Monday 11 December 2017

Murphy master plan to unsettle Castro

THERE is a lot of talk about Italian tight-head Martin Castrogiovanni ahead of Sunday's clash.

The hair, the beard, the try against the US, the Man of the Match award the same night, the impish smile and the bullish backing of coach Nick Mallett have all added to the hype around 'Castro'.

Geordan Murphy knows him as well as anyone, given their long association at Leicester Tigers and through their partnership running a café in the British midlands town. And, though the Ireland full-back revealed yesterday that their management styles differ greatly -- "look at the shape of both of us, I tend to drink a lot of water and he tends to eat a lot of food" -- Murphy believes they have given him an insight into how to unsettle 'Castro' before kick-off.

"I'm thinking of leaving some baskets of chips in the corners. That should do it. The amount he eats, it should distract him quite nicely."

Fussy students need to man up

DUNEDIN is famous for its university lifestyle with upwards of 22,000 students (known here as 'Scarfies') resident in the South Island city.

Students are famous for being able to exist in all manner of squalor and, if they are worthy of the genre, should happily exist with just a mattress on the floor, a kettle and a spoon for stirring tea and eating pot noodles. Not so, in Dunedin.

A group of seven flat-mates are taking their landlord to the tenancy tribunal over the lease of the property at 49 Brown Street because they do not think it meets the standards required. Apparently, one of the roof supports is rotting, the back stairs has collapsed, and in the upstairs bedroom "something is living in the roof," which the flat-mates believe could be "rats, a wild cat or maybe a possum".

Bloody students -- always moaning about something. Man up lads and get on with it.

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

"We're the ones in control and the ones who should be confident and rightly so. It's not arrogance, it's the fact that we are playing well" -- England scrum-half Ben Youngs books some space on Scotland's dressing-room wall ahead of Saturday's clash.

"I don't think I have been nervous for that many games, but last weekend, the magnitude of the game and the number of text messages you're getting from home ... if anybody is listening, I am sorry I haven't replied, but the support has been massive!" -- Donnacha Ryan on making his World Cup debut against Russia.

'Old Foes Swap Balls For Shears' -- The 'Otago Daily Times' previews the upcoming Tri-Nations sheep-shearing contest.

€7.6m The estimated financial hit the NZRU will take from staging the World Cup.

Irish Independent

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