World Cup Review 2017

World Cup Review

So the World Cup has ended with New Zealand beating England in the Final on Saturday night 41-32. This World Cup was of course a home World Cup for Ireland after they had won the rights to stage this tournament in 2015.

The three venues that were used were UCD, Queens University and The Kingspan Stadium which hosted the Final and a number of playoff games. This tournament promised so much from an Irish perspective but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. Ireland with their 8th place finish will have to qualify for the 2021 tournament.

Looking back to what happened with Ireland, It will not be a World Cup that they will look back on with great admiration. This was the World Cup where Ireland were meant to move on from winning the 2015 Six Nations. There performance in 2014 in France was a sign the tide was turning but in this campaign all those good works seem to have unravelled.

Where to now for all the players who have worked so hard over the past few years, Tom Tierney has already stepped down as head coach and a few players have already stepped away from the International game.

 Maz Reilly , Ruth O Reilly and Ailish Egan have retired from playing with a few more players expected to make their decisions known in the coming weeks. The effects of this campaign will be felt for the next few seasons because the IRFU need to step up to the plate and decide what direction they want to take women’s rugby into the future.

The expected review that will take place will have some extremely tough questions to ask and answer like who will the new head coach be? , what do they want to achieve over the next World Cup cycle ?

All these questions need to be answered and then they can reset the clock and start again. Player dept has been an issue that will also need to be addressed by the Union. The playing structure will need to be revamped like the AIL has been. 

There is a need for more teams to be brought to the table to help create a new league with more competition. The interprovincial series will need to take on a more significant role in player recruitment and development.

Time now for the IRFU to seriously look after a team they brought under their umbrella only a few short years ago. Results didn’t go according to plan but since 1987, results haven’t exactly gone to plan for the Irish men’s team either.

This World Cup did plenty to bring women’s sport to the front and back pages of newspapers and highlight all the great work being done across all 12 competing nations.  First things first, a review and then hopefully we can see the fruits of that review being put into practice.

Don’t let what has been a terrific two weeks go astray and put this to one side like has been done before , action is needed but action is needed now and not a few years down the road!!


Cian Mc Gibney


Mom – 1 Year On

Mom – 1 Year On

So as the 1st anniversary of my Mom’s death approaches I have again gone down the path of writing that has served me so well in the past and will again in the future. Firstly I have no idea where the last 12 months of my life have gone. I have had a number of a rough days but as the year has progressed things have become slightly easier, only slightly though!!

It really only is when you lose someone so close you realise what is important , slowly but surely I am returning to the old Cian but there have been changes to the way I do things. Thankfully Mom has left me in a good position to be able to look after myself and not be a burden to people.

Since Mam passed away I have doubted myself on countless occasions, but thanks to counselling I have been able to get my head together and straighten myself out.  As the days grew into weeks and then months I realised I need to start looking after myself and although I have yet to really push on from what happened I can finally feel my mood shifting and I also am not losing patience as quickly as I had been and that is thankfully a good thing.

It has taken me most of the 12 months to cop on and realise people are only there to offer advice , now whether I have listened to that advice is another story entirely  !! To anyone that has lost someone dear to them since last September I offer my sincere condolences and I would like to thank so sincerely all the people that have helped us out and that have been so good to me in the last 12 months.

If I have need anything , a lift or anything like that people have stepped forward and helped me out and I again wish to thank each of you so sincerely , I really don’t have the words that would truly express how grateful I am to you all. The other thing that I have realised since Mam passed away is how missed she is by not only my family but by friends, and work colleagues alike.

Many times I have been told I remind people of Mam and finally as the 1st anniversary approaches I can fully appreciate that particular compliment. Mam and Dad did a great job raising myself and Fionn. 

In the coming years I hope I can make her proud  , I hope to get going with a couple of opportunities that are there for me as the next few weeks unfold. Of course the Rose Of Tralee happened last Monday and Tuesday and with Ashling Walsh involved I had a real hint of regret that Mam wasn’t around because I have no doubt she would have been stuck in the middle of all the fun and games in the Dome last week, Well done Ashling !!

Lastly this year has been absolute hell at times and then on other occasions it hasn’t been too bad but I suppose that is the way life is and as Mam’s 1st anniversary approaches I hope to try and make positive steps forward and as I have so often been told, “Dust yourself off and get on with it “So now I will do exactly that and get on with!!

Mam’s  1st anniversary mass takes place on Saturday September 16th at 6pm in Tarbert.


Cian Mc Gibney

Nirvana Fitness

 Nirvana Fitness

Question 1.Nirvana Concept


Nirvana fitness is a unique blend of uplifting positive music beat, simple to follow Pilates, yoga toning exercises and rhythmic breathing to a soothing nirvana soundscape and theta wave sound technology to detox the body and mind. This system will teach you how to breathe correctly leading you to a slower deeper breathing pattern that will replace stressful breathing.


Nirvana fitness progressively slows down breathing rhythm going from 12 breaths per minute to only 4 breaths per minute.


This concept engages the relax centres in your nervous system and efficiently slow and calms all the body systems creating potential for regeneration through decreasing metabolic rate of all levels.


Nirvana fitness has proven great oxygenation levels. Nirvana work out improves the measurement for cell oxygenation on average by 70%. It’s brilliant for longevity, breath right – live longer! Most of modern chronic conditions are arising from stress followed by insufficient cell oxygenation. “If you deprive a cell by 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours it will become cancerous”. (Nobel Prize Winner Dr Otto Warburg)

2. Who is Nirvana for?

Nirvana fitness is an wonderful relaxing work out designed especially for people under stress and for those who feel they are having burned out syndrome, for students to improve focus and concentration for individuals with COPD, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, to prevent cancer, to lose weight and tone up.

3/4 Where is it based? When does it start?

 The first event will be on the 3rd of September in Green Isle Hotel. If you like to become a Nirvana Fitness Instructor you are welcome to join me from 11am. I’m hoping Nirvana will be soon everywhere in Ireland. The cost of the class will be €10.

5. Where did this type of exercise originate?

A team of scientist from Slovenia including exercise, breathing and sound specialist have come up with a super effective, elegant solution to tackle a vast number of conditions all linked to insufficient cell oxygenation.


6. Do you hope to train other people to be able to teach it?

Yes I will hold 4 seminars a year to train them to become instructors as I am Irish national educational specialist.

7. What are your plans for the future?

To help Irish people to feel to look and mainly to feel better with less stress and to prevent conditions that are life threatening like cancer and depression which unfortunately are killing loads of people in Ireland at the moment.


This business has been set up by Nicoleta Choirean and she hopes to continue to build this business over the coming years. The hope is to get more instructors involved and bring the business to other parts of Ireland.


Cian Mc Gibney


Mc Gregor Vs Mayweather

Mc Gregor Vs Mayweather

So the biggest box office show in history is almost upon us with Conor Mc Gregor and Floyd Mayweather Jnr set to face off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Everyone has an opinion on this bout, fight , farce whatever you feel this is an incredible show to just sit back and watch.

Conor Mc Gregor has achieved so much in a short period of time in MMA and like him or loath him he has backed up everything he has said he was going to do , beat Jose Aldo he did that , defeat Nate Diaz he ticked all those boxes and in turn became a two weight UFC champion.

Mayweather Jnr of course is a 5 weight World Champion in boxing. He is pound for pound the best boxer around. He has of course got a chequered past that has been well documented so I will not be going into that stuff.  Like Mc Gregor he has said he would achieve certain things in the boxing world and he has done just that.

Looking to what will take place in the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, it is shaping up to be what we all hope for and that is a competitive bout , they have done the pantomime part of selling the fight extremely well. People seem to be easily offended by what is being said and done but let’s be honest these two guys are terrific actors.

Yes in their respective disciplines they are well respected and have achieved plenty to have gained all that respect. On both sides of the divide start supporters of both men and also the commentary that has followed this fight has been very varied but also very much if you’re in the boxing camp , Mc Gregor doesn’t stand a chance and if you’re in the Mayweather camp , Mc Gregor hasn’t a hope and so on.

You don’t have to like either man , but the one thing you have to is respect what both man stands for , whether that is false pride or something else entirely. Everyone has an opinion on what will transpire on Saturday and for all that say they won’t watch the fight I am sure they will secretly try and find a place to watch the fight in the early hours of Sunday morning.

What this fight has done has put the sports of MMA and Boxing on the front pages and on the back pages of every paper, TV station and radio station, everyone wants a piece of the action and like everything else money talks.

 People will access this fight by fair means or foul, using the pay per view service or other more colourful ways to get to see what will transpire. It has to be the most talked about event of the 21st century. Yes if social media was around in the era of Mohammed Ali we would have had the same type of reaction to the likes of the “Thriller In Manila” and so on….

Social media has had a massive impact on how we consume news sport and so on. The news of this fight first broke on social media before any big station had the news so that just shows how weird and wonderful things have gotten in recent years.

So for now, the talking can almost cease as the biggest show in box office history is nearly upon us. Whether you like it or not this will happen. I am sure at its conclusion we will have everyone out in force to offer an opinion.

Sit and enjoy the show whatever way it goes, if nothing else I can guarantee you will be entertained….


Cian Mc Gibney


France Vs Ireland Review

Ireland Vs France

24 hours have passed since Ireland were beaten by France 21-5. In that time I am sure there has been a lot of soul searching done by the Ireland squad. The time for reflection after this particular defeat can happen in the aftermath of this World Cup. The defeat will sting for a long time because of the manner of the defeat.

France came to play last night in the UCD Bowl and were well worth the win given that they managed to nullify the Irish threat in the scrum, line out and in the backs as well. Looking at how France dismantled the Irish challenge, they went after Ireland in the area’s where Ireland managed to get the better of them back in the Six Nations earlier in the year.

Watching France play such an open brand of off loading rugby was a pleasure and will serve them really well next Tuesday when they play England in the Semi Final in The Kingspan Stadium. Looking at the Irish performance they will know they never really got going in this group narrowly beating both Australia and Japan respectively.

While both victories showed great courage in the face of failure both wins also showed Ireland had a plenty of work to do in attack. The lack of tactical kicking throughout the first two games showed that Ireland were struggling to get to the pitch of each game in the first half of each game in particular.

Larissa Muldoon started alongside Nora Stapleton in the opening against Australia and they failed to get the back line firing although the forwards were in control led by Ciara Griffin and Paula Fitzpatrick , the lack of threat from the backs caused major problems because for all the forward dominance  , Ireland were not putting enough points on the board. Ireland managed to secure a late win through a Paula Fitzpatrick try.

The manner of this win should have set the management team thinking that they had issues to solve before game 2 against Japan. You can put up the defence that they suffered opening night nerves and once they managed to secure that win, they should have noted this trouble that Ireland were having in the backline and tried to address those problems before the second game.

Unfortunately this didn’t seem to happen; looking at that Japanese game they used some of the tactics that served the Japanese team well under Eddie Jones in the 2015 World Cup against South Africa. They were very clever in the scrum and line out, they forced South Africa to do things differently than they normally would. It was amazing to watch that Japanese side do the do things very well , they were sharp and well drilled like the Japanese team last Sunday in the Bowl.

To the French game last night, given the evidence of the previous two games, one feels that it was going to take serious effort and a lot of luck to secure that coveted win to get them to a Semi Final. Alas that win never came and they have to plan for a game against Australia next Tuesday afternoon at 2pm.

The IRFU will have a review after this tournament and it will be very interesting to see what comes out of that review and what recommendations will be acted upon once the review is complete. The IRFU will have some tough questions to ask and answer. That particular job will come after this campaign and will take time.

Time now to focus on Australia next Tuesday and see what will happen when they clash. The Irish team have had time to lick the wounds of last night. Let’s hope they can dust themselves off and really tear into Australia and take out all the frustration of last night on them. Over to you Ladies…


Cian Mc Gibney


Ireland Vs Japan Review

Ireland Vs Japan

So for the 2nd game in succession, Ireland escaped with a victory that for long periods seemed a distant dream. Japan came to play rugby and also in the same way as Eddie Jones’s charges did in 2015 against South Africa, this Japanese side worked hard in defence and at scrum time where they caused Ireland no end of problems. Even in the line out, Japan seemed to have Ireland’s number at every turn and this meant that Ireland could not get any sort of rhythm going.

Full credit goes to Japan for having a game plan set out that they were all capable of executing to near perfection. They won’t now progress to the semi finals, but in their final Pool game they can sharpen their attacking threat for the Belfast leg of this campaign.

For Ireland, the questions remain, can they get the win needed to secure a semi final spot. On the evidence of the past two games this task will be extremely tough. The changes that Tom Tierney made for the game last night made only minimal difference. They struggled to get to the pace of the game in particular they looked flat footed in defence and very slow in attack.

Given that France put 72 points on Japan in game 1 and 48 unanswered points on Australia last night , one fears that if Ireland do not get to the pitch of the game very early next Thursday they could be in for a very long evening and that is not understating the task facing Ireland.

Ireland know that the game later this week is a winner takes all clash and that the prize at stake is a place in the last 4. All the squad need to forget what has gone before and pour all of their energy into finding a way to defeat France. The one positive is Ireland beat France earlier this year in a tight contest in the Six Nations.

They need to sum of the courage of that performance to try a secure a priceless win that will secure them a semi final place. Only a win will do to secure a semi final spot. Let’s hope Ireland big players stand up and be counted over the coming days.

The pressure is on now, they cannot settle for second best. I was sitting in front of Niamh Briggs last night and listening to her try contribute to help her team mates out was something special.

You can see how much it means. If she could have taken off the medical boot she would have to pull on a jersey and help out in some small way.

 Her influence will be crucial in the next few days, she will be needed along with other senior squad members to rally the troops and come up with a game plan to try and see off France.

Here’s hoping they can solve the issues they had in the set piece last evening and regain the supremacy they had throughout the Six Nations.  This is as I have said before is backs to the wall stuff and for all the doubts over team performance, they just need to put all the issues to one side and give it their all in the quest to top the Pool.

Tom Tierney knows all about heart breaking World Cup exits as he was part of the Irish squad that exited the 1999 World Cup in Lens after being defeated by Argentina. He can hopefully use the lessons he learned from that day to help his squad.

The time is now Ladies, to as they say down in Munster, Stand Up and Fight…… Over to you and your troops Claire, It’s your time…..


Cian Mc Gibney


Ireland XV Vs Japan

Ireland XV to face Japan

I have decided to don the selector hat and try and select the XV to face Japan at 5.15pm this Sunday in the UCD Bowl. Looking at the impact of the bench last Wednesday I think it is fair to say both Sophie Spence and Ciara Griffin will come into the team in the pack.

In the backs, there is room to use some of the players who were not used last week. Players like Claire Mc Laughlin and Louise Galvin could come into the back line to try and add extra spark to the attack.

Given that France put 72 points on Japan , one feels that Ireland should be able to do some similar tomorrow. Yes Ireland struggled to deal with the weight of expectation on some occasions on Wednesday but by tomorrow they should know what to expect.

The pressure of tomorrow will be different to what it was like on Wednesday, now that they are off and running with one win under the belt they will be expected by the crowd, media and above all themselves to kick on and find another gear.

Japan played Ireland twice in the build up to World Cup and ran them very close both times but after the tight win against Australia, Claire Molloy and her troops will know they will need to show more to put down a marker at this home World Cup.

Tom Tierney has said his side will improve as the competition goes on , the time is upon us to show that fact. This is a home World Cup and Ireland have a opportunity against Japan to show all challengers that they will not lie down too easily….

Here is the XV I would select –

15 Mairead Coyne

14 Hannah Tyrell

13 Claire Mc Laughlin

12 Katie Fitzhenry

11 Louise Galvin

10 Nora Stapleton

9 Nicole Cronin

8 Paula Fitzpatrick

7 Claire Molloy

6 Ciara Griffin

5 Marie Louise Reilly

4 Sophie Spence

3 Ailish Egan

2 Cliona Maloney

1 Lindsey Peat

16 Leah Lyons

17 Ciara O Connor

18 Ruth O Reilly

19 Ciara Cooney

20 Heather O Brien

21 Larissa Muldoon

22 Sene Naoupu

23 Eimear Considine 

Ireland Vs Australia


Ireland Vs Australia – Match 1

So Ireland are off and running after a narrow 2 point win over Australia in the opening game of the 2017 World Cup for both teams. Given that England, New Zealand and Canada had but down markers earlier in the day with big wins, it was crucial that Ireland got off to a winning start and they did that but only just…

It took Ireland 20 minutes to get into the game, but once they found some rhythm they were about to put a few moves together. Larissa Muldoon got the opening score for Ireland and Nora Stapleton was successful with conversion.  

Australia used there forwards to great effect by crashing the ball up the middle and then changing the point of attack at will , they really utilised some tactics used in 7s and transferred that to the 15s game.  Players like Sharni Williams and skipper Shannon Parry to the fore for most of the game.

Ireland will know they will need to improve in attack and defence before they face Japan on Sunday evening.  Ireland were under real pressure in defence and withstood the onslaught from Australia. In attack Ireland went round the corner and then spread the ball wide to Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy.

At times the Irish attack lacked real depth and they seemed to be going over and back in front of the Australian defence and they looked really stuck when it came to trying to break down the defence.  Hopefully by the time the Japan game rolls around on Sunday Tom Tierney and his staff will have a plan to help restart the Irish attack.

Looking to what Ireland did well, they did defend from minute 1 and the work that has been put in at that aspect of the game is plain to see. Some of the Irish kicking left a lot to be desired and this will also need to improve from here on in.

Australia although they don’t play too many games in 15s against to opposition that fact didn’t seem to hold them back last night and they managed to almost upset the script but of course if sport was all about the perfect script then nobody would get involved. Last night’s game was the ideal finish to a day of one sided contests but the one thing day 1 did deliver is that the cream always rises to the top no matter the sport.

All the heavy hitters came to fore and did what was expected and more , England put 56 points on Spain , New Zealand put 44 points on Wales after a tough encounter , Canada hell bent on gaining revenge for the 2014 World Cup final defeat showed newcomers Hong Kong no mercy by scoring 98 unanswered points.

Back to Ireland, the Irish bench had a big part to play as two subs namely Sophie Spence and Ciara Griffin came on and scored the vital tries to eventually saw Ireland home by 2. The Ireland squad showed terrific resolve last night to find themselves in trouble but then to know how to fix the issues and find the way to win.

It’s now onto Japan on Sunday, and hopefully it will be more of the same from Ireland who have plenty to work on before match day 2. A mention too for the support last night, 3,500 people packed out the venue and made great noise in support of the girls in green. You can but not be infected by the nonstop support.  Here’s hoping Sunday will bring more of the same….. It can’t come around quick enough…….


Cian Mc Gibney


World Cup 2017

Ireland Vs Australia World Cup 2017 Day 1

So Tom Tierney has named the 23 that will face Australia in The UCD Bowl at 7pm tomorrow evening. He has made 4 changes with Heather O Brien coming into the team at number 8, Ashleigh Baxter will take over the number 6 jersey from Ciara Griffin who will have to make an impact from the bench.

Shannon scrum half Nicole Cronin is the only uncapped player in the 23 tomorrow evening and that is a good testament to what Tom Tierney and his coaches have done over the last 3 years in trying to build some squad depth in the build up to this World Cup.

Looking to tomorrow, Ireland will have a full house shouting them on as the Bowl in UCD is a sell out, hopefully there will be a good atmosphere to help the girls in green  get the win they need to get this show off to the perfect start.

UCD has been transformed over the last few months and it is the perfect place for the next two weeks and the festival of rugby that will follow. Some of the world’s best female rugby talent will be in UCD and I urge people to take the time out over the next three Ireland games and sit and watch these ladies in action.

I realise that the next few weeks is not everyone’s cup of tea but trust me if this group of players can get the right result tomorrow evening, nothing will stop them and they will be well placed to try and better what was achieved in 2014.

I have always said if Ireland won a World Cup I’d love to see the country’s reaction, well over the next three weeks that dream may become a reality. England and a number of other sides will have something to say about that particular dream.

I have spent the last few years trying my best to educate people on the merits of this sport, I travelled to France on a whim three years ago with no French even though I did French at school, sorry Ms Mc Sweeney!!

These ladies deserve huge credit for the time and effort they put in. The time is now for this team to go out a show the world what this team is made of!! A quick word for another Irish lady in action over the next few weeks, referee Joy Neville will officiate at this World Cup. It is a huge honour for her and her family.

Sit back and enjoy the next three weeks, you won’t be disappointed, Trust me!!


Cian Mc Gibney


Guinness Pro 14

Pro 14 – The Expansion

So it has been confirmed, we will have a league after all!! The talking has been done and now all that has to be confirmed is the fixture list. The Pro 14 will now be split equally in conference A and conference B , 7 teams in each. Conference A will consist of Ospreys , Cardiff Blues , Munster , Connacht , Glasgow , Zebre and the Toyota Cheetahs.

Conference B will have the defending Pro 12 winners the Scarlets , Dragons , Leinster , Ulster , Edinburgh , Treviso and the Southern Kings.  This change has to be given time to bed in. Both South African sides have been released from Super Rugby and were freed up to seek other chances in other areas. So they joined up with the Guinness Pro 14 to create a new league.

The structure will see each team play 21 games in the season, one less than the Pro 12. Each team will play the other 6 teams in there conference on a home and away basis and then the other games will be cross conference matches. The Irish sides will keep their derbies intact so you as the fan will get to see your chosen team in derby action at some stage in the season.

What the South African teams will bring is a big TV audience and new markets and revenue streams to tap into. New fan bases will also be created. The financial rewards are also massive, some of the funds that will come from a new TV deal with Sky Sport South Africa will benefit all 14 teams. It will help in terms of player recruitment.

It was looking extremely tight as time was slipping away but now we can finally move toward the new season after some very uncertain times. The private backers of Zebre have passed the ownership of Zebre to the Italian Federation.  Michael Bradley will be there new head coach for the coming season on the recommendation of Conor O Shea.  

Looking to the new structure, you will now have quarter finals where the conference winners will progress straight to the semi finals and will have home advantage in those semi finals. European qualification will see 6 sides to get to Europe and the 7th place will go to the best ranked side outside of the two South African teams who for the new season at least will not be competing for places in Europe.

Change is hard is every walk of life but this change will impact for the better in the long term. It will improve the league and help close the financial gap that has appeared in recent years between the Premiership, Top 14 and Guinness Pro 12/14.  How competitive will the new sides be only time tell and these two new sides will hopefully spur on the Italian teams to improve because they know there are two new sides to fight against.

The Irish sides will hopefully be able to adapt to the new league and hopefully they can have the same level of success and consistency in the next few years. The new season is about to kick off so , sit back and enjoy…..


Cian Mc Gibney