Amlin Challenge Cup result

Amlin Challenge Cup result, Leinster rugby win, Stade Francis, RDS, Rugby Ireland, Heineken Cup

Bienvenue à tous les fans de rugby de la France


Leinster 34 Stade Francais 13: A trophy is a trophy, and the handsome Amlin Challenge Cup was won in the grand manner. For the first time the final was held in Ireland, and for the first time there was an Irish winner, while as an aside Connacht were spared returning to their customary Euro outlet as, for the third year running, Leinster earned them a place in next season’s Heineken Cup.

Stade Francais, themselves in the last chance saloon for their season and their hopes of a Heineken Cup place next season, never went away and showed more spirit than perhaps might have been expected given they were behind from the third minute. Indeed, a graph of the evening’s share of possession and territory would have been hugely in the visitors’ favour, but their accuracy and cutting edge was nothing like Leinster’s. Continue reading

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Heineken Cup Final 2013



Rugby Ireland, RaboDirect Pro12, Leinster Rugby, Heineken Cup Final 2013, Stade Francais, Brian O’Driscoll, Aviva Stadium Dublin

Double Trouble for Leinster

It may not be quite the double they wanted, and the one they’ve come up a game short of in the last two seasons, but regardless of that another unbroken, unyielding run of end-of-sequence knock-out games is again already underlining how difficult a RaboDirect PRO12/Amlin Challenge Cup double will be for Leinster, even with both finals at the RDS.

In reaching the final of the former before turning their attention to the latter against Stade Francais next Friday, Leinster will spend the next 48 hours or more anxiously patching up their squad after a nerve-jangling, sapping and costly 17-15 semi-final win over Glasgow at the RDS on Saturday.

Gordon D’Arcy is their most acute concern, a nasty looking calf injury possibly ruling him out of both games. “Gordon cramped up pretty badly,” admitted Joe Schmidt. “They think it’s possible there’s a tear there but we’re not going to know until he’s been examined. So we’ll have a look and find out within the next 48 hours.”

As ever when Brian O’Driscoll goes down and reluctantly departs the fray, crowd and medical staff alike would have been immediately fretting like mother hens over the great man’s back injury, though Schmidt did not seem too perturbed.

“Brian just tightened right up and couldn’t really stretch out. He was keen to continue but really, it just wasn’t an option. Against the guys they’ve got, if you’re trying to catch hold of Hogg, Maitland or DTH van der Merwe – I won’t name their whole backline but they’re a handful. I wouldn’t be overly concerned and I’m normally concerned about most things, so hopefully it’s a good sign.”

Richardt Strauss and Fergus McFadden will have to manage knee and shin injuries, while Schmidt was hopeful Seán O’Brien, ruled out with a calf strain here, will come into the equation for the Stade game.

“To be honest I don’t know if we’ll be doing a lot in the front half of the week, we have six guys who are off to the Lions, to London, for the whole of Monday, so our training will be restricted probably to Tuesday and Wednesday.”


Medical staff

Asked if this was the week Leinster’s medical staff will come into their own, Schmidt quipped: “They didn’t do too well today! They need to work on their fitness; there were a lot of guys going down. But they do a super job and they’ll have the glue and sticky tape out, and hopefully that will mean we can piece together a team for next week and then the week after, when we’re just delighted we’re not going to be on holiday.”

Verily, though, this was not what the doctors ordered six days before the first of those RDS finals against a rested Stade Francais, an occasion which, alas, will not be illuminated by a last appearance in European rugby by one-time Leinster icon Felipe Contepomi, as Stade have not registered him for the competition. Against that, former Leinster prop Stan Wright may feature.

Such was the ferocity of the collisions and unrelenting tempo of Saturday’s game that players began dropping like flies from the moment O’Driscoll’s back seized up early on, and ultimately eight of the substitutions made by both sides, whether temporary or permanent, were injury-enforced.

Given Stuart Hogg had a conversion to take the sides into extra time, Schmidt was eternally grateful for that small mercy. “Yeah, we were 2-1 down in the try count as well so not only would it have extended the effort of players and furthered the fatigued, but also we have had to win that extra-time because on count back of tries they were up two to one, which is exactly what they did to us last time they were here.”

Leinster, truly with the best of respects, will be relieved to at least see the back of Glasgow. Lamenting Leinster’s exaction, some dropped balls and missed opportunities, Schmidt admitted Glasgow had their chances too.

“A really frustrating night,” admitted Schmidt. “I think we didn’t really have the platform, we missed a few lineouts where if you don’t get those you don’t get access to play off and then you don’t get any sort of momentum.”

He also lamented the poorly-officiated scrums, where Leinster mostly had the edge throughout, and highlighted one attacking five-metre scrum when Mike Ross was pinged even though Ryan Grant was virtually U-shaped.

“I mean, why would we collapse our scrum when we’ve been dominant five metres out from the line?” he asked rhetorically, and with justification.

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Leinster Rugby


Leinster Rugby, Irish Rugby, Aviva Stadium

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Joe Schmidt’s phone call was a game-changer for Andrew Goodman. He was working for the Tasman Rugby Union in New Zealand in rugby development and also teaching in Nelson College, his old school, when Schmidt invited him to come to Leinster.

The soon to be Ireland coach may have reshaped the European champions into the number one side at this end of the rugby playing world, but part of his brief is to also know who and what Honda Heat, Nelson College and the Tasman Makos are – and Goodman had played for all of them.

Plucked from obscurity – like Schmidt himself originally and set into the Leinster mould, Goodman’s epic journey from journeyman development officer to back-up centre for Gordon D’Arcy has fallen well. This season he has played 16 times for the team.

The son of teachers, mum Trish and father John, his move on a one-year contract – which has been rolled over for another year – was as much a cultural exchange as a chance to kick-start a fully-fledged professional career at 29 years of age. He’s now 30 and enjoying the ride.

Game time

Injuries along the back line as well as players slipping off for international duty with Ireland gave Goodman enough game time not to be churning over on the bench wondering whether he had made the right choice.

His solid play is quite the foil for the excitable assembly line of Leinster Academy players now punching through into the squad.

“I am coming back for one more year,” he says. “I love the environment here, learning off some of the best players in the world.”

While his role is defined as much by the availability of those around him, Goodman has started several of Leinster’s bigger games this season, including the home and away legs of the Heineken Cup matches against Clermont.

As the players watched analysis clips of the likely Clermont starting team for the first leg, it dawned on him two former All Blacks, Benson Stanley and Regan King, couldn’t make the walk-on side. In France, it was the biggest crowd, at 17,000, he had ever played in front of until the return leg in Aviva, where Leinster fell in front of 50,000 supporters.

“The great thing about Leinster is if you are performing at training and on the field Joe always gives you a chance,” he adds having just heard the name of the incoming coach, Matt O’Connor.



“I haven’t had much time to think about it (O’Connor). I suppose at this time of the year we’re just concentrating on semis and finals so we haven’t really talked about it too much,” he says before spreading some optimism.

“I know the incoming coach has a very good reputation, he did a great job over at Leicester, and the Brumbies before that. I’ve heard a couple of the boys say he’s coming very highly rated so I’m looking forward to that next year.”

This weekend, there is little Leinster don’t know. The sides met in the RDS at the end of March, where Ian Madigan scored all of Leinster’s 22 points, including the match -winning try 10 minutes from the end of the match.

Gregor Townsend’s side started the stronger and led at half-time but were unable to get the scoreboard ticking over as quickly as they might, allowing Leinster to stay in contention and finally close them out.

But Glasgow will come on Saturday with an idea of how to deal with the home side’s running game.

“Aw, they’ve been playing some great footie this year,” says Goodman. “Looking at the stats, they’ve scored the most tries in the competition this season, play a very open brand and off-loading a lot. They use their backs so we have to be on the spot to make sure we get past them.”

Low key, easy-going, still enjoying the scenery but no longer just there for the ride.

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Justin Timberlake Phoenix Park

Justin Timberlake, Phoenix Park, Dublin, Wed 10 Jul 2013, 18:00

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Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art


Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin Galleries, Free Attractions Dublin, Irish Art, Art Exhibitions, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

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Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

Charlemont House,

Parnell Square North,

Dublin 1,


Phone: +353 (0)1 874-1903

Fax: +353 (0)1 872-2182

Local Information: O’Connell Street Area, Co. Dublin

About Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

Housed in a finely restored 18th century building known as Charlemont House, this gallery is situated next to the Dublin Writers Museum and across the street from the Garden of Remembrance. It is named after Hugh Lane, an Irish art connoisseur who was killed in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 and who willed his collection (including works by Courbet, Manet, Monet, and Corot) to be shared between the government of Ireland and the National Gallery of London. With the Lane collection as its nucleus, this gallery also contains paintings from the impressionist and postimpressionist traditions, sculptures by Rodin, stained glass, and works by modern Irish Artists, with emphasis on the first half of the 20th century. In April through June, a summer concert series takes place, free of charge, at the gallery, on Sundays at noon.

Location: Parnell Square., Dublin 1.

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9; 30am-6pm; Saturday, 9:30am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm

Admission: Free to permanent collection; donations accepted.

Located in Dublin’s city centre, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, originally called The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, houses one of Ireland’s foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. The original collection, donated by the Gallery’s founder Sir Hugh Lane in 1908, has now grown to include over 2000 artworks, ranging from the Impressionist masterpieces of Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas to works by leading national and international contemporary artists. The Gallery presents dynamic schedules of temporary exhibitions, seminars and public lectures, publications and educational projects.

The Hugh Lane’s role as a leading museum of modern and contemporary art was enhanced with the acquisition of the entire contents of Francis Bacon’s Studio, donated by Bacon’s sole heir John Edwards. The studio, located at 7 Reece Mews, London, was relocated to Dublin in 1998 and opened to the public on 23 May 2001. It provides invaluable insight into the artist’s life, inspirations, unusual techniques and working methods. Never before has an artist’s studio been so thoroughly catalogued and reconstructed.

The Gallery’s wide range of activities both within and outside the Gallery includes an annual series of lectures by artists, philosophers and art historians. A lively education and outreach programme has forged strong links with local school and community groups with activities ranging from Kids Club workshops, adult education courses and the ever-popular Sunday lecture series.

Hugh Lane is best-known for establishing Dublin’s Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in 1908 (the first known public gallery of modern art in the world) and for his remarkable contribution to the visual arts in Ireland. Born in County Cork on 9 November 1875, Lane was brought up in Cornwall in England. He began his career as an apprentice painting restorer and later became a very successful London art dealer. Through regular visits to Coole, Co. Galway, the home of his famous aunt, Lady Augusta Gregory, Lane remained in contact with Ireland. He counted among his family and friends those who collectively formed the core of the Irish cultural renaissance in the early decades of the 20th century.

On a visit to Dublin in 1901, Lane viewed an exhibition of paintings by Nathaniel Hone and John Butler Yeats and soon after began a campaign to establish a gallery of modern art in Dublin. He became passionate that the best of national and international art should be on public view in Dublin. To further his campaign, in 1904, Lane organised the first ever exhibition of contemporary Irish art abroad, at the Guildhall in London. The exhibition was a great success. In the preface to the catalogue, Lane stated “There is something of common race instinct in the work of all original Irish writers of to-day and, it can hardly be absent in their sister art.” On his return to Dublin, Lane persuaded leading artists of the day to donate a representative work to form the nucleus of the collection, as well as personally financing many acquisitions including a number of major Impressionist masterpieces. He was to become one of the foremost collectors of Impressionist paintings in these islands, and amongst those outstanding works purchased by him for the new gallery were La Musique aux Tuileries and Eva Gonzales by Manet, Sur la Plage by Degas, Les Parapluies by Renoir and La Cheminée by Vuillard.

The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art opened in January 1908 in temporary premises in Harcourt Street, Dublin. However, Lane did not live to see his Gallery permanently located as he died tragically in 1915 on board the Lusitania, off the west coast of Cork, the county of his birth.

The Lane Bequest

Following Lane’s death in 1915, a long dispute ensued between Dublin and London over possession of his valuable collection of Continental pictures. Constant difficulties and delays in locating a permanent home for his collection in Dublin resulted in Lane loaning his continental paintings to The National Gallery in London in 1913 and although he refused to confirm it, made a will leaving them to London. The following year he was appointed Director of The National Gallery of Ireland. In 1915, just before leaving for the United States of America, Lane added a codicil to his will stating that he had changed his mind and he now left his famous collection of 39 continental works to Dublin. The codicil was signed but not witnessed. Lane’s wishes were not honored as a British commission set up 1929 in deemed they should not be returned to Dublin. However subsequently, beginning in 1959, agreements have been reached whereby the paintings are shared between Dublin and London.

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