Ulster’s Nick Williams and Jared Payne dejected after the loss to Toulon at the weekend. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

Alan Quinlan: Players perform best when there is stability rather than constant chopping

Forward momentum: Munster outhalf Ian Keatley has been named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad. Photograph: Inpho

Ian Keatley is showing that he has the ability to fill the gap left by the iconic Ronan O’Gara

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth is tackled by Munster’s Andrew Smith and Paul O’Connell during the recent clash at the Aviva Stadium. ‘Choosing Gopperth over Madigan is a conservative route to go down, in my opinion.’ Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Matt O’Connor could really have done with a win against Munster to relieve the pressure

Glasgow Warriors have won their last eight games in a row, including beating Munster at Thomond Park last month. photograph: inpho

No matter how well any of the Irish provinces have played, this is no weekend for it all to end

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

Onus on referees to get it right increases as matches lead to Europe qualification

 Mourad Boudjellal, the owner of Toulon: players like Jonny Wilkinson, Juan Smith and Carl Hayman have been key to their success.  Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Experienced overseas players will be crucial if Irish provinces are to stay competitive

Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne celebrates his try against Toulouse in the quarter-final. “Munster have a handful of young guys who can change everything if they grab their chance on Saturday. Dave Kilcoyne, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Ian Keatley – these are the kind of guys who have to do it.” Photograph: Inpho

Alan Quinlan says this Heineken Cup semi-final won’t be about throwing caution to the wind – it has to be about winning

Leone Nakarawa of Glasgow Warriors celebrates as his team beats Munster in Pro12 clash last week. photograph: dan sheridan/inpho

Alan Quinlan believes players let what had happened the previous week interfere with preparations

Referee Jerome Garces shows Jared Payne a red card after just four minutes of the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens at Ravenhill. Photo: Darren Kidd/Inpho

Ulster paid a bigger price than they should have for something that was clearly an accident

More articles