Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

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Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Pot Hale on 20/10/2018, 03:09

First topic message reminder :

Italy 3 Nov - Chicago - Ireland 54-7
Argentina 10 Nov Dublin - 28-17
New Zealand 17 Nov Dublin 16-9
USA 24 Nov Dublin - 52-14

November Total - 150-47

Frontrowers
Rory Best 112 (c)
Rob Herring 6
Sean Cronin 63
Niall Scannell 10

Tadhg Furlong 26
Andrew Porter 9
John Ryan 15

Finlay Bealham 8
Cian Healy 81
Dave Kilcoyne 23
Jack McGrath 51


Locks
Tadhg Beirne 3
Iain Henderson 40 USA
Quinn Roux 7
James Ryan 11
Devin Toner 61

Backrowers

Dan Leavy 10
Josh van der Flier 11
Jordi Murphy 23
Sean O’Brien 51
Peter O’Mahony 50 (vc)
Rhys Ruddock 20
Jack Conan 10
CJ Stander 26


Scrumhalves
John Cooney 3
Kieran Marmion 22
Luke McGrath 6

10s
Jonathan Sexton 76 (vc)
Ross Byrne 2
Joey Carbery 14

Centres
Garry Ringrose 15
Robbie Henshaw 36
Will Addison 2
Bundee Aki 10
Sam Arnold 1
Stuart McCloskey 3

Back three
Andrew Conway 8
Keith Earls 70
Rob Kearney 86
Jordan Larmour 7
Jacob Stockdale 12
Darren Sweetnam 3



Last edited by Pot Hale on 25/11/2018, 13:08; edited 14 times in total
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 19/11/2018, 11:59

And Earls, another great game from him 1-23 you could make the case.

Toner I just thought was monstrous, the best second row on the field and given who the others were that is some statement.

A lot of talk about him making way for Beirne, not anytime soon on that display.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Collapse2005 on 19/11/2018, 12:00

rodders wrote:And Earls, another great game from him 1-23 you could make the case.

Toner I just thought was monstrous, the best second row on the field and given who the others were that is some statement.  

A lot of talk about him making way for Beirne, not anytime soon on that display.

I agree he was the best second row on display although Ryan was immense too. Retallick was very quiet by contrast.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 12:10

For the biggest games, Toner is proving to be undroppable.  That's a little scary and needs to be rectified between now and the WC.  Not so sure that there is a sufficient patch.

Ryan truly is becoming a beast, despite his deceptively light boned look.  He'll fill out a bit more, just like Toner did.

But Toner........... in his earlier years nobody saw that guy emerging into the player he is today.  Like I said earlier somewhere, his team mates breathe a sigh of relief when he's there.  You can sense an inner calm in the side - they believe they can get their strategies going when he's there.  

Dangerous reliance.  Alternatives have to start offering a real safe other option.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Brendan on 19/11/2018, 12:49

Reason NZ have maintained is that they don't care what you have done but what you are doing. It is the job of the 2 and 3rd players for the spots to start putting on pressure because the 1 choice players have stood up

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 13:03

Brendan wrote:Reason NZ have maintained is that they don't care what you have done but what you are doing.  It is the job of the 2 and 3rd players for the spots to start putting on pressure because the 1 choice players have stood up

OK

It's not enough to try to play fancy against the lesser sides these 2nd/3rd choices play against either.  

They have to show the abilities that will lead to the first side.  In short, that's always down to energy sapping contributions at the dirtier ends of the game.  I think to a degree Larmour is learning those lessons fast.  He won't be able to play a club game at International.  He'll get moments but mostly the coaches will admire a determination to get more physical/putting body on the line -defence/breakdown bloodymindedness.

So even against the USA - they have to be tortured with a sustained tempo of ruthlessness, not just in trying to score tries but in dominating the collisions.  That's the kind of rugby that Joe Schmidt and his fellow coaches will be looking for - genuine bravery and preparedness for the hard stuff.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 19/11/2018, 13:27

SecretFly wrote:For the biggest games, Toner is proving to be undroppable.  That's a little scary and needs to be rectified between now and the WC.  Not so sure that there is a sufficient patch.

I'm not so sure about that. I think Schmidt has a lot of confidence in that trio of Henderson, Ryan and Toner and when all are fit they'll be in 23, its just a question of which 2 start and who closes out the game. I do think Schmidt rates Roux pretty highly and Beirne's motm display seems a distant memory, so Ireland are well stocked in that area.

In fact what this series has highlighted is the 2 most vital players are Sexton and Kearney, even Murray is not as indispensable as was feared. Schmidt really needs to work on the back up options at 10 and 15 over the next year.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 13:49

Sexton and Kearney this month.  Maybe Kearney and Murray during the 6N.  Who knows who it'll be during the WC.  The indispensables shift with time until the next game without them proves they are not as needed as we thought.

Perhaps the same is true of Toner.  But I'm still not bought on the idea that I'd be as assured in the very biggest games with him missing.... ie, not even on the bench to bring some go forward structure back if we're suffering.  
Hensderson is in a bit of a dip in my mind.  Looks cowed and unsure of himself.  Perhaps just building into a more ruthless frame of mind next year.... but for now, Toner is the real deal.  The ABs is the kind of game where a player with his considered limits might be expected to suffer - high pace and aggressive physicality.  Toner looked very comfortable.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 13:56

Criticism time (might as well, as we've exhausted the plaudits window)

Ireland COULD have been much more effective in attack.  Let themselves down a number of times in messy over-extending and missed passes.

Attack needs a lot of fine tuning to allow such Herculean physical efforts to be better rewarded when we close in on the opposition try line.  

Bang, bang is good but needs extra options to keep the opposition on their toes and spread out the defensive lines.  We seldom try a few long passes to panic the lines.  We should work on stretching more.  Kicking when we know we have a penalty coming is not exactly the kind of stuff I mean.  Have to back ourselves to be more creative along the opposition tryline.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Biltong on 19/11/2018, 14:04

SecretFly wrote:Criticism time (might as well, as we've exhausted the plaudits window)

Ireland COULD have been much more effective in attack.  Let themselves down a number of times in messy over-extending and missed passes.

Attack needs a lot of fine tuning to allow such Herculean physical efforts to be better rewarded when we close in on the opposition try line.  

Bang, bang is good but needs extra options to keep the opposition on their toes and spread out the defensive lines.  We seldom try a few long passes to panic the lines.  We should work on stretching more.  Kicking when we know we have a penalty coming is not exactly the kind of stuff I mean.  Have to back ourselves to be more creative along the opposition tryline.

That is true for any team really, but it is easier said than done.

That  game ws played at a frenetic pace, hard to keep errors to a minimum, which I thought in all honesty Ireland executed most things well.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 14:15

Biltong wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Criticism time (might as well, as we've exhausted the plaudits window)

Ireland COULD have been much more effective in attack.  Let themselves down a number of times in messy over-extending and missed passes.

Attack needs a lot of fine tuning to allow such Herculean physical efforts to be better rewarded when we close in on the opposition try line.  

Bang, bang is good but needs extra options to keep the opposition on their toes and spread out the defensive lines.  We seldom try a few long passes to panic the lines.  We should work on stretching more.  Kicking when we know we have a penalty coming is not exactly the kind of stuff I mean.  Have to back ourselves to be more creative along the opposition tryline.

That is true for any team really, but it is easier said than done.

That  game ws played at a frenetic pace, hard to keep errors to a minimum, which I thought in all honesty Ireland executed most things well.

The good stuff from Ireland is that the ABs didn't really have those periods right up against our tryline causing us to panic.  That was a big statement and required a lot of concentration yes.  And the mind fries under that intensity yes.  But still, ABs up against our line for extended periods would have seen them concoct something.  

Ireland need to work a bit more on having more subtlety there.  Nobody is claiming any of it is easy... but its certainly not easy walking away with maybe 3 points or nothing after some really hard work expended on getting so close.  Nope, I think we waste some good opportunities to back ourselves with some longer passes.  All risk of course, but so is trying to kick over a tall guy's head! Wink

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by The Great Aukster on 19/11/2018, 14:31

rodders wrote:In fact what this series has highlighted is the 2 most vital players are Sexton and Kearney, even Murray is not as indispensable as was feared. Schmidt really needs to work on the back up options at 10 and 15 over the next year.

Behind Sexton is Carbery and he is improving as his exposure at 10 continues. I would expect him to start one of the 6N games and wouldn't expect him to let Ireland down. Byrne is also more than a competent stand-in so Sexton's indispensability is akin to that of Murray - there is only really a major problem if both of them are absent.

Kearney is vital in the air, just as Folau is vital to Australia in the air. That security is crucial against the best teams and it is Kearney's defence that makes him the fullback of choice. Joe doesn't rely on individual attacking brilliance from fullback but he does rely on solid game-reading defence. In that regard Kearney is imperious and I agree indispensible, until someone else starts ticking more boxes.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by TightHEAD on 19/11/2018, 14:38

6 nations is going to be interesting. 2nd Leprechaun and 3rd Wales best teams in the world going head to head.

I just don't know who to put my money on?????

Hmm?
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 15:18

The Great Aukster wrote:Schmidt wouldn't be a good fit for NZ. They have too many players and he would be constantly having to reset his individual programmes as ones he had invested in, left to make their fortunes in Europe.

Schmidt wouldn't be a good fit for England either as they have so many players, the coach never gets to stick with any individual long enough before they are undermined by the short termist media trumpeting the latest MOTM from the previous weekend.

Joe is about the long haul, developing a team from a very limited group of players, hence his success at Ireland. His challenge and skill is to turn sow's ears into silk purses - a rare aptitude and one that neither NZ nor England need (nor the Lions for that matter). Of course if Joe wanted to take the glory and the money, no one in Ireland would begrudge him in the slightest - he is already a legend.

Agree with the individual programme thing. Our AB coaches meet often with the Super rugby coaches and players and let them know what players need to work on to crack the next level, so its frustrating when players take that on then at some point, perhaps when theyre either told, or feel theyre not yet there, move north.

So much investment is made in individuals only to be wasted in terms of their potential in NZ.

And I doubt either Schmidt nor Gatland would get paid more here as assistants than they would where they are now.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 15:21

TightHEAD wrote:6 nations is going to be interesting. 2nd  Leprechaun and 3rd  Wales  best teams in the world going head to head.

I just don't know who to put my money on?????

Hmm?

Looking through my Russian hack version of Joe Schmidt's future plans:

Hmmmm....give me a sec.... I know it's here somewhere.....

Yes, here it is.  We're going to let Wales beat us in the 6N.  It's a two pronged attack.  

1. To take the pressure off us
2. To let the Welsh burn themselves out on the glory of being 2nd in the build up to the WC.

Incidentally, Wales play more like the All Blacks than the All Blacks do! Shocked   So.......... does that mean an easier or a harder game for Ireland, given Ireland's main objective in recent years is creating a plan to beat the ABs?  I'm still pondering the imponderables on that one Cool

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 19/11/2018, 15:23

TightHEAD wrote:6 nations is going to be interesting. 2nd  Leprechaun and 3rd  Wales  best teams in the world going head to head.

I just don't know who to put my money on?????

Hmm?

Traditionally Wales do poorly in a RWC year as Gatland likes to flog his players hard during the 6N to prepare them for the RWC.

By contrast Ireland have tended to have very strong 6N campaigns before the RWC only to self destruct at the tournament itself.

I actually think, and aukster alluded to it, Joe might rotate a bit more during the 6N to get players like Carbury, Larmour, Beirne and Porter as much experience as he can, whilst still aiming to win the competition.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 15:39

Biltong wrote:
SecretFly wrote:You can talk up the specialness of Hansen all you like - but it is true that he's more a figurehead who has a lot of talent to select from both in terms of players, coaching assistants and all the other people who collect around a successful International side (analysts, medics etc).  New Zealand have been at the top of the heap for so long that it's quite obvious they too would have all the best behind the scenes underlings who know the 'science' of the game better than anyone on the planet.

Hansen I'm sure is a good coach, but I'm also sure he's more of a director than a man creating all the detail of all the fantastic stuff the ABs are known for doing on the field.

In short, I honestly don't know what any 'external' coach can give to a side that already has everything working like clockwork with joined up thinking deciding everything that happens on a virtual minute by minute basis.  This is the true power of New Zealand rugby, the background meticulousness of the processes that keep innovation going and that keeps producing the special sides and players.  It's a factory system.  So yeah, ABs don't need a coach like Schmidt or Gatland - promoting from within won't upset the machine at all.

So the big question is the others - the outsiders, the other International sides that are on the heels of NZ.  It's all about them and their processes.  

So NZ aren't so much concerned that a Nation like Ireland has a potent coach or coaches that they want their hands on.  The real issue for NZ is that these coaches are not just aiding their teams directly to play better on the day, they more importantly have the instincts and knowledge to change the very processes of player production to produce a better 'product' on a continuous basis.  
Joe Schmidt has been central in changing the very fabric of rugby production.  His role has established a change of emphasis - no longer does Ireland try to find and produce a handful of 'special' players to carry ordinary companions.  Now Ireland realises that you can't keep waiting on 'Golden Generations' to appear once every 15 or 20 years.  You have to have that joined up thinking all the way from school to International... form and create the players you need.  Don't accept that you might not unearth them.  Make it a factory process.  

Now I'm not claiming Joe did or is doing all that on his own.  The IRFU are a very smart outfit of people and Nucifora is doing his bit behind the scenes too.  But it's obvious that Joe Schmidt's fingerprints are all over the more connected processes that are the true development within the Irish Rugby Union systems.

So NZ, if they want Joe Schmidt back at all, they perhaps want him for probably different, more hidden, reasons.  He's better back home not assisting any other Nations efforts to hone their background development processes/thoughts.  All is fair in love an war.  

Yup, that is pretty much it.

Build a system and structure that encompasses it all from talent identification and development at school level, right through to international level. Plus the odd classy foreigner Wink

Yes well said both. Thing about Schmidt is he just needs to do want he wants to do and its up to whoever to accommodate that. Im not fussed whether he comes back or not. Success overseas isnt the measure of success here. In the end they have to be able to work with things NZ rugby.

Presently Joe, Gatland, Foster, Rennie, Cotter and Robertson could all take the AB position up at some point as theyve had various success at some point.

Fly you might see Hansen as a Director but for me hes the most innovative selector NZ has ever had. Hes consistently stuck his record on the line by backing our depth and bringing players through far quicker than any others would, here or overseas, and has a player management record second to none. Insisted on long sabbaticals to both preserve players like McCaw and Carter so they would have been right World cup time and worked hard with Super rugby coaches to get the best out of players, insisting this year that every All Black miss two Super rugby matches they would otherwise play.

He also backs talent, Barrett and DMac wouldnt have got half the tests they have in the north due to their propensity to make errors, but Barrett alone has won more tests from an individual perspective than any other player playing now. No single player has altered the path of a match more often than barrett. We look for what players can do, not what they cant, though defence is a non negotiable. Every individual must be able to tackle. Barrett talk ages to learn that and is now defensively one of our best.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 15:48

Brendan wrote:Reason NZ have maintained is that they don't care what you have done but what you are doing.  It is the job of the 2 and 3rd players for the spots to start putting on pressure because the 1 choice players have stood up

Thats true, its critical the next level are putting pressure on thise in the starting position but AB culture is all encompassing. Barrett will work with Both Mo’unga and DMac to get the best out of them. Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara work closely as start and sub because its all about the team success. The subs and wider squad have just as much importance to how the overall squad develops and plays. Although they might privately be yearning for the chance, when they get it theyre ready because theyve done the collaborative, inclusive work, and they have the full support of those theyre replacing.

Not ideal for some, and players like Sapoaga, who was heavily involved for several seasons, decided he didnt want tgat role anymore. Crudens another and the ability to squeeze better money out of a playing career be omes paramount.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 15:55

SecretFly wrote:
Biltong wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Criticism time (might as well, as we've exhausted the plaudits window)

Ireland COULD have been much more effective in attack.  Let themselves down a number of times in messy over-extending and missed passes.

Attack needs a lot of fine tuning to allow such Herculean physical efforts to be better rewarded when we close in on the opposition try line.  

Bang, bang is good but needs extra options to keep the opposition on their toes and spread out the defensive lines.  We seldom try a few long passes to panic the lines.  We should work on stretching more.  Kicking when we know we have a penalty coming is not exactly the kind of stuff I mean.  Have to back ourselves to be more creative along the opposition tryline.

That is true for any team really, but it is easier said than done.

That  game ws played at a frenetic pace, hard to keep errors to a minimum, which I thought in all honesty Ireland executed most things well.

The good stuff from Ireland is that the ABs didn't really have those periods right up against our tryline causing us to panic.  That was a big statement and required a lot of concentration yes.  And the mind fries under that intensity yes.  But still, ABs up against our line for extended periods would have seen them concoct something.  

Ireland need to work a bit more on having more subtlety there.  Nobody is claiming any of it is easy... but its certainly not easy walking away with maybe 3 points or nothing after some really hard work expended on getting so close.  Nope, I think we waste some good opportunities to back ourselves with some longer passes.  All risk of course, but so is trying to kick over a tall guy's head! Wink

Yep, its all about finding and using space. Far easier to move the ball in places where there isnt any opposition. Ireland need to find multiple ways of scoring easier. They wont get to number one and stay there by having a reasonable set piece and great defence. In the end, you have to score more points, and over time, better to do that the easiest ways, not grind every tough match out like that one. Ireland needs an attacking coach that can complement Farrells defence. Presently they use the ball extremely inefficiently. Long, long periods for little gain.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 16:00

Taylorman wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
Biltong wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Criticism time (might as well, as we've exhausted the plaudits window)

Ireland COULD have been much more effective in attack.  Let themselves down a number of times in messy over-extending and missed passes.

Attack needs a lot of fine tuning to allow such Herculean physical efforts to be better rewarded when we close in on the opposition try line.  

Bang, bang is good but needs extra options to keep the opposition on their toes and spread out the defensive lines.  We seldom try a few long passes to panic the lines.  We should work on stretching more.  Kicking when we know we have a penalty coming is not exactly the kind of stuff I mean.  Have to back ourselves to be more creative along the opposition tryline.

That is true for any team really, but it is easier said than done.

That  game ws played at a frenetic pace, hard to keep errors to a minimum, which I thought in all honesty Ireland executed most things well.

The good stuff from Ireland is that the ABs didn't really have those periods right up against our tryline causing us to panic.  That was a big statement and required a lot of concentration yes.  And the mind fries under that intensity yes.  But still, ABs up against our line for extended periods would have seen them concoct something.  

Ireland need to work a bit more on having more subtlety there.  Nobody is claiming any of it is easy... but its certainly not easy walking away with maybe 3 points or nothing after some really hard work expended on getting so close.  Nope, I think we waste some good opportunities to back ourselves with some longer passes.  All risk of course, but so is trying to kick over a tall guy's head! Wink

Yep, its all about finding and using space. Far easier to move the ball in places where there isnt any opposition. Ireland need to find multiple ways of scoring easier. They wont get to number one and stay there by having a reasonable set piece and great defence. In the end, you have to score more points, and over time, better to do that the easiest ways, not grind every tough match out like that one. Ireland needs an attacking coach that can complement Farrells defence. Presently they use the ball extremely inefficiently. Long, long periods for little gain.

OK

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by TightHEAD on 19/11/2018, 16:05

NZ need a coach who can teach them the basics, like holding onto the ball and not slapping opposition ball away because they are under pressure. Wink
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 16:49

TightHEAD wrote:NZ need a coach who can teach them the basics, like holding onto the ball and not slapping opposition ball away because they are under pressure. Wink

Or perhaps one that doesnt dwell on one off matches, pinning a sides legacy on one result as some fans seem to.

Oh, sorry, weve got that already. As you were. thumbsup

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Collapse2005 on 19/11/2018, 17:10

Nice to get the win with Murray Henshaw and O'Brien missing. It will give guys like Marmion, Aki and VdF lots of confidence. Although VdF has a 100% record v NZ (2 from 2) so he probably doesnt need it.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Collapse2005 on 19/11/2018, 17:22

I presume the world player of the year will be announced after the matches on Saturday. I think at this stage it will be a bit of a head scratcher is Sexton doesn't get it. Lets see.

Presumably team of the year will go to Ireland and coach Schmidt.

The young South African winger will probably get the young player of the year and Scotland try of the year.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Collapse2005 on 19/11/2018, 18:52

James Ryan is probably the best second row in world rugby now. Not bad for a rookie.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Pot Hale on 19/11/2018, 19:11

All will be revealed in Monte Carlo on 25 November, unless they leak/announce before this.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 19:51

Pot Hale wrote:All will be revealed in Monte Carlo on 25 November, unless they leak/announce before this.

NZ to take a back seat this year for a change. good change others winning these. Next years the one you really want to be winning these titles.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Brendan on 19/11/2018, 22:35

So there seems to be lots of talk about NZ holding things back for the world cup and they are playing badly to not look so good.

Do most people on here believe that. I would understand if they were winning by 8 points but I can't believe the ABs would play poor in 4 games and scape a win in two and lose two on purpose because they don't want to show stuff. Surely beating teams into the ground is a better plan as you beat them mentally before they play.

All we hear is that the ABs expect to win every game etc. Are they basing it off of the fact that they lost the RC the year of the WC which is basically the warm up games. Not sure they have the same leaders they had in 2014/2015 who can drive them on.

2010 - lost to Aus by 2pt, beat Aus by 1pt, rest were 7+
2014 - lost to SA by 2pts, drew with Aus, beat Aus by 1pt, beat Eng by 3pts, beat SA by 4pts, rest 7+ (mccaw and Carter took sabiticals that would have resulted in disruption leading up to that season)
2018 - lost to Ire by 7pts, lost to SA by 2pts, beat Eng by 1pt, beat SA by 2pts, Simillar to 2014 but look a look alot more human in many games.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 23:07

Like everything in life, it's a bit of everything really.

I don't doubt that New Zealand will feel they have more in them when the real contests with real meaning begin.  They've already proven numerous times that they can mock weakness, play the lame duck from time to time and then explode when required with precision and ruthlessness.  You have options when you're so good to play a little on the edge.  
Now the edge is risky but look at Ireland against Argentina.  Was that real rust or was it a case of showing the ABs nothing?  Every side can do the little feints - they're risky but no way do all sides give 100% intensity in all their games.  They select their moments.  It's just that New Zealand are so good that they can play weak and still win most encounters.  Indeed, for a team so familiar with winning, it's probably the only game they can play to keep things interesting for themselves.

I'm not saying they are throwing games but yes, potentially they can choose to show little so as to ambush further down the line.  I'd always be cautious and always prepare to meet them at their very best even if visible signs of low form are present.

But also... another truth is that other Nations ARE improving.  It's inevitable after approx. 20 years of professionalism that other Nations gradually get their houses in order and begin competing more forcefully and consistently.  So why does a win against the ABs have to be bathed so deeply in the lingo of ABs underperforming?  Perhaps it's just become a more common occurrence for them to meet sides that give them a run for their money and perhaps stall their machine enough to make them look ordinary on occasion.

So I'd say it's a bit of both.  The ABs can act but neither are they always getting everything their own way in performance terms, in fitness terms, in stamina terms.  Even if we say this current ABs side is down a few notches from their best, the likelihood is that they'd still have cut loose and scored two or three late tries against us maybe two or three years ago.  (And maybe that serenity of belief in their endgame undone them against us - I keep remembering Barrett's laugh when he got the drop goal.  Things were relaxed - perhaps still felt they were going to punish us in that endgame)  
That they didn't is more a testament of a few other sides crawling slowly up a hill to meet them rather than them rolling down a hill towards us.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 23:16

Who knows, I guess time will tell. The one thing I think you can count on is they will be very well prepared when it comes to defending the title. The other thing is individually many are high wuality players.
Retallick for example doesnt go from a monster one week to a chump the nect. A managed year next year for the squad and the settling on a particular gameplan is now required.

I think players like Mo’unga now start the remaining matches while the regs get a break or the bench.

One thing is for sure,?writing the ABs off at this point is probably the dumbest thing one could do.

Ive no concerns whatsoever about the challenge ahead next year.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 19/11/2018, 23:26

Taylorman wrote:

One thing is for sure,?writing the ABs off at this point is probably the dumbest thing one could do.


I don't think there is a seasoned rugby observer on the planet who'd be that dumb, Taylor. Wink

To quote that great Celtic Warrior, POM: "They're not number one in the world for the craic."

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 23:34

Had the world cup been played this year its possible Ireland might have won it, and their challenge is putting together a robust away campaign, and performing past a quarterfinal. Their away results arent great against the tier one sides, having lost to 6 individual nations away since the last wcup. Remove their home record and its a bit average.

So challenges ahead for both sides and what weve learned the hard way is... only the world cup matters if you want to be the best.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 19/11/2018, 23:40

SecretFly wrote:
Taylorman wrote:

One thing is for sure,?writing the ABs off at this point is probably the dumbest thing one could do.


I don't think there is a seasoned rugby observer on the planet who'd be that dumb, Taylor. Wink

To quote that great Celtic Warrior, POM:  "They're not number one in the world for the craic."

I actually prefer it when theyre being picked on at this point in the cup cycle. Means more lessons to be learned, more stones to turn over, more drawing boatds to go back to. And 11 months to do all that. The perfect scenario for an underperforming team

Ireland may going into next year thinking... if even subconsciously... they can beat anyone.

Maybe they can, but thats an awful set of mindsets to try and coach. Losing at the right time and place has its advantages, particularly so for the ABs.

Hopefully they just relax now, get all the seconds out there, throw it around and soak it all in. Countdown to the defence starts in earnest in a few weeks.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Don Alfonso on 20/11/2018, 00:06

All Blacks aren't as good as they were a few years ago.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 20/11/2018, 00:11

Taylorman wrote:Had the world cup been played this year its possible Ireland might have won it, and their challenge is putting together a robust away campaign, and performing past a quarterfinal. Their away results arent great against the tier one sides, having lost to 6 individual nations away since the last wcup. Remove their home record and its a bit average.

So challenges ahead for both sides and what weve learned the hard way is... only the world cup matters if you want to be the best.

Yeah but...no but...yeah but....

Won a series down under in Aussieland this year (they're 6th). Won first game in SA against SA two years ago (currently 5th). Beat France in France this year (8th - but regularly Europe's most competitive WC entrant). Beat England in England this year (4th).

Gotta be worth a punt to say out records are improving and not just against the mighty ABs.

Thing about Ireland now is they truly could give an entire 6N campaign to a handful of players that didn't appear this AI season, and most of us here wouldn't feel the side was being weakened. You really need to realise how serious that development is. If I didn't honestly think that, I wouldn't say it. Five, six, seven players could change and I and many other Irish fans would still feel they'd have a good chance of playing hard enough to win another Championship. That's a seismic shift in player development structures for us to have the confidence to believe that.

Yep, we could still be knocked off both in the 6N and in the WC. Schidt happens. It doesn't really matter about the future as what can any of us really do about it anyway?
But we have real potential to have a good crack at both contests.

Exciting times and the fun thing is that I don't feel any of us are afraid of it. We used to be afraid. We often felt we were chancers lurking in and around the top five or six positions. Now we don't have those feelings. We feel we belong where we're at. It's not just International that has changed that mindset either. It exists in the European club game too. We don't accept the ideas of limitations for our Provinces or for the Nation. That's also an important mindset change. Confidence could be seen as something to be shy about lest it's proven a dream ..but if you accept it then it can also embellish the positives. There's a time when we won't be 2nd again. But we'll know that hard work and correct coaching choices can drive us up again. And we won't be afraid of believing we can go up again. You can't put the genie of experience back in the bottle.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 20/11/2018, 00:32

Yes the depth does look good and it showed in the test itself.

Ireland had second and third defences turning up when our guys got the initial breaks and that usually only happens when outer squad members are putting that much pressure on all the incumbants, that they lift their game in all areas, even areas they're not picked for...that's when you have real depth. Guys not ceding anything, anywhere that might see them either shown up or dropped, for any reason.

That's the feeling I got from the Irish performance, that theres a lot more behind this squad than those on game day.

We have significant depth as well. We had a virtual new squad vs Japan and had NZ Maoris taking on USA, Brazil and Chile (for some reason) all three playing tier 1, 2 etc tier sides at various times.

We also have a number of Super rugby and Mitre 10 players who 'may' figure next year, and all that doesnt count the 50 All Blacks playing in the NH, nor the Aki's, Anscombes, Maitland, Te'o (ooh look, one of each) etc playing club and test rugby.

Depth is still ok. After next years cup I expect another massive exodus.


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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Pie on 20/11/2018, 04:02

TightHEAD wrote:6 nations is going to be interesting. 2nd  Leprechaun and 3rd  Wales  best teams in the world going head to head.

I just don't know who to put my money on?????

Hmm?

Not England thats for sure baba

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 20/11/2018, 05:36

Ill go England in the 6N. Ireland lost the away Scotland and Wales matches last year and could do again so the first match up vs England in Dublin could be crucial.

Scotland are six straight wins at home 6N and Wales are 4, so definitely loseable matches, as both are better sides now.

Was just as impressed with England as Ireland, who will be ‘marked’ everywhere they go for the next 12 months.
Going to be fun watching them handle the top dog label over that period.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Brendan on 20/11/2018, 08:13

I hope for the 6 Nations Joe does a mixture of first and second choice players

So I would like to see a mix and match where every player starts one home and one away game each (preferably our third choice front row v Italy which is still strong)

So say Toner & Bernie v England
Henderson & Ryan v France
Toner & Ryan v Wales
Henderson & Bernie v Scotland

It allows us to see what balance we have in positions and how we will do if certain players get injured. If Henshaw is down to cover 15 at the world cup give him a game there (20 mins x 3 games). Do a few different backrow combinations to see balance. And we have to play one game besides Italy where Sexton doesn't start.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Brendan on 20/11/2018, 08:14

I hope for the 6 Nations Joe does a mixture of first and second choice players

So I would like to see a mix and match where every player starts one home and one away game each (preferably our third choice front row v Italy which is still strong)

So say Toner & Bernie v England
Henderson & Ryan v France
Toner & Ryan v Wales
Henderson & Bernie v Scotland

It allows us to see what balance we have in positions and how we will do if certain players get injured.  If Henshaw is down to cover 15 at the world cup give him a game there (20 mins x 3 games).  Do a few different backrow combinations to see balance.  And we have to play one game besides Italy where Sexton doesn't start.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 20/11/2018, 10:32

Taylorman wrote:Ill go England in the 6N. Ireland lost the away Scotland and Wales matches last year and could do again so the first match up vs England in Dublin could be crucial.

I actually think this is an average enough England side, yes they have some excellent individuals - Itoje, Farrell, Ashton, May and have real strike threat.

But they got extremely lucky against SA, let a 15 point lead slip against the ABs and struggled against Japan. For me they lack leadership and depth and away from the home comfort of Twickenham I think they are there to be exposed. By contrast I think Scotland and Wales are building nicely and agree they look very dangerous, France as well are dark horses.

It will be a very tough 6N but I haven't seen anything this Autumn to make me believe Ireland won't firm favorites unless something very drastic happens in between.

I'm convinced actually that this Ireland side are a good way from the finished article - Ryan, Larmour, Stockdale, Ringrose, Beirne, Leavy, VDF, Porter, Carbury are all still learning at this level and other key players like Henshaw, O'Mahoney, Murray, Henderson, Toner, Earls, Stander, Aki, McGrath, Furlong are all in or coming into their primes.

In fact apart from Best, Kearney, Sexton and O'Brien who might need the cotton wool treatment and their game time well managed this is a very young side so there is every reason to believe we'll be better next year than they are now.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Collapse2005 on 20/11/2018, 10:42

I think you are right Rodders. I cant ever remember so many good players that cant break into the team.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 20/11/2018, 10:52

Not only can we improve, we have to.  We don't have a choice.  As Schmidt alluded to, it's never good enough, just a staging post to getting better.  

The AB game was a good exercise in seeing the problems that exist in such a ferocious encounter.  The coaches will be delighted with the result but you can imagine the delight in all the video footage they now have to point out and tidy up those errors.  The errors that occur in such a game don't always happen in games of less pressure.  So, it's all incremental learning.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 20/11/2018, 11:14

Collapse2005 wrote:I think you are right Rodders. I cant ever remember so many good players that cant break into the team.

yes and I left off quite a few names as well. When you look actually at who we have lost recently as well, for various reasons it says a lot as well -

Bowe, Zebo, Trimble, Payne, Donnacha Ryan, Jackson, Madigan all regulars, all gone -no place any more for once Schmidt go to men like McFadden and Dave Kearney.

The meticulous way Joe has built this squad over the past 4 seasons is something to behold really. It wasn't so long ago he was criticized for being very conservative in his selection.

It's now clear that he just wasn't willing to compromise the standards and type of player he wants and was prepared to play the long game by molding a new generation into his way of thinking on and off the pitch, as opposed to having some unwavering loyalty to some of his stalwarts.
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 20/11/2018, 11:27

And now he's potentially going to throw all that good player production stuff (in-my-own-image) over his shoulder and walk away just as they might be about to have a few years of great potency?

Will he really want to walk away from a project that in truth only seems to be finding its feet?

He's invested a lot of himself in creating the groundwork - I hope he feels the excitement of finally having a serviceable squad of players that can increasingly be shifted around, removed, rested and dropped in with little changes in quality.  I hope he wants to hang around to see where that might lead to in the next four or five years

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 20/11/2018, 11:48

We'll find out next week I suppose!
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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by SecretFly on 20/11/2018, 11:57

...as we're mourning the loss to USA; 16 -34

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Ninjarugby on 20/11/2018, 13:44

'Ireland need three wins to topple New Zealand at top of rankings' RTE
Absolute BS again from the Irish media. Also with Hansen trying to take the pressure off the AB's.
When have Irish teams ever performed being favorites? We haven't even been to a WC semi final. If and that's a big IF we beat Scotland and Japan I very much doubt SA or NZ will roll over for us. They have got 5 titles and WC experience on their side.
On the train to Cardiff in 2015 every Irish supporter I talked to absolutely dismissed Argentina and we were in the semi's already. I was with an Argy mate and he found it very funny. The Irish knew f*all about Argentinian rugby. We know what happened then!

Rant over.
At least Schmidt will have the team totally focused on the US.
Ranked No 1 means nothing.
The best thing to happen was the loss to Australia as it broke our run and gave us a defeat during the year.
England and Scotland will be up for it without a doubt.
I'm sure Schmidt will make very good use of this weekend game to get a little more depth into the squad. We will need it.

As for the weekend, with another set of backs bar Sexton/Kearney beating NZ the system the couching team are using is very impressive.
The pack speak for themselves. Not so long ago with Ross going off injured and Court stepping in we didn't even have cover for TH.
Long may it last.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 20/11/2018, 13:58

rodders wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Ill go England in the 6N. Ireland lost the away Scotland and Wales matches last year and could do again so the first match up vs England in Dublin could be crucial.

I actually think this is an average enough England side, yes they have some excellent individuals - Itoje, Farrell, Ashton, May and have real strike threat.

But they got extremely lucky against SA, let a 15 point lead slip against the ABs and struggled against Japan. For me they lack leadership and depth and away from the home comfort of Twickenham I think they are there to be exposed. By contrast I think Scotland and Wales are building nicely and agree they look very dangerous, France as well are dark horses.

It will be a very tough 6N but I haven't seen anything this Autumn to make me believe Ireland won't firm favorites unless something very drastic happens in between.

I'm convinced actually that this Ireland side are a good way from the finished article - Ryan, Larmour, Stockdale, Ringrose, Beirne, Leavy, VDF,  Porter, Carbury are all still learning at this level and other key players like Henshaw, O'Mahoney, Murray, Henderson, Toner,  Earls, Stander, Aki, McGrath, Furlong are all in or coming into their primes.

In fact apart from Best, Kearney, Sexton and O'Brien who might need the cotton wool treatment and their game time well managed this is a very young side so there is every reason to believe we'll be better next year than they are now.


Ireland will certainly be favourites but away from home their win loss and winning margins are average. Both certainly needs to pick up if theyre to start dominating sides.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by Taylorman on 20/11/2018, 14:12

SecretFly wrote:Not only can we improve, we have to.  We don't have a choice.  As Schmidt alluded to, it's never good enough, just a staging post to getting better.  

The AB game was a good exercise in seeing the problems that exist in such a ferocious encounter.  The coaches will be delighted with the result but you can imagine the delight in all the video footage they now have to point out and tidy up those errors.  The errors that occur in such a game don't always happen in games of less pressure.  So, it's all incremental learning.

Personally I dont think watching the video will show the kind of errors they need to be finding. Ireland didnt do a lot wrong with the things they did do, whats missing is the things they didnt do and that was to make better use of the ball, the backs, the width.

ABs tackled 96 times in the first 30 minutes, where 130/140 might be your average full match count. That suggests very poor use of possession, efficiency on the ball.

Far too many one and two ups, too much ‘keeping the enemy in close’ something we used to say about the boks, rather than looking for space to move the ball. The ball moves faster where the oppostion ‘arent’. I dont think Ireland have the attack, or backs, for such an expansive attacking game yet. Fluid Handling and passing, set moves, still look laboured and getting your outside backs away, in space, non eventful.

For me thats the area Ireland can best improve in. They dont want to be beating tier one sides like they did last week all the time. It will take too much out of them over the season.

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Re: Ireland Squad Nov 2018 - Who’s going to play errr England?

Post by rodders on 20/11/2018, 15:32

Taylorman wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Not only can we improve, we have to.  We don't have a choice.  As Schmidt alluded to, it's never good enough, just a staging post to getting better.  

The AB game was a good exercise in seeing the problems that exist in such a ferocious encounter.  The coaches will be delighted with the result but you can imagine the delight in all the video footage they now have to point out and tidy up those errors.  The errors that occur in such a game don't always happen in games of less pressure.  So, it's all incremental learning.

Personally I dont think watching the video will show the kind of errors they need to be finding. Ireland didnt do a lot wrong with the things they did do, whats missing is the things they didnt do and that was to make better use of the ball, the backs, the width.

ABs tackled 96 times in the first 30 minutes, where 130/140 might be your average full match count. That suggests very poor use of possession, efficiency on the ball.

Far too many one and two ups, too much ‘keeping the enemy in close’ something we used to say about the boks, rather than looking for space to move the ball. The ball moves faster where the oppostion ‘arent’. I dont think Ireland have the attack, or backs, for such an expansive attacking game yet. Fluid Handling and passing, set moves, still look laboured and getting your outside backs away, in space, non eventful.

For me thats the area Ireland can best improve in. They dont want to be beating tier one sides like they did last week all the time. It will take too much out of them over the season.

No disagreement on that, this is a recurring criticism that we don't convert enough points for all the possession and territory we have.

I think it is true that out wide we are lacking a bit of the strike threat the other top 5 or 6 nations have and need to work a bit harder for our points.

Here is a good article though to show how much effort and intricacy are going into our attacking patterns -https://www.the42.ie/ireland-joe-schmidt-power-plays-smarts-4348706-Nov2018/ so we aren't lacking endeavor to play eith the ball in hand.

That said At 6 all on Saturday the possession was 60:40 in our favor before Sexton took it to 9 - 6 before half time.

These are things that can't be swept under the carpet  - our pack, half backs and defense are all world class and we are building good depth - but there is a sense that if a side can put a bit of a lead on us early we might just lack the fire power to come from behind as we found with the Puma in the last RWC.

The ABs will certainly be heavy favorites for the RWC but if we can keep improving we are genuine contenders in a years time but a lot can happen before then.
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