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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.
Down Down Deeper and Down
And so we came to the final day of the season, already relegated. We had already decided to make a weekend of it in Bath last August when the fixtures first came out, so had the hotel booked. Bath is a beautiful city and a great place to watch rugby.
A different league
On my journey to Reading, I felt a strange sense of optimism. Only light showers forecast, Irish had a big win the week before and our Grand-daughter was with us for the first time making it feel like the perfect time to play the Chiefs. After all, they had already qualified for the end of season playoffs and so would not be as switched on as usual.
The noisy neighbours do the double on Quins
I don't remember a game when I was so nervous as I walked into the stadium. This could be the day our relegation could be sealed. At the same time, this could be another historic day in the Stoop. In spite of our upward progression following the appointment of our new coaches and a bad run of form of Harlequins, the home side were odds on to win this game.
None the wiser
The "St Patrick's Day" match is always an occasion, with plenty of rugby first-timers joining the crowd to watch a game and then enjoy the party. The Gloucester following always seem to embrace the party too and that makes for fun. With the recent changes to the London Irish coaching set-up there was more than a little speculation about what would happen. Would the new guys make the needed difference?I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd numbers when I arrived. With the club's announcement that they intended imminently to return to West London it has felt a lot like the local Reading support has disengaged and that support is really needed for the St Pat's party. A crowd of over 15,000 watched a fascinating, exciting and reasonably entertaining game - whether any of them will stick with the club in coming years remains to be seen. Who knows? Maybe they were all from West London.
As someone who goes to every Irish game home and away, and also an avid reader of the Craic, I thought I should step up and help Griff's regular pleadings and do a match a write up!
Get Tom Cruise on the phone!
London Irish's preformance in the Avivia Premiership has been disappointing. After the glorious victory over Harlequins in the opening day at Twickenham everything felt good but since then there have been no more victories and many, many poor results leaving the Exiles at the foot of the table looking down the barrel of a second relegation to the Championship. Their nearest competition comes in the form of Worcester Warriors, a mere 16 points ahead in the table. Their visit to the Madejski felt very much post-must-win but, with the maths not completely signalling the drop, Irish had something to play for and Worcester had the means to put the men-in-green away.