Conrad Smith of the All Blacks scores a late try against England despite Joe Marler’s best efforts  at Eden Park   in Auckland. Photograph:   Simon Watts/Getty Images

New Zealand 20 England 15 England slipped to a painful late defeat in their first Test against New Zealand knowing that a glorious opportunity (...)

Blackrock outhalf Brian O’Driscoll in possession as Newbridge players including outhalf Brent Ward try to stop him during a  Leinster School’s Senior Cup game at Donnybrook in 1997 Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

Anyone remember Riaz Fredericks? Big, dreadlocked South African who erected a wall in front of Brian O’Driscoll way back in August 1999. The first of (...)

  Nigel Owens will referee the Pro12 Final between Leinster and the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS. Photograph:  Huw Evans

Nigel Owens will referee this year’s RaboDirect RaboDirect Pro12 Final between Leinster and the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS on Saturday week (6.15p(...)

Ulster’s Michael Heaney avoids the tackles of Munster’s Casey Laulala and Felix Jones to score a try during the RaboDirect Pro 12 game Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster 17 Ulster 19: Ulster would have taken most of the encouragement and the plaudits from this encounter long before the end, but as it transpired(...)

Referee Luke Pearce kept control of the decision and did his job correctly in sending off Tom Court against Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The next challenge for the Pro 12 is to eradicate the sloppy officiating that has become all too evident in recent months. Referees are not the proble(...)

Mourad Boudjellal: “I did not agree with all his decisions [in the quarter-final against Leinster] and felt he was a bit biased.”

Referee Wayne Barnes will take charge of the Heineken Cup semi-final between Toulon and Munster in Marseille on Sunday week, less than a month(...)

Cian Healy is fully behind his old club Clontarf as they prepare to face the world famous Barbarians at Castle Avenue next Wednesday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Although only a small segment of the battle actually was fought close to the seafront in Clontarf, you can never let the facts get in(...)

The ERC press release accompanying the decision to suspend Jared Payne for the tackle against Alex Goode of Saracens that resulted in the Ulster fullback’s red card came with the wording that Payne  had been red-carded for “an alleged dangerous charge (sic)”, rather than tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling. This was, effectively, a new one. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho/Presseye

Here’s a question. Supposing Jared Payne and Alex Goode made the exact same runs as when they collided last Saturday week in Ravenhill, which r(...)

Munster coach Rob Penney: “The momentum can shift on a couple of calls and in those tight game they do.” Photograph: Inpho

Munster coach Rob Penney delivered a scathing rebuke yesterday of Northern Hemisphere refereeing, with a particular emphasis on the Scottish and It(...)

Welsh referee Nigel Owens will take charge of Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Toulouse at Thomond Park, the tournament organisers (...)