Thursday, May 7, 2009

The week's highlights

Some thoughts on a mad week of sport...

1 Leinster's time in the sun
Jumpthefence risks the wrath of rugby heads in these parts, but there was something refreshing about last Saturday's show of power from Leinster. Ah there's only so much one casual rugby watcher can take of how special Munster are and Paul O'Connell's pyjamas jokes and so on. And make no mistake by the way, this was a real show of power from Leinster. They completely outplayed the European champs, especially in overpowering them in contact, something nobody's done to Munster in eons. They wanted it more, and desire's a hard bloody thing to beat. Kudos to O'Driscoll, Darcy and company for deciding their time had come.
And if there wasn't some Munster eegit in your pub that you took a great deal of pleasure in watching squirm as the game wore on, then you weren't in the pub.

2 Hatton taken to school
There's only so many excuses to be made. Ricky Hatton might have made light of being outclassed by Floyd Mayweather last year but the pummelling he took from Manny Pacquiao makes it clear the likeable Mancunian is just a rung below the top, top level of his class. Mayweather was too smart, too classy, too technically excellent. Pacquiao was too fast, too explosive, too good. Hatton had/has great qualities, but he couldn't take either of these great fighters to a brawl, and he suffered for that. No shame in it either, at least he had the balls to take the fights on.

3 A final to look forward to?
So we get the dream final at last. To be fair, it's got the makings of a classic. United get the chance to prove themselves a great side against the other top team in europe. Barcelona get the chance to take their crown. Both are easy on the eye, play the game the right way and have wonderful players on show. It COULD be amazing. Yet Jumpthefence has hyped up enough games to wonder if it'll be tight and tense in reality rather than epic and goal-ridden.
Oh, and Barcelona were rather lucky last night. The funniest thing was the boys on rte trying to convince everyone that they won cos they kept doing the right thing, when in actuality, they got lucky with decisions, the fall of the ball in the last minute and Chelsea missing some glorious chances to seal it. Dunphy suggesting a five-yard sideways pass from Messi was some kind of genius was also hilarious. (All of which doesn't take away from the fact Jumpthefence thinks Messi is in fact a genius and Barca are a crazily brilliant side on their night.)
Predictions are impossible for the end of May. So we'll go with United being more solid and grinding a 1-0. Or maybe Barca thumping United 4-1. Or maybe a mad 3-3. Perhaps, ah sod it...


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