24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
MOMENT OF THE WEEKEND: Nothing could top Ronan O'Gara's dramatic late penalty from 50 metres out last Sunday. The Ireland out-half nudged Munster 21-19 in front at Welford Road and the Heineken Cup champions, despite some scrum worries, doggedly held on to beat Leicester.
The pressure on the Corkman's shoulders, the distance from goal, the driving rain, and his comments last week about the Guinness Premiership - all that added to the tension of the kick, but Rog did the business, both on and off the field, as he later apologised if his comments about the English game had offended anyone.
Now, who to play him the film adaptation of Munster's epic European adventures? Douglas' own Cillian Murphy?
Pictured above are Munster captain Paul O'Connell and former skipper Jim Williams, who is now the team's assistant coach, as they watch O'Gara's kick head towards the posts.
You could never question the big Australian's commitment to the Munster cause. Famously, the former back row flagged down a lift to try to get to a training session on time after finding offence with Donncha O'Callaghan's 1994 VW Golf.
O'Callaghan, who was quite happy to drive Williams to training, said: "Everytime I started that car, smoke came out the back of it. I gave Jim a lift to training once and halfway there he told me to stop and he got out and flagged down a lift!"
...Take That! Connacht's Ted Robinson hands it to the Harlequins' defence during the westerners' 19-18 Challenge Cup defeat at the Sportsground...
TEAM OF THE WEEKEND: Just for their never-say-die attitude and unstinting belief in themselves, it has to go to the holders Munster.
Leinster's performance against Gloucester - with four tries included - showed they will be a force to reckon with in the Heineken Cup again this season, Ulster had their moments against Toulouse - scoring three tries in 40 minutes - while Challenge Cup contenders Connacht, despite losing their former Irish internationals Mark McHugh and Matt Mostyn to injury, drew praise for almost sinking Harlequins at the Sportsground.
But for a consistent 80-minute effort, Munster were tops again. Ending the Tigers' 26-match unbeaten home record was almost the perfect way to rekindle Munster's love affair with the Heineken Cup.
FIFTEEN-TO-ONE: IrishRugby.ie's pick of the players from the first weekend of European action - 15. Ignacio Corleto (Stade Francais); 14. Andrew Trimble (Ulster), 13. Geoffroy Messina (Stade Francais), 12. Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), 11. Shane Williams (Ospreys); 10. Ronan O'Gara (Munster), 9. Isaac Boss (Ulster); 1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff), 2. Adrian Flavin (Connacht), 3. Phil Vickery (Wasps), 4. Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), 5. Andrew Farley (Connacht), 6. Neil Best (Ulster), 7. David Wallace (Munster), 8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).
...David Humphreys and Paddy Wallace congratule Isaac Boss after his try during Ulster's 30-3 Heineken Cup victory over Toulouse at Ravenhill...
PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND: Wales and Lions winger Dafydd James may have become the first player to score 25 Heineken Cup tries last weekend, but we reckon Ireland's Andrew Trimble could hit that figure at some point in his career with Ulster.
Especially if his contribution to last Saturday's 30-3 win for Ulster over three-time champions Toulouse is anything to go by. The 22-year-old wide man has now scored four tries in only seven Heineken Cup appearances.
'Trimby' looks noticeably stronger and bulkier than last season, and could tear defences to shreds as the tournament progresses.
His two first half tries were stunningly crafted and stunningly finished, with out-half David Humphreys involved twice.
Trimble himself, as modest as ever, wants Ulster to keep on peaking through the rounds as they bid to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since 1999.
He said: "We've got to stay grounded. The only reason that we got that result on Saturday is because we work hard for each other.
"We practised and practised and practised and things are coming together now, and we've got to keep doing that. Llanelli and London Irish are two great sides and it is going to be a very tough group to get out of so we have got to keep playing great rugby and keep being positive.
"We can't afford to sit back on our laurels and say we're a good enough side already."
...Tackle That Bag! There was plenty of fun for Brian O'Driscoll-wanabees at Lansdowne Road, prior to Leinster's 37-20 Heineken Cup triumph over Gloucester...
TRY OF THE WEEKEND: Plenty of quality scores in both the Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup last weekend, but this award has to go to the Ospreys for their injury-time try against Sale Sharks.
The Welsh region secured a 17-16 win thanks to Shane Williams' touchdown and James Hook's nerveless conversion at Liberty Stadium. Wales winger Williams rounded in from the right after a mammoth 13 phases of possession for Lyn Jones' men in a three-minute period of attack after attack.
It was the perfect team try and a fitting reward for such persistence.
...Fifty Not Out - Leinster lock Malcolm O'Kelly claims a lineout during his 50th Heineken Cup cap...
MILESTONES: Llanelli Scarlets winger Dafydd James became the first player to score 25 tries in Heineken Cup history with his effort against London Irish.
Both full-back Girvan Dempsey and lock Malcolm O'Kelly won their 50th Heineken Cup caps for Leinster in their 37-20 dismissal of Gloucester at Lansdowne Road.
Ireland winger Shane Horgan became Leinster's most prolific try scorer in the Heineken Cup thanks to his 19th try in 53 European appearances.
Matt Mostyn chalked up his 100th cap for Connacht in last Friday's Challenge Cup clash with Harlequins, but there was disappointment for the former Ireland winger as he lasted only nine minutes due to a leg injury.
"I think it was Barnhall versus the Guards in 1992. I broke three ribs. A fella came in to kick me and it was like he was scoring a goal in the All-Ireland!"
Trevor Brennan (tongue in cheek) talking about his toughest game
"Man, I wouldn't want my children playing that sport!"
Two-time former World Heavyweight champion George Freeman gives his views on rugby
"When I came here at first our sponsorship was #45,000 and now it's around #1.5m. We had four staff and now we've 140 staff."
Ulster Rugby CEO Mike Reid on his eight years with the province