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Wales Online Bizarrely Critical Of Individual Munster Players In Op-Ed On Welsh Rugby

Wales Online Bizarrely Critical Of Individual Munster Players In Op-Ed On Welsh Rugby
By Gavin Cooney Updated
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Welcome to the latest in the long series of 'Someone says something about Irish people', a genre that hit its apotheosis, of course, with the British Twitter Reaction to Hurling. It has been kept going since, and the good people of Wales can usually be relied upon to rejuvenate this fine literary pursuit.

They are at it again this week, with Wales Online publishing an opinion piece bemoaning the performances of the Welsh regions in Europe, with the semi-finals of both Champions and Challenge Cup bereft of Welsh representation.

The article, which can be read in full here, articulates a great frustration with the failure of the Welsh regions to punch above their weight in European competition. To accentuate that failure the example of Munster is given as a counterpoint: "when it comes to punching above their weight, nobody can compete with Munster".

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The article then dives into some rugby relativism, saying that Cardiff and the Ospreys have a better squad than the Irish province. Here's the evidence provided:

Conor Murray, CJ Stander, Simon Zebo and Peter O’Mahony are fine players and Keith Earls is decent. But the likes of Dave Kilcoyne, Donnacha and John Ryan, Jaco Taute and Darren Sweetenham [sic] are hard workers and nothing more.

It seems an unbelievably harsh assessment of the latter five players mentioned: Donnacha Ryan is arguably Ireland's first-choice lock; Jaco Taute's influence on Munster has yielded a contract extension specially dispensed by the IRFU; John Ryan was man of the match against Toulouse last weekend and his early season form led Donal Lenihan to choose him as the IRFU's Player of the Year in October; while Darren Sweetnam has been in superb form this season, nailing down a starting place and putting himself on the picture for the international team.

To be fair to the piece, it does stress the power of Munster as a collective:

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The sad death of Anthony Foley was the catalyst and the wave of emotion initially carried them along. But, most importantly, the wins that rolled in gave them the confidence they had been lacking.

And there’s also the importance and power of the red jersey to Munster’s players and supporters, or the blue to Leinster’s. They are proper provinces and it’s more than rugby, it’s a crusade.

I’m not saying the Welsh regions, particularly the Ospreys and Scarlets, aren’t as committed to their jerseys but they seem to take it to a whole different level the other side of the Irish Sea.

You can read the full story here.

See Also: EPCR Confirm Two Very Unusual Locations For Next Two Champions Cup Finals

See Also: Ian Keatley Reveals The Profound Effect Being Booed By Munster Fans Had On His Personal Life

 

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