Donal Lenihan - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

DONAL LENIHAN: So many wins to be quarried from series disappointment

The immediate response on the final whistle at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was one of acute disappointment given Ireland finished this gruelling series camped on the South African line after a 19-phase onslaught in search of what could have been a winning score and a series clincher. It was that tight.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Three areas that'll decide the South African test series

There’s a huge onus on Ireland’s new boys to hold the defensive line, writes Donal Lenihan.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Time for Irish players to grasp opportunity

It is crucial that the players realise the enormity of what is within their grasp, writes Donal Lenihan.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: How Joe Schmidt handles next few days will determine Ireland’s fate

The contrast could not be more striking. If Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, venue for the opening test, ranked as one of the most scenic and picturesque in world rugby then Ellis Park, situated in what has become the ghettoed heartland of downtown Johannesburg, was stark and foreboding, writes Donal Lenihan.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Can Irish rookies thrive at this altitude?

Here are three things Ireland need to do to secure back-to-back victories over South Africa...

More

DONAL LENIHAN: When Springbok backs are to the wall, Ellis Park provides comfort

After the sobering sight of four World Cup semi-finalists coming from the southern hemisphere, last weekend offered a glimmer of hope for European rugby. The question now is, was it an aberration or a line in the sand?

More

DONAL LENIHAN: This victory signals a new beginning for Ireland

There are few more stunning backdrops to an international rugby stadium than the one that greets you on your arrival at Newlands Stadium. Nestled to the rear of the imposing, rugged features that define Table Mountain, it sets the scene perfectly for what lies ahead. This is South Africa, this is Springbok rugby.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: It has to be brain over brawn for Ireland against South Africa

Donal Lenihan examines three key areas around Ireland’s first test against the Springboks.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Will the unavailables now rue missing Ireland's tour to South Africa?

You just wonder what was going through Joe Schmidt’s mind as he boarded Ireland’s flight from Heathrow to Cape Town last Sunday night. 

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Connacht complete the unlikeliest journey in some style

A famous scene adorns the walls of the ACT Brumbies headquarters in Canberra, depicting the dressing room scenes after their first ever victory over the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby. At that stage the Brumbies team were full to the brim with players rejected by their big Sydney neighbours and the win not only sparked emotional scenes but also marked a changing of the guard.

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Indomitable Connacht ready to achieve the impossible dream

They beat the Warriors, but can they repeat the dose when Glasgow return to the Sportsground on Saturday week?

More

DONAL LENIHAN: Is this the man who is going to save Irish provincial rugby?

It may have its faults but the Guinness PRO12 has managed to hold the imagination of fans, across the Celtic nations at the very least, as it enters its version of Super Saturday in three days time.

More