Ticket Draw: 6 Nations, Ireland V England, Croke Park, Sat 28th Feb 2009

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Feb 182009

The Ticket draw for the above game took place at the club pavilion, it was carried out by Seoirse Clancy, PJ Deady and Ger Foster.

Tickets will be distributed on next monday and tuesday nights (23rd & 24th Feb) between 7:30 and 8:30 pm.

Any tickets not collected at this time will be immediately reallocated to facilitate distribution to those on our waiting list.

The remainder of our tickets have been allocated to our Gold members and Sponsors.

The following members were successful in their application:

8                308
9                310
10                311
13                313
14                335
19                339
20                345
48                351
57                359
58                361
59                362
63                366
67                367
68                374
73                383
90                384
96                393
97                405
103                408
105                413
106                426
110                430
111                431
130                436
139                445
166                446
211                452
212                453
219                458
221                462
224                481
225                482
228                486
238                495
243                499
244                521
245                522
247                548
251                553
252                554
259                555
263                558
264                559
273                573
279                574
281                579
289                584
305                586
306                591
307                603

Feb 132009

What can you say about John Hayes that hasn’t already been said a hundred times over in the last week.

If there is one man that you can honestly say that Ireland and Munster could not have done without or had no replacement for over the last 9-10 years it is the rock solid John Hayes. Ever since I used to meet him on the training pitch in Kilballyowen twice a week when he started all of those years ago (I’m guessing about 4 or 5 stone lighter), a fit, thin whippet that we stuck out on the edge of the scrum for his first game, that I was able to lift in the lineout back then (when it was illegal to do so, but only if you got caught), we here at Bruff have watched his career grow from strength to strength. From the move into second row, Joining Shannon U20 as we had no U20 team that year, Thanks to Kynan McGregor, the move about as far south that you can go on this planet and the return as a Prop from Invercargill. All of a sudden he shot into the limelight with that famous start against Scotland almost 9 years ago to the day and everyone in the country finally saw what we had known all along.

There were a few surreptitiously wiped eyes around the clubhouse that famous february day and the crowning moment for many was the sight of a Bruff flag and banner flashed up on the big screen in Clarkes. John had made the big time and Bruff RFC was being carried along with him. While we had had a few younger players on international schools teams, Under 18 and Under 20 squads, this was our very first Senior International  player and by heck were we proud of it. Even though at this stage he was playing full time with Shannon and Munster, he never forgot where he came from or where he started and in the few scarce interviews that he did over the years, he never failed to let everyone know just how it began.

John’s career blossomed, Munster Heineken Cup glory, Irish Triple crown glory and a Lions jersey followed. He’s just about to match the all time record for Irish caps, and going well will break the record for the greatest number of 6 Nations starts of any country before the end of this campaign.

We, as you probably know, have had our own successes, Under 20 All Ireland league winners and losing finalists in the space of twelve months, quickly followed by three Munster Junior league wins out of four. The tense final moments on the phone in Garryowen Green, praying and willing for the game between Clanwilliam and Nenagh to finish. That fateful jump to Senior on the third attempt on that fateful day in Coleraine, Where we cried, we couldn’t watch, the Northern lads put on a great atmosphere but we were too tense to enjoy it. This was followed by surviving the famous first year in senior rugby. John came back to his roots, to the place where it all began. This was quickly followed by being crowned champions without being promoted, followed again by last years absolutely fabulous season, which now sees us in Division 2. We wanted survival this season. We’ve accomplished that already and God knows how it will finish up this year.

Folks, while it’s been one hell of a ride for us, we can be extremely proud of the man they call “THE BULL”. The Cornerstone of Munster and Ireland, hopefully on Sunday, they will finally give him that elusive “Man of the match award”, although it’s highly likely that he wouldn’t do the interview, that’s just the type of man he is. While I’ll never forget the row in Keatings into the wee hours with Chick, Scoby, Dunnser and Ger Whelan over whether we would be better off in Munster Junior 3 for a season to regroup, little did I know back then where the future would take us.

Thanks you John for many many happy moments, and we know there’s more to come. Keep carrying that pack as long as they need you.

Best wishes to Referee George Clancy this weekend, First 6 Nations game.

 6 Nations, Adult Rugby, Ireland, Referees, Underage  Comments Off on Best wishes to Referee George Clancy this weekend, First 6 Nations game.
Feb 132009

All of us here at Bruff RFC would like to wish the very best to Bruff “Man of the cloth” George Clancy this coming weekend in his first 6 nations game. George officiates in the game between France and Scotland at Stade de France this Saturday with a 4:00pm (Local Time) kickoff. George is pictured at the back row first on the left in the shot below.

Click on the pic below for the full version of this shot of the entire squad on the High Performance Panel.

The very best of luck George from all of us.

IRB Elite Referee Squad

IRB Elite Referee Squad

The full list of appointments for the 6 nations is below.

7 Feb 15.00 England v Italy Twickenham, London M. Lawrence J. Jutge P. Allan N. Whitehouse
7 Feb 17.00 Ireland v France Croke Park, Dublin N. Owens D. Pearson D. Changleng G. De Santis
8 Feb 15.00 Scotland v Wales Murrayfield, Edinburgh A. Rolland C. White R. Debney G. Warren
14 Feb 16.00 France v Scotland Stade de France, Paris G. Clancy W. Barnes T. Hayes G. De Santis
14 Feb 17.30 Wales v England Millennium Stadium, Cardiff J. Kaplan A. Lewis P. Fitzgibbon S. McDowell
15 Feb 15.30 Italy v Ireland Stadio Flaminio, Rome C. White N. Owens R. Poite G. Hughes
27 Feb 21.00 France v Wales Stade de France, Paris M. Lawrence A. Rolland S. McDowell P. Fitzgibbon
28 Feb 15.00 Scotland v Italy Murrayfield, Edinburgh N. Owens G. Clancy R. Poite N. Whitehouse
28 Feb 17.30 Ireland v England Croke Park, Dublin C. Joubert C. Berdos P. Allan G. De Santis
14 Mar 16.00 Italy v Wales Stadio Flaminio, Rome A. Lewis D. Pearson D. Changleng G. Warren
14 Mar 17.00 Scotland v Ireland Murrayfield, Edinburgh J. Kaplan W. Barnes C. Damasco H. Watkins
15 Mar 15.00 England v France Twickenham, London S. Dickinson N. Owens T. Hayes N. Whitehouse
21 Mar 14.15 Italy v France Stadio Flaminio, Rome A. Rolland S. Dickinson P. Fitzgibbon G. Hughes
21 Mar 15.30 England v Scotland Twickenham, London J. Jutge (TBC) C. Berdos S. McDowell C. Damasco
21 Mar 17.30 Wales v Ireland Millennium Stadium, Cardiff S. Walsh (TBC) W. Barnes D. Pearson R. Poite

The “New Irish” and what hasn’t changed.

 6 Nations, Adult Rugby, Blog, Ireland, Underage  Comments Off on The “New Irish” and what hasn’t changed.
Jan 312009

The announcement during the week of the renewal of the Captaincy under Brian O’ Driscoll does not surprise me in the slightest. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am now even more convinced that this was part of the monetary deal that was made with O’ Driscoll to keep him playing rugby under the Irish flag. How else can you explain handing such a responsibility over to a man whose current form (Over the last two years) hasn’t even been good enough to keep him on the pitch as a player at times.

In my eyes the man’s place on the field is in jeopardy with the rising young stars coming hot on his heels in the shape of Earls, Fitzgerald and co. The number thirteen slot has many many more options than almost any other position on the field. The promotion of O’ Driscoll says wonders for the stranglehold still being wrought by the three mile circle surrounding headquarters when in fact it is the Money Generating Heineken Cup Monster that Munster has become that keeps the whole show on the road. I now think that it is time for the “old school” to open their eyes and let a coach pick from all the pool that he has to offer without having to worry about whose toes he may be treading on or having to keep any corner of the country happy by filling in slots uselessly when there are better options on offer.

Okay, being realistic, It’s not as if there is a ready replacement for Ronan O’ Gara, Paul O’ Connell is  an automatic walk in to any team in the world, What Munster and Ireland are going to do when the “Raging Bull” from Cappamore finally hangs up his boots is one of the unanswered Questions. “Mushy” is being groomed to take over the Munster Slot but to be honest it’s not as if he’s getting enough game time currently to up his game and one wonders whether a spell “Down Under” like his predecessor would improve the possibility of him filling the role.

However, In the Irish setup,  possibilities abound all around the pitch for up and coming youngsters. What does the handing of the captaincy to a man whose best days appear to be now behind him say to the likes of Trimble, Fitzgerald, Earls and D’Arcy to name but a few? The Scrum-half slot is now a battlefield with Reddan and Tomás O’ Leary fighting it out with Peter Stringer not out of contention either.Opportunities abound for anyone who can step up to the mark throughout the pack (With the exception of tight head prop), Okay the second row fight is for a Partner to O’ Connell but there’s still a fight and the back row is wide open to form players.

The Green jersey has to come around to being earned by Merit and Merit alone, not by who you know, where you’re from and how many slots have to be filled from each province. That’s what make Munster the fabulous team that it is when they put on the red shirts, much, much greater than the sum of it’s parts. Every player that has worn the red jersey has stated that You know that the man alongside you has earned the right to that jersey for that game. But only for that game, and when you’re not performing the next man to fill it has also earned that right by virtue of what he has brought to the table. And when the time comes for you to hand it over, the man in whose hand you put it has earned the right to put it on.

What’s the point of handing the reigns over to a setup like that which Declan Kidney puts in place, if you are merely pulling the strings behind the scenes to satisfy political requirements. If things remain the same then we’ll get the same results as we have done for the last four years. Once and for all give a coach or manager, (whichever term you prefer) his head and let him do what has to be done.