Connect with us

Current

Rainbow Cup gives Munster a new gold dream to chase after

Voice Of EU

Published

on

No Munster player, coach or supporter has ever dreamed of winning the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup, nor targeted the trophy at the outset of the season, not least because it didn’t exist.

Even so, those initial wins over Leinster and Ulster had left Munster atop the northern half of this ingeniously formatted tournament and well placed in the foot race over five games against random opponents to top a table of 12 teams for a place in the proposed final against the leading South African side.

Munster’s selection at home to Connacht last Friday week, when 18-point favourites, was a statement of intent, but the 24-20 defeat means they are no longer in control of their own destiny.

Benetton, winless in 16 games over the regular Pro14 season, are the only team for whom that applies after backing up their commanding 46-19 home win over Glasgow by completing the double over Zebre.

Munster still head a six-strong peloton with two wins out of three but, like the others, they need Benetton to lose at home to Connacht (also still in the mix) this Saturday or away to the Ospreys on Saturday fortnight. Munster also need to beat Cardiff at Thomond Park this Friday (kick-off 7.35pm) and Zebre away a fortnight later, probably with a bonus point or two.

They will be without Conor Murray, whose minor leg injury is not expected to sideline him for longer than this week, Chris Farrell (groin), Roman Salanoa (ankle), Thomas Ahern (illness), RG Snyman (knee) and Neil Cronin (knee), but Gavin Coombes and Paddy Patterson are back.

Drought

Winning the Rainbow Cup would at least ensure Munster’s trophy drought would not extend into an 11th season, so removing that monkey from their collective backs.

“I said from the outset that we want to win this tournament, we took it very seriously,” maintained forwards coach Graham Rowntree on Tuesday. “I think our selections have reflected that as well, and certainly our performances up until the disappointment against Connacht, and that last third of the game in particular. But we are taking it very seriously.”

Friday’s game against the Blues, a point behind Munster after 17-16 and 29-28 wins over the Dragons and Scarlets, is effectively a knock-out tie. “Very much so,” agreed Rowntree. “That’s it, literally; it’s a knock-out game.

“We’ve played against them twice this year, they’re a good team. Dai (Young) has made a change there going in. They’re a physical team, good defensively, good in the breakdown, massive attacking threat as well, a running ‘10’ and running ‘9’ threat,” added Rowntree in reference to the dangerous Tomos Williams-Jarrod Evans combination.

Cronin is not the first to discover that this was an unfortunate year to be out of contract for, at 30, he should be entering a prop’s prime years

“We’ll have our hands full, which is exactly what we need. We’re ready for it. We’ve certainly trained with this in mind and our preparation has gone really well.”

Munster confirmed last week that they are releasing James Cronin. Munster wanted to keep him but with budget cuts also contributing to compulsory redundancies elsewhere in the organisation, couldn’t afford to do so.

Cronin is not the first to discover that this was an unfortunate year to be out of contract for, at 30, he should be entering a prop’s prime years.

He has played 142 games for Munster (and won three caps for Ireland), including 13 starts this season, more than the other four loose-heads in the squad combined, in what has probably been his best campaign to date. Cronin started the Pro14 final against Leinster, the Champions Cup win over Harlequins and was on the bench against Toulouse.

Admiration

Contractual decisions are not part of Rowntree’s remit, and he was reluctant to add any more to Munster’s statement last week other than making his admiration for Cronin clear.

“I think he has been very good for us this year and I think, in any career, you’ve got to experience something new, which he will be looking to do. I can’t speak highly enough about working with the guy and wherever he goes, he will be successful.”

Injuries and Irish call-ups have restricted the 32-year-old David Kilcoyne to just three starts out of seven appearances for Munster this season, so the province have certainly made a statement of faith in Liam O’Connor (25, two starts this season), Jeremy Loughman (25, one start) and Josh Wycherley, who will graduate from the academy this summer.

The 20-year-old made four starts this season and performed manfully when pressed into a full Heineken Cup debut in the comeback win away to Clermont last December. He played 77 minutes that night, although he has been restricted to just 72 minutes since, in part due to several niggly injuries.

“It’s a very, very competitive position,” said Rowntree. “I think we’ve seen that this season with the performances of the guys there, Jeremy Loughman and Liam [O’Connor] in particular. Then Josh [Wycherley] took his chance; that game he had in Clermont was incredible. Stocks are good there. Guys do come through and guys leave the club, that’s just the nature of clubs.”

Source link

Current

Hotel Indigo debuts in Austria

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Hotel Indigo opened its first hotel in Austria, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt. Located a short walk from the city’s historic center, the hotel offers 158 guest rooms, a rooftop garden resembling an urban jungle, a restaurant, and a lobby bar.

 

Taking inspiration from a famed local architect, Otto Wagner, a key member of the Secessionist movement, guests will find touches of gold used throughout the fixtures in the bathrooms as well as intricate patterns, made famous by Otto, woven into the carpet design in the hallway, and the tiles behind reception. Otto’s love for gold, Art Nouveau design, and ornate patterns can also be seen at famous local buildings such as the Majolikahaus, a short walk from the hotel. From ground level, the building looks innocuous, but as guests look skywards, they will see the top floors are decorated with exquisitely sumptuous floral motifs in brightly colored porcelain and gold leaf, a hallmark of the new style.

 

Stefanie Augustin, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt, commented: “We are pleased to open our doors and accept our first guests into the first Hotel Indigo in Austria. We sit in the heart of the surrounding neighbourhood and strive to make all the locals proud, by helping to bring a bit of that external story in so guests can truly experience what Vienna has to offer.”

 

 

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Tolent secures Newcastle resi project (GB)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Tolent will put up 135 ‘ultra-modern’ system-build homes, with designs selected from an architectural competition. Sunderland’s new Vaux neighborhood, being built on the site of an old brewery, will eventually have 1,000 homes, according to the plans, as part of a drive to double the number of people living in the city centre. The homes will stand alongside The Beam and City Hall – the latest development to rise from the ground at Riverside Sunderland. Construction work on the scheme is expected to start within weeks, forming the first of the new distinct neighbourhoods that will create city centre housing for up to 2,500 residents.

 

The properties are based on the winning designs in the Homes of 2030 competition, which was launched in March 2020, and managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, to encourage the design of environmentally-friendly homes that support people in leading independent, fulfilling lives as society ages.? Construction work on the development is due to start this summer and the first tranche of homes should be completed by the end of 2023.

 

Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have taken this final step to get work started on our flagship residential scheme at Riverside Sunderland. The housing developments on Riverside Sunderland will be world-class, and Tolent is an ideal partner to deliver them, based locally and capable of building these aspirational homes.”

 

Tolent chief executive Paul Webster said: “Vaux neighbourhood is an amazing project that showcases the strides being taken in Sunderland to modernise the city centre. The world-class houses being built will provide a community fit for the future and an archetype for sustainable housing. As a truly local business, we are proud to be involved in the project and to showcase our ability to meet and exceed the capabilities of national contractors on a local level. The project will complement a number of local landmarks that we have constructed including The Beam, Beacon of Light and Echo Building. We have been working closely with the entire team since being appointed preferred bidder back in September and we can’t wait to get started.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

BlackRock acquires Dagenham urban logistics development (GB)

Voice Of EU

Published

on

A joint venture (JV) between Chancerygatea fund managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management, and Hines has forward sold a 172,000ft² urban logistics development in Dagenham to a fund managed by BlackRock for an undisclosed sum. Dagenham Council has approved plans to speculatively build 15 Grade A urban logistics and industrial units at the development which is called Zephyr Park. The units range from 5,490ft² to 34,670ft² and are available leasehold and freehold. Construction is due to commence in August this year. The six-acre site was previously owned by wholesale electrical distributor Rexel UKSituated on Rainham Road between the A12 and A13, Zephyr Park is located less than half a mile from Hackman Capital Partners and Dagenham Council’s proposed €348.5m (£300m) film and TV studios.

 

Chancerygate managing director, Richard Bains, said: “Zephyr Park will be an outstanding urban logistics development which will generate continued investment and job creation for Dagenham. Forward selling Zephyr Park to BlackRock shows the strength in urban logistics as an asset class. It is also a testament to the high specification, a sustainable product we build as it attracts businesses to locate to our developments ensuring they are best placed to continue to grow. We look forward to working with Hines and BlackRock to deliver Zephyr Park and expect to achieve practical completion in summer 2023.”

 

Greg Cooper, Hines managing director, industrial and logistics, added: “We are pleased to have executed this opportunity to recycle this asset, with the value generated illustrating the unabating demand for high-quality logistics developments. It is an asset class which remains a key focus for Hines in the UK, and we are continuing to explore opportunities to grow our portfolio of both big box and urban facilities.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!