A Rugby Great – Anthony Foley
Munster Head Coach and decorated Munster and Ireland player, Anthony Foley, passed away suddenly this weekend in the team hotel in Paris at the age of 42.
With over 200 caps to his name at the club he went on to coach, Foley is a legend at Thomund Park, in Ireland and across the rugby world. Testament to that is the flood of messages of condolence from past teammates, opponents and fans on social media.
Having played for Munster for over 13 years before taking on a coaching position, Foley had become a permanent fixture at the club. He will be sorely missed.
The Munster Rugby match against Racing 92 in the Champions Cup has been postponed.
Round 1 of the European Rugby Champions Cup
The first round of the Champions Cup has set the standard for the rest of the season. Upsets, record breaking try counts and epic comebacks. Below we’ve highlighted three of our favourite games from the first weekend of top flight European Rugby.
The biggest result on the pitch in the first round is undoubtedly the away victory of Saracens over Toulon. The two giants of European rugby clashed for 80 minutes but it in the end, last years champions sealed the first ever home-loss for Toulon in the Champions cup.
Saracens got over the try line 3 times in the first half in a game that looked over before the break, with the home team trailing by nearly 20 points. Toulon did manage to bounce back in the second half but thanks to the steady boot of Owen Farrell, they were denied a bonus losing point.
The French team had won the tournament for three years in a row prior to Saracens winning last season. Now they face an uphill battle in a competitive group.
While Italian rugby is constantly improving, the automatic qualification of one Italian team to the Champions Cup has always seemed like a doomed venture. So it was with Wasps v Zebre, the home team scored a record 12 tries as Zebre struggled to keep up with the Premiership side.
While it won’t be the true test for how well Wasps can do in Europe this season, it’s a strong start for Dai Young’s men. Their next match is against Toulouse, a team who will be extremely determined to pick up points in a very competitive group. Sadly Zebre has little to no chance in a group that also contains PRO 12 champions, Connacht.
The best comeback of the weekend, Connacht ensured their European campaign started off with a win after fighting back from a ten point deficit at half time.
Connacht scored two fantastic tries in the second half through O’Halloran and Aki to win their crucial home game in one of the toughest groups of the Champions Cup. They’ll face Zebre next in what should be an easier fixture for the PRO 12 champions.
Glasgow Warriors 42 – 13 Leicester Tigers
Leinster Rugby 33 – 15 Castres Olympique
Northampton Saints 16 – 14 Montpellier
Scarlets 28 – 11 Sale Sharks
Bordeaux-Begles 28 – 13 Ulster Rugby
Exeter Chiefs 8 – 35 ASM Clermont Auvergne