Feb 252010

All of us at Bruff RFC would like to take this chance to congratulate John Hayes, on his fabulous achievement in becoming the first ever Irish player to gain 100 international caps (once he sets foot on the green sward at Twickers).

Bruff team with John Hayes

Bruff team with John Hayes, click for a bigger version. (He's the one looking up the field, how many more can you name?)

It’s a long, long time since that fateful day when he played for the very first time as wing forward for Bruff against Newcastle West in a Nil-all draw, and how things have changed for both Bruff RFC and for John since.
Having gathered Two Heineken Cup medals, some triple crowns and a Six nations championship along the way, along with British & Irish Lions honours, we are very proud of the achievements of our most famous son. As John has matured as a rugby player in the intervening years, we also have matured as a club and in an attempt to emulate his brilliant achievements on the pitch we are proud of the fact that we are able to compete against the best at the highest levels in the All Ireland League. Who would ever have thought we would be four games away from a semi-final playoff in Division 2 and that one of our players would be the first to get to that magical 100 caps?
Thank you John for your many years of service to the game of Rugby, to your Club, your province and to your country, all accolades are very well deserved for Bruff RFC’s first true professional and we are very proud to have your very first International Jersey hanging in pride of place on the Clubhouse wall.

6 Nations & Triple Crown Trophies in Bruff on Saturday.

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May 282009

Coupled with the visit of the Irish Caravan and Camping club to Bruff RFC for their Rally this coming weekend, The 6 nations trophy and the Triple crown trophy are making their first of two visits this year to Bruff RFC on Saturday between 11:00 am and 12:00 midday for photos. There may be a surprise guest or two along with them so why not make your way over and join us for the hour before the kick-off to the Lions game. There will be a huge crowd around to welcome them and we intend to present our fabulous U13 Squad with their North Munster Cup medals on the day as well.

The IRB 6 Nations Trophy

The IRB 6 Nations Trophy

Congratulations to all last weekend.

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Mar 232009

First off, Congratulations to the fabulous Irish team who made history on Saturday last. John Hayes of course played the game of his life, (I know it could be said that I’m biased, him being a Bruffian an’ all but I like to think that I’m being reasonably objective) the man seems to just get better and better as he goes on. His work-rate around the field is just awesome. Hit after hit, tackle after tackle, even carrying ball like a young fellah on his first cap. The problem has always been to find a replacement for himself, the second rows and O’ Gara and I fear that this Irish team will suffer in the coming years until this matter is put to bed. Not that we wish him to finish any time soon, he’s playing far too well for that.

As I said during my “apology to Brian O’ Driscoll” last week , there is another changed man, back to the Drico of a few years back. He put himself about everywhere, put his body on the line and on Saturday again he put his head where you wouldn’t send your mother in law to score that try. He was again Captain Fantastic on the day and as I have already said the change in our Captain can only be put down to the Management squad. Finally Declan Kidney and his crew have welded together an Irish team playing for the jersey instead of a Munster pack and half-backs with a Leinster Backline and the occasional Ulsterman thrown into the mix. Speaking of which Tommy Bowe has improved immensely this season as well and even if Bestie got in O’ Gara’s way for a few seconds before the drop-goal on Saturday his contribution has been great this year.
The Parish Cardiac machines were put to good use all around the country I’m sure during the last ten minutes of the game, and the elation following that Antifreeze veined drop goal from ROG was quickly followed by absolute horror in the dying seconds waiting for Jones’s kick, again quickly followed by ecstasy when he missed. I’M SORRY BUT, I have to again ask how the last penalty was even granted at all. I know I keep saying this but the powers that be just have to clarify the situation at the ruck. The last penalty was awarded for playing the ball back on the ground (judging by the referees signals) but Paddy Wallace was one hundred percent standing on his feet and had come through the gate. In my opinion, following the letter of the laws he was fully entitled to do as he did but he could easily have been the villain of the piece after Mr. Barnes’s pinging. We have to get clarification and consistent application of the ELV’s once and for all when it is eventually decided what is and isn’t allowed to happen at a ruck.
After all that it must be said that these are definitely the golden days for Munster and Irish Rugby and hopefully the journey will continue all the way to Edinburgh in May, but of course we have the small matters of ¼ and Semi-finals to deal with first.

Mar 182009

I’ve had this in my head for the last few weeks but had forgotten about it until I was subtly reminded by someone on Monday night.

I have to apologise to Brian O’ Driscoll, And I mean it.

I have been saying for quite some time that he needed to be dropped for a game or two, and I meant it at the time. I thought that it was the only thing that would bring back the hunger for the game that he appeared to have lost over the last couple of years. I was wrong. Obviously there was another way to deal with this and Declan Kidney seems to have found it. That’s why he is the coach and not me or anyone else.

There has been a massive change in our Captain over the last few months, A reinvention. His game has improved, his agility is back, his step has returned, the hunger is back, he is leading from the front the way he used to be. The difference seems to be the new manager, and I think that he has to be commended for his work in turning this “Golden era crew” back into a team rather than the traditional back-line from Leinster and the half-backs and Forwards of Munster with the odd Ulsterman stuck in for effect.

Whatever fears anyone may have had about the ability of Declan Kidney to get the Leinster backs to work with him have now been put squarely where they belong, consigned to the skip.It is now team Ireland and thank god for that.

The only question that remains is why it took so long, but that’s in the past, we move on.

Good luck to all this weekend, as Hooky said last weekend “A grand slam is this teams destiny.”

Croke Park: Ireland V England Ticket Draw

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Feb 232009

Injured Players Fund Ticket Draw:

The Injured Players fund draw took place in the clubhouse after the game on Saturday. With IRB Elite referee George Clancy drawing the tickets (Ensuring total impartiality…) Bruff President Willie Conway announced the winning tickets. Thanks to the great efforts of Joe Guiney and his team on the finance committee combined with the sales talents of the players, we managed to raise over €5,000 for the very worthy injured players fund. Well done to all concerned in running the draw.

Prize winners as follows:

1st Prize: Paddy Noonan, Elton. (2 Stand tickets for Ireland V England, Croke Park)

2nd Prize: Robert Stewart, Mount Charlotte, NCR, Limerick (2 Stand tickets for Ireland V England, Croke Park)

3rd Prize: Mary Britton, Clonmel. (2 adult and 2 youth tickets for Munster V Connacht)