Saturday, April 18, 2015

8 games into the 2015-16 season


  Well here we are 8 games into the 2015-16 season. The league is healthy at the top but struggling at the bottom. The defending Champions Dundalk and Cork City are doing fabulous and are once again 1 and 2. Dundalk has scored one more goal (15) than Cork and Cork has conceded one less goal (2). Dundalk will be looking to carry this form into the Champions League this summer. Advancing in the international games will be a big cash bonus. The Lillywhites will get $550,000 for entering the Champions league. This is more than their entire budget for the league.  We are all hoping Dundalk can advance for 2 big reasons. First Dundalk could use this money to pay for infrastructure to their stadium, bathrooms, locker rooms ect. The money could also be saved for future team budgets so Dundalk could compete year in and year out. Secondly Dundalk would represent the League of Ireland. A good reflection in the Champions League would reflect well on the league. We are hoping a good reflection will increase interest.

OK Dundalk sits at the Top. They have the player on the month in David McMillan. McMillan has scored a league leading 5 goals in 8 games. Richie Towell has scored 4 goals from his midfiled position. They has a great 1-2 punch. Dundalk is loaded with quality midfielders and are on the attack.

Cork City had to keep pace all last year to Dundalk and this year is not different. Cork's scoring is coming from multiple players. Billy Delaney and Karl Shepard each have 3 goals while Darren Dennehy and Kieran Dijlali each have 2 goals.

Shamrock Rovers are playing well, getting the attendance at Tallaght and are a healthy club the League needs to be consistent. The hoops also have a 5 goal scored in Michael Drennan. This 21 year old has scored 5 goals in only 7 appearances, back from Protsmouth, he is finding Ireland a lot more rewarding on the field.

The Bohemins are the surprise so far this year for me. The are tied for 3rd place after 8 games. I was hoping their attendance would jump up after a strong start. The Boh's always have a steady core group of fans even when they are out of the title race. Their attendance is about 1,700 which is good but i Was hoping for more. The Bohs are doing the best in regard to their budget and the value they are getting from their players. Their budget is roughly half of the top 4 spenders.....but yet the Boh's are tied for 3rd. I like pulling for the underdog.

The Saints are starting to pick thing up to keep pace with the top of the pack. It will be good for the league if the Saints can take points and win games against the top teams. The Saints will also keep Dublin buzzing with 3 teams from Dublin battling all year for the title and the 2 guaranteed Europa League spots.

Longford Town surprised me the first game against Dundalk. They showed they belonged in the premier league. They are sitting in 6th place and look like they are safe from falling as the year progresses. They have had a nice transition fron the First Division to the Premier League.

Derry City and Bray ARE PLODDING ALONG. David CAssidy is the one blight spot on Bray right now while Anthony Elding seems to be losing to much distance to win the scoring title.

Drogheda, Sligo and Galway are not playing that well. Sligo is the big surprise sitting as low as 10th place. Sligo Rovers so far are the biggest disappointment on the field. Galway is finding it harder in the Premier League but need more quality on their club.

Limerick FC started the season not being able to more into Markets Field. Their fans were so disappointed they also had very bad attendance at Jackman park. The team will be bad for the LEague in Limerick get regulated however they must get better.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ireland chances 50 50 to host the World Cup 2023.

Bidding to host he World Cup Rugby 2023
       Ireland is interested in hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023. The next World Cup is England 2015. Then the World Cup was awarded to Japan 2019. Ireland has formally stated that will it  front $100 Million to host the event. Ireland already has 7 stadiums that are ready to host a World Cup.  In addition to Croke Park and Belfast's Casement Park, the other GAA grounds which would be part of the IRFU's bid are Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the Limerick Gaelic Grounds, Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney and Galway's Pearse Stadium."

Dublin    Croke Park and Aviva stadium

    Croke Park will be the feature stadium that would host the semi-finals and Final games. The Rugby governing body wants a stadium over 60,000 for these games. 

Aviva Stadium is the newest state of the art stadium owned jointly by the soccer federation and the Rugby federation in Ireland. RDS will is also getting redeveloped to 25,000. This will give the Irish bid 3 beautiful stadiums in the biggest city Dublin.


    Casement Park the totally redeveloped rugby Stadium will be the feature stadium in Northern Ireland. It will be finished in Setember 2015. It will hold 40,000. Belfast will also have Kingspan Stadium to host games.

World Cup potential stadiums
Croke Park
Aviva Stadium
25,000 – 2016
Casement Park
Sept 2015
Gaelic Grounds
Thomond Park
Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Jan 2017
Pearse Stadium
Fitzgerald Stadium
Completed 2009
6 Bold indicated GAA  Grounds to be used.

The GAA had to ask its members earlier this year to allow the stadiums to be opened up to other sports which it had previously done eight years ago. “


The stadium are redeveloped and Ireland would be a great place to host a World Event

            The World Rugby association might want to come back to Europe after going to Japan in 2019. Ireland has tremendous fan support and a great team that should keep the fans interested. Ireland is also very close to England, France, Wales, Scotland and Italy to draw the fans. Ireland is also combining both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland as one team. This is probably the biggest World Event Ireland could ever host. This might go a long was in achieving the bid. 

They will be up against

South Africa, who has hosted already (1995) but were unsuccessfully for the right to host the 2011, 2015, and 2019 tournament. South Africa already has the Stadiums in place after hosting the FIFA 2010 World Cup. This is a Rugby mad nation and a hot bed for the sport. It is this regions "turn" to host. The Bad: It already hosted in 1995

Ireland's Bid.  It has the stadiums, it has the interest. No other major tournament has been held in Ireland. Ireland has the top team in Europe now and the 3rd ranked team in the World. Ireland just won the 6 Nations Cup 2015. It has tremendous fan support. The biggest bonus is that Ireland will draw many fans from England, France, Scotland and Wales to this tournament. Bad: England hosted in 2015. Ireland also hosted 2 games to the Rugby World Cup in 1991.

USA-Canada bid could be the wild card since the game could grow more rapidly in Northern America if they were to host. They already have all the state of the art stadiums and infrastructure.
Bad: There is interest but not enough at this point to grant this marketing power the reigns

Argentina: is the emerging market for South America. They want to bring Rugby Argentina. Argentina tried to join the 6 nations cup but were denied, they then join the tougher Rugby Championship. They have soccer stadiums and infrastructure because of their soccer league.
Bad: not as much interest in South America yet...

Italy have never hosted but. Italy has the infrastructure and the stadiums. Italy however is not as good a pick than Ireland. Ireland has proved attendance better than Italy. Ireland also has a better team to last in the tournament longer. Ireland is also closer to England, Wales and Scotland. not as much interest in the sport as Ireland. 

        The Rugby World Cup has rotated between The Rugby Championship Nations (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa) and the 6 Nations Cup (England France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy) every other tournament. These nations have been the catalyst for the sport. Japan 2019 will break this cycle. The question will become where to go next. 

Rugby World Cup host and winners
Australia & New Zealand
New Zealand
England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa
New Zealand
New Zealand
S Africa or Ireland
America/Canada vs Ireland/S Africa loser
America/Canada vs Scotland/Argentina

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Well the Republic of Ireland is in a precarious situation in their group.

Group D

Poland Poland51102103201631311
Germany Germany521010131194510
Scotland Scotland5300011311115610
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland511011122111478
Georgia Georgia500310110449-53
Gibraltar Gibraltar5002003005127-260

The boys are sitting in 4th place in this very difficult group. This is not good news at all if they are to qualify for France 2016. It does not look like Georgia nor Gibralter will be taking any points from the top 4 teams. That means Ireland will have to win every home game. (and Germany is a machine) and try to get a points back in Poland.

Ireland will have to be ready for their Rival Scotland in June. Scotland has a very confident team right now. They are undefeated in their last 4 games. 3 wins and an important tie to group leaders Poland in Warsaw. Scotland has already beated the IRish and will look to get a point here. We lose Ireland is out. This is a must win.  b

13 June 2015
Republic of Ireland Scotland
Referee: TBD
 Ireland will get a break traveling to Gibraltar. They should score some goals here but must get a win. Ireland is capable of a win here.
4 September 2015
Gibraltar Republic of Ireland
Referee: TBD
Ireland will have Georgia as a guest in Dublin. This should be another win to get Ireland confident going up against Germany next.
7 September 2015
Republic of Ireland Georgia
Referee: TBD

Ireland vs Germany. Germany is a machine.....they run for each other and never seem to tire. Germany will be on the attack even as a guest. It could be lights out for the Irish here.......but this is why we play the games......
Referee: TBD
8 October 2015
Republic of Ireland Germany
Referee: TBD
Ireland wraps up their campaign against Poland....I am just hoping Ireland still has a chance at a chance to advance to france at this point. 
Referee: TBD
11 October 2015
Poland Republic of Ireland
Referee: TBD