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The quarter final thread

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    Originally posted by Mumhain View Post

    Where did I say that our pack wasn't stronger than their? I believe we should have a slight advantage in the pack, but not nearly as much as we did in November. Moody is a better scrummager than Karl Tu'inukuafe and they are clearly going to be a lot fresher than 12 months ago.
    Sorry. I misread. I thought you said rain gave advantage to the ABs. Mea culpa

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      Kearney is the secret weapon. His niceties and handsomeness will con Owens in to at least 3 decisions swayed. Larmour looks too much like that lad that asked for your other half's number when you were in the jacks.
      Last edited by redherring; 17th-October-2019, 09:15.
      He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.

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        Originally posted by redherring View Post
        Kearney is the secret weapon. His niceties and handsomeness will con Owens in to at least 3 decisions swayed. Larmour looks too much like that lad that asked for your bird's number when you were in the jacks.
        Somehow I think that might not be so much of an issue for Nigel!
        Tis but a scratch.

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          I know we can beat them, i think we can beat them, i hope we can beat them but..
          Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

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            Bore the Blix to lunacy with 10 man rugby and Jonty (decapitated and on on leg) to sneak a drop goal at the death for a 3-0?

            Joe is far too cunning for this earth.

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              On form I’d have Larmour at 15 and Conway or Farrell on the bench. Henshaw is lucky enough to be starting at 12 but I guess he and Ringrose at least know each other well.

              Just think we may lack a bit of unpredictability that will be required to beat them this time around.

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                Compare and contrast ... New Zealand name strong team from embarrassment of riches for Ireland

                The last time New Zealand failed to score a try was against Ireland in Dublin last November, but only two of the backs who started that day will line up in the same positions when the two sides meet in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final here.

                The New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen, who like his opposite number Joe Schmidt is standing down after the tournament – meaning one of them is preparing for his final game in charge – has picked a relatively inexperienced back division with five players having little more than half the caps of the All Blacks’ captain Kieran Read between them.

                For Ireland, Rob Kearney has fended off the challenge of Jordan Larmour to start. Full-back Kearney missed Ireland’s 47-5 thrashing over Samoa having failed to train fully in the week leading up to that seven-try win in Fukuoka.

                Leinster’s Larmour impressed against the Samoans as Ireland sealed the bonus-point win required to book their place in the last eight. But now head coach Joe Schmidt has restored 94-cap Kearney to what amounts to Ireland’s strongest starting XV, barring the suspended Bundee Aki.

                Schmidt admitted it was a tight call to select Kearney ahead of Larmour. “Yeah, there were probably half a dozen reasonably tight selection decisions,” said Schmidt. (I bet there were Joe!!) “And you weigh up the experiences, previous performances against other opposition. You can’t guarantee you’ve got any decision right until the game is completed.”

                Garry Ringrose returns at outside centre with Robbie Henshaw stepping inside to No 12 to offset the absence of Aki, who was sent off against Samoa. Peter O’Mahony slots in ahead of Tadhg Beirne at blindside flanker, with Rory Best captaining the side in an unchanged tight five.

                For New Zealand, the scrum-half Aaron Smith and the centre Jack Goodhue are the only starting backs who survive from Dublin while Beauden Barrett, who started at full-back that evening before switching to full-back when Richie Mo’unga came off the bench in the second-half, will wear the 15 jersey.

                “We were in the good position of having all 31 players to consider,” said Hansen. “It was a case of having more players good enough to start than leave out. The likes of Ryan Crotty and Ben Smith are not in the 23, but that does not mean it will be the case in the next game, if we get to that stage.

                “I am really comfortable with the group we have gone with. I am not thinking that it may be my last match with the All Blacks. That is not important and it is something to reflect on only when our tournament is over. All I am focused on is an important international against a good side.”

                Hansen has picked Brodie Retallick even though the second row has only had 30 minutes of rugby this tournament. “He will go for as long as we want him to,” said the coach. “He has a big motor and there are no question marks about his fitness. And we have Scott Barrett on the bench, a very good player.”

                Ireland have never won a World Cup quarter-final while New Zealand’s last defeat in the tournament was at this stage 12 years ago when they were beaten by the then-hosts France in Cardiff.

                “Ireland are probably feeling it is their turn to win one,” said Hansen. “That does not guarantee they will. I bumped into Andy Farrell [Ireland’s defence coach] on Wednesday and we talked about the fact that one of us will be going home after the match.

                “It is the cold reality at this stage of a World Cup. Ireland know what it is like to go home at this stage, as I do, and they will be doing their darnedest to ensure it does not happen again. So will we. I just hope that it is an exciting game of rugby that is not affected by cards and that at the end of it no one has any excuses, taking defeat on the chin.”

                The match will be refereed by Welshman Nigel Owens, the most experienced official in the tournament. “We will have to watch out for his sense of humour because he is pretty good with one-liners,” said Hansen. “He has his idiosyncrasies, but we know him, as do Ireland. What I like about him is that over the years he has shown himself to be good under pressure. I would not want anyone else.”

                New Zealand were stifled by Ireland’s rush defence in Dublin, but they have picked a team to run here with George Bridge and Sevu Reece on the wings, Goodhue and Anton Leinert-Brown in the midfield, prompted by the attacking axis of Mo’unga and Barrett.

                “We may not be the most experienced backline, but I would not say we are raw when you look at what we have achieved in Super Rugby,” said Bridge. “We have come through some pretty big games together and we just want to go out there and perform. We know Ireland like to kick a lot but we are confident of winning the aerial battle.”

                Like Hansen, it could be Read’s final match for the All Blacks as he is moving to Japan at the end of the tournament. “That’s not on my mind,” Read said. “I am just really excited to be playing in a World Cup knock-out again. We have a lot of respect for Ireland and we have to make sure we have learned the lessons from our two defeats to them in the last few years.”
                Tis but a scratch.

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                  Joe is going back to the tried and trusted, the guys who delivered for him that elusive AB win. And ABs are going with their best, and their form players. We are hoping for a last hurrah, a one-off raging against the dying of the light. In many cases we dont have better players for guys whose form has dipped, in others we dont trust the form players. Beauty of sport is we dont know who will win, but The AB pundits predicting a 10-15 point win sound right.

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                      Kearney wouldn't be in Japan if Joe wasn't planning on starting him for this game.

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                        England drop Ford for quarter final , Slade to the centre and farrell to 10. Not the first time an England coach plays it safe once it ones to business end of a tournament . Thought Eddie Jone was different tbh .

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                            Is it crazy to think it could be planned for Kearney to pull up during the warm up to slide Conway onto the bench and Larmour to 15 without NZ having prepared a kicking strategy to exploit him?

                            I know Schmidt is a big fan of Rob but hes clearly been toying with the idea of replacing him for the last couple of seasons and Larmours performances in this world cup has surely given him that opportunity while Rob had a shocker against Japan. It's a bit beyond belief that we're still playing this guy, especially when performing poorly.

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                              "Yeah, there were probably half a dozen reasonably tight selection decisions," said the head coach. "And you weigh up the experiences, previous performances against other opposition. [and go safe with all half dozen]
                              "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

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                                I think the Kearney thing has been done to death over the last few years, and although he isn't the player he was 10 years ago (probably the best fullback in the world - albeit with different criteria and kicking more highly prized) he hasn't gotten any worse over the last 3/4, so the reasons to pick him remain mostly the same.

                                He fields very well (even if not the force he was) kicks well and takes the ball up reliably, rarely turning it over (I know, I know!), but none of that matters. Can't find the article that covered it, but basically he is there because he covers the space so well that we don't have to drop an additional winger back to field kicks like most teams do. That may be even more important against the all blacks.

                                As against that, the clamour for Larmour is based around things he 'might' do. Unfortunately the All Blacks are more than adept at defending against elusive backs, especially if the team hasn't be trained/configured to support the aforementioned back.

                                Like it or not Kearney is the only reasonable option at this stage.

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