Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

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Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by kingelderfield on Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

With England's form bubble well and truly burst by the recent Euro match ups and their injury list resulting in a fracture to the squads integrity, it now has to be obvious that the better top down Irish organisation places them in pole position.
You're only as good as your last game and anyone who honestly analysed our win over Ozy knows much luck was expended that day, but realistically the game was considerably closer than score board suggested.
In the bigger picture the envelope of our current development has been reached and changes will result during and after this tournament. Hartley will fall as will others and our over reliance on forward domination above the ability to attack with pace and skill from deep and wide out. Brown will go and the backs will be challenged to deliver and lead our structure.
The dominance of Saracens has been the bell weather to this English revival and now, as is obvious to all, they like England are in transition to be able to progress and challenge further.
So the Irish will have this tournament, but if EJ knows his onions he'll allow bruised bodies to mend and will take an A/B squad away this summer and then start a fresh and beat the AB's in the autumn.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by marty2086 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:19 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Injuries will of course add in yet more uncertainty but a win for Ireland at Twickenham will involve a monumental effort.

Personally I think it may come down to Englands front row, Cole and Hartley are out of form. If Eddie is right about Hartley being a different player for England then it might not be too bad but Cole is short of his best too

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by eirebilly on Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:36 pm

lostinwales wrote:Over the last couple of years only 2 teams have beaten the AB's and one England. The common factor is of course Ireland.

However they are not (yet) consistent, hence their place in the world rankings below the top two teams. I'd be very concerned playing them for a GS in Ireland but it is going to be at Twickenham instead.


This is it 100%. Consistency has been the curse of Irish rugby for the last 10-15 years (excluding 2009 which was very much a one off year and a couple of Schmidt's years in charge when they won the 6N). Ireland are the new 'On their day' team, capable to beat anyone but also just as capable to lose to anyone.

Sure weren't Ireland the favourites for the 6N after their victory over the AB's and the very close return match but look what happened. 1 solid performance in the last game against England and a dodgy ref situation in the Wales - France game and Ireland may have only just finished above Italy.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by theslosty on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:55 pm

In my opinion this Class of 2018 is the best group of players Ireland have had in at least a decade and I'd be asking questions of Schmidt if we didn't achieve at least 4 wins out of 5. First up France in Paris should not be taken lightly, but win there and I back us to put away Italy, Wales and Scotland in Dublin.
Will be underdogs going to Twickenham but it would be the big one-off game our players seem to relish.
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:05 pm

theslosty wrote:In my opinion this Class of 2018 is the best group of players Ireland have had in at least a decade and I'd be asking questions of Schmidt if we didn't achieve at least 4 wins out of 5. First up France in Paris should not be taken lightly, but win there and I back us to put away Italy, Wales and Scotland in Dublin.
Will be underdogs going to Twickenham but it would be the big one-off game our players seem to relish.

Very debateable

Bowe, BOD, Ferris, POC, Wallace were all better players than their equivalent in the current team and most of the others are, easily, comparable

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by theslosty on Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:46 pm

yes Bowe, BOD, POC would walk into the current team but as great as Ferris and Wallace were we're not exactly lacking in the back row. On the other hand, Healy/McGrath, Furlong, Henderson, Murray and Sexton would significantly improve the 2009 GS side. The strength in depth is like nothing we've had before and the age profile of the current crop looks healthy too.

P.S. Ulster aside, the provinces look like the strongest they've been since Schmidt took over the Irish gig. I know provincial success doesn't always translate over to the international arena but it's still a reason for cautious optimism methinks.
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by TJ on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:09 pm

theslosty do Ireland have the firepower to outscore Scotland? You score 4 we score 5? You are going to have to get 25pts plus to beat us ( well if we still have a front row by then)

I have to say that could be the game of the series. England will try to strangle and bully scotland and it might work but could be dull to watch as the scottish rapier blunts itself on the english reinforced concrete wall. I think the scotland / ireland game could be the most entertaining of the series and will be close.

You may bave the best team for a decade, we have our best team since 1990

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:15 pm

Eventually you'll have to start giving england their due. We ve got a great backline

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by EWT Spoons on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:18 pm

If Ireland score 4 then some serious questions need to be asked!

Not sure I agree Ireland will need to score 25+ points to beat Scotland, I think that is just setting us up for a fall. I fully expect to lose in Dublin as Ireland have a very good side just now and whilst our team is as you say the best since 1990, that is a very very low bar considering some of the players who have played for Scotland during that time.

I think/hope it'll be a close game, I just think in Dublin Ireland will get the better of us.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by doctor_grey on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:23 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Eventually you'll have to start giving england their due. We ve got a great backline
Well, I do agree that Lewsey, Robinson, Cohen, Tindall, Greenwood, and Wilkinson do have the makings of a pretty good attacking side.......................

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by theslosty on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:25 pm

TJ
I've huge admiration for how Scotland are playing at the moment and I can only wish Ireland played in the same way. However we are unbeaten at home in the 6N under Schmidt and think we will have enough of an edge over Scotland up front to contain their backline. By the way, we have scored over 25 points in 4 of our past 5 games against Scotland Wink

But if Glasgow win away at Leinster this Sunday I'll reconsider Very Happy
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Quite doctor. Age old problem.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by lostinwales on Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Eventually you'll have to start giving england their due. We ve got a great backline

It will be like the Oz games. Wonderful side to side attacking play from the Scots, mostly making zero yardage followed by a blink and you'll miss it England score - cue rapsodies about Scottish backline talent and another win for the English

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:33 pm

Well...Let's hope.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by Collapse2005 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
theslosty wrote:In my opinion this Class of 2018 is the best group of players Ireland have had in at least a decade and I'd be asking questions of Schmidt if we didn't achieve at least 4 wins out of 5. First up France in Paris should not be taken lightly, but win there and I back us to put away Italy, Wales and Scotland in Dublin.
Will be underdogs going to Twickenham but it would be the big one-off game our players seem to relish.

Very debateable

Bowe, BOD, Ferris, POC, Wallace were all better players than their equivalent in the current team and most of the others are, easily, comparable

Murray, Sexton, the whole front row, all better now. SOB is better that Wallace. Bench is better.

Overall the Ireland squad is better now.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by TJ on Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:11 am

Sorry - should have put a winky emoticon in - I was teasing / jesting
It will be like the Oz games.

What - you mean Scotland win by a bucketful? While England struggle?   Very Happy thats how the aus games panned out this Autumn ;-)


that is a very very low bar considering some of the players who have played for Scotland during that time.
accepted.  its been a generation of dross. bar 2000

I am by no means confident Scotland will beat Ireland. Ireland at home are hard to beat for sure and losing now 9 first choice front row players weakens Scotland immensely.  By the ireland game will we have any pro props left to play?

Teasing really and as I said for me thats the game of the 6n for the neutral.  My prediction is no grand slam, england first, ireland second and Scotland third.  If we had had all our props fit I would be confident but I think we are likely to get such a hammering up front that we will be introuble

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by TJ on Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:13 am

Actually thinking about it what happens if Scotland run out of Scotland qualified pro props? Can't play a semi pro player. Would scotland have to default?

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by nlpnlp on Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:02 am

There will be loads of Scottish qualified props in England/New Zealand/Australia/South Africa/etc due to grand parents who would jump at the chance to get an International opportunity. So open the prosecco and relax the world will not stop turning if Zander Fagerson pulls a groin muscle having a leek.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by lostinwales on Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:48 am

TJ wrote:Sorry - should have put a winky emoticon in - I was teasing / jesting
It will be like the Oz games.

What - you mean Scotland win by a bucketful? While England struggle?   Very Happy   thats how the aus games panned out this Autumn ;-)

....


Just implying that the current Scotland team is (mostly) lightweight and like running the ball. England is a heavy weight team that likes to counterattack. It is not quite rock paper scissors but you get the idea. That's the problem we have with Ireland - who are more of a grinding machine. They are a better kind of team to take us on.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by carpet baboon on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:38 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
theslosty wrote:In my opinion this Class of 2018 is the best group of players Ireland have had in at least a decade and I'd be asking questions of Schmidt if we didn't achieve at least 4 wins out of 5. First up France in Paris should not be taken lightly, but win there and I back us to put away Italy, Wales and Scotland in Dublin.
Will be underdogs going to Twickenham but it would be the big one-off game our players seem to relish.

Very debateable

Bowe, BOD, Ferris, POC, Wallace were all better players than their equivalent in the current team and most of the others are, easily, comparable

Murray, Sexton, the whole front row, all better now. SOB is better that Wallace. Bench is better.

Overall the Ireland squad is better now.

Well I think SOB is a great player but better than Wallace? That is up for debate.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by eirebilly on Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Very close between SOB and Wallace, cant say if anyone could truly see 1 better than the other.

Sexton and ROG, same again. Very different types of players and I would not claim one as better than the other. Likewise Murray and Stringer, people often forget just how good Stringer was.

All in all, I think there is no basis to say that the current Irish side is better than the team a decade ago.

Just as an edit, you could probably say the head coach is the major difference in the performances of the Irish team. I have never made it a secret that I believed that EOS was the best Irish head coach for me.
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by profitius on Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:15 pm

The difference of Ireland between now and then is squad depth. We've great depth now while back then there was none besides the backrow. When a player got injured there was a big step down to the replacement and as we know, there are always a few injuries. POC, BOD, Ferris etc had periods out through injury.


When comparing generations you also have to look at the opposition because there are so few tier 1 countries. Australia, SA and France are not as strong as they were. Teams like Wales, Scotland and England are stronger. So its no surprise that France were Ireland's party spoilers for much of the noughties. I'm sure Eddie O'Sullivan still has nightmares starring Vincent Clerc.


The 6 nations is shaping up to be a very unpredictable competition. Unpredictable is good. Predictable is bad, as the rugby championship has found out. I played superbru for the rugby championship and even though I got 10/12 results correct (the other 2 games were draws), I only made the top 40% of predictors!!
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by mid_gen on Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:26 pm

edit - wrong thread

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by the-goon on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:11 pm

Murray and Sexton are in the top 2 in world in their position, Stringer and ROG are quality internationals, but never hit those levels. Stringer wouldn't have made most 6N teams during his career. Hence no Lions selections.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:19 pm

The only thing Stringer lacked was height...in all other respects, he was a player's 9. He drove both the Munster and Irish forwards like a herd of obedient horses in front of him and could cut a ball out faster than Murray is ever likely to manage. Stringer knew when to drive and knew when to take it out and run it; always birdlike in his alertness - a conductor.

All he lacked was that size thing that seems to be all the rage in Rugby fashion circles these days Wink

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by eirebilly on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:30 pm

the-goon wrote:Murray and Sexton are in the top 2 in world in their position, Stringer and ROG are quality internationals, but never hit those levels. Stringer wouldn't have made most 6N teams during his career. Hence no Lions selections.  

Considering the fact that in his generation ROG was directly competing with Dan Carter and Johnny Wilkinson as the best 10 in the world. I do not think that is a fair statement to make. ROG has 400 odd more points (at a higher average per game than Sexton) at international level than Sexton and is the 4th highest point scorer of all time (behind the afore mentioned and Neil Jenkins) so to say he was only a quality international is a bit poor in my mind.

Stringer was a master of the old style 9's and really does not get the credit he deserves for some quarters.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:39 pm

I'd agree with billy.  Sexton and Murray are fine players but I feel they are operating in a period where there is less assuredness in both departments from their opponent sides.  ROG was operating in a bit of a Golden Age (*cough*) of rugby with Giants of the game playing (and they were giants for a reason based on their exploits)
ROG could drop a ball on a dine and into a corner high enough to make it a lethal throw-in defence for the the opposition...and he was a much more metronomic place kicker than Sexton, who can still have his wobbly periods in front of posts.
Sexton plays a harder game, a more attacking game and a faster one - and is much more involved in the heroically defending game than ROG could muster, but they are both men that I wouldn't separate as one being master and the other envious looker-on.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by eirebilly on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:46 pm

Exactly Fly, I would not say one is better than the other. Both different types of players who bring different aspects to the Irish game.
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by the-goon on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:41 am

ROG couldn't get ahead of Stephen Jones even when ROG was in his prime, nevermind Larkham, Wilko and Carter.

Sexton is a better defender, runner and passer. He will be rightfully regarded as a better player than ROG.

As for Stringer, he never would have got selected for Wales, Scotland, England or France for most of his career. Did some great things, but let's be real.

All 4 are greats, Murray and Sexton are greater.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:44 am

Laugh

Yes...let's verily, say I, be real.

Neither ROG nor Stringer is Welsh.  Why the obsession with Wales and who they pick?  Their coach was let go by Ireland. So Ireland wouldn't pick the coach that then wouldn't pick O'Gara? Nice maths.
If Schmidt had been Lions coach, and more Irish players were involved as units, the Lions would'a won the last series against the mighty All Blacks.  Not many people will claim that for want of diplomacy but I don't care much for diplomacy and will...for reality's sake. Wink
But what difference does it make?  Schmidt wasn't coach and Gatland was and what happened happened. Lions didn't get Joe.

Just look at ROG's record when compared to Stephen Jones.... and that's only their International records.... doesn't include the record of the Most Influential Player of the First 15 years of European Cup Rugby, when Jones got in his rest periods......

Yes, Goon...let's be real... Hug

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by rodders on Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:38 am

Honestly I think Ireland could win this 6N handily enough but hope Schmidt focuses on the RWC preparations for 2019.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by lostinwales on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:25 pm

rodders wrote:Honestly I think Ireland could win this 6N handily enough but hope Schmidt focuses on the RWC preparations for 2019.


That's a good excuse if ever I saw one.

If you do put together a decent performance against France while we limp to what will be portrayed as an empty win against Italy you will be portrayed as massive favourites for the 6N.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by eirebilly on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:39 pm

the-goon wrote:ROG couldn't get ahead of Stephen Jones even when ROG was in his prime, nevermind Larkham, Wilko and Carter.

Sexton is a better defender, runner and passer. He will be rightfully regarded as a better player than ROG.

As for Stringer, he never would have got selected for Wales, Scotland, England or France for most of his career. Did some great things, but let's be real.

All 4 are greats, Murray and Sexton are greater.

Not sure if I should take this seriously or not...

Sexton the better defender, yes but he also gets injured a lot due to his technique. ROG was not great but was no speed bump either.
Sexton a Better runner, I would say Sexton has the edge on ROG as a runner but ROG did have a good eye for a gap and great players like D'Arcy and BOD profited hugely from that.
Sexton the better passer, very very debateable. I honestly think they are/were both very good.
ROG the better kicker, 100% yes both tactically and from the tee. Not that Sexton is a mug but not on par with ROG
ROG the better controller of in game situations, I would say yes on that as well.

All in all, as I said earlier, I do not see that much between them to say who was the better 10.
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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:53 pm

lostinwales wrote:
rodders wrote:Honestly I think Ireland could win this 6N handily enough but hope Schmidt focuses on the RWC preparations for 2019.


That's a good excuse if ever I saw one.

If you do put together a decent performance against France while we limp to what will be portrayed as an empty win against Italy you will be portrayed as massive favourites for the 6N.

Yeah but sure...no but sure...yeah but...no but....sure won't you lads have the excuse that the 6N is just inconsequential prepping for the All Blacks later in the year? We all got ourselves the excuses. Just look at Wales. They have the excuse that they still have the most successful International coach in Europe at their helm. And Rome weeps at that one 'coz they got bloomin' O'Shea!

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:25 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
theslosty wrote:In my opinion this Class of 2018 is the best group of players Ireland have had in at least a decade and I'd be asking questions of Schmidt if we didn't achieve at least 4 wins out of 5. First up France in Paris should not be taken lightly, but win there and I back us to put away Italy, Wales and Scotland in Dublin.
Will be underdogs going to Twickenham but it would be the big one-off game our players seem to relish.

Very debateable

Bowe, BOD, Ferris, POC, Wallace were all better players than their equivalent in the current team and most of the others are, easily, comparable

Murray, Sexton, the whole front row, all better now. SOB is better that Wallace. Bench is better.

Overall the Ireland squad is better now.

Well I think SOB is a great player but better than Wallace? That is up for debate.

More strings to SOBs bow. Excellent both in the loose and at the breakdown, whereas Wallace was known mainly for his prowess and strength with ball in hand and often criticised for not being a pilferer. That said both are really top quality players.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:31 pm

eirebilly wrote:
the-goon wrote:ROG couldn't get ahead of Stephen Jones even when ROG was in his prime, nevermind Larkham, Wilko and Carter.

Sexton is a better defender, runner and passer. He will be rightfully regarded as a better player than ROG.

As for Stringer, he never would have got selected for Wales, Scotland, England or France for most of his career. Did some great things, but let's be real.

All 4 are greats, Murray and Sexton are greater.

Not sure if I should take this seriously or not...

Sexton the better defender, yes but he also gets injured a lot due to his technique. ROG was not great but was no speed bump either.
Sexton a Better runner, I would say Sexton has the edge on ROG as a runner but ROG did have a good eye for a gap and great players like D'Arcy and BOD profited hugely from that.
Sexton the better passer, very very debateable. I honestly think they are/were both very good.
ROG the better kicker, 100% yes both tactically and from the tee. Not that Sexton is a mug but not on par with ROG
ROG the better controller of in game situations, I would say yes on that as well.

All in all, as I said earlier, I do not see that much between them to say who was the better 10.

I suggest that is because you are biased.

Sexton has achieved things that Rog has not:

Scored 28 points in a Heineken cup final. Second highest total ever by a player.
Nominated for world player of the year.
Two times Lions test starting OH.
Twice on winning sides v NZ.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:32 pm

It would be Wallace for me.  Robust but to my mind always a much more cool and calculating operator than SOB is.  SOB sometimes lets his emotions ride with him as 'shotgun' too often...and that can lead to, and has led to two things off and on .... the sin bin and injury.

So SOB is a cannon and a dangerous one but the constant scowl of 'ready-to-be-enforcer' in his demeanor highlights him in the opposition's mind as someone to hassle and annoy.

Again, separating them is tough but for me, if forced to choose a player in my team, I go for ultra cool/quiet but highly driven Wallace.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by rodders on Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:13 pm

lostinwales wrote:
rodders wrote:Honestly I think Ireland could win this 6N handily enough but hope Schmidt focuses on the RWC preparations for 2019.


That's a good excuse if ever I saw one.

If you do put together a decent performance against France while we limp to what will be portrayed as an empty win against Italy you will be portrayed as massive favourites for the 6N.

Sorry what I meant is, I believe we'll still win it (probably with a GS) just not as handily as we would if we were actually focusing on it.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by SecretFly on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:36 pm

Laugh

That's what you call a Rodderism...

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

Post by Artful_Dodger on Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:32 pm



Ireland's odds have significantly shortened, so to have Scotland's.

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Re: Ireland are the form favourites for the 6Nations

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