Thirteenwatch: Round Deux

If our first Thirteenwatch was a case of ‘plenty of options, but none stand out’, this week there were a few intriguing developments.  Seconds out, round two…
Eoin Griffin (Connacht)

Taken to school by the world class Toulouse backline, and looked more or less what he is – a rookie learning his trade.  Still has a long way to go to get to international class, but we still have high hopes for the future.
BOD Rating: will have learned valuable lessons from the weekend’s mauling. 5/13 (-2)

Eoin O’Malley

Drafted into the Leinster team on the back of McFadden’s dead leg, and grabbed his chance, scoring two tries, and performing well in all facets of the game. A genuine outside centre with distribution skills and a great step, he is also a throwback to the times when centres were small chaps with quick feet and good skills and not 110kg boshing machines – he reminds us a bit of Matthew Tait.  The question is: does he have the physicalty for international rugby?
BOD Rating: the best performer in the shirt at the weekend, albeit against poor opposition.  Needs to maintain that perfromance level and he will get more chances to stake his claim. 9/13

Fergus McFadden (Leinster)

Injured with a dead leg this weekend, his hopes of a run at 13 have receded as O’Malley took his chance
BOD Rating: more likley to feature at 12 or on the wing, we reckon. 5/13 (-1)

Darren Cave (Ulster)

Another fine performance, full of hard running and good lines.  Caused Leicester plenty of problems, but Ulster couldn’t get over the tryline despite the huff and puff. 
BOD Rating: Upward curve continues, though, like McFadden, Cave just lacks that spark of magic.  9/13 (+1)

Danny Barnes (Munster)

An error-stren performance which will have done little for his confidence.  Given the shepherd’s hook very early in the second half, and had to watch Will Chambers take his place to huge effect.  Can expect to be warming the bench for the Scarlets double header.
BOD Rating: a long way off international level on this form 4/13 (-2)

Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster)

Superb performance on the wing, and looks to have his mojo working fully again.  Skills would appear to transfer to centre.  Perhaps a call to Chez Schmidt to gently encourage him to give Luke some gametime at 13 is in order.
BOD Rating: great to see the old Luke back, but we’d need to see him at centre before we get excited 7/13 (unch.)

Notes for Deccie: A visit to the RDS to see young Eoin O’Malley wouldn’t be a bad idea, Deccie.  The RDS, Deccie, it’s in south Dublin.  You know it Deccie, BOD and Jamie play there.  Keith is still injured Deccie.  Telling McGahan you’re still the boss down there and to stick him at centre won’t help, Deccie.  I wouldn’t advise it, Deccie.  No, Deccie, no!




  1. I have seen the future, and its socks are around its ankles.

  2. Deccie was at the Leinster game sitting beside Les Kiss and the giant-headed Gert Smal. Saw them with my own eyes so I did.

  3. From speaking with the Mole, he is in favour of Luke deputising at 12 rather than 13 also!

  4. @lamonti – as I'm sure you've guessed, we're huge fans of the Mole, and I reckon Luke could play both positions to a high standard. Perhaps the need to find an international class 13 being fairly pressing right now is what has him in our thoughts for that shirt in particular.He's big enough and a good enough defender to handle the crash-bang of the 12 position, and his quick feet and good acceleration would lend themselves well to either role. He did well at 12 in the Pro12 during the World Cup. I'd just have a slight preference to get him in the 13 channel where there's a bit more space. Plus, my understanding is he likes to play 13, but doesn't really enjoy 12.

  5. He's also said that he likes playing fullback, and we all know how that worked out! Plus D'Arcy was a full back/winger before Mattie W sent him thru a Bowie-esque reinvention. Simply put, I don't really care what Luke "likes" but rather what is best for the team(s).

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