar thing happened to Leinster back when it was announced that Jimmy Gopperth was to join or HCup pool mates Wasps, again after the draw was made.  Whatever about levels of professionalism, it just doesn’t sit well with me whenever it happens.

Some are saying it would be better for Stu to leave now because of the arrangement, but I wouldn’t agree.  It’s not like he’s leaving because anything is going wrong, more like the exact opposite.  Anyway, here’s hoping he and Johnny S can have the perfect end to their current respective employments.

BACK AT THE RDS

It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway…it was BRILLIANT to be back at the RDS, so much so that, as I noted in the pod, I wasn’t even bothered by the first official rendition of “LEINSTER, LEINSTER” by the crowd in the opening stages.  In the past I found it ok on its own yet totally unsuitable as our principal chant.  But this time it sounded good to me.

On the way to the bus stop afterwards I saw a group of young lads coming towards me on Anglesea Road – there were three of them walking side by side and the one nearest the road had a rugby ball.  When a tree blocked his path, without hesitating he ran towards it and made like it was a would(wood?)-be tackler and sent a neat offload around the back of it towards his mate.  The future looks bright.

INJURY REPORT

It’s always concerning when a matchday 23 is altered at the last moment and it seems to happen to Leinster and Ireland quite a bit.  Last weekend it was James Ryan who was removed before kickoff.  Then just five minutes into the match Caelan Doris went off for an HIA from which he never returned, and later we saw Ciaran Frawley, Jimmy O’Brien and Will Connors all replaced leaving us with an extremely makeshift backline in the closing stages.

The official line on the squad is now this…

INJURY UPDATE – AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION:

Joe McCarthy: came through the game at the weekend with no issues after recovering from an ankle injury and has joined the Emerging Ireland squad

Jordan Larmour: came through the game at the weekend with no issues after recovering from a knee injury

Jamison Gibson-Park: has recovered from illness and is expected to train as normal this week

INJURY UPDATE – FURTHER ASSESSMENT REQUIRED:

Ciarán Frawley: injured his shoulder late in the first half against Benetton Rugby and will be further assessed this week by the Leinster Rugby medical team after his removal from the Emerging Ireland squad

Will Connors: aggravated his back in the second half against Benetton Rugby and was removed as a precaution and will be further assessed this week

Liam Turner: will look to step up his rehabilitation this week as he recovers from a toe injury and aim to integrate into rugby training

James Ryan: was withdrawn from the match day XV against Benetton Rugby with a minor hamstring injury sustained in the captain’s run on Thursday. Will be further assessed this week

INJURY UPDATE – UNAVAILABLE FOR SELECTION:

Caelan Doris: was withdrawn for a Head Injury Assessment in the first half against Benetton Rugby and will now enter the Graduated Return to Play Protocols

NO INJURY UPDATE – UNAVAILABLE FOR SELECTION:

Hugo Keenan (abdominal & knee injury), James Lowe (calf), James Tracy (neck), Charlie Ryan (knee), Tommy O’Brien (knee)

With talk of Johnny Sexton being available for what could in all likelihood be his last match in Belfast this Friday evening, along with the injuries and those gone on the Emerging Ireland tour, I’m wondering if we could be looking at a Leinster XV close to this in our top of the table URC clash…

J O’Brien, Larmour, Ringrose, Henshaw, Kearney, Sexton, Gibson-Park.

Porter, Sheehan/Kelleher, Furlong, Jenkins, Ryan, Ruddock, van der Flier, Conan.

I reckon I’d be happy enough with that.

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

No need to a load of paragraphs here, just pointing out that the All Blacks won TRC, right after we won a series against them.  I’m not saying that proves anything that’s going to happen in the future, I just enjoyed typing that sentence, especially the last bit.

BUNDEE’S RED

Keego gave his thoughts on the pod, and in that “Front Five” segment I try to keep things brief so I held back my own until here.

Before we harp on what he did, we must put the whole thing in context.  Stormers winger Seabelo Senatla was in a totally illegal position in the ruck, with his hand clearly on the ground as he tried to jackle.

Still, as the saying goes, two wrongs do not make a right, especially when the second one is really, really, REALLY wrong.  It looks like Aki is making the same argument as the one there used to be for what was called “a good shoeing”.  If someone is clearly being illegal at the breakdown, it is somehow fair game for some shithousery in kind.

Well, that’s fine to a point, but this goes way, way, way, WAY beyond that.  “Where do you want me on the clean out?”  Nowhere near his head, mate.  Simple as.

If he had to make protestations to the ref he would have been better off letting the officials know what Senatla was doing in the moment, that surely would have produced a better outcome for his team.

To be clear, I’m a big Bundee fan.  But this was not an isolated incident of poor discipline from him and while I certainly wouldn’t completely rule him out of the Irish centre debate because of it, we surely have to keep it in mind while having the discussion.

PREDICTION LEAGUE

Two weeks into the season and though I am yet to win a round, I actually top the league for now.  Those pesky Ospreys let in a late score for the second week in a row to cost me some points, and I would have made some decent ground had they not done so.  The only other match I got wrong was Dragons v Munster but in that case, nobody saw that coming.

THE NEXT BATCH OF HARPIN’

It’s All About Ulster this week.  On Tuesday evening I’ll be chatting to regular contributor Ian Frizell about his provinces’ perfect start to the season, then on Thursday shortly after the teams are named I’ll be recording the preview show with Mark Jackson.  There will be the other usual features like Rugby on TV, TikToks involving clips from Leinster’s HCC opponents Racing and Gloucester, as well as the odd tweet here and there when something catches my eye.

So by all means join me on any or all of the social media platforms and of course, be sure to enjoy your rugby wherever you are. JLP

A week of Harpin’ TikToks

FOLLOW US ON TIKTOK > @harpinonrugby

@harpinonrugby

Dan Sheehan got four tries but it was his lineout work that was key to Leinster’s bonus point v Benetton #CapCut

♬ Juliana Hyper Techno Rave Mystical – Beat Charger
RAGING I got the last lineout wrong, it was actually Baird on the other end of the dart, but the premise of the video remains the same
@harpinonrugby

Leinster play Racing 92 away on the weekend of December 10#Eurowatch #CapCut

♬ Furious Offroad Racing – Sansous, Morgan & Makdessi, Sham
Gloucester weren’t in action last weekend
Enjoyed learning about the Super Cup, also enjoyed watching a match from in Black Lion v Tel Aviv. Worth checking out, all the matches are streamed for free on rugbyeurope.tv
@harpinonrugby

Ed Byrne keeping things loose on the way to Leinster’s opening try of the new season at Zebre. Talk about FromTheGroundUp! #URC #CapCut

♬ Thunderstruck – AC/DC
Always happy to give props to the props!

Pod 168 : #LEIvBEN preview

also available as podcast using player below

168 : #LEIvBEN preview Harpin' On Rugby

LEINSTER :  15. Jimmy O’Brien 14. Jordan Larmour 13. Garry Ringrose > CAPTAIN 12. Robbie Henshaw 11. Dave Kearney 10. Ciarán Frawley 9. Luke McGrath  1. Andrew Porter 2. Dan Sheehan 3. Michael Ala’alatoa 4. Jason Jenkins 5. James Ryan 6. Ryan Baird 7. Josh van der Flier 8. Caelan Doris  16. Rónan Kelleher 17. Ed Byrne 18. Cian Healy 19. Ross Molony 20. Will Connors 21. Cormac Foley 22. Ross Byrne 23. Charlie Ngatai.  Benetton : 15 Ignacio Mendy 14 Mattia Bellini 13 Joaquin Riera 12 Marco Zanon 11 Onisi Ratave 10 Giacomo Da Re 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne  1 Ivan Nemer 2 Giacomo Nicotera 3 Simone Ferrari 4 Niccolò Cannone 5 Scott Scrafton 6 Giovanni Pettinelli 7 Michele Lamaro (c) 8 Toa Halafihi  BENCH: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Federico Zani , 18 Filippo Alongi, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henry Time-Stowers, 21 Manfredi Albanese , 22 Tommaso Menoncello, 23 Ratuva Tavuyara  BKT United Rugby Championship 2022/23 – Round 2  Friday, September 23, 2022 KO 7:35pm  RDS Arena  Referee: Jaco Peyper  AR1 : Paul Haycock AR2 : Andrew Fogarty TMO : Ian Davies TV : TG4, Freesports, URC.TV Our guest… CONOR CRONIN https://twitter.com/ccbooms Where to find Harpin’ On Rugby Website > https://harpinonrugby.com/ Twitter > https://twitter.com/HarpinOnRugby Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/HarpinOnRugby Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/harpinonrugby/ TikTok > https://www.tiktok.com/@harpinonrugby — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/harpinonrugby/message

Benetton : 15 Ignacio Mendy 14 Mattia Bellini 13 Joaquin Riera 12 Marco Zanon 11 Onisi Ratave 10 Giacomo Da Re 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1 Ivan Nemer 2 Giacomo Nicotera 3 Simone Ferrari 4 Niccolò Cannone 5 Scott Scrafton 6 Giovanni Pettinelli 7 Michele Lamaro (c) 8 Toa Halafihi

BENCH: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi (25), 17 Federico Zani (64), 18 Filippo Alongi (19), 19 Carl Wegner (14), 20 Henry Time-Stowers (esordiente), 21 Manfredi Albanese (esordiente), 22 Tommaso Menoncello (17), 23 Ratuva Tavuyara


BKT United Rugby Championship 2022/23 – Round 2

Friday, September 23, 2022

KO 7:35pm (Irish time)

RDS Arena

Referee: Jaco Peyper

AR1 : Paul Haycock

AR2 : Andrew Fogarty

TMO : Ian Davies

TV : TG4, Freesports, URC.TV

Weather forecast for Friday evening (as of Thursday)

Rugby on TV – weekend of Sep 23-25

FULL LIST

(all times Irish)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

7:30PM – NEWPORT V CARDIFF – WELSH PREM – S4C ONLINE

10PM – THE ULSTER RUGBY SHOW – BBC 2 NI

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

8:05AM – CANTERBURY V AUCKLAND – NPC – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

5:30PM – ZEBRE V SHARKS – URC – FREE SPORTS, URC.TV

7:35PM – LEINSTER V BENETTON – URC – TG4, FREE SPORTS, URC.TV

7:35PM – GLASGOW WARRIORS V CARDIFF – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 2, URC.TV

7:45PM – BATH V WASPS – PREMIERSHIP – BT SPORT 1

10:30PM – STIRLING WOLVES V WATSONIANS – SUPER 6 – FREESPORTS (TAPE DELAY)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

5:35AM – WELLINGTON V WAIKATO – NPC – SKY SPORTS ARENA, RED BUTTON

8AM – LEINSTER V BENETTON (FULL REPLAY) – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 1

8:05AM – NEW ZEALAND V AUSTRALIA – RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

1PM – SCARLETS V ULSTER – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

2:30PM – BULLS V EDINBURGH – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 2, URC.TV

3PM – NORTHAMPTON V LEICESTER – PREMIERSHIP – BT SPORT 1

3PM – BRISTOL BEARS V LONDON  IRISH, SARACENS V GLOUCESTER, WORCESTER V NEWCASTLE – PREMIERSHIP – PR.TV

3:30PM – DELTA V BRUSSELS DEVILS – RE SUPER CUP – RUGBYEUROPE.TV

4PM – LYON V STADE FRANCAIS – TOP😸🐴 – FREE SPORTS

4:05PM – SOUTH AFRICA V ARGENTINA – RUGBY C’SHIP – SKY SPORTS MIX

4:45PM – STORMERS V CONNACHT – URC – RTÉ TWO, FREE SPORTS, URC.TV  

6PM – LUSITANOS XV V CASTILLA Y LEON IBERIANS – RE SUPER CUP – RUGBYEUROPE.TV

7:35PM – OSPREYS V LIONS – URC – FREE SPORTS, PREMIER SPORTS 2, S4C,  URC.TV

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

1PM – BATUMI V TEL AVIV HEAT – RE SUPER CUP – RUGBYEUROPE.TV

2PM – THE BLACK LION V ROMANIAN WOLVES – RE SUPER CUP – RUGBYEUROPE.TV

3PM – EXETER V HARLEQUINS – PREMIERSHIP – BT SPORT 1

3PM – DRAGONS V MUNSTER – URC – RTÉ TWO, BBC 2 WALES, PREMIER SPORTS 2, URC.TV

8:30PM – RSA V ARG, NZL V AUS (FULL REPLAYS) – RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP. SKY SPORTS ARENA

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

8PM – AGAINST THE HEAD – RTÉ TWO

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

6:45PM – LEICESTER TIGERS V WASPS – PREMIERSHIP CUP – BT SPORT 1

RUGBY ON TV IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE IRISH RUGBY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Pod 167 : What is the Rugby Europe Super Cup?

167 : What is the Rugby Europe Super Cup? Harpin' On Rugby

In this bonus pod I spoke to Rugby Europe writer Francisco Issac about the Super Cup, it's clubs and how they fit into the European rugby framework. Our guest… FRANCISCO ISAAC https://twitter.com/francisaac87 RUGBY EUROPE https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/ FAIR PLAY (Portuguese sports site) https://fairplay.pt/ Where to find Harpin’ On Rugby Website > https://harpinonrugby.com/ Twitter > https://twitter.com/HarpinOnRugby Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/HarpinOnRugby Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/harpinonrugby/ TikTok > https://www.tiktok.com/@harpinonrugby YouTube > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafwnpGYCmC-gO5y9zGIhew — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/harpinonrugby/message

Our guest…

FRANCISCO ISAAC
https://twitter.com/francisaac87

RUGBY EUROPE
https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/

FAIR PLAY (Portuguese sports site)
https://fairplay.pt/

Pod 166 : Zebre v Leinster wrap

Listen tto the full pod with the player below

166 : Zebre v Leinster wrap Harpin' On Rugby

On this week's main pod I'm joined by Tom & Rich to harp our way through the timeline of Leinster's opening match of the new URC season. Harpin’ On Rugby match wraps are brought to you by The Irish Rugby Store Our guests… TOM COLEMAN https://twitter.com/LeinsterRoyalty RICHARD MIFSUD https://twitter.com/Once_in_the_job FRONT FIVE ARTICLES Nigel Owens Gives His Expert Take On Raynal's Hugely Controversial Call | Balls.ie – Colman Stanley Eddie Butler was the voice of Welsh rugby and the game will never quite sound the same without him – Wales Online –  Mark Orders Munster start URC campaign with defeat in Cardiff (irishexaminer.com) – Matt Lloyd Dan McFarland proud as ‘patient’ Ulster rack up five tries against Connacht to kick off URC season in dominant fashion – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk – Jonathan Bradley Siya: We got the win, no matter what (sarugbymag.co.za) – SARugbyMag Where to find Harpin’ On Rugby Website > https://harpinonrugby.com/ Twitter > https://twitter.com/HarpinOnRugby Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/HarpinOnRugby Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/harpinonrugby/ TikTok > https://www.tiktok.com/@harpinonrugby YouTube > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafwnpGYCmC-gO5y9zGIhew — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/harpinonrugby/message

FRONT FIVE ARTICLES

Nigel Owens Gives His Expert Take On Raynal’s Hugely Controversial Call | Balls.ie – Colman Stanley

Eddie Butler was the voice of Welsh rugby and the game will never quite sound the same without him – Wales Online –  Mark Orders

Munster start URC campaign with defeat in Cardiff (irishexaminer.com) – Matt Lloyd

Dan McFarland proud as ‘patient’ Ulster rack up five tries against Connacht to kick off URC season in dominant fashion – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk – Jonathan Bradley

Siya: We got the win, no matter what (sarugbymag.co.za) – SARugbyMag

FULL TIME TAKES

Richard Mifsud Congrats @ZebreParma they were v/good value for the score line from a @leinsterrugby pov very poor D esp in midfield lacking cohesion kicks loose giving away too many metres Plenty for the coaches to review BPW w/much to improve #ZEBvLEI @URCOfficial

Tom Coleman From Leinster pov tackling has been  very substandard means defending has been chaotic with very little cohesion. Worried about lack of urgency from our chasers from kicks. Just giving free 20 to 30m to their back 3. Lots to work on. Not a good performance #ZEBvLEI

Andy McGeady Fair play Zebre. Leinster very, very, very, very lucky to hold on for that win. Very very very very very very very very very lucky. #ZEBvLEI

The 2nd Row Zebre put some great attack together showed real intent & imagination, tonnes of fight, lots of heart 2 bonus points for them out of that game is a huge result could’ve been more if their patience & accuracy was 5/10% better, esp in that final 10 minutes

Miriam Collins Phew, thankfully we held on at the end and maybe, just maybe that result will stand to us later in the season. Would much prefer a scare at this part of the season than at the business end.

Derek McGee Gotta say, that was poor. Yes, early season rust is always a consideration but there were some lads out there who looked like they’d never met each other before today. None of the backs covered themselves in glory but in particular, the five men behind the half backs will be dreading Monday’s video session. “Turnstile” tackling, and that was only when they actually made contact. A hell of a lot to work on there. On the forwards, okay at best. You could count the good performances on one hand (if you have particularly tiny Trump hands): Rhys did what Rhys does & was excellent during his time on the field, Ronan Kelleher was solid, as was Ross Molony & what we saw from Jason Jenkins was very encouraging. The scrum was dominant until the second half changes & fairly solid thereafter, so there is that. Have to give Zebre their due though, they were as good as I’ve ever seen them & pretty much all of their tries were very high quality. If their outhalf had his radar on, this might have been One Of Those Days. A tiny silver lining is that this should serve as a wake-up call good & early in the season: We’ve seen before how coasting through until May can bite us in the rear, come the business end of the season, so chalk this one down as a tough lesson on Day One.


Chris McDonnell Penny wins a turnover in a great position, Mcgrath kicks the ball straight back to them. Byrne at 10 is just a mistake. Leo needs to learn from his mistakes

some final harpin’ points from the weekend

WHAT’S THIS COLUMN FOR EXACTLY?

So….in case you hadn’t noticed, the theme here at Harpin Manor this season has been “re-imagining”.  The logo, the designs, the bells, the whistles, even the domain name has been tinkered with ahead of the new campaign.

Yet the most important change has been to the centrepiece of our content production.  For the past 14 seasons, the main focus has been the “match writeup” where I scribbled around 2000 words on the latest Leinster & Ireland outing every week.  Now the work I do for that is being switched from written word to spoken and for the foreseeable future it will be our “main podcast”, recorded and published on Sunday evening, that serves to wrap up the action from the weekend on these pages.

I’ve really enjoyed the new challenges since we began back on August 21, producing more pods, publishing video clips on YouTube and Tik Tok to help promote them, and I reckon this week’s wrap on Zebre v Leinster, with the brilliant help and preparation of Messrs Coleman & Mifsud I might add, is very close to the way I want it and I’m very excited about the weeks ahead both from  Leinster-rugby-watching and a Harpin’-content-producing perspectives.

Here’s the thing though…I really, really do like the writing.  So I’ve come up with this column, which I’m calling 80+, which I’m going to tack on to my post here on the site promoting each pod so I can harp on a host of egg-chasing stuff, some of it to do with the match in question, maybe some thoughts I forgot to bring up on the pod, but also with a wider scope as well.

So that’s what I plan the 80+ column to be, a series of headings on different things that have been on my mind lately.  I’ve probably given enough words to explain what the column is, and now it’s time to actually use it for what it’s intended!!!

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

One thing I forgot to ask the lads about in the pod was how they felt about Rhys Ruddock being named Player of the Match by Gordon D’Arcy in the RTÉ commentary box.  Obviously I love Rhys and his two tries went a long way to establishing enough of a lead for us to hold onto, but personally I thought it was in our second row where we needed the leadership and when Zebre first got within 6 points of us, IMO it was Ross Molony who really knuckled down and made the right call at the next attacking lineout to put us in a position to get that all-important fifth (and ultimately winning) try.  Yes, I know he dropped the restart at 21-0 that kickstarted Zebre’s fightback, but those catches aren’t all down to the guy who is relying on lifters and I have to say overall I’m excited for what this Molony/Jenkins axis can do for us this season, especially in this opening 7-round block of URC matches.

Of course with the final score so close there was always the option to go for a Zebre player and I consulted the lads from the pod via WhatsApp and they agree that while Molony was a choice, the likes of Eden, Gesi and Pelsner from the home side were also in the frame.

THE POINT OF A TRY BONUS

I was delighted when Rich brought up the try bonus point issue on the pod because it’s something I’ve been harpin’ on for a while.  As delighted as I was with Leinster’s maximum-point haul on Saturday, when I take the blue googles off I have to ask if we really deserved one?  Four tries in the first half is impressive yes, but when you go on to concede a further three down the other end to shrink your lead from 21 down to just 4, I’m not so sure it can be justified.

The way the system works in the Top😺🐴 is that you must score 3 more tries than your opponent which means racking up four tries in a first half isn’t near enough for a BP, you also have to make sure you defend your line right to the 80th minute.  It also means the vast majority of losing teams won’t be able to earn one.  That may be harsh on Zebre but don’t forget, they also conceded five tries!

Here’s a link to the TikTok we did of what Rich said on the pod

WAIT – WHAT DOES “TOP😺🐴” MEAN???

It’s just my new way of writing the Top14.  Because it’s French, they don’t say “fourteen”, they say “quatorze” so I thought this might get more people saying it at least a bit closer to what it is.  My original idea was to make it all graphic by using the cartoon character Top Cat along with a horse but then I realised just how dated a reference that is so best not broadcast my age when I can avoid it!

“THAT CALL BY REYNAL”

Our podcast ended up being over an hour so some of it ended up on the “cutting room floor”, although I did hold on to this clip which was my thoughts on Mathieu Reynal’s decision to give a free kick against the Wallabies’ Bernard Foley at a critical stage of the Bledisloe Cup clash during the week.

PREDICTION LEAGUE

In the pod I mentioned our Harpin’ Prediction League, you’ll be hearing a lot about it over the course of the URC campaign.  The idea is not so much to finish first (although if you keep tabs on the standings you might be interested in what the league leaders are predicting when it comes to our preview shows) rather to not finish last, for which the punishment is to have to wear The Jersey Of Doom, and since I got the questionable honour last season, it was down to me.  I tried to wear it in the preview pod but half of it clashed with the green screen so here you see the one and only time I will post a shot of me wearing it on a Harpin platform, ever.  A bet is a bet, after all. 

It’s no more Mr Nice Guy when it comes to this season’s league, however…I’m gunning for first now!!! As you can see by the standings after round one I’m not off to a bad start although Tom is the guy to beat.

OUR NEXT HARPIN’

During the week we’re planning a bonus pod where I’ll be finding out all about the Rugby Europe Super Cup and it’s eight clubs, then I’ll be reviewing the last match involving our European opposition Racing 92 as well as Friday’s visitors to the RDS Benetton, keep an eye on TikTok for content there.

Next it will be all eyes on the RDS home opener, with the team announced at lunchtime on Thursday, then our video preview, the usual harpin’ from kickoff to the final whistle and finally our wrap up show on Sunday evening followed by the next 80+ column on the Monday.

Enough to be getting on with I reckon!!! In the meantime, be sure to enjoy your rugby wherever you are.  JLP

Harpin match wraps are brought to you by THE IRISH RUGBY STORE

Pod 165 : #ZEBvLEI preview

also available as podcast see player below

165 : #ZEBvLEI preview Harpin' On Rugby

Some thoughts ahead of Leinster's first URC match of the season against Zebre Parma, with the help of Cian @RugbyKino O'Muilleoir. Where to find Harpin’ On Rugby Website > https://harpinonrugby.com/ Twitter > https://twitter.com/HarpinOnRugby Facebook > https://www.facebook.com/HarpinOnRugby Instagram > https://www.instagram.com/harpinonrugby/ TikTok > https://www.tiktok.com/@harpinonrugby YouTube > https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCafwnpGYCmC-gO5y9zGIhew — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/harpinonrugby/message

ZEBRE : 15. Richard Kriel 14. Pierre Bruno 13. Erich Cronjé 12. Enrico Lucchin 11. Simone Gesi 10. Tiff Eden 9. Chris Cook

1. Paolo Buonfiglio 2. Jacques Du Toit 3. Matteo Nocera 4. David Sisi (Cap) 5. Leonard Krumov 6. Luca Andreani 7. MJ Pelser 8. Taina Fox-Matamua.

Bench: 16. Luca Bigi 17. Juan Pitinari 18. Muhamed Hasa 19. Joshua Furno 20. Guido Volpi 21. Alessandro Fusco 22. Franco Smith Jr 23. Jacopo Trulla.

BKT United Rugby Championship 2022/23 – Round 1

Saturday, September 17, 2022

KO 1pm (Irish time)

Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

Referee: Ben Blain (SRU)

AR1 : Federico Boraso (FIR)

AR2 : Dario Merli (FIR)

TMO : Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

TV : RTÉ2, Premier Sports 1, URC.TV

Eurowatch : Bayonne v Racing & Gloucester v Wasps

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@harpinonrugby

Racing 92 v Leinster, HCC Round 1, weekend of Dec 9/10/11 #Eurowatch

♬ original sound – Harpin On Rugby
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♬ original sound – Harpin On Rugby

Rugby on TV : Sep 15-17

all times Irish

FULL LIST

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

10:45AM – AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND – RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

8:05AM – TARANAKI V MANAWATU – NPC – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

5:30PM – BENETTON V GLASGOW WARRIORS – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

7:45PM – SOUTHERN KNIGHTS V HERIOTS RC – SUPER 6 – FREE SPORTS

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

8:05AM – HAWKE’S BAY V WELLINGTON – NPC – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

1PM – ZEBRE PARMA V LEINSTER – URC – RTÉ TWO, PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

3PM – BATH V SALE, LEICESTER V NEWCASTLE, WASPS V BRISTOL – PREMIERSHIP – PR.TV

3PM – HARLEQUINS V SARACENS – PREMIERSHIP – BT SPORT 3

3:05PM – CARDIFF RUGBY V MUNSTER – URC – RTÉ TWO, BBC 2 WALES, PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

3:05PM – LIONS V BULLS – URC – FREE SPORTS, URC.TV

5:15PM – SCARLETS V OSPREYS – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

7:35PM – ULSTER V CONNACHT – URC – TG4, BBC2 NI, PREMIER SPORTS 1, URC.TV

7:35PM – EDINBURGH V DRAGONS – URC – PREMIER SPORTS 1, S4C, URC.TV

8:10PM – ARGENTINA V SOUTH AFRICA – RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP – SKY SPORTS MAIN EVENT, ARENA

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

3PM – WORCESTER V EXETER CHIEFS – PREMIERSHIP – BT SPORT 1

8PM – TOULON V CLÉRMONT – TOP🐈🐎- PREMIER SPORTS 2

RUGBY ON TV IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE IRISH RUGBY YOUTUBE CHANNEL