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The Novelty Has Gone
The first home game of the season usually brings an opportunity to get the winter routine down to a tee. Parkrun or the lad's football match before a quick lunch and a dash to the Madjeski, a swift pint and then to our seats, chew the fat with friends not seen for a few months and then the rugby. Win or lose, rain or shine, come on you Irish.
Reasons To Be Cheerful
Now then, the new season has finally arrived, after the tough campaign last time round and loss of more top players, we went into this season with mixed feelings on our prospects of a bounce back into the Gallagher Premiership. The opposition have been touted as a serious candidate for winning the league, and on last night’s performance, it’s easy to see why.
The omens weren’t great.
Driving down the M1 with a Leicester supporting friend in torrential rain to face a team that looked worryingly strong on paper, with one that looked like it was worked out in an emergency on the back of a fag packet. Pre-season friendlies are often fairly disjointed affairs and this was no exception. Certainly some positives to take away, but ultimately we were unable to cope with the threat of Leicester’s all-star back line. The pack was largely competitive, which hopefully bodes well for the coming season.
A Grand Day Out
Despite warnings about potential traffic problems in the area due to the Sunbury Regatta we arrived at Hazelwood by car with no problems whatsoever. We parked up and headed to the main entrance to find a long bench set up outside with rows of boxes laid out containing everyone’s membership cards. We were greeted with a warm handshake by Theo Brophy-Clews who delved in and found our envelopes containing our membership cards and car park pass for the coming season. There was also a nice little pin badge and the customary, already out of date, fixture list card. The bench was being manned by a rotation of players and coaches. Max Northcote Green and Les Kiss were also in attendance at the time we arrived. There was also the opportunity for kids, young and old, to grab their entry for the treasure hunt. Not having any youngsters with us we didn’t get involved, although I did hear some little ones enjoying themselves running around looking for clues.
2017/18 Prediction League
In a bid to complete last year's admin here is the result of last season's prediction league.
2017/18 Player of the Season
Another season draws to a close and it's time to look back and see who stood out in the Irish ranks. On The Craic the Player of the Season is given to the player who receives the most Man Of The Match awards. This often gives a different result to the reflective awards since a player needs to have caught the eye of the majority over the course of the whole season rather than more recent memories making a larger impact.
Introduction to the New Boys
A brief look at the new intake of London Irish players.
Europe and Me
Don't let the title put you off of the article or the terrible grammar, it’s not what you think, this is a story about my love for the European rugby cup competitions.It was not a love at first sight or even our eyes meeting across a smoke filled room (you were allowed to smoke indoors then), no this was a gradual thing that has pulled me in over the years, like the change in popular fashion for flared trousers.
Victor Frade lectured at the University of Porto and invented a sports training methodology called Tactical Periodisation.
All-Start MadStad-Era First XV
Now about to enter our 20th season in Reading, I thought it would be fun to look back over the years and select an ‘all-star’ first XV from all the players that have graced the Madstad turf over those years.