Champions Cup 2023/2024

The 2023 Champions Cup gets underway this Friday with Connacht in action against Bordeaux Begles and then Ulster and Munster spring in action on Saturday with Ulster playing Bath at the Rec with Munster taking on Bayonne in Thomond Park.

Leinster play last season’s winners La Rochelle on Sunday  who won’t have Ronan O Gara in the coaches box as he serves a one game ban and will have to sit in the stand like last season when Ulster’s home with fixture with La Rochelle was moved from Belfast to Dublin owing to poor weather.

All four provinces have started the URC in decent form and will fancy making it 4 from 4 on opening weekend but the opposition that each side will face will be stiff competition and those sides will have designs on starting the campaign on a positive note themselves.

Connacht will know they can’t allow what happened against Leinster happen more often and that is getting pipped late on in games. A number of key signings like Joe Joyce who played with Bristol Bears previously and JJ Hanrahan who has returned to Ireland after a spell in France with Clermont Auvergne.

The additions of John Muldoon and Scott Fardy has strengthened the coaching staff in Galway and that will help Peter Wilkins keep up the good momentum build up over recent weeks barring last weekend vs Leinster.

Connacht will know a win at home would be the ideal start and to stand any hope in the revamped Champions Cup you need to win at home and then take your chances away from home as its now only 4 group games instead of 6 as was the case previously.

Ulster will go to the Rec to face Johan Van Graan’s Bath side that has picked up a few key wins in the past couple of rounds in the Premiership.

They seem to be going places slowly under Van Graan who again has dipped into the South African market for a few signings with Thomas Du Toit who spent 3 months on loan at Munster a few season ago before returning to South Africa, couple that with Finn Russell at 10 and things are beginning to shape up for the boys from the Recreation Ground.

For Ulster it will be key for them to come away with some points from the opening away day if they can’t win the game come away with a losing bonus or even a try bonus and it will be considered a good day’s work. Of course they won’t look to come away with slim pickings, they will go all out to gain at least 4 match points and see where that might leave them for week two at home in the Kingspan.

Munster take on Bayonne in Limerick with Camille Lopez and Reece Hodge the familiar faces to most Irish fans. They are in 10th in the Top 14 at the moment but that won’t count for much in Europe as we have seen how well some French sides tackle the new look Champions Cup.

Munster have started the URC in ok form with 3 wins, two losses and a draw in Italy with Benetton. They will be without Peter O Mahony, Jean Kleyn and Jack O Donaghue with two of those three hopeful of returning for the trip to Devon on Sunday December 17th to face Exeter.

Munster should have enough in the tank to start the campaign on the right note on Saturday in the prime kick off slot of 5.30pm, no doubt Thomond Park will be in fine voice by kick off time…

Lastly Leinster, reacquaint themselves with La Rochelle who have bested them in the most recent games between the sides namely last May’s Final in Dublin. ROG will have his charges well fired up and these two teams have plenty of spice between them with a tunnel incident involving Ronan O Gara trying to make a point to a match official and being politely being kept away from doing so.

Leinster have mentioned that they have prepared well with the two games against Munster and Connacht ideal preparation to take La Rochelle on Sunday. Leinster have been physically matched by La Rochelle so Leinster will be keen to help turn that around as well as starting the competition in winning fashion.

Jaques Nienaber has been added to the coaching staff taking over from Stuart Lancaster who has the reins with Racing 92 now. It will be interesting to see how the double World Cup winning coach can impact the Leinster set up going forward.

My predictions for the Irish sides in week one are, Connacht win at home to Bordeaux Begles, Ulster to get something from the trip to the Rec like a losing bonus point and maybe even a try bonus point but Bath to get the win.

Munster to win in Limerick against Bayonne and start the group on the right note.

Lastly Leinster to finally gain a first win over La Rochelle who have not been in vintage form in the early rounds of the Top 14 and Leinster to take full advantage for the win..

Tarbert North Kerry Champions 1973,50 years on

This Friday night in the Swanky Bar Tarbert, a group of men and their families will come together to mark a special occasion as the North Kerry senior champions of 1973 Tarbert will mark 50 years since they beat Ballylongford in their own backyard on a scoreline of 3-07 to 2-05, meaning a 5 point win for Tarbert for those of you not familiar with the GAA scoring system.

The team is now spread across the world with people coming from many parts of Ireland as well as a few travelling from further afield to mark what a real milestone. Only one man won’t be in attendance and that is the late Patsy ”twin” O Connell.

I only know this group of men since there playing days ended but from what I am told by ex team mates and opposition players is this was a good tough group of men. They played an attractive brand of football but were teak tough with men like Johnny Wren and John Mc Ginley in the ranks.

You had men like Gerald “yank” O Sullivan and Tommy O Donnell in the ranks also, two men who of course wore the Kerry jersey with Tom O Donnell winning an senior All Ireland in 1969 and Gerald winning three Under 21 All Ireland medals and I have been told only for Eoin”Bomber” Liston, Gerald would have been in that famed Kerry side to win numerous All Ireland’s through the 70s and 80s.

This evening will bring the stories flowing back for all and you can be sure the game will be replayed and some of the scores will be recreated “Mind the windows lads”. Huge credit to John Stack and Joe Langan ”Town” for bringing this together and marking a special point in the lives and sporting endeavours of these men.

The Tarbert Team that lined out that day was :

1 Paddy Hanlon

2 Tom Mc Carthy

3 Con Kennelly

4 Patsy ”twin” O Connell

5 Johnny Wren

6 Tom O Donnell

7 Ned Hanlon

8 John Mc Ginley

9 Ger Scannell

10 Joe Langan “Town”

11 Mossy Carrig

12 John Stack

13 Ambrose Lanigan

14 Mike Mulvihill

15 Moss “twin” O Connell

16 Peter Lavelle

17 Tom Stack

18 Pat Keane

19 Micheal Lanigan

20 Gerald O Sullivan

Denis Kiely had played up to the semi-final but injury ruled him out of the big day in Ballylongford. Of course the 2023 North Kerry Final is on Sunday at 2pm in Ballyduff. Nice to mark Tarbert’s win 50 years on the same weekend the 2023 final is taking place…

Life and Times

Just wanting to follow up my video on Tuesday with a written piece on the fallout from a suicide attempt. I have spoken with family and friends about my attempts to end my life. As I said in the video I know now that had I gone through with the plan to end my life, it would have done more harm than the supposed good I felt my death would have brought to family and friends.

Looking back as I write these words, I can see how hurtful it is and I am only writing of the situation almost 10 years later to try and again show in written form that things can look awful in the dark moments but they will get better I promise…

I speak from real experience and just hope that by again shining a light on these issues it will help one person see that life is worth fighting for. I know too that in those dark moments you truly feel that life and your family and friends lives will be better without you in it but again trust me having spoken to a few people concerning my own situation, I know that my death would have only opened another can of worms.

I am still here even though on several occasions I felt not good enough to even breathe the same air as family and friends. But that is what happens when you go to the depths of despair. I with the help of a number of counsellors have found the worth in living over the past 10 years. Not that trouble won’t resurface but I now feel strong enough that I have the coping skills and mental fortitude to get past any future setbacks that may happen.

I also know, there are people who probably look and me and think what has he really got to be worried about, he is single and has no family of his own to worry about but as has been shown we need to try and look after all, the person who is out going is much at risk as the quiet soul who rarely opens his or her mouth.

I have quietly tried to highlight these things by using my own personal experience as the guide and by writing a large number of pieces over the past while. I realise that many won’t know where to turn in the hope to find the help they may need.

The help is there 24/7 and thankfully we have seen things change in regards to certain supports for mental health. Yes it is far from perfect but it is turning and with the advocacy of the likes of Neil Breslin ( Bressie) things will change it might take a few years but nothing changes overnight even with the best of intentions and will of many people.

I just hope that by using my own story people will take note and sit up and ask the question, are you doing ok ? It doesn’t cost the earth but if we see someone we think might need a listening ear, just go with your gut and ask !!

My door is open to anyone that may need a listening ear, I of course still have my own problems but such is life. I now have the kettle and about 10,000 teabags to get through so if you need a chat I am willing to listen.

I have my own support network that has been cultivated over the past 7 years in particular and I know I can reach out to them and they will come back to me when they can. I probably seem like a cold fish and It may seem like that I can’t empathise but appearances can be deceiving.

I have grown far more aware of my own mental wellbeing and the feelings of others now on occasion in recent times I may have said the wrong thing but I now see I got things wrong on occasion.

I just hope that this honest and open take will show people that when you take the brave step to open up that it will be worth it. I promise If I can do it then others will gain the courage to open up to family, friends…

FAI – Stick or Twist

It is time for the FAI to make up their minds, will they stick with Stephen Kenny although the smart money does suggest that tonight’s game against New Zealand will bring the curtain down on the Stephen Kenny era.

It has been an extremely disappointing campaign that has put the Republic under severe pressure and with season ticket renewals ongoing it will be interesting to see will people put the money into securing the tickets for 2024 that will of course only see competitive action return in September of 2024 when the nations league starts after next season’s European Championships.

That will be a tough sell but like always the diehards will dip into the pocket and its then down to those on the fence about a ticket that they will need to convince, the “casual fan”. The tenure under Stephen Kenny has seen a new generation of players come through backboned by the under 21 side Kenny coached before being handed the big job.

Josh Cullen, Jason Molumby, Dara O Shea are three players that have been brought into the side with men like Will Smallbone and Adam Idah and latterly Evan Ferguson whose presence seems to instilled a small amount of belief in this group. Ferguson has been bang in form when playing for Brighton in the Premier League under Roberto De Zerbi.

Tonight is a final chance for fans to see James Mc Clean in a green shirt one last time as will win his 103rd and final cap after a debut in March 2013. He has scored a few important goals in that period namely against Wales in Cardiff. He also covered a few positions in his 10 year international career like winger, wing back and full back.

The FAI will need to go away and take their time in selecting the next manager to take the Republic forward in 2024 if it isn’t to be Stephen Kenny… A more important fixture this evening could well be the Under 21 European qualifier in Turners Cross down in Cork. It sees Jim Crawford’s team play Italy looking to redress the balance after Norway last week.

It will provide people will the chance to see the next group of talented youngsters looking to firstly create history and qualify for a major tournament at Under 21 level for the first time and then in the future kick on the represent the senior side.

The FAI Cup final between St Pats and Bohs saw a few of those Under 21s play for either side so you got a chance to see these talented lads. The league of Ireland will provide the players with meaningful game time into the future. Yes it has been the poor relation for many years. A pain that the FAI never quite knew how to set up to keep all sides happy !!

That talk will need to be parked until another time but this evening it’s a chance for two sides to start the healing process, the 21s will need to be on point to gain victory in Cork and likewise on Lansdowne Road the senior side will need to try and gain a small morale boost before this current international window slams shut.

Who you ask will the FAI look to steer the ship if Stephen Kenny’s tenure is ended after tonight’s game. Men like Lee Carsley current England under 21 boss but crucially an ex Ireland international will he look upon this as a project he would like to take on or will it be someone like Gus Poyet who only early last month was questioned would he be interested if the chance presented itself to coach this Ireland side. He did not dismiss the possibility. It will take time and patience to see who the FAI will get in to take the top job. No matter who does get the vote of confidence it will be a tough gig no matter the new person’s CV…

A word for Stephen Kenny if tonight is the be his swansong, he took on the top job with a certain style of play in mind and stuck by those principles which some may see as a step forward but more may say he wasn’t for turning and during his time in charge it was proven when they came unstuck against opposition they should have beaten and then against the likes of France or Holland when caution mixed with some of the new ball playing style may have been warranted.

He stuck rigidly to the way he knows best and that is possession based football which worked while in charge of Bohs, Dundalk in the LOI and then in Scotland with a few teams. Tonight in Dublin 4, it might just be goodbye to Mr Kenny but his work in bringing a number of new players through can’t be forgotten and may benefit the next manager to take on the Republic Of Ireland gig….

No is a tough word to hear

The word “no” is so tough to hear, after a job interview, trying to get into a sports team or just in general terms. I have to say when I have used this particular word in relation to doing certain things to do with family, special occasions or times of the year. The tactic of chipping away has been used to get agreement to do something.

No more will that particular thing work, I have grown that back bone I spoke about a few months ago. It has been so beneficial when it comes to saying “no” when asked to get involved. I suppose I mostly likely over use it but once you learn to use it you get quite good at it !!

I just wanted to write about this because when I say “no” now I mean it and I don’t want people trying to chip away and finally gaining agreement by badgering. I have found myself with that confidence that I feigned many times and for that I am most grateful.

I can be stubborn that will of course come as a shock to many (yeah right) but I feel that when you say no beyond a certain point in life it should suffice and you should not have to have as I call it chapter and verse ready for people.

Of course hearing the word “no” in other ways can be heart breaking if it’s to do with a medical issue that can’t be treated or that job interview you practiced for weeks…

When we as a family heard that no more could be done for Mam back in 2016, it’s in those moments that the word “no” can be so cruel. But Mam did her bit because she was an organ donor so even though we heard the word “no” in another moment we saw her perform an incredibly selfless act. One I don’t often talk of but it is one that should probably be spoken of more….

The reason I bring this up is, those that need organ donation hear the word “no” many times but they never give up hope that someday there dream will come through. I can report that those people who 7 years ago received Mother’s organs are doing well as of a few weeks ago.

I have been told no myself on a few occasions but it never worried me even if my face suggested different. Being told “no” can be character building but it may also break those who don’t take rejection well…

My parents were told I may never walk, talk or go to a mainstream school another version of that word “no” but that has been proven incorrect due to diligence of many people and as I head for 34, they still can’t find the mute button, I have a feeling I didn’t get fitted with one when they were handing them out (apologises folks) …

So for all the times you may be told “no” in life just dust it off and reset the clock and go again because many people may not have the chance to….

Munster – High Gear Time

The 23/24 season is 5 rounds old this weekend and will see Munster face The Stormers in Limerick 6 months after beating them in the URC Final in Cape Town. It will be a chance for Joseph Dweba to come face to face yet again with the boys he wanted to in his own words “F*** up” in last season’s final and I am sure he will get a special welcome on the pitch and in the stands also. They have long memories in the stands as well as on the pitch Joseph !!

Back to the game, Munster have two wins, a draw and a loss so far this year. Looking to Saturday, it’s a chance to circle the wagons and focus the mind going into the next block of games that includes a trip to Dublin as well as a return to Europe in December.

 Munster know the standards haven’t hit the heights they did at the end of last season. It’s time for Munster to kick into a high gear from this weekend onward as the games will start to get bigger as the weeks go by.

John Dobson won’t need to motivate his side and for that matter Graham Rowntree won’t need to use the stick much in meetings to fire his charges up. The return of the internationals is well timed.

Unfortunately RG Snyman won’t be available for an extended period and his engine room colleague Jean Kleyn will come back into the reckoning if not this week, he should be knocking around to be involved against Leinster. We have seen a few guys grab the chance to be in the Munster second row with Edwin Edogbo and Thomas Ahern starting a number of games together, an eye to the future maybe !! Munster also have Fineen Wycherley and Cian Hurley will be back around the new year.

For the talk of the exits of maybe the two SA World Cup winners as the end of the year it is good to see Munster pushing the younger crew forward to start the big games as well as the odd game. Of course this is only speculation at the moment but decision time for new contracts is not too far away either.

Only time will tell will Munster manage to keep one of the two WC winners or will the IRFU say to Munster to let both go in favour of the young talent coming through. The hope among supporters will be to keep one as I feel they won’t hold onto both the end of the current campaign.

As for the back three spots which is quite light at the moment, Liam Coombes was injured in AIL action with Garryowen and that coupled with the retirement of Keith Earls and more recently Andrew Conway leave Munster with space in the back three area.

Opportunity knocks of course for those who will come in, Sean O Brien has seen game time on the left wing with Calvin Nash in the 14 shirt. Simon Zebo will also come back into contention over the next few weeks and that will help relieve the pressure at the minute….     

We have yet to see Munster take flight in attack and let’s hope they have ironed out the issues at both line out and scrum time. For Munster to really kick on both areas need to be sharper.

No better time than a home fixture against the Stormers before the run of games that will see a return to Europe…..

Andrew Conway

It defiantly hits home the nature of certain sports seeing Andrew Conway having to call time on his career due to a persistent knee injury. He got back a month ago to play with Munster one final time in the win over the Sharks in Thomond Park.

Last week, another top notch operator had to admit defeat in his quest to get back to full fitness. Andrew Conway played his rugby with Blackrock College, Leinster and Munster in the pro game playing with Leinster 42 times and then moving to Munster in summer 2013 and going on to play in red 150 times and scoring 50 tries . He turned out for Ireland 30 times and scored 15 tries, a serious strike rate for club and country.

The try that will most likely stand out for most will be the effort against Toulon in 2018 in the Champions Cup quarter final when in the final 5 minutes when Munster were 5 points down and he collected a Francois Trinh Duc clearance on the touch line and cut in to race clear and score a try that will be long remembered by all in Thomond that afternoon.

He as I say had a terrific strike rate, 50 tries in 150 for Munster, 16 in 42 for Leinster and 15 in 30 caps for Ireland. He was an extremely cleaver rugby player who was well able to tackle as well as ind a gap when his team needed it.

Adept in the full back roll as well as playing on either wing, his durability and experience will be sorely missed by all who played alongside him. It is getting tough to write these pieces as I am in and around the same age and older than some of these guys, Johnny Holland had to do something similar in 2016, Felix Jones, CJ Stander.

Felix Jones has gone on to have great success as a coach with Munster were he cut his teeth as a coach and most recently with South Africa where he has just won his second World Cup winners medal. He will now take a place in the England coaching team alongside Steve Borthwick.

Back to Andrew Conway, it will be interesting to see what he may do next in his life, I am sure he will take a break before making his next move. Will he go into coaching or will he be more than happy to make a clean break away from rugby…

Whatever may be in the pipeline for Andrew, I’d like to wish him well and thank him for the last number of years in red… I for one won’t forget your try vs Toulon…

Cerebral Palsy- My Journey

After being at “Bressie” last week the live version of his podcast. I have been thinking about my own journey. I have had cerebral palsy all my life which affects my left side and causes me the stumble from time to time.

I was set thinking by with Niall Breslin said and to that end I want to tell people about the journey as I only really mention it in passing and even people who know me well still tell me they didn’t know I have it and to them it’s a shock when I tell them or when they see the leg brace I wear, it’s not a fashion accessory by Gucci or Fred Perry let me tell you !! You won’t see them at Paris fashion week.

I wear a leg brace daily and that is the strange shape you may see through my jeans or tracksuit bottoms, I have set you thinking now haven’t I !! I think about all the moments I felt like wanting to cut my leg off and get a new one but you can’t do that in real life and particularly as an adult.

But this is the way I am made and I can’t do anything drastic only live with the situation and make the best of it. I have always said I felt like I never fitted in but into my mid-thirties I can now say I am happy and content with where I am.

The big battles have been had in my own head over the years and the little voice in the back of my mind has finally been silenced and I am most grateful for that because earlier this year I didn’t think I would see my way to Christmas 2023.

How time changes when an opportunity presents itself and as I head toward 2024 I can see a future, the very future that on many occasions I felt I didn’t deserve or want but looking back now I know I am strong enough to face future problems and see a way around them rather than falling down a rabbit hole.

My body is beginning to show me that age is finally kicking in and heavy lifting is starting to show me that I am beginning the journey over the hill. I will find a way around of course but it does say to me it might be time to find something that won’t kill me physically.

I do compensate on my right side to try and take the pressure off my left side. I walk with a slight limp, saying all this may come to some as a shock, to more it will answer that question that people always want to ask but won’t until I do it for them.

I was in the care of Enable Ireland until I was 18 and then was discharged to make my way in life. Not once could I say my disability caused me to think badly of my life or anything my own head and brain did that for me. I can be very resourceful when I need to be.

I have just realised that as I move through the next few decades I will need to listen to my body because as I say my body is starting to show the signs of age but let me say I won’t allow that deter me but I am acutely aware that things will start to change for me physically as I hit 40 which is of course is my next big milstone, Christ writing that is funny.

I gave up playing sport owing to knowing it was time to step back. I was lucky to be able to play with more able bodied players until I got to 18, playing youths soccer with Ferry Rangers and up to minor level with Tarbert.

I am so pleased I realised my limits at that point and it wasn’t me just giving up the ghost, I knew my body was crying out to stop. I will push my body but I know when to stop, it’s not being lazy it is just me knowing my limitations !!

As I mentioned at the start of this, I was at “Bressie” last Tuesday and It certainly made me think of the journey I have been on and continue to be on of course. Not all journeys are smooth and plain sailing but that is the fun of it. It’s how you bounce back from the choppy moments is how you will be able to say I found my way through that and will do again if I need to.

I use many traits that I learned from family, friends and comedians if I am honest. I try my best to make people smile on a daily basis and sometimes I will use myself as the punchline and seeing people smile is enough for me.

It really is the simple life I crave, I am on that road to getting that particular part of my life in place. I have sat writing and scribbling away for almost 11 years and I still surprise many when I say that. I am only recording in the past 7 years.

What I am getting at is do not allow things that may hold you back to define who you are as a person, find a way around them, ask the question, don’t sit back to wait for others to do so because I know from experience the question may never come….

Tarbert County Final 2023

Tarbert will play in a first county final since 1995 on Sunday when they face Reenard in the Kerry Junior Club Championship Final in Austin Stack Park with a 1pm throw in time. This is a special occasion for the club who in recent years have had plenty of success at under age level as well as a promotion to division 3 of the County League for 2024.

The last trophy to come through the gates of Shannon Park at Senior level was the North Kerry Championship in 2010. Tarbert have played very well throughout the year securing promotion from division 4 to 3 in the County League after a strong campaign. They also contested the North Kerry League Final only losing out by two points to Moyvane.

They have been under the management of Cathal O Connor and Jamie Diggins for the past few years and will have the experience of ex Kerry defender and All Ireland winner Shane Enright to call upon from the centre back berth on Sunday, this team has built there good form up by being very effective defensively and being efficient in attack when the chance arises.

It has been a long time between meals for Tarbert at county level but there are back in a county final and will look to put the icing on the cake by defeating Reenard. We have seen Listowel Emmets win a county title in the last 24 hours and both Tarbert and Duagh will get their chance to claim further glory over the next few weeks. It’s great to see North Kerry getting back to finals at different grades in recent times, long may that continue.

The work being done by several people over the past 10 to 12 years at underage level is beginning to pay divides. Looking to Sunday this is a great chance for a group of hard working players to put their names up in lights and join the great Tarbert teams of the past who won titles at county level.

Another thing will be having the chance to play in Austin Stack Park, this should help give the team the chance to go an express themselves on what will be a pristine surface. As I mentioned previously Tarbert have done well this year beating Beale in the semi-final of this competition in September.

Looking to Sunday, it’s a chance for everyone to come out and give the panel the support they deserve because they achieved one of the stated goals at the outset of the year and the year isn’t over yet !!!  Tarbert County Champions 2023 has a nice ring to it, Go well men and all the very best on Sunday…..

South Africa 2023 RWC Winners

South Africa were crowned the 2023 RWC winners after a tight hard fought contest with New Zealand on a 12-11 score line. This win was based on a never say die attitude in defence and a willingness to never bend in attack with a game plan that certainly won’t win any beauty awards but one thing you’ll get from any Rassie Erasmus team is effort and defiance.

Himself and Jacques Nienabar have been together for a long time coaching in SA at club and provincial level in SA before taking an opportunity to come up to Munster and they spent 18 months with Munster before returning to SA to take on the national job, Erasmus as Director of Rugby and Mr Nienaber as head coach.

Both men stuck to that task and turned the ship around in an extremely short space of time to help them win the 2019 RWC.

Fast forward 4 years, in that time you have had a B&I Lions tour in 2021 which was of course played during an extremely tough period worldwide due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the restrictions on travel that continued for a period beyond the initial 12 months.

That tour was a mess and we now know the three test matches were only a whisker away from being chalked off due to a number of constraints on both squads with large numbers of each party being ruled out due to covid restrictions, Since then though things have returned to normal.

SA have focused on retaining this trophy for the past 2 years since the series win of 2021 vs the Lions. They have shown you can win a number of ways and be successful. They have also re invented the way the bench can be made up although I still feel a 5/3 split will continue to be the norm, a few sides including Munster and even Leinster when tactics dictated went 6/2 on their match day bench selections.

There are of course a couple of Irish links with this win as well as in 2019 with Felix Jones as part of the coaching team but you also have a Kerry man, Partick O Sullivan who was a member of the Springbok technical staff. He played rugby with Killarney and Crescent RFC.

Both men will be able to toast a job well done and will enjoy well earned time off before Jones begins a new position with England. It will be interesting who might snap up the talents of Patrick O Sullivan.

South Africa can enjoy this win, the final wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it was a game that kept you invested for 80 minutes. Congratulations to South Africa on their record 4th RWC win. They will now look to the rest of the URC season as well as domestic competitions in SA in 2024.