Feel The Glamour

Two finals will take place this week; one between two regional towns from the south of France, and the other between two mighty capital cities, in a glamorous, dazzling and sure to be entertaining affair in the heart of leafy Dublin 4.

Quite frankly, you can take your regional outposts like Leicester, Toulon and Limerick – it’s about time we had a meeting of great metropolises in a European final.  Leave the truffle hunters from the Auvergne to their little scrap with Toulon on saturday, and put truffle oil on your entrees before the Amlin Final instead.

Yes, give us the glitz and glamour of the pink-clad Parisians, led by the magnificently resplendant and wonderfully handsome Sergio Parisse.  These fellows, fresh from the lower reaches of the Top 14, know that all that business of winning silverware and cheating at the breakdown is just poor bloody form, and the really important thing is to look sensational no matter what the result.  In the mighty Amlin Cup, they’ve rightly dispensed with all that beastly Top Quatorze thuggery and simply gone back to the great Parisian style of playing, with terrific dash and verve.

And their opponents are of course, the European champions Leinster, the All Blacks of the Northern Hamisphere whose passing accuracy is second to none and who live to get the ball into the mitts of their three-quarters.  Watch in delight as the great Brian O’Driscoll pops a pass out the back door into the onrushing Blackrock-educated Ian Madigan.  What a match shall ensue!  To the winner the spoils!

Some tips for maximising enjoyment:

Head to Paris Bakery on Moore Street (yes, Moore Street, it’s a bit filthy, but try to gt through it) at lunchtime and dine out on their wonderful array of Parisian style pastries, as well as superb meats, cheeses and breads from their recently opened deli.  Maybe even bring some along to the game.  They’ll go down terribly well if you’re a bit peckish.  Or wet.

Dress appropriately.  The Parisian fans are a stylish brigade and we don’t want to let our side down.  Baggy jeans and hoodies should not be seen anywhere near the ground.  Head to Brown Thomas for a spruce up beforehand if you’re feeling sartorially inferior.  Your Leinster jersey should be fitted, and your scarf knotted just-so.

Forget about pints, go to the Corkscrew on Chatham Street and sneak one of these bad boys into the ground under your shirt, and quaff it down at regular intervals.  Plastic wine glasses are acceptable in this instance, but only because of the logistical difficulty with getting real ones past security.

After the match, go directly to La Maison and order the steak dish for two.  C’est magnefique!  Pichet is also to be recommended, and their pork belly is without match in this city.

A splendid occasion awaits tomorrow night, and we will be there to enjoy it.

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  1. Len

     /  May 16, 2013

    I will be happily ensconced in the south stand as always and hopefully the weather will cooperate. Obviously I’d love Leinster to win after that I’d like to see a really good game of rugby to show up some of the previous Amlin finals which have been awful to watch. I hope there are enough Leinster and Stade fans to produce a decent atmosphere I’d worry there will be a lot of impartial third parties over for the weekend who will go along because they have tickets but with no real interest in who wins.

  2. As a Connacht fan relying on a favour from Leinster (again) I shall be watching from (quite possibly behind) the sofa with the rosary beads in one hand and a cold one in the other. Cultural differences, tá siad go h-íontach ar fad.

    It’s also occurred to me that should Connacht’s benefactor / meal ticket / GAA Anonymous sponsor prove victorious, Leinster will (however briefly) be the holders of BOTH European trophies. There’s no need for Munster fans to thank me for pointing that out, by the way.

    • No D’arcy, no BOD, Cullen and Healy on the bench, and is McLaughlin rested (or injured?). That’s an awful lot of hard chaws missing from the team. Upgrading the rosary beads and beer to a sacred heart picture and whiskey.

      • Stevo

         /  May 16, 2013

        My mother used to get the holy water out and bless the telly during football matches in the Jack Charlton era, you might want to try that.

        • Thanks, I’ll give it a go. Since Ireland’s success under Charlton would suggest your mother’s prayers were answered, you might have a word in her ear for me…

  3. ConorG73

     /  May 16, 2013

    Getting ready to roll out the old joke this weekend: “I saw a lot of men wearing berets in town today. Couldn’t tell if they were visiting Frenchmen, or just Leinster fans”

    But have you seen the Stade website homepage? It has more pictures of clothing items than anything else! http://www.stade.fr/

  4. jojo

     /  May 16, 2013

    No bod … at least hes sticking around

  5. Largely I’m nervous but fundamentally not shocked about the team selected, as it looks picked with my own lot in mind the following week. C’mon, Ulster winning the Pro12 would be a good thing, no?

    Really looking forward to Friday’s match; 100% of Leinster’s Amlin matches ever have been joyous – facht! Though if Ferg doesn’t do a triple-chip-chase-and-gather from the first kick off, scoring under the sticks, I’m turning over.

    A word on Saturday’s final – I’m also really looking forward to it. I hope Clermont win – not because I’m anti-Toulon, purely pro-CA – and I think it will be a good watch… says the man who endured the last all-French final from the inexplicably freezing SdF (on a beautiful May Saturday in Paris, made no sense whatsoever, other than if it was caused by chill winds emanating from the players’ plodding efforts).

    Also, I enjoy(ed) the wry tone… though I suspect some of your readers come here for the more serious fare.

    • Len

       /  May 16, 2013

      You were obviously in the shade. After an interesting metro ride where I was sure the Biarritz fans were going to derail the train I found myself in the sunny side of the stade, close enough to feel the heat of the pyrotechnics and surrounded by third parties. End result no atmosphere where we were. Hope that doesn’t happen on Saturday.

      • I was indeed. The train journey and walk to the stadium changed my allegiance for the day; I planned to shout for ST because Biarritz are so often so boring (and occasionally the opposite – making it even more frustrating). Then Toulouse won, in a really boring game…

  6. Is that really Egg & Palla or has the column being taken over by someone from the Sindo Lifestyle section? Would love to be in Dublin for the matches but needs must unfortunately!

  7. ruckinhell

     /  May 16, 2013

    No reference to that finest of faux Parisien eateries, Chez Max on Baggot street? Nothing screams “La belle époque” like their signature crème brûlée washed down with a snifter of Hennessy.

    Think it’s shit or get off the pot time for Ulster, they’ll never have a better chance of winning silverware than against a BODless (and D’arceless for that matter) Leinster. Could Leinster’s Championship Muscle Memory (Thornley™) be the difference?

    On the HEC final, definitely wishing Clermont all the best. Great team and a great set of fans. Hope they can shed the Bridesmaid’s tag. Toulon are a rather dislikeable bunch of mercenaries, Wilko, Lobbe and Armitage the Fatter aside. Felon Armitage always makes me break out in a furious rage whenever I see his faux hardman/cheapshot merchant antics on the pitch. Hopefully he’ll get a hard (but fair) dose of Wagga Wagga justice from big Nathan!

    • zdm

       /  May 16, 2013

      Is BOD crocked for the Pro12 or is this a case of keeping him out of harms way while saving face?

      Irish teams would make no bones about not rating the Amlin but do Leinster rate the Pro12 higher?

      Ulster have never held any fear for their provincial brothers/enemies – even in our darkest, Boweless days, we were always genuinely surprised and annoyed to not come up the A1 with a red or blue scalp on the seat next to us.

      • ruckinhell

         /  May 16, 2013

        Apologies, I am actually confusing the two finals. That’s what happens when you imbibe too many cigars and cognacs post supper, my gout is flairing up again!

        Stade are a nothing team and I think Leinster will win comfortably tomorrow night. RE the Rabble Final, my comments stand re Ulster but if BOD or D’Arce return I think that Leinster may well win.

      • ORiordan

         /  May 16, 2013

        Hmmmm…. a Munster scalp, yes, however Ulster’s victory against Leinster last month was Ulster’s first win in Dublin against Leinster in the history of the Pro12/Magners/Celtic League. That win was definitely a monkey off Ulster’s back, now they need to back it up when silverware is at stake.

  8. jojo

     /  May 16, 2013

    Sure the IRFU/Connaught will be hoping for Leinster win in Amlin more than Rabo

    • zdm

       /  May 17, 2013

      Now now, jojo, you haven’t been taking your IRFU/Indo blue pill recently have you? You know, the one marked It Is Bad For the National Team If Connacht or Ulster Succeed.

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