6N 2019: Italy v Ireland, Round 3, 23 February

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Post by Pot Hale on Sat 09 Feb 2019, 8:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

So who gets to play in this one? Who needs a rest?

Sexton has joined the injured list, but Schmidt says he should have recovered from his HIA in time. But is this the match where Schmidt wants to give Carbery a proper start, and possibly have Carty on the bench? POM looked in fine fettle but could he benefit from a couple of weeks off for his rib injury?

On the basis of the Scotland match, the depth held up fairly well with the likes of Kilcoyne coming through stronger and taking the place of Jack McGrath, and Roux and Dillane holding their ends up at scrum, lineout and in the loose. Conan got through a lot of tackles 18 and missed 1. And Chris Farrell got another full 80 minutes without mishap.

As ever, Schmidt won’t go too far in making too many changes, and he’ll want to come away from Rome with 5 points to keep them in the hunt if it goes down to the wire on the final weekend.

He might have Tadgh Beirne or Iain Henderson back for this one, and possibly Kieran Marmion with Munster v Kings, Ospreys v Ulster and Connacht v Cheetahs next weekend to give them some game time if necessary.

Henshaw just had a dead leg, so he should be good to go. Not sure abut Ringrose and his hamstring.

Will Addison is another who needs to be seen although a starting spot may be out of reach.

Who would you have in your 23 allowing for some of the above injured being passed fit to play?

I’ve gone for provincial partnerships where possible in my selection:

McGrath, Best, Porter
Henderson, Roux
SOB, Ruddock/Murphy, Conan
Murray, Carbery
Henshaw, Farrell
Larmour, Stockdale, Kearney

Reps: Scannell, Kilcoyne, Ryan, Ruddock/Murphy, Dillane, Marmion, Carty, Addison

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:45 am

rodders wrote:Right I'm going to call out the Elephant in the room.

Has the announcement that Joe is leaving and Farrell taking over effected the team?

Clearly something is amiss from the Autumn, a hangover from the All blacks game could be expected but individually most player have been going well at provincial level so for me something else is wrong.

I've heard the bad blooded game between Munster and Leinster mentioned as well.

Nah I cant see it to be honest. There was bound to be a dip after beating the ABs and doing a slam. Having a dip now is in my view not such a bad thing as long as we hit the ground running in Japan.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:45 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Very Happy Very Happy  Tackling by the face now legal.

6N 2019: Italy v Ireland, Round 3, 23 February - Page 4 6HG6fw5

That looks bad alright. Though it is much harder to not do high tackles on the line.


You see plenty of those throughout every game, especially when players try to hold players off the ground. Making contact with the face isn't always illegal. Some people always seem to be posting gifs about supposed foul play Irish teams have gotten away with

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:46 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Right I'm going to call out the Elephant in the room.

Has the announcement that Joe is leaving and Farrell taking over effected the team?

Clearly something is amiss from the Autumn, a hangover from the All blacks game could be expected but individually most player have been going well at provincial level so for me something else is wrong.

I've heard the bad blooded game between Munster and Leinster mentioned as well.

Nah I cant see it to be honest. There was bound to be a dip after beating the ABs and doing a slam. Having a dip now is in my view not such a bad thing as long as we hit the ground running in Japan.

Personally it's more to do with Joes stubbornness around Murray and Sexton

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:47 am

Hard not to high tackle when someone is driving their body head first towards the line.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:48 am

marty2086 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Right I'm going to call out the Elephant in the room.

Has the announcement that Joe is leaving and Farrell taking over effected the team?

Clearly something is amiss from the Autumn, a hangover from the All blacks game could be expected but individually most player have been going well at provincial level so for me something else is wrong.

I've heard the bad blooded game between Munster and Leinster mentioned as well.

Nah I cant see it to be honest. There was bound to be a dip after beating the ABs and doing a slam. Having a dip now is in my view not such a bad thing as long as we hit the ground running in Japan.

Personally it's more to do with Joes stubbornness around Murray and Sexton

I think with Murray and Sexton he can see they are both off their games and off the pace and trying to get them up to speed. Neither of them have had that much game time outside of the last three Ireland games.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:49 am

Well if the Provincial rivalry folk want to go shoot Ireland in the foot one more time with in-camp bitching, away they go. Nobody on the outside or even Joe and Farrell will stop them - if true it's tribal and outsiders don't put those fires out. I'd need far more evidence though to believe the old tribal stuff has started up again in WC year. Just players sinking under the weight of the English defeat would be my reckoning. We've always been poor rebounders.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:52 am

Collapse2005 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Right I'm going to call out the Elephant in the room.

Has the announcement that Joe is leaving and Farrell taking over effected the team?

Clearly something is amiss from the Autumn, a hangover from the All blacks game could be expected but individually most player have been going well at provincial level so for me something else is wrong.

I've heard the bad blooded game between Munster and Leinster mentioned as well.

Nah I cant see it to be honest. There was bound to be a dip after beating the ABs and doing a slam. Having a dip now is in my view not such a bad thing as long as we hit the ground running in Japan.

Personally it's more to do with Joes stubbornness around Murray and Sexton

I think with Murray and Sexton he can see they are both off their games and off the pace and trying to get them up to speed. Neither of them have had that much game time outside of the last three Ireland games.

How many games is that viable though? How many times have we seen both come back in before and get up to speed quickly?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:00 am

Who knows, however, they are both key to WC success so I think at this stage it is probably sensible to persist with them.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:00 am

If Sexton and Murray needs game time, they should get plenty between the Provinces in Europe and some Very hard hitting WC warmups ( on paper). If Sexton especially continues to be off form...in training that must be getting picked up then he should miss France and Wales. Carbery, despite his youthful errors, his positives are currently more positive than Sexton's.
Murray I feel is doing better than Sexton and holding his nerve more. Indeed, if Murray is on the field, he should be our place kicker. Seems much more assured than Sexton in that area. No need why the kicker must be a 10 and we need all the points we can get

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:03 am

I thought Murray seemed sharper yesterday than he had been and was more commanding of his forwards especially than he had been in the previous two games

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:20 am

marty2086 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
rodders wrote:Right I'm going to call out the Elephant in the room.

Has the announcement that Joe is leaving and Farrell taking over effected the team?

Clearly something is amiss from the Autumn, a hangover from the All blacks game could be expected but individually most player have been going well at provincial level so for me something else is wrong.

I've heard the bad blooded game between Munster and Leinster mentioned as well.

Nah I cant see it to be honest. There was bound to be a dip after beating the ABs and doing a slam. Having a dip now is in my view not such a bad thing as long as we hit the ground running in Japan.

Personally it's more to do with Joes stubbornness around Murray and Sexton

I think with Murray and Sexton he can see they are both off their games and off the pace and trying to get them up to speed. Neither of them have had that much game time outside of the last three Ireland games.

How many games is that viable though? How many times have we seen both come back in before and get up to speed quickly?

You know with Sexton I can understand but Murray's recent interview has confirmed he is not the player he was and is some time away.

Clearly Joe feels Murray at 60% is better than the other options but I don't know what he is watching. His service is slow and inaccurate, he had the ball pinched twice, his box kicking is off and he is clearly avoiding contact. I personally thought he had a horror show even with his try.

It's hard to know in fact if this is contributing to Sextons form as the ball is so much slower. That said Sexton is experienced enough to be making better decisions and not running bad ball.

The breakdown is a real issue as well and teams are really exploiting the fact we commit so few numbers.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:23 am

I have to agree re Murray, his passing has always been a fraction slow but I think its as bad as ever now. That said I think our pack is less dominant than it normally is and this may be adding to his woes.

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Post by eirebilly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:31 am

For me, Murray needs to return to Munster for the remainder of the 6N. Cooney has again proven to be excellent when given his chances so no real reason to force Murray.


Was very happy for Carty to be given his chance and although it was only 3-4 minutes, he looked very lively.

POM did not have his best match but still did more than enough to dispel the constant claims for him to be dropped from the side by some on here.


I was calling for Cronin to get a start as I feel he is the second best 2 in Ireland and although he did not have a great game, still think he deserves another shot if Best is out for France.
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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:34 am

Now that everyone is being honest.... can we dispense with this myth that Ireland are good in the air? Maybe 5, 6 or 7 years ago, but even in our pomp the kick chase is always only 50/50 at best. On current form if we try combating Wales in the air with high chase and catch kicking, we'll be destroyed. Do we honestly practice it enough when you see most players reaching with one hand, prefering the uncertainty of slap backs more than the accurate technique of catching and holding. In Ireland the skill seems to be left more to instinct than practicing techniques.

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:38 am

Best was rested, no?

POM is playing the best rugby of his career, not sure why anyone would want him dropped.

That said I think Beirne has to be selected somewhere now and I think with Leavy and Stander out, maybe our much mentioned backrow depth is not as great as we thought it was.

Carty did look good alright, he and Cooney probably deserved to see more minutes.

Cronin really blew it in my opinion, Scannell and even Herring probably enhanced their RWC chances this weekend.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:42 am

eirebilly wrote:For me, Murray needs to return to Munster for the remainder of the 6N. Cooney has again proven to be excellent when given his chances so no real reason to force Murray.

Was very happy for Carty to be given his chance and although it was only 3-4 minutes, he looked very lively.

POM did not have his best match but still did more than enough to dispel the constant claims for him to be dropped from the side by some on here.

I was calling for Cronin to get a start as I feel he is the second best 2 in Ireland and although he did not have a great game, still think he deserves another shot if Best is out for France.

I prefer a more physical 6 that can get us over the gain line, tackle hard on our defensive line and clean out rucks, his meters per carry stats are some of the lowest of all Irish players this year. POM's strengths lie elsewhere. So it is less a case of dropping him than trying a different approach because I don't think our pack is currently physical enough.

Furthermore leadership is said to be a strength of his but its not the first time he has had an off day when he has been asked to step into that role. I think he was poor in his Lions test as captain too.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 12:12 pm

If POM led that team at the weekend, and he did, he was Captain, then he lead a multi-dysfunctional team - in everyone's estimation to a bonus point four try victory away that has kept us somewhat still in the race however tiny the hope. Not a bad day's work with a team that just never gelled and never had the consistent intensity needed at this level
That continues to be the consistent plus with this Irish side. They've looked so bad for the three games so far, will off the energy and tempo of the other top sides - indeed, I
I'd argue they're the side showing least energy for the fight of all six sides... and yet, 3rd in the table, nine tries to Wales seven, I think. And only a handful of points in total behind high energy, confidence laden Wales.
If this side could kick back into life.... they've already shown how weirdly effective they still are running on empty.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 12:32 pm

One thing is for sure we missed Bests throwing and leadership a lot. Key player for the RWC.

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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 12:47 pm

For me the key player for Ireland, at least until the WC is Toner. We've done without him but like I say, the team look so much more confident when he's around...that goes for all of them, Sexton included. Maybe we've always relied to heavily on one man and maybe it's been unwise as it seems to have put our more creative energies and patterns on hold. We'll see if he or Best makes it to the World Cup - if either or both of them don't then wher is the true focal point in the team then? Furlong back at his best? Toner is so central to Ireland's tactics from assured lineouts.

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:26 pm

I think the interesting thing is that because the performances so far have been so below par that the several of the players who haven't featured much probably have had their RWC chances enhanced.

Henshaw at 15 didn't quite work, nor did Earls at center so that gives Addison an olive branch as well as enhance Larmours position.

Beirne is definitely in a better position despite not featuring at all. Only Roux has taken his chances at lock. Same with Dan Leavy.

All that competition for places seems to have evaporated a bit.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 2:01 pm

This passage sums up Ireland's day for me. Murray has the ball ripped from his hands at the ruck and complains to the ref rather than chasing the lost ball. O"Brien then misses a really easy tackle. From 54 seconds. Really really poor from both players and way below what you would expect from them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eX4Xv0byHo

Earls showed some good form in that clip and throughout, unlucky not to get a penalty for being pushed out of the way.

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:27 pm

Agree, Murray had the ball stripped earlier in the match as well.

Was looking over the previous rounds results and Wales only won by 11 and missed out on the bonus, Scotland only by 13 at Murrayfield so maybe we are being to harsh on this display?
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Post by Pete330v2 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:43 pm

Wales, they who beat their favourite neighbours did indeed fail to get the bonus point so perhaps we are being harsh on that weakened Irish side's display. Italy played out of their skins and that game yesterday could be their game of the tournament.

I see Kinsella has tweeted what Sexton was saying as he came off the pitch, "effing catch the effing ball" seemingly aimed at Stockdale who had overrun a pass moments earlier.

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Post by marty2086 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:50 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
I see Kinsella has tweeted what Sexton was saying as he came off the pitch, "effing catch the effing ball" seemingly aimed at Stockdale who had overrun a pass moments earlier.

He didn't over run it the pass was ahead of him, almost look like it was meant to miss out Stockdale and go to vDF

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:58 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
I see Kinsella has tweeted what Sexton was saying as he came off the pitch, "effing catch the effing ball" seemingly aimed at Stockdale who had overrun a pass moments earlier.

In fairness I said roughly the same....
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Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 4:07 pm

rodders wrote:Agree, Murray had the ball stripped earlier in the match as well.

Was looking over the previous rounds results and Wales only won by 11 and missed out on the bonus, Scotland only by 13 at Murrayfield so maybe we are being to harsh on this display?

Yeah maybe, still when was the last time we failed to hammer Italy? Possibly 2013 when we lost to them in Kidneys last game? Actually we only squeezed past them in the RWC didnt we.

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Post by rodders on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 4:18 pm

I believe so, maybe Italy have just improved?

That said the handling error count was just terrible from us. We gave away some really silly penalties as well.
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Post by SecretFly on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 5:42 pm

Maybe the bus journey to the stadium was too quick this time. They'll get that right sometime.

On the being too harsh question. Nope, we're not being too harsh. The players knew a performance was wanted of them that would end all questions...but from the anthems themselves they looked a grim bunch and I felt that things weren't still right.... then the pedestrian pace of the first half wan't really anything you could put down to coaching as all players seemed infected by the stubborn lack of urgency... like they expected a game of 100 minutes + with lots of warm up time. No excuses for that kind of malaise in an Irish shirt when other players are crying out for a shot.

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Post by profitius on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:01 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Wales, they who beat their favourite neighbours did indeed fail to get the bonus point so perhaps we are being harsh on that weakened Irish side's display. Italy played out of their skins and that game yesterday could be their game of the tournament.

I see Kinsella has tweeted what Sexton was saying as he came off the pitch, "effing catch the effing ball" seemingly aimed at Stockdale who had overrun a pass moments earlier.


Sexton needs to cool down a bit. He must be an irritating so and so to be around.


My take from it is it wasn't as bad as made out to be. Well lineouts and handling was bad. Too many players made some errors even the top performers like Stockdale and Earls.


There's talk that Joe leaving has had a negative effect on the group. I don't buy that. Either way Andy Farrell will be taking over after the world cup wearing a MIGA (make Ireland great again) hat and it should be interesting to see how he deals with Sexton.
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Post by Sin é on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:39 pm

So, I wonder will Schmidt bring ROG in as backs coach for the world cup. He should be free.
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Post by Taylorman on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:36 pm

Sin é wrote:So, I wonder will Schmidt bring ROG in as backs coach for the world cup. He should be free.

Interesting with ROG making a pitch for saders head coach last night, or, backs coach for the ABs if Razor gets the head nod. hmmm.

And Im assuming he'll fulfill his Crusaders role given its  a gimme theyll be finalists looking at this years squad. He'd have time after that to have sufficient input into the Irish backline having spent two seasons with the Saders...

Whew...good luck with that transition...

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Post by Sin é on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 9:29 am

Taylorman wrote:
Sin é wrote:So, I wonder will Schmidt bring ROG in as backs coach for the world cup. He should be free.

Interesting with ROG making a pitch for saders head coach last night, or, backs coach for the ABs if Razor gets the head nod. hmmm.

And Im assuming he'll fulfill his Crusaders role given its  a gimme theyll be finalists looking at this years squad. He'd have time after that to have sufficient input into the Irish backline having spent two seasons with the Saders...

Whew...good luck with that transition...

He didn't make a pitch for saders head coach. He was asked if he would be interested and he actually said that he would be asking questions as to why Razor wasn't bringing him with him to the ABs, which suggests to me he isn't too interested in being head coach of the Crusaders.

I suggest bringing ROG into the Ireland set up because there looks to be a bit of a shortage of confidence. One of the things that ROG has spoken a lot about here in interviews is the positivity that there is in the Crusaders camp which is largely down to Razor. Some of that positivity would be welcomed in the Irish camp.



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Post by rodders on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 9:31 am

profitius wrote:
My take from it is it wasn't as bad as made out to be. Well lineouts and handling was bad. Too many players made some errors even the top performers like Stockdale and Earls.


There's talk that Joe leaving has had a negative effect on the group. I don't buy that. Either way Andy Farrell will be taking over after the world cup wearing a MIGA (make Ireland great again) hat and it should be interesting to see how he deals with Sexton.

Yes I do agree the criticism has been a bit OTT, you have the likes of Shaggy and EOS making comparisons with the 2007 RWC....

People forget that last year we weren't actually great in the first few 6N games but by winning we papered over some cracks that were exposed by England. The ABs and England games apart last season I think we struggled to produce an 80min performance so we probably haven't dropped off as much as it seems.

That said the body language and team cohesion doesn't look good from the outside. Sexton in particular seems like not the best guy to be around when the team is not functioning - he looks more like the Sexton at Racing than the world player of the year of the past 2 seasons.

Looking at some of the highlights last night Sexton played worse than I thought and defensively was at fault (amongst others) for a couple of the Italy tries. Murray's worrying form is probably detracting from how poorly Sexton is performing because he's not much better.

It might be coincidence that since Joe went public with his plans to leave the form has dipped but the negative mood in the camp doesn't bode well for Farrell and the succession plans, maybe these haven't went down well with some of the players?

The next 2 games will show if this is a blip or something more serious. My fear is that we've not hit rock bottom yet and we won't get away with a similar standard performance against France or Wales.
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Post by Sin é on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 9:39 am

I think the Leinster players are suffering a bit of a hangover from a great year last year. The loss to Toulouse and Munster has shaken their confidence a bit. I don't think either Sexton or Murray are fully fit and are probably chasing their form a bit too much. A bit of time off would probably do them both good and a good preseason will sort them for world cup.
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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:10 am

Sin é wrote:I think the Leinster players are suffering a bit of a hangover from a great year last year. The loss to Toulouse and Munster has shaken their confidence a bit. I don't think either Sexton or Murray are fully fit and are probably chasing their form a bit too much. A bit of time off would probably do them both good and a good preseason will sort them for world cup.

Have to agree with that Sin - the Leinster players have generally been lacking.

Only Cronin, McGrath, Furlong, SOB, Sexton, vdF were involved against Italy. I thought Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Scannell and Earls were a lot better in comparison. POM and Murray less so but still above a pass mark.

Still getting a BP win after Italy played the way they did and without Schmidt selecting (through rest or injury) Best, Healy, Toner, Ryan, Beirne, Leavy, Stander, Conan, Marmion, McGrath, Carbery, Henshaw, Ringrose, Larmour isn't the worst result in the world.

Getting Zebo back into the squad might yet happen.
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 10:47 am

I've revised my opinion to possible Plan B scenario. You don't mention these Plan B scenarios too often in the hallowed halls of 606 where scholarly intellectual scowling pervades...but sometimes you just have to risk the padded cell. It's probably all a scam - a big scam. And it might even have Sexton's visible petulance thrown into the act too.... although I think that bit is really him.
You just can't believe that this set of coaches, especially Farrell, would allow his players to go onto a field three times in such a big contest and shy away from the ruthless physicality and tempo required against these top top sides. Joe can sometimes be sidetracked by detail and overlook the part of getting his players psychologically up for the efforts required and demanded... but not Farrell. I don't think he'd tolerate it... unless he's tolerating it. It not so much that players can't seem to reach the physical levels required to push off the opposition (Furlong, SOB, Henderson, POM etc) it seems more that they're all standing off those levels required... not committing to the intensity rather than not being capable.
The fun on the bus seemed innocent enough but for me it said more. It showed a team relaxed with itself, plenty of cohesion, Farrell was enjoying the 'Italian Job' movie playing in front of him. Just think the mood didn't remotely hint at training ground issues and struggling form.
And then you have to go back to the results so far for this seriously underperforming side. 20 points against a scintillating English side destroying us on every aspect of the game, a win in Scotland away, five points that were required in Rome. No team that looks as off colour and disjointed as Ireland should be getting such results. But there they are and there is Joe scrating his head and raising his eyebrows as if he can't explain any of it.
Really? So maybe the players aren't fully aware of a purposefully less intense boot camp atmosphere designed to be less punishing but to give hard game time to Sexton and Murray. There is a lot of rugby still to be played. Three Provinces remain in Europe, the warm ups are I feel being being wrongfully downgraded in the minds of fans - two against Wales? - they'll be hard games! We don't want player burnout coming at the wrong time of year again.
So, I said I'd be happy with 2nd or 3rd and that would still be a very good run for a very off Ireland. But that means that for France at least, the players will have to show up and play close enough to an A game. I think they're capable of it and I think it'll happen.

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Post by rodders on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:01 am

The art of deception Fly, I like it.
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Post by eirebilly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:17 am

[/b]
SecretFly wrote:I've revised my opinion to possible Plan B scenario.  You don't mention these Plan B scenarios too often in the hallowed halls of 606 where scholarly intellectual scowling pervades...but sometimes you just have to risk the padded cell.  It's probably all a scam - a big scam.  And it might even have Sexton's visible petulance thrown into the act too.... although I think that bit is really him.

Its funny how different people have different perceptions. I do not see Sexton as being overly petulant, I see him as being passionate to the extreme. POM has that characteristic as well and its why I think that attitude suits top class sports persons.


Anyway, for me, Cooney has to start the next game and return Murray to Munster. If ok, Carberry also to start and give Carty more than 3 minutes from the bench.
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Post by Pete330v2 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:35 am

Its funny how different people have different perceptions. I do not see Sexton as being overly petulant, I see him as being passionate to the extreme. POM has that characteristic as well and its why I think that attitude suits top class sports persons.


I couldn't agree more. I would worry a lot more if Sexton had left the pitch happy with events. He was obviously very frustrated that things hadn't clicked like they should have and rightfully so.

In the aftermath of the Ireland performance I found solace in watching the replay of Italy v Wales. Wales, like us, didn't field their 1st choice XV and weren't that far off paying the ultimate price for it. Italy in Rome will be a potential banana skin for years to come if they continue on their current trajectory, someone will slip up there eventually.

It'll be a very different Ireland that takes on France in just under a fortnight.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 11:45 am

Okay, here's the deal, billy. Yep, I might come across as an eejit on here. I don't mind... I choose this environment for the lighter side of my life. I'm quite serious about rugby, only sport that I truly love but I seek out the fun side of it here. But I've always said I love intense players... love them. Love their passion. I love Sexton's brooding temperament because in truth I recognise it and I'd be that kind of player in the real world beyond 'mouthy' fly. So when I'm criticising players like Sexton for overdoing it and losing control, I'm really criticising me. I know the weaknesses of the personality type. Petulance, inner self anger, long periods of brooding... too driven - unsettling people around you with intensity. Fly isn't me. He has some traits of me but if you don't type here you don't exist. I'm not nearly as talkative in the real world. Wink.
Nobody can doubt what I think of Sexton or indeed POM on these pages... the kind of players I'd go to war with.... although I keep saying Sexton might get me shot being too eager to run around a corner without checking!!!! Wink

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:00 pm

Stockdale I think had another great game. Really warming to him. He's honest, he tries his heart out to keep things positive when he sees the mess around him. Love his attitude for always trying to impact on too long a period of stodgy stalemate...... and he's a bloody Cheshire Cat personality! Takes all sorts so. Was he allegedly the player Sexton was grumbling about? Just not the player to blame for that day. My Irish player of the tournament so far

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Post by eirebilly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:04 pm

Jaysus Fly, you do go off on some tangents Shocked
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:05 pm

I use a forum for typing. How offended you all get by print! Relax, we'll come 3rd. Good result

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:10 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Sin é wrote:I think the Leinster players are suffering a bit of a hangover from a great year last year. The loss to Toulouse and Munster has shaken their confidence a bit. I don't think either Sexton or Murray are fully fit and are probably chasing their form a bit too much. A bit of time off would probably do them both good and a good preseason will sort them for world cup.

Have to agree with that Sin - the Leinster players have generally been lacking.

Only Cronin, McGrath, Furlong, SOB, Sexton, vdF were involved against Italy.   I thought Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Scannell and Earls were a lot better in comparison. POM and Murray less so but still above a pass mark.

Still getting a BP win after Italy played the way they did and without Schmidt selecting (through rest or injury) Best, Healy, Toner, Ryan, Beirne, Leavy, Stander, Conan, Marmion, McGrath, Carbery, Henshaw, Ringrose, Larmour isn't the worst result in the world.

Getting Zebo back into the squad might yet happen.

Some of them definitely have:
Sexton, O'Brien, Furlong and Cronin have all been sub par.

However, when Ringrose, Toner, Kearney and Ryan when they have played they have been good enough.

VdF has been good but not great.

From Munster Murray and POM have been below par too but I thought Earls and Kilcoyne have looked pretty good. We miss Leavy.


Last edited by Collapse2005 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:17 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:13 pm

rodders wrote:
profitius wrote:
My take from it is it wasn't as bad as made out to be. Well lineouts and handling was bad. Too many players made some errors even the top performers like Stockdale and Earls.


There's talk that Joe leaving has had a negative effect on the group. I don't buy that. Either way Andy Farrell will be taking over after the world cup wearing a MIGA (make Ireland great again) hat and it should be interesting to see how he deals with Sexton.

Yes I do agree the criticism has been a bit OTT, you have the likes of Shaggy and EOS making comparisons with the 2007 RWC....

People forget that last year we weren't actually great in the first few 6N games but by winning we papered over some cracks that were exposed by England. The ABs and England games apart last season I think we struggled to produce an 80min performance so we probably haven't dropped off as much as it seems.

That said the body language and team cohesion doesn't look good from the outside. Sexton in particular seems like not the best guy to be around when the team is not functioning - he looks more like the Sexton at Racing than the world player of the year of the past 2 seasons.  

Looking at some of the highlights last night Sexton played worse than I thought and defensively was at fault (amongst others) for a couple of the Italy tries. Murray's worrying form is probably detracting from how poorly Sexton is performing because he's not much better.

It might be coincidence that since Joe went public with his plans to leave the form has dipped but the negative mood in the camp doesn't bode well for Farrell and the succession plans, maybe these haven't went down well with some of the players?

The next 2 games will show if this is a blip or something more serious. My fear is that we've not hit rock bottom yet and we won't get away with a similar standard performance against France or Wales.  

Ireland fans and media are too quick to despair after a loss. We lost to England at home, big deal. They played very well that day and we didn't. It happens. Since then we have been sluggish but there is still time to turn that around. 2018 was a big year so some sort of hangover isn't that surprising. I mean England came 5th last year, I cant see us having that sort of a dip.


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Post by eirebilly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:16 pm

SecretFly wrote:I use a forum for typing.  How offended you all get by print!  Relax, we'll come 3rd.  Good result

Not offended at all here Fly, I actually enjoy your tangents. Kind of keeps me on my toes thumbsup
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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:16 pm

Sin é wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
Sin é wrote:So, I wonder will Schmidt bring ROG in as backs coach for the world cup. He should be free.

Interesting with ROG making a pitch for saders head coach last night, or, backs coach for the ABs if Razor gets the head nod. hmmm.

And Im assuming he'll fulfill his Crusaders role given its  a gimme theyll be finalists looking at this years squad. He'd have time after that to have sufficient input into the Irish backline having spent two seasons with the Saders...

Whew...good luck with that transition...

He didn't make a pitch for saders head coach. He was asked if he would be interested and he actually said that he would be asking questions as to why Razor wasn't bringing him with him to the ABs, which suggests to me he isn't too interested in being head coach of the Crusaders.

I suggest bringing ROG into the Ireland set up because there looks to be a bit of a shortage of confidence. One of the things that ROG has spoken a lot about here in interviews is the positivity that there is in the Crusaders camp which is largely down to Razor. Some of that positivity would be welcomed in the Irish camp.


I wouldn't be interested in Rog as back coach at all at this stage. Too late in the day to bring him.

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Post by SecretFly on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 12:37 pm

Someone reading a paper close by and I'm reading the back page heading: Ireland a little broken by England fallout - Schmidt.

Does he mean broken in spirit or broken into recriminations amongst players in camp for mistakes etc... as the 'fallout' word might suggest.

In any case, Schmidt admitted himself that he might have had a part in the weakness of the Irish response to England, suggesting he maybe didn't do enough contact work.

In preparation for a team that nearly beat the ABs? Again suggesting to me that training is methodical for the year's overall strategy rather than Joe making a mistake about intensity of training required.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:55 pm

Sin é wrote:
Taylorman wrote:
Sin é wrote:So, I wonder will Schmidt bring ROG in as backs coach for the world cup. He should be free.

Interesting with ROG making a pitch for saders head coach last night, or, backs coach for the ABs if Razor gets the head nod. hmmm.

And Im assuming he'll fulfill his Crusaders role given its  a gimme theyll be finalists looking at this years squad. He'd have time after that to have sufficient input into the Irish backline having spent two seasons with the Saders...

Whew...good luck with that transition...

He didn't make a pitch for saders head coach. He was asked if he would be interested and he actually said that he would be asking questions as to why Razor wasn't bringing him with him to the ABs, which suggests to me he isn't too interested in being head coach of the Crusaders.

I suggest bringing ROG into the Ireland set up because there looks to be a bit of a shortage of confidence. One of the things that ROG has spoken a lot about here in interviews is the positivity that there is in the Crusaders camp which is largely down to Razor. Some of that positivity would be welcomed in the Irish camp.




Yes agree and its not just positivity, its a genuine class level of skills on board at that franchise. As others have commented the first half vs the Hurricanes last weekend was a thing of beauty, a side running so cohesively as one with multiple options all over the park. Made the current 6N effort a complete farce where the creativity devoid, zero plan Bs across the squads are obvious, and despite the deluge of imported IP, players, coaching etc international quality rugby is poor, three or four teams still resolving to bash eachother up or kick the ‘laces’ off the ball as we used to say.

Dont know if ROG could transpose that back into the game here because genuine creativity is shelved as a risk, one that we’ll see come into play in the world cup knockouts.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 5:58 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Sin é wrote:I think the Leinster players are suffering a bit of a hangover from a great year last year. The loss to Toulouse and Munster has shaken their confidence a bit. I don't think either Sexton or Murray are fully fit and are probably chasing their form a bit too much. A bit of time off would probably do them both good and a good preseason will sort them for world cup.

Have to agree with that Sin - the Leinster players have generally been lacking.

Only Cronin, McGrath, Furlong, SOB, Sexton, vdF were involved against Italy.   I thought Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Scannell and Earls were a lot better in comparison. POM and Murray less so but still above a pass mark.

Still getting a BP win after Italy played the way they did and without Schmidt selecting (through rest or injury) Best, Healy, Toner, Ryan, Beirne, Leavy, Stander, Conan, Marmion, McGrath, Carbery, Henshaw, Ringrose, Larmour isn't the worst result in the world.

Getting Zebo back into the squad might yet happen.

Some of them definitely have:
Sexton, O'Brien, Furlong and Cronin have all been sub par.

However, when Ringrose, Toner, Kearney and Ryan when they have played they have been good enough.

VdF has been good but not great.

From Munster Murray and POM have been below par too but I thought Earls and Kilcoyne have looked pretty good. We miss Leavy.

Hmm, world cup year and the cracks are appearing... again. As we predicted. Whistle

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