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Magners The Stronger Brew?
4 April 2009, 5:30 pm
By Pat Geraghty
There are those who are convinced that if a two legged bird looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, the likleyhood is that in fact it is a duck.
There are those of course who remain to be convinced and some are part of the English Fourth Estate who remain steadfast in their belief that all things English particularly their English Premiership League is superior to any other.
Even though, over the past couple of seasons, when Celtic countries have dominated the RBS Six Nations scene, we have still had to listen to journalists from across the pond extol the virtues of the Premiership in comparison to the Magners so perhaps it mightn't be too much to hope that events of the recent past might help to freshen their thinking?

Did anyone for example see what Cardiff Blues did to Gloucester in the EDF Energy final on Saturday?
Do those who champion the wonderfulness of the Premiership need reminding that three of the four Heineken Cup semi-finalists ply their trade in the Magners League and whatever the actual outcome, that suggests that the competitiveness of the Magners, is at least on a par with the Premiership.

Contrast too the performances of the teams in three of the Heineken Cup quarter finals the weekend before last involving Celtic and English sides.

In terms of pure entertainment, Munster and Ospreys served up a treat, both sides contributing to what was seen as a rattling good game of rugby for the huge crowd present.

Leicester and Bath came next in that regard but Mother of God Harlequins? Second in the Premiership, one point behind the leaders and they come up with a game plan like, Plan A; Bash Em Up Front. And when that doesn't work, Plan B; Bash Em Some More Up Front; And in the very unlikely event B doesn't work, slip in Plan C; Bash Em Even Some More Up Front (Sure they're only a Magners League side). In fairness to Leinster they were more than ready and willing to take the pain and in fairness to Harlequins they probably knew that if they tried width as an option, Leinster had the skill, honed in the Magners League, to beat them in that department.

Maybe the final arbiter of the worth of the respective competitions will deliver the verdict tomorow when the Lions squad - oops sorry the British & Irish Lions squad is named. Most people believe it will be dominated by us Celts. And it wouldn't be beyond the bounds to suggest that Magners players will provide seven of the starting pack? Without question Magners League players will wear the nine, ten, eleven, twelve and fifteen jerseys?

Of course there is one Welsh/English journalist - whose namesakes (at least two) will be included in the squad - when asked to name his starting XV omitted Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll! Both will start. But then again. There are none so blind as those who will not see.


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