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2020 Guinness 6 Nations

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    #76
    Originally posted by dropkick View Post
    “It’s a tremendous group,” said Farrell of his squad. “It’s dynamic, it’s powerful, it’s aggressive, it’s got a lot of skill, it’s got a lot of speed in there as well and we want to see all of those.”


    Dynamic, powerful, aggressive, speed, skill.
    It looks like he has a clear picture of what he wants to do. Looks like he wants to speed up the way the team plays.


    Ruddock and Scannell are not the fastest players so might not suit his gameplan.
    Interesting point - MCloskey, while not slow, isn't renowned for pace either. Mind you, it makes Cronins omission all the more surprising.

    Comment


      #77
      Could everyone please calm down? There are some ridiculously emotional posts here. If you want some perspective watch the OTB interview with Stephen Ferris. Very balanced view on selection policies in general.

      Whatever happens in the backrow it will be illuminating one way or the other. For example if POM is at 6 CJ at 8 then VdF will probably be at 7. Then we will get to see how POM and CJ perform when there is a specialist openside of international standard playing with them something that hasn't happened at Munster for a while. If on the other hand he selects a fresh looking backrow or say, puts CJ at 6 then we will be able to compare. Until that happens though we are all talking nonsense. I just want to get on and support my country who will be wearing green not blue or red.
      "They’re the benchmark that everyone else has to raise their game to meet." Alan Quinlan on Leinster

      Comment


        #78
        Originally posted by Daithi View Post
        I actually agree with the basic idea that when selecting your squad you start with the Leinster 23 and then add/or substitute from the Ulster & Munster , & finally connaught teams top make up your squad.

        You also of course take account of previous international form, most especially the past 18 months say, as that indicates a player's potential ability at the higher level for you.

        Finally of course you allow for Munster playing the likes of Sarries & Racing who are really top class sides full of internationals.

        On that basis imho Earl's, Conway, Murray, Stander, POM, N Scannell & Kilcoyne are straight into any international squad for me, Farrell also, and even after that players like J Ryan, could be good picks also.

        People giving out about POM 's form must be watching different games to me, he was outstanding in Paris last weekend and has been by & large excellent in a losing team which ain't easy.

        Ireland will struggle at this 6Ns imho, but I hope I'm proved wrong.

        P.s. perhaps if they can beat the Scots, and steal a win at home against a Welsh side under a new coaching regime, Ireland can manage a half decent return, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

        P.p.s. the only things im now interested in watching are Leinster hopefully winning in Europe, Munster manfully trying to win their Pro14 conference (& thus earn some revenue & get a better draw for next season's champions cup) and maybe Ireland outperform way ahead of my expectations. Of those 3, I'd be most confident of the first one.
        POM has the same that Rob Kearney had. He doesn't do the most visible thing associated with his position particularly well (not the most important, just the most visible). In POMs case ball-carrying, and in Robs case elusive running. They both had plenty of other attributes that made successive coaches pick them at club and country, but there is always the feeling that there should be someone better, who can do what they do, plus that one visible thing.

        With a Sean O'Brien type player at 7, POM is a perfect 6, but if playing a JvdF type player, the back row unfortunately starts to look unbalanced.

        Edit : offshorerules I don't think it's an effective openside he needs it's more ball carrying in the forwards (I'm also not sure VdF is the complete openside anyway - he links and tackles very well, but not as good as Leavy at slowing opposition ball and turnovers)
        Last edited by blueberry; 16th-January-2020, 12:17.

        Comment


          #79
          The danger of the Andy Farrell era is that he might be moderately successful this season and next and get his contract extended. Ireland should beat Scotland and Italy and they have a good chance against Wales and France. Farrell has gone for continuity with Schmidt's squad, while Galthie and Pivac are rebuilding. Then next year, wins over Scotland, Italy and France should be achievable. Two seasons with three wins each would probably be enough for him to be kept on, especially if the losses were fairly close.

          Comment


            #80
            It will be interesting to see Farrell's strategy after this season, where three home victories should be achieveable, with a shot at France realistic too.

            We have a lot to be thankful for to Joe Schmidt who has gotten some genuine monkeys off the Ireland/IRFU back: beating NZ (at last), getting to No 1 in the WR rankings (and realising that it doesn't mean anything if it's only by a tiny margin), winning a SH tour, as well as making regular 6 Nations championships to be a realistic expectation.

            I believe this means that Ireland can have the confidence over the next few years to pick sides on form, rotating realistically those positions where there is plenty of talent (e.g. back row), make mistakes in the interests of the longer term and use SH tours to blood new players (not just USA/Japan/Canada trips).

            It would ideal to enter the 2023 RWC tournament with a team in form, lots of competition for places, and with several players whose best days are still ahead of them.

            It's a good time for Farrell to become coach, especially as Schmidt, unfortunately, finished on a big downer. But Joe has handed the gig over in good shape with plenty of scope for Farrell to continue Ireland's successful years.
            "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
            Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

            Comment


              #81
              Blackw,
              I agree JS was an excellent coach overall, but he hasn't handed over the Irish international squad in good shape at all imho . Ireland were awful all the way through 2019, not just at the RWC. Their gameplan, selections, lack of rotation and tactics were all poor all the way thru 2019.

              The new coach now has to reuse, recycle & renew (if you'll forgive the pun) to try to revitalise a waning squad that haven't been picked on form for over a year. Then he has top get them playing a gameplan that will work for this squad. It will take a good few games imho. Farrell seems a top bloke, I really like the way he conducts himself, but his is not an easy job to excel in imho, especially since he himself was part of the previous regime also.

              with England & Wales so good at RWC19, & even France improving visibly, Ireland could be looking at a lean few years unless they get their level of performance back up to proper top 6 in the world performances @ international level.

              It hasn't been near there for a year now ....

              I.e 2019 low lights: beaten badly by England at home, awful away in Cardiff, annihilated in Twickenham, beaten by Japan at the RWC, (Japan ffs) , wholly unimpressive against the minnows at the RWC, and finally absolutely obliterated versus New Zealand .....

              It doesn't get much worse than that tbh. I sincerely hope the only way is up!!
              Last edited by Daithi; 16th-January-2020, 14:20.
              ____________________________________________
              Munster were great when they were Munster.

              alas they are just north munster now.......
              ____________________________________________

              Comment


                #82
                Originally posted by Dowlinz View Post

                First choice? He makes an occasional cameo every few months, he hasn't even played in the Pro 14 this season.
                They're kicking the **** out of teams with Byne at 10, They don't miss Sexton much at all. Would they have beat Lyon by even more at the weekend had johnny been playing ? He is what he is, an Ireland player who occasionally shows up in blue. No other country would have this situation going on with a guy of his age and injury profile.

                Comment


                  #83
                  Originally posted by blueberry View Post

                  POM has the same that Rob Kearney had. He doesn't do the most visible thing associated with his position particularly well (not the most important, just the most visible). In POMs case ball-carrying, and in Robs case elusive running. They both had plenty of other attributes that made successive coaches pick them at club and country, but there is always the feeling that there should be someone better, who can do what they do, plus that one visible thing.

                  With a Sean O'Brien type player at 7, POM is a perfect 6, but if playing a JvdF type player, the back row unfortunately starts to look unbalanced.

                  Edit : offshorerules I don't think it's an effective openside he needs it's more ball carrying in the forwards (I'm also not sure VdF is the complete openside anyway - he links and tackles very well, but not as good as Leavy at slowing opposition ball and turnovers)
                  If Ireland want to play a more expansive game, and apparently they do, then VdF (in the absence of Leavy) has to start at 7. His recent form has been outstanding. He is fast, abrasive and has a great engine. If the Ireland backrow looks unbalanced, then the balance should be addressed by tinkering with 6 and 8, and leaving him in place. At the moment, I would say VdF should be a nailed on starter.
                  Erse end of nowhere

                  Comment


                    #84
                    Originally posted by offshorerules View Post
                    Could everyone please calm down? There are some ridiculously emotional posts here. If you want some perspective watch the OTB interview with Stephen Ferris. Very balanced view on selection policies in general.

                    Whatever happens in the backrow it will be illuminating one way or the other. For example if POM is at 6 CJ at 8 then VdF will probably be at 7. Then we will get to see how POM and CJ perform when there is a specialist openside of international standard playing with them something that hasn't happened at Munster for a while. If on the other hand he selects a fresh looking backrow or say, puts CJ at 6 then we will be able to compare. Until that happens though we are all talking nonsense. I just want to get on and support my country who will be wearing green not blue or red.
                    You’d swear POM and CJ hadn’t played with VDF plenty of times, like when we beat the ABs in 2018 and they were phenomenal as a unit. There’s no mystery to it.

                    A pack of Killer, Kelleher, Furlong, Ryan, Henderson, POM, VdF, CJ gives you a great mix of carrying, breakdown and set piece ability.

                    Or put Deegan in at 8, with CJ at 6 and POM at 7, much like the RWC warm up against Wales.

                    Comment


                      #85
                      Originally posted by Mumhain View Post
                      The Good:
                      1. O’Donoghue’s form rewarded.
                      2. Injection of youth (Deegan, Doris and O’Toole).
                      3. Viable counter-attacker in the 15 jersey.

                      The Bad:
                      1. None of the hookers selected are particularly good at throwing.
                      2. Sexton is currently injured and hard to have a lot of confidence in Byrne (Didn’t look ready 5 months ago) or Burns (Unproven in International rugby).
                      3. McCloskey winning Ulster’s player of the year and continuing his good form, without being rewarded.
                      How is Kelleher? To me this is a big deal. Herring and Heffernan look like guys who are good in the loose but mediocre at the lineout. Scannell not great here either but I think he is slightly more reliable than those 2. And lineout wobbles is why Cronin never became a starter.

                      Comment


                        #86
                        Originally posted by Daithi View Post
                        Blackw,
                        I agree JS was an excellent coach overall, but he hasn't handed over the Irish international squad in good shape at all imho . Ireland were awful all the way through 2019, not just at the RWC. Their gameplan, selections, lack of rotation and tactics were all poor all the way thru 2019.
                        I wasn't clear - I meant that Farrell has inherited a set-up (not necessarily the team) that has had lots of monkeys lifted off its back, and that setting his goals for the four years (I hope he gets it) is somewhat simpler as a result. Form should recover.

                        "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
                        Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

                        Comment


                          #87
                          Hope to see horses for courses selections this year with genuine experimentation – lets try both Larmour and Conway at 15. Trust Cooney to start against someone other than Italy. Get Marmian back in. Blood Gibson park. Tell Dillane you’re in for two games, relax and see how you go. Swop the starting and finishing props between games, not much between the 4 starters. For me its VDF + in the back row, he is the first name there, if Ireland are going to a faster running and offloading game he will be even more prominent. POM looks flat to me, doesn’t strike me as enjoying his rugby at the moment. Don’t put him in the match 23 for the first 2 games. Let him recover, let the bitterness build and then unleash him on the English. I’d like to see Ireland playing heads up rugby when the opportunity presents itself, rather than religiously following a plan.
                          Personally think people are over rating Wales, they did get further in the RWC but that was thanks to Agent Vahaamahina. France stay at 15 in the quarter final they win it at a canter, it took the Welsh 20/25 minutes to make the man advantage count. No more than JS Warren has left a huge hole behind him and Pivac also has big shoes to fill. I’d be much more concerned about the French getting their act together under a decent coach and the English than the Welsh this season. France England on the first weekend should decide the winner, see it finishing as follows
                          1 France
                          2 England
                          3 Ireland
                          4 Scotland
                          5 Wales
                          6 Italy

                          Comment


                            #88
                            Originally posted by HenryFitz View Post
                            The danger of the Andy Farrell era is that he might be moderately successful this season and next and get his contract extended. Ireland should beat Scotland and Italy and they have a good chance against Wales and France. Farrell has gone for continuity with Schmidt's squad, while Galthie and Pivac are rebuilding. Then next year, wins over Scotland, Italy and France should be achievable. Two seasons with three wins each would probably be enough for him to be kept on, especially if the losses were fairly close.
                            Would we be better off forfeiting the points against England until 2022 or do we need to show up to claim the moolah?
                            Gwan Joe!!

                            Comment


                              #89
                              Originally posted by LongtimeLurker View Post
                              Hope to see horses for courses selections this year with genuine experimentation – lets try both Larmour and Conway at 15. Trust Cooney to start against someone other than Italy. Get Marmian back in. Blood Gibson park. Tell Dillane you’re in for two games, relax and see how you go. Swop the starting and finishing props between games, not much between the 4 starters. For me its VDF + in the back row, he is the first name there, if Ireland are going to a faster running and offloading game he will be even more prominent. POM looks flat to me, doesn’t strike me as enjoying his rugby at the moment. Don’t put him in the match 23 for the first 2 games. Let him recover, let the bitterness build and then unleash him on the English. I’d like to see Ireland playing heads up rugby when the opportunity presents itself, rather than religiously following a plan.
                              Personally think people are over rating Wales, they did get further in the RWC but that was thanks to Agent Vahaamahina. France stay at 15 in the quarter final they win it at a canter, it took the Welsh 20/25 minutes to make the man advantage count. No more than JS Warren has left a huge hole behind him and Pivac also has big shoes to fill. I’d be much more concerned about the French getting their act together under a decent coach and the English than the Welsh this season. France England on the first weekend should decide the winner, see it finishing as follows
                              1 France
                              2 England
                              3 Ireland
                              4 Scotland
                              5 Wales
                              6 Italy
                              I don't see it with France this season; they're bringing through a ton of youngsters; 19 out of 42 in the squad are uncapped. Maybe most of those guys are just there to be in the environment and gain valuable experience that way, but I don't think so. They have a lot of good young capped talent, and they're looking to a home WC in 2023 so I have a feeling that this year and next they will be getting all these young guys as much experience as they possibly can, trying different combinations and encouraging competition for places; appearing very unsettled at times, but doing so with an eye to the long term rather than the short.

                              Comment


                                #90
                                Originally posted by Yatenga View Post

                                How is Kelleher? To me this is a big deal. Herring and Heffernan look like guys who are good in the loose but mediocre at the lineout. Scannell not great here either but I think he is slightly more reliable than those 2. And lineout wobbles is why Cronin never became a starter.
                                Kelleher has been solid in the line out all season for Leinster .....but and it’s a big but......he’s in his first full season of professional rugby and he hasn’t had a long time to get familiar with the Ireland calls or jumpers. He’s also recovering from a broken hand 5 weeks ago hardly a recipe for stable line out throwing. (He is physically up to the task of test match rugby however).

                                That’s why I say if we play Kelleher in any game we have to have the 2 best line out operators on the island starting with him - Toner and O Mahoney. Likewise if we’re starting Ross Byrne any games we have to have Murray inside him to bed him in. If it’s Cooney starting we need Sexton outside him.

                                This isn’t the PRO14 where Leinster can throw 8 or 9 young recruits into the deep end and come out with a win - it’s testmatch rugby and experienced heads are needed to bed in the youngsters. The only if to that equation is if we play Italy Farrell can throw all the youngsters in together.

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