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So how will Ireland do in the 2015 6N?

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    #16
    1st or fourth.
    Nulla semper amicus, servivit mihi, in iniuriam mihi neminem quem non persolvi

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      #17
      Top of the pile, as we were last Spring and in the Autumn, last year and this. It's a pattern of Joe's.
      Go Joe, Gwan the Green.
      Last edited by ustix; 3rd-February-2015, 16:03.
      Gwan Joe!!

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        #18
        Originally posted by Dowlinz View Post
        Joe is on a different planet to the rest of them with only England capable of getting anywhere near us and their injuries and playing away from home isn't favourable. Nobody is able to compete with his set phase and selection has been largely irrelevant during his tenure as the main playing requirement is being able to follow instruction. 5/5 Grand Slam.

        Provincial form wouldn't worry me as the only teams leaving us behind (Toulon, Clermont) are reliant on world class SH mercenaries to do so. We're still going toe to toe with the best teams in England and the rest of France despite having our three best teams being managed by very poor head coaches.
        Munster were hammered by Saracens and Leinster couldn't beat Wasps.

        Hardly going toe to toe. Neither side brimming with imports either.
        I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

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          #19
          I am in two minds.

          Unlike Dowlinz part of me is concerned about how physically inferior we have looked in comparison to the English and French sides and indeed how badly second we came off against the Saxons. Connacht and Munster both lost their R.5 encounters because they couldn't, physically, match their opponents in the tight exchanges. Ulster and Leinster also both struggled up front at different times in their European Campaigns as well.

          We are likely going to have a fairly green Marty Moore starting TH with a worryingly ageing Mike Ross (on the evidence so far) on the bench. McGrath is still quite inexperienced, ditto James Cronin, and the distance Best is ahead of Cronin, despite his propensity for the yips, is also something not to overlook. In the 'row you'd back POC to come good...he always does, right? Toner will let nobody down and is a great weapon in the lineouts so, fingers crossed, no fears there. That is, except, POC is not getting any younger and his propensity to bring 'manic' levels of aggression and performance is there for all to see he'll need managed well. The backrow is another area for mild concern. Last season's Championship was built on an outstanding backrow unit performance. Each man did the job he was tasked with excellently. Arguably it was our best, collective, backrow performance since the Slam and I don't believe that is an exageration. Yes we had O'Brien against McCaw in the second test down in NZ that we nearly pinched as perhaps the outstanding individual performance of that intervening period but as a collective last season's backrow set a pretty high bench mark. O'Brien is incredibly undercooked, thats not his fault but we need him up to speed and quickly. He's a different, more athletic, player to Henry but who will pick up the work Henry did? Will that fall to Heaslip or O'Mahoney?

          I have no issue with the backs, if the forwards provide ball schmidt has a template in place to facilitate success.

          The big issue is that Schmidt has, sort of, got us playing like the AB's. As others have alluded to he is drilling down to the Nth degree on the things we can actually control and making sure we are individually and collectively excellent at these. We are not going to surprise anyone with some unorthodox Aussie/Gallic style attack but equally we will be bloody hard to break down with an without the ball. People analyse the AB's, people analysed Schmidt's Leinster but few people got the better of him in their pomp. People rarely get the better of the AB's either no matter how much video footage they have.

          Italy is obviously the first hurdle to mount. A victory is paramount, a comprehensive one ideal, no injuries a must. The loss to Italy in Rome was a nightmare result at the end of a nightmare-ish 18-24 months for Irish Rugby. It was an anomalous result in the scheme of things and it probably just about summed up where we are at that stage. Clueless rugby, decimated by injury, it was just a bloody horrible campaign. I'm not having a pop at Kidney, but it was clear by that Italy game, his time had come. I expect us to take them on up front and come out on top and I expect some fairly basic backplay as well, unless something out of the ordinary is indeed required.

          France are a rabble, we can say 'you never know what french side will turn up' which is undoubtedly true but that causes more problems for themselves than us IMO. Excellent structure will beat individual brilliance 9/10 during the 6N and provided we can put their big carriers down they will struggle to break us down.

          England, and so to Wales, are probably my biggest worries of the campaign. The English pack, decimated by injury as it may be, will still be growling when they come to LR. They'll scrum and maul all day long and we need to be prepared for that. Sarries, Leicester and Quins have all done number's on the province's physically this season and our pack is where they will target us. Their backs, in theory, should be a cause for concern but I can't see them being able to move away from Farrell-centric 10 man rugby quickly enough to get a cohesive backline going. Talented and all as George Ford is I expect he will be feeling the pressure in a WC year and you'd want every Irish defender making that painfully worse for him.

          Wales' big units in the midfield and back three will, as always, cause a head-ache for Kiss but we shut them down quite well in LR last season and I would expect something similar albeit with a bit of tinkering. Hard to know how the pack will deliver, we will have a much better idea of where we are after Friday night as that will be an absolute stonking game to open the Championship with.

          Scotland are in the Italy realm, the ability to upset if taken lightly but we should have enough to overcome.

          The ball is very much in Schmidt's court. His results, like Deccie's in 2009, have allowed him the lee-way to do really whatsoever he wants however he wants. He knows full well it is results that he will be judged on and I am sure he will have a few new tricks up his sleeve this year.

          I am looking forward and I am relatively optimistic. I would hope the focus is solely on the 6N rather than some fanciful apiration to a RWC semi or some such. Look after the results in the here and now and the RWC will take care of itself. We've traditionally be abysmal at RWC's so surpassing winning our group or an outside shot at a semi-final would be great and all but hardly something to get a hard on about.

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            #20
            Originally posted by The Outlaw View Post
            Munster were hammered by Saracens and Leinster couldn't beat Wasps.

            Hardly going toe to toe. Neither side brimming with imports either.
            Away games. Munster were 5-5 against Saracens over two legs, Leinster 6-3 against Wasps and Ulster 6-4 over Leicester. Toulon, Clermont and maybe Racing Metro are the only teams on a different level to the provinces, all with a very strong SH presence.

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              #21
              Originally posted by Dowlinz View Post
              Away games. Munster were 5-5 against Saracens over two legs, Leinster 6-3 against Wasps and Ulster 6-4 over Leicester. Toulon, Clermont and maybe Racing Metro are the only teams on a different level to the provinces, all with a very strong SH presence.

              Thats the 5th or 6th post from Dowlinz over recent days that's been quite correct . . . . . . . .



              Its happening since the last site update . . . . .somethings going on . . . . . .

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                #22
                Originally posted by Corcíoch View Post
                Thats the 5th or 6th post from Dowlinz over recent days that's been quite correct . . . . . . . .



                Its happening since the last site update . . . . .somethings going on . . . . . .
                I think everything's gonna work out.
                Gwan Joe!!

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                  #23
                  A lot must boil down to the scrum. If we dont front up there then Wales England and France will beat us.
                  If we get at least parity in the scrum, sexton back, (and on form), and with henderson, (lets hope he starts the big ones), sob and healy carrying, then the likes of henshaw luke zebo and earls will destroy teams.

                  Personally I don't think all that will happen and I expect us to lose at least 2 games. Hope not!
                  So I walked as day was dawning
                  Where small birds sang and leaves were falling
                  Where we once watched the row boats landing
                  By the broad majestic shannon

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                    #24
                    I like what RHH has said but if England or France find themselves two scores up on us with 20 mins to go I'm not sure we will overcome that. Joe's coaching ensures everything is very controlled, but not overly inventive or creative in terms of breaking down defences. It relies on maximum contraction and capitalization on opposition errors and that is in itself highly effective; we just aren't a team to play flashy rugby or catch up rugby IMHO.

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                      #25
                      A big improvement on last season should be the center. Henshaw and Payne are a big improvement on mid 30s BOD and D'Arcy. That was where England and France attacked Ireland and got on the front foot at will.

                      Marty Moore could be another key man. He has passed out Ross for Leinster and looks impressive for a young prop. He should start with Ross or White covering.


                      Ireland should beat Scotland and Italy away although they might be closer than expected. The France game is massive considering they're in Irelands world cup pool and they've traditionally had a hoodoo over us. So thats the most vital match to win IMO. England are a big, solid team and there probably won't be much in that match either. Ireland did a number on Wales last season and since Wales don't change their style much I think its another game Ireland will win. Also by the time Ireland play Wales I think they'll have picked up a few injuries to their thin squad.

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                        #26
                        Couldn't find the GIF but here's a 40 second youtube of Schmidtball in full flight. Conor Murray also shows why he's the best 9 in this hemisphere as well, dummy, step AND hollywood pass to Trimble. Gotta say its a fantastic try


                        I am the million man.

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                          #27
                          if Ireland can stay unbeaten until heaslip and sexton get back to fitness and sob/Henderson hit their stride you'll win the lot.

                          You have the best coach, the best half backs, the best bench (with England injury issues)

                          I fancy Wales second, England 3rd ,France 4th, Scotland 5th,Italy Wooden spooners

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by JB1973 View Post
                            if Ireland can stay unbeaten until heaslip and sexton get back to fitness and sob/Henderson hit their stride you'll win the lot.

                            You have the best coach, the best half backs, the best bench (with England injury issues)

                            I fancy Wales second, England 3rd ,France 4th, Scotland 5th,Italy Wooden spooners
                            France won't be 4th imo.

                            This is a RWC year . . .they have a good side selected for the opening match. It could well be that last year was used to chop and change and look at different ideas before getting down to brass tacks this year. Thats my own theory anyway.

                            I suppose we'll know soon enough

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                              #29
                              Reckon Wales will take stopping @ 3/1 for the championship with England & Ireland at home. France only God knows what they will come up with, might be no harm for Ireland to have an average championship (3/5) as going into a World Cup over hyped has never worked for them before. Wales v England will hopefully set the championship off with a cracker.
                              \"There\'s only 1 Dougie Howlett, only 1 Dougie Howlett, drinking in bars, dancing on cars, walking in a Dougie wonderland!!!\"

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by Corcíoch View Post
                                France won't be 4th imo.

                                This is a RWC year . . .they have a good side selected for the opening match. It could well be that last year was used to chop and change and look at different ideas before getting down to brass tacks this year. Thats my own theory anyway.

                                I suppose we'll know soon enough

                                I can't see france winning in Dublin or London, I think we can take them on the road as well.

                                One of the weaker French front 5's I can recall, not a PSA fan I can see them struggling.

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