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2020-21 Club Rugby Men Community Series Ulster

Club Men. Community Series Week 3 Preview

There was only one fixture completed in the Ulster Conference Division 1 in Week 2 with City of Armagh moving to the top of the league after a last minute win against Ballynahinch. Division 2 also only managed one completion with Bangor coming out on top against Omagh Academicals. Unfortunately our photographer had gone to…

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2019-20 All Ireland League 1A Ballynahinch RFC Club Rugby Men Young Munster FC

Energia AIL 1A Ballynahinch 24 Young Munster 26

It’s not the first game this season where Ballynahinch will be kicking themselves after a narrow defeat at Ballymacarn Park! [pullquote]Report and pictures from Richard Owens.[/pullquote] In the bowels of winter, the biting wind from the west straight down the pitch would give a huge territorial advantage if either team could harness its strength. Neither…

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Ballpark Features

From Here to 2013

In case you haven’t the heart/willpower to read any further, I will take this opportunity to wish all my readers, (I think that’s about 3*) a very Happy New Year’s Eve and an outstanding, for the Ulstermen, 2013. There are many idiosyncrasies in 2012 I could pontificate about, such as the reputed split in the…

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Club Rugby

Local Stars Inspire Next Generation at Queen’s.

Sunday 7th October saw prospective Queen’s students invited to a day of “Inspiration for Sport” at the newly developed Riddel Hall. Over 100 school leavers who are on course to achieve in sport and academia were chosen from across Ireland and GB. Pupils were delivered sessions on coaching, psychology, conditioning, academic planning and career advice…

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Editorial Features

When is a ‘Head Coach’ not a Head Coach?

I remember an article by Liam Toland, after Declan Kidney, in order to try to head off calls for him to appoint an outsider as an attack coach, instead appointed Les Kiss – the defence coach – to moonlight as the attack coach as well. So Liam said something along the lines of ‘In my…

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Ballpark Features

IT’S ALL OVER BABY BLUE

Well that’s it for another few months, I can stand down now and focus on my cycling, art, holidays, grousebeating and DIY until the rugby starts all over again. Can’t help but feel a certain sense of anti climax at what was once looking like a fantastic finale turned into a season of mixed fortunes…

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Editorial Features

You can’t sack a coach who takes you to the European Cup Final? Or can you?

There is no question that, for Ulster fans, players and management alike, getting to the Heineken Cup final is a heck of an achievement, and despite the stabilisation of the club over the last couple of years, it was probably a year or two sooner than most of us would have expected. Given the leak…

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Editorial Features

Game time…

Flight tickets – check… Match tickets – check… Ulster shirt, hat and scarf – check… Lucky underpants – check… Extreme, sphincter-twitching build-up of nerves – check… The teams are out there, Edinburgh as expected. Ulster minus Henry, plus Jackson. I have no worries about the latter – whatever you may say about McLaughlin, he has…

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Ballpark Features

THE WAITING GAME

Time Waits for Nothing There’s something in the air In Belfast. The oul timers will recognise it as a feint stirring of secreted passion amongst the ordinary town folk of forgotten dreams and memories. Through the past weeks they’ve been absorbed in celebrating disaster, though not quite going overboard about the sinking of the ship…

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Ballpark Features

POSTCARDS FROM THE WINDOW TO MY WORLD

Dear Reader, The thunder, dash, cut & thrust and above all the passion of Heineken recedes into a muted interlude heralding the rumbling approach of the RBS Six Nations. The respective corporate sponsors sum up the respective tournaments for me, with the Heineken all fizz & splash, refresh-e-ment, buzz and bubbling over with verve. The…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

McLaughlin’s long term role confirmed.

Ulster Rugby today confirmed that the club will appoint a new Head Coach for the 2012-13 season, with Brian McLaughlin moving to a senior coaching position within the Ulster Academy, on a permanent contract. Ulster Director of Rugby David Humphreys today addressed the media speculation that surfaced last week around Brian McLaughlin’s future as Head…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

No more McLaughs?

Speculation is rife this morning that Brian McLaughlin will not be head coach at Ulster Rugby for the start of next season. Kiwi’s Matt Sexton, John Kirwin and John Plumtree are all in the frame alongside a highly unlikely return for Mark McCall. McLaughlin, who has a young family, may have been under pressure to…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

McLaughlin on the team for Friday!

Ulster host Scarlets in a vital game this Friday and coach Brian McLaughlin is unsurprisingly happy to welcome back some big names to the starting team. Commenting, Having John Afoa back is great, hopefully he will have as big an impact as he did in his first two appearances for the club. With Stevie, Rory,…

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Ballpark Features

My Old Ulster Mug

I’ve an old mug in the cupboard, er no, it’s not me and I now have it sitting in front of me at the computer as I type. It’s an old Ulster mug, I repeat it’s not me but I feel the way this mug looks. It’s a traditional Ulster mug with a rather faded…

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Ballpark Features

Who Plays the Tinkerman?

Depending on the quantities in your glass, (half full or half empty), Ulster’s season has either resembled a train crash of catastrophic proportions or resolutely remains unfulfilled but still promising. I’m a glass half full sort and looking dispassionately at Ulster’s performances it should read as 3 games lost away from home in Wales and…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

PRO12: Scarlets 24 Ulster 17.

Ulster slumped to their fourth league defeat in a row  at Parc-y-Scarlets on Saturday afternoon losing 24 – 17 to a Scarlets side that looked fairly average on paper. With no live coverage on TV it was a case of the Gusher and Con Radio show for our coverage and it seems that even this normally upbeat…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

PRO12: Dragons 22 Ulster 9

Ulster lost their second game on the bounce with a stuttering performance against a workmanlike Dragons side. Despite an improved performance in the set piece Ulster suffered once again from poor discipline and a distinct lack of dynamism at the breakdown, giving McLaughlin and his team plenty to think about before next Friday’s match against Treviso. Once again Ulster started brightly, with Patrick…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

The Lowe Down: Ulster squad for Ospreys.

Emma Lowe brings you the latest from today’s press conference: With Ulster away to the Osprey’s this weekend one team is going to loose their ‘unbeaten’ tagline. However, there seems to be a quiet confidence in the Ulster camp that they will continue to boast 100% unbeaten after Sunday’s show down! Unfortunately Darren Cave has definitely…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

The Lowe Down: Ulster squad for Aironi

Our latest reporter Emma Lowe gives us the run down on todays squad announcement. So looking like it’s going to be pretty similar again this week. Captain Chris Henry said with the 9 Internationals away the squad will continue to build on last Friday’s success and work to iron out any problems they had finishing. He was…

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Friendly Ulster Ulster Rugby

McLaughlin on Neath v Ulster

Brian McLaughlin spoke after the Neath v Ulster game: I’m pleased with the effort from everybody, the young guys and the older hands did really well. They fought hard together and we came away with a very impressive win. Chris Farrell, Peter Nelson, Stuart Olding and a few others were starting in a senior Ulster…

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Ballpark Features

SMASHEY AND NICEY GO TO DUBLIN

Last week the Smashey and Nicey show went to Dublin for the evening.  Smashey is the gravelly voiced BBC Northern Ireland commentator Jim ‘Smashey’ Neilly whose every consonant is tinged with more gravitas than a JFK speech. Australian, Ryan ‘Nicey’ Constable is the supporting commentator who is the agent for umpteen Ulster players and you…

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PRO14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Magners League: Leinster 18 Ulster 3

Ulster travelled to Dublin more in hope than expectation on Friday night and, despite a dogged enough display from the Ulster tyros, Leinster had enough class to take the game reasonably comfortably in the end. Ulster created few scoring chances against the Dublin outfit but our Mexican cousins were left to count the cost of…

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Editorial Features

Ulster in the Press.

Looking at our live feeds this week  of Ulster Rugby coverage it’s easy to see that Northampton and Ulster aren’t the only teams to be going head to head this week but also our friends at The Belfast Newsletter and The Belfast Telegraph with their pre-match coverage of Ulster’s big day. On reading the coverage…

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ERCC Ulster Ulster Rugby

Heineken Cup: The one you’re waiting for – Team for Sunday!

Ulster Coach Brian McLaughlin had named his starting XV and replacements for this Sunday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Northampton Saints at Stadium:MK in Milton Keynes (KO 2pm). Captained by Rory Best, there is just once change in the starting line-up from the side which defeated Llanelli Scarlets at Ravenhill in the Magners League last…