Neil Francis and his predictions and opinions

Neil Francis's column (Sport, 28 September) predicted that Leinster would not 'leak tries' in their Celtic League clash with neighbours Munster. He suggested that Marcus Horan would have a torrid experience against Van Der Linde and that Leinster would notch up its 81st victory against Munster in their 132-year 130 game histories.

These were brave assertions. Sadly, from a Leinster viewpoint, none of them were realised. As a keen reader of his column, I can recall his stories of jogging to his local shopping mall in his Blackrock gear, to dusting himself off the Thomond Park turf after shipping a Shannon tackle. He is equally capable of 'taking it' and 'giving it'!

However, in terms of history, he should stick to the modern era. What happened between two teams in Dunlop's Field in 1876 does not have the same resonance as the same venue with a different name on a score line of Leinster 6 Munster 30 in April 2006. Likewise on a score line of 18-0 to Munster at the RDS last Sunday the suggestion that Leinster are "more defens-ively sound" is more historical than factual!

Pat O'Connor,

Rosroe Avenue,

Caherdavin, Co Limerick.

2008-10-05 12:00:00
Neil Francis and his predictions and opinions

NEIL Francis, commenting on the Leinster v Munster Magners League game states: "There is nothing in domestic soccer that comes remotely close, nor can hurling or any of its rabid acolytes who foam at the mouth for any kind of rivalry in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship, nor can Gaelic football come close."

After reading this I believe that Neil may have been bitten by that rabid dog. Can he seriously believe that any of the great GAA encounters between Cork and Kerry, Dublin and Meath, Galway and Mayo or the present rivalry between the various counties in the present hot-bed of Gaelic football in Ulster are inferior in intensity than a rugby game between Leinster and Munster?

So the Munster Hurling Championship is also second best when compared to THAT rugby game, not forgetting Kilkenny v Wexford. I know thousands of others would disagree with Neil Francis's opinion.

I watch all sports and I did view THAT rugby game on TV: intense it may have been, but it came a long way second to some of the games in this year's GAA Championships.

As for Malachy Clerkin's forecast that the Leinster v Munster game's 18,500 would house the biggest crowd to see any sport between now and next spring, the Ladies GAA final in Croke Park had a crowd of over 20,000 last Sunday.

Oliver Burns,

Lurgan,Co Armagh.

2008-10-05 12:00:00

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