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Ireland v Russia 3/10 11.15

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    #76
    Originally posted by busby View Post

    The thing with the whole QF thing is if we're good enough to beat either SA or NZ, then we're good enough to beat whoever we would meet in a semi. So actually, just reaching a semi would be yet another opportunity lost, just as the QFs were in 11' and 15'.
    Yeah for sure I would agree with that Busby, but for all the player improvements its still one good performance followed by one bad. Tis been yoyo results for a good while now

    Even a supposed win against NZ or SA would have me quite fearful of a total flop in the semi final.

    Sadly I just havent seen anything resembling a world champions level performance since Nov 2018, the formbook is poor enough like
    I am the million man.

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      #77
      Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

      That's encouraging, sounds just what we needed.
      11 changes from the starting team last day, including an almost entirely new pack, and a new 9, 10 and 12. They’ve no reason to be tired and they need a decent hit out before Thursday.

      The mistake was fielding an unchanged pack against Japan. This is fine IMO.

      Comment


        #78
        Originally posted by Cowboy View Post

        Nobody has ever won the world cup and lost a game at the world cup.

        Joe going into retirement so he's not going to be available for awkward questions weeks and months after they're back from Japan.

        I honestly think a semi final would be a momentous achievement for this side right now. The game has passed out our power game
        Records are made to be broken. I never thought I would live to see Ireland win a GS in an even year, but it happened. Ireland will top the group and beat NZ in the final. Somerset winning the county championship is another matter altogether.....

        Comment


          #79
          As much as I have qualms about Ireland's game plan, I think it would be a bit of a shame if Schmidt left the Ireland head-coach position on sour terms(and vice versa) with the Irish team/media after this world cup. He is unquestionably the most successful coach in Irish rugby history and we have had some massive highs during his reign. As has been said, getting to a semi final would be a great achievement, considering the form and performances of this Irish team in the last 12 months.

          The quarter final will be a massive game, not only for Schmidt, but also a defining game for a number of players. This won't be just Rory Best's last world cup, it will be the last world cup for more than half of the starting team. By the time the next world cup comes around, Sexton will be 38. Kearney will be 37. Healy will be 35. Earls will be 35. Murray will be 34. O'Mahony will be 34. Stander will be 33. Bundee Aki will be 33. Also in the squad you have Kilcoyne and John Ryan, who will be 34 and 35 respectively. Sean Cronin will be 37. Obviously not all of the above players will have retired, but I think it emphasises how much pressure the players will be under. Over the past few years, our best performances have generally come when we have been under pressure, so hopefully that continues. If it's a low scoring game and wet, we have every chance, in my opinion.

          On another note, It will be interesting to see what lessons we take from this world cup, for four years time. One question, I'm genuinely not sure of, is whether we should we be experimenting more in the six nations, potentially sacrificing six nations victories(and the money it brings)? I suspect we won't be doing too much experimenting during Farrell's first year. There will be massive pressure on him to get results, as the lack of head-coach experience will be an easy stick to beat him with if results aren't great.

          Comment


            #80
            Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

            11 changes from the starting team last day, including an almost entirely new pack, and a new 9, 10 and 12. They’ve no reason to be tired and they need a decent hit out before Thursday.

            The mistake was fielding an unchanged pack against Japan. This is fine IMO.
            Agree about the mistake of fielding an unchanged pack, I think the necessary changes in the backs (at least as Joe saw them) meant the pack would stay the same. Hindsight is wonderful, but many here wanted more rotation against Japan, at least it wasn’t made even worse by injury. Hopefully Thursday will pass off with a decent win, and no damage. The challenge then will be to select a side for Samoa which doesn’t ruin any chance we have in the QF.

            Comment


              #81
              Originally posted by RichardP View Post

              In Canadian and American Professional Football they have what they call ‘Taxi squads’ - players who are on the payroll but not on the official roster. Ireland could well have done something like that and have those players engaged in tailored drills and fitness work in Japan so as to be ready if called upon. Obviously that would cost some money and require logistical support; likewise not every player in such a squad would be required to step into the Official Roster. Still, it would overcome the jet lag issue and the urgent need for a replacement going to Japan from Ireland. Irt’s Doable, not cheap, but missing one or two Pro14 games is a small thing in comparison.
              Wouldnt be better from IRFU perspective though would it?
              Resources on coaches etc when guys who arent in the 31 can be doing the work at home in Ireland and playing. The jet lag issue is overblown. The 48 hour rule in combination with timing of call ups.
              And 'taxi squads' completely just suits the richer, stronger unions and how does that help sport overall?

              Comment


                #82
                Originally posted by Mumhain View Post
                As much as I have qualms about Ireland's game plan, I think it would be a bit of a shame if Schmidt left the Ireland head-coach position on sour terms(and vice versa) with the Irish team/media after this world cup. He is unquestionably the most successful coach in Irish rugby history and we have had some massive highs during his reign. As has been said, getting to a semi final would be a great achievement, considering the form and performances of this Irish team in the last 12 months.

                The quarter final will be a massive game, not only for Schmidt, but also a defining game for a number of players. This won't be just Rory Best's last world cup, it will be the last world cup for more than half of the starting team. By the time the next world cup comes around, Sexton will be 38. Kearney will be 37. Healy will be 35. Earls will be 35. Murray will be 34. O'Mahony will be 34. Stander will be 33. Bundee Aki will be 33. Also in the squad you have Kilcoyne and John Ryan, who will be 34 and 35 respectively. Sean Cronin will be 37. Obviously not all of the above players will have retired, but I think it emphasises how much pressure the players will be under. Over the past few years, our best performances have generally come when we have been under pressure, so hopefully that continues. If it's a low scoring game and wet, we have every chance, in my opinion.

                On another note, It will be interesting to see what lessons we take from this world cup, for four years time. One question, I'm genuinely not sure of, is whether we should we be experimenting more in the six nations, potentially sacrificing six nations victories(and the money it brings)? I suspect we won't be doing too much experimenting during Farrell's first year. There will be massive pressure on him to get results, as the lack of head-coach experience will be an easy stick to beat him with if results aren't great.
                I expect a big performance in the QF. If we face SA we may win it, if it’s NZ I think it’s unlikely, but who knows?

                With regard to Joe, he’s a great coach but his Achilles heel has always been his conservatism, particularly in selection, and it is what has once again bitten him in the arse.

                He spent four years building depth but he always had a fixed first XV in mind and he played as many of them as possible in our two opening games. The Japanese ambushed us and we paid the price.

                Comment


                  #83
                  Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post

                  Agree about the mistake of fielding an unchanged pack, I think the necessary changes in the backs (at least as Joe saw them) meant the pack would stay the same. Hindsight is wonderful, but many here wanted more rotation against Japan, at least it wasn’t made even worse by injury. Hopefully Thursday will pass off with a decent win, and no damage. The challenge then will be to select a side for Samoa which doesn’t ruin any chance we have in the QF.
                  To be honest I didn’t buy Joe’s excuse about the changes in the backs meaning the pack had to stay the same. Two of the changes were Earls and Kearney coming in - not exactly a couple of kids who needed to be minded - and Farrell is no babe in arms either.

                  Out of our hands now but as long as he doesn’t field too many front liners in the Samoa game, we’ll give the QF a good rattle, whomever we face.

                  Comment


                    #84
                    Originally posted by lawrence View Post
                    Make it the least entertaining game that was ever played if needs be.
                    Business as usual

                    Comment


                      #85
                      Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                      11 changes from the starting team last day, including an almost entirely new pack, and a new 9, 10 and 12. They’ve no reason to be tired and they need a decent hit out before Thursday.

                      The mistake was fielding an unchanged pack against Japan. This is fine IMO.
                      If we had fielded a changed pack and still lost, people would be saying we should've respected Japan by starting our best pack.

                      If our forwards can't perform in back to back games, with a weeks recovery in between, then they're not good enough.

                      Comment


                        #86
                        Originally posted by kahalui View Post

                        If we had fielded a changed pack and still lost, people would be saying we should've respected Japan by starting our best pack.

                        If our forwards can't perform in back to back games, with a weeks recovery in between, then they're not good enough.
                        And they might not be good enough- especially in those conditions.

                        Comment


                          #87
                          Originally posted by kahalui View Post

                          If we had fielded a changed pack and still lost, people would be saying we should've respected Japan by starting our best pack.

                          If our forwards can't perform in back to back games, with a weeks recovery in between, then they're not good enough.
                          Ah kahalui, it was game two of a possible 7... Rory is 37, Killer is on fire, and so on, humidity, Japan play like a hurricane and were aided it seems and let. RWCs are about 31 man squads, not 1st XVs.
                          I don't get it. But fair fs to Japan.
                          Last edited by ustix; 1st-October-2019, 21:16.
                          Gwan Joe!!

                          Comment


                            #88
                            Originally posted by ustix View Post

                            Ah kahalui, it was game two of a possible 7... Rory is 37, Killer is on fire, and so on, humidity, Japan play like a hurricane and were aided it seems and let. RWCs are about 31 man squads, not 1st XVs.
                            I don't get it. But fair fs to Japan.
                            It wasn't me who picked the team, Ustix. Joe was always going to rotate for the Russia and Samoa games.
                            I don't know if selecting the same forwards was the right approach or not. We might have been on the receiving end of an even worse beating, had the starting pack been different. No one knows. Fresh Subs came on in the second half and didn't seem to add much energy/intensity, we got worse as the game went on.

                            Either way, a highly ranked team like Ireland should be able to put in back to back performances. Aside from a couple of players, teams like NZ or SA wouldn't be rotating their starting 23s for the QFs/SFs/Final.

                            We constantly hear about the importance of 1st XV cohesion and the need for players to get sufficient game time before they can hit their stride, so I imagine that was part of Joe's thinking, that and Japan being a much tougher opponent than Russia or Samoa.

                            Comment


                              #89
                              Originally posted by Munsterboy View Post

                              I expect a big performance in the QF. If we face SA we may win it, if it’s NZ I think it’s unlikely, but who knows?

                              With regard to Joe, he’s a great coach but his Achilles heel has always been his conservatism, particularly in selection, and it is what has once again bitten him in the arse.

                              He spent four years building depth but he always had a fixed first XV in mind and he played as many of them as possible in our two opening games. The Japanese ambushed us and we paid the price.
                              Nail on head. He has brought players through but only when there is an injury and then he reverts to type. I was wondering with the Sexton captaincy whether this could mean he is open about dropping Best for a key game...but that would go against his instinct.

                              Of some of the key men:

                              kearney continues to have questions over his defence and running into people not space but did look good in the Wales warm-up game. But will we get beyond a quarter final with Kearney? Perhaps we will see Carbery there against Samoa?

                              Henshaw looked sharp against Wales but has been injured since he arrived. If he cannot play against Samoa then surely Addison should be involved.

                              Stockdale looked lethargic in attack against Japan. Against Scotland he was a bit sharper.

                              ​​​​​​​Sexton is right now very injury Prone. Can he make it through a match let alone the rest of the tournament.

                              Murray looked good against Scotland with accurate box kicks and sharper in terms of distribution but against Japan he was ruck inspecting and slow distribution. But in his defence the pack did not make things easy for him in terms of presenting options. I think Cooney would have put more pressure on him. McGrath will not.

                              ​​​​​​​Furlong and Healy are both off form. Furlong looks a shadow of his 2017 and 2018 form where we was clearly world class. Not having the same impact and making silly errors. Healy does not look like he can break the gain line. Lots of effort but not the same impact. Both Killer and Porter looked better when they came on - brave decisions may be needed by JS here if we make a quarter final.

                              ​​​​​​​Best has been a mixed bag. he had a very good game against Scotland but was not great against Japan. The line out looked more assured with Cronin. Perhaps a selection error but the original selection had both POM and Sexton out so perhaps it came down to captaincy.

                              Ryan and Henderson looked very good against Scotland with both making big impacts. Not the same impact against

                              Stander looked very sharp against Wales and Scotland and looked like one of our better players against Japan in attach and defence. Conan going home means we have lost options in the back row but I am not worried about Stander.

                              ​​​​​​​POM has looked good in parts but also seems injury and concussion prone. Is he also in the cross hairs of refs?

                              I think VDF, Farrell, Ringrose, Conway, Earls and Larmour have all played reasonably well. Carty has been very good in parts (particularly the last 20 against Scotland and the first 20 against Japan) but is definitely behind Sexton and perhaps also Carbery.



                              Comment


                                #90
                                Very much agree with (most) of that- Joe must have been very very unimpressed by Devs form to have left him at home. While loyalty is an admirable quality in a person, leadership/management also requires a determination to get the best outcome for the role. For a long while (Zebo and some others aside) the loyalty and leadership fitted easily together for him, but no longer.

                                I wonder whether he feels the QF is all he can achieve with these players, and wants to give his guys the reward of being there at the end. Why upset players who have stuck by him and get no further? (Still doesn’t explain Dev). After Japan we will need someone with the determination and bloody mindedness to build a new side, I hope we have found that man.

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