“I fancy if Gilroy was Argentinian or Australian he would likely be a star with 30-plus caps.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Following on from the past two weeks, a thought has struck me. In London I watched the third-place playoff in the Sydney Arms where a passionate Ir(...)

Continuity is crucial for our game; it requires an understanding of space; how to create it and then how to exploit it. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

My father played Gaelic football for Donegal. This is some effort but to do so as a minor and senior in the same season is pretty remarkable. In fact (...)

The All Blacks doing their lateral passing drill at half-time in the World Cup final. Instead of a cerebral chat in the dressing room they practised this key skill at speed.

At half -time in the RWC Final New Zealand came out early. The score stood in their favour 16-3. Why did they come out early in the biggest game on(...)

Japan players celebrate their momentous victory over South Africa in the pool section – the Brave Blossoms missed out on a place in the quarter-finals but won the hearts of the rugby world. Photograph: Getty Images

Gerry Thornley Match of the tournament? Spoilt for choice. Japan provided the best finish, Australia v Argentina was the most breathless, but t(...)

Argentina’s Guido Petti Pagadizábal tries to hold up   Australia’s   flankers David Pocock (left) and Michael Hooper  in last week’s Rugby World Cup  semi-final  at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Historically, when a man touched your ball at the base of a ruck he was met with outright violence. This was accepted by the errant openside. Evidence(...)

New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu:  against France his  key stats were 107 metres gained and nine passes; precious little contact from the big man. Power yes; but not to batter. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

All field sports the world over have two key principles; create space and exploit space. On Monday I replayed the match. Not the one you’d imagine (...)

 Dave Kearney is tackled at the Millennium Stadium  in the defeat to Argentina. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Of the more than one million Irish viewers of yesterday’s quarter-final in the Millennium Stadium between Ireland and Argentina, how many could nam(...)

New Zealand’s   Keven Mealamu  drives on in the maul against  Argentina during the  Rugby World Cup Pool C match   at Wembley Stadium on September 20th. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

For those lucky enough to be going to Cardiff, you’re in for a treat. But four weeks ago I was sitting in Wembley Stadium when Argentina pushed New Ze(...)

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Yoann Maestri bring Ireland hooker Rory Best crashing to the Millennium Stadium turf. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The risk is to list out all 23 Irish players and wax lyrical about their extraordinary performance. What harm? They were extraordinary and so too were(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud: “Bastareaud will come charging down the 10 channel . . . defending this shouldn’t be Johnny Sexton.” Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP.

How far back do I go in my homework for France in Cardiff? Their performances in the last Six Nations where they won two and lost three? Or should I s(...)