Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Time for Ulster to seek out a new direction

And so the curtain came down on the rugby season (well, until Saturday when the Lions start) as Ulster entertained Leinster in the biggest all-Irish battle since the who is the most annoying half of Jedward was fought out. That ended in a draw, by the way.

It was also a locking of horns of rival channels from both sides of the border as RTE and BBC NI took up position in the respective blue and red corners of the RDS.

It would have been nice had Stephen Watson-Live, Bryn Cunningham and Cowtown's finest, Tony McWhirter, dandered up the touchline and waded into Daire O'Brien, George Hook, Brent Pope and Alan Quinlan but that's the problem, Ulster are just too nice.

Of course being nice sometimes has its benefits, for example if Dylan Hartley hadn't been a big gaunch, he'd be on his way to Australia and Rory Best would be heading off on the pointless tour of North America, but closer to home all was sweetness and light.

Indeed everything was OK for SWL at the RDS although having spent a week in the rain-soaked surroundings of the north west he did look slightly perturbed by the big, warm, glowing orangey thing in the sky up above him. Jim Neilly greeted us in his usual enthusiastic style, saying it was the 'most perfect day in Dublin 4.' I think he was talking about the weather and not the RTE panel, as their band of blue boys were just too cute.

Jim was more in the simply red camp, a traditionalist and it showed as the camera trained in on a wee girl wearing headphones as Ruan Pienaar lined up a kick.

"Sensible girl, probably listening to something like New Direction, bless her wit," he said before he was stopped in his tracks by a constable – Ryan that is.

"One Direction, shows you what I know. Mr Constable with young children has put me right on that," said Jim holding his hands up, but don't worry, we still love you, your curmudgeonly old school charm is what makes you beautiful.

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