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6 Nations 2016: France v Ireland 13th February

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Post by rapidsnowman Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:22 pm

First topic message reminder :

Someone has to do it!

No whistles or bells, just like our team selection  Run

France: Maxime Medard, Teddy Thomas, Maxime Mermoz; Jonathan Danty, Virimi Vakatawa; Jules Plisson, Sebastien Bezy; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Uini Atonio, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Damien Chouly.
Replacements: Camille Chat, Rabah Slimani, Eddy Ben Arous, Paul Jedresiak, Loann Goujon, Maxime Machenaud, Jean-Marc Doussain, Hugo Bonneval.


Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Nathan White, Mike McCarthy, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, James Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O'Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden.

Somebody else can add in the fancy stuff.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Yeah leadership wasn't great across the whole team alright.  Its frustrating, we easily could have won if we were a little smarter. I also think Irish players, Sexton in particular, get way too bogged down in complaining how the ref is interpreting the game.

Yes, Peyper should have handed out cards to the French and cut out their cynical play early and yes it is bizarre that Ireland conceded almost double the amount of penalties as the French. However, so what! They need to be much more professional. Rugby refereeing more than any sport depends on the interpretation of the referee and therefore there will always be times things don't go your way. Better teams than Ireland adapt and get on with it instead of whinging and getting frustrated.

Ireland however, insisted in trying to force square pegs into round holes all day and paid the price by losing to a massively inferior side. Two drop goals and we would have hammered France IMO.

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Post by Sin é Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:05 pm

The coach was the difference between the teams (both teams were poor) - and France had the better coach.

Keeping the good wine til last was a masterstroke by Noves.
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Post by majesticimperialman Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:18 pm

I like the words of Keith Wood. Ireland have gone from 6ns champions. To 6ns strugglers.

You could argue that Ireland had a lot of their best players injured. ..But France was not that great to be honest. they ( France) was trying to do things they have not done before,( running the ball from under their own post) But Ireland should have been able to stop that on the spot, but they (Ireland) looked inj my opinion a bit lethargic.

Ireland do have the players to play better rugby than they did at the week end.

But most of those players did not stand up.

Will Ireland be fighting it out  with Italy and Scotland for the bottom of the 6ns this year?

It will be deemed a disaster for them if they are.

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Post by whocares Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:19 pm

not sure if Noves knew the Irish forward pack would collapse after one hour (probably he had a hint after watching the Ireland performance against Wales) but in any case it was good to have both best scrummagers coming on later and having the more mobile ones starting.
at least it is refreshing to have a coach who seem to have a clue about what he's doing!

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Post by SecretFly Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:04 pm

Yeah it's mathematically possible now that Ireland will be fighting it out for the Glorious Wooden Spoon (give over the anoraks who'll now come on board to correct me on my interpretation of the Wooden Spoon qualifications Wink - yis know what I mean)

Yeah, it's possible.  Would it be a disaster?  Well, it wouldn't be pretty - not for the players, the coach, the IRFU or the followers.   But then again, we'll take the hit if it comes - there'll be no avoiding the ignominy, so just suck it up and put the year down to a hard learning curve for the newer generation of players beginning to come through.  

Better to have your bad years a few years before a WC than have a bunch of clueless rookies turning up at the next one with only one season or less under their belts.  The blooding of newer talent is required now or certainly a reorganising of some prime positions on the team.  It may be painful to watch for a few seasons but Ireland have to begin a long climb back into being the kind of a unit that competes for the honours.  The journey has to start sometime.  All Hail the Wooden Spoon!

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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:15 pm

It won't be a disaster, although it would be annoying. 2013 was a year that we came pretty close to a wooden spoon with what was mostly a full-strength side, the vast majority of whom went on to claim the championship the following year. I know that this was the fag-end of the reign of Kidney, who had lost a significant part of the dressing-room by then, but still - there was no excuse at all for the results that year.

This year there are plenty. Like everyone, I wish that we would raise our horizons a bit and use the full talents that we have at our disposal but the truth is that we have had plenty of opportunities to be on four points this year with far from a full deck to deal with. Yes, blood the new talent, definitely, but let's see what emerges when we have the majority of the first string available for duty as well. I wouldn't expect more than a couple of seasons of re-adjustment (including this one) before we're heading back in the right direction.

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Post by Sin é Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:29 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:It won't be a disaster, although it would be annoying. 2013 was a year that we came pretty close to a wooden spoon with what was mostly a full-strength side, the vast majority of whom went on to claim the championship the following year. I know that this was the fag-end of the reign of Kidney, who had lost a significant part of the dressing-room by then, but still - there was no excuse at all for the results that year.

This year there are plenty. Like everyone, I wish that we would raise our horizons a bit and use the full talents that we have at our disposal but the truth is that we have had plenty of opportunities to be on four points this year with far from a full deck to deal with. Yes, blood the new talent, definitely, but let's see what emerges when we have the majority of the first string available for duty as well. I wouldn't expect more than a couple of seasons of re-adjustment (including this one) before we're heading back in the right direction.

No Paul O'Connell. Ireland's fortunes improved due to him coming back rather than anything else. It should also be remembered that Paddy Jackson was the starting flyhalf in 2013 - and he can't get a look-in now. Players like Henderson were only getting their first caps around then.

Nothing close to full-strength, but the major difference I think was Paul O'Connell. Ireland started winning when he came back. Lets hope that Henderson has a similar affect when he returns.

I really hate the set-up though. Wingers need to be more backrowers and hit rucks than actually try and make a linebreak. No wonder all our backs keep getting broken.




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Post by SecretFly Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:41 pm

Look...Paulie is gone. He'd say himself that there is no point in thinking about him. He'd say himself 'forget about me'.

Agree with most of what you said though, Sin. This team needs to find and be allowed find a much more incisive attack mentality - and if that means downgrading our alleged stringent defence then so be it - at least we might have something to defend.

But Paulie should now do the right thing.... forget the cosy TV chats, forget whining away watching daytime TV....just get his CV into Ireland camp for specialist lineout/forwards coach and anything else he cares to get a say on......

Wink


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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:42 pm

Fair enough, Sin, no POC the whole time and no Sexton for 3 and a half games, but an incomparably more street-wise and powerful pack, BOD still playing very well and enough leadership to have righted the ship if all had been OK at the tiller. Even without POC, we'd blown Wales away in Cardiff for an hour in 2013. Without both of them, we should still not have been turned over by Italy nor allowed Scotland to re-enact Rorke's Drift at our expense. Both our performances this year have still been in advance of a lot of what was served up then. More balance in attack and a bit more playing with the heads up would help us now until the right men can be slotted back into the right place or the new ones can be allowed to take their turn.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:56 pm

SecretFly wrote:Yeah it's mathematically possible now that Ireland will be fighting it out for the Glorious Wooden Spoon (give over the anoraks who'll now come on board to correct me on my interpretation of the Wooden Spoon qualifications Wink - yis know what I mean)

Yeah, it's possible.  Would it be a disaster?  Well, it wouldn't be pretty - not for the players, the coach, the IRFU or the followers.   But then again, we'll take the hit if it comes - there'll be no avoiding the ignominy, so just suck it up and put the year down to a hard learning curve for the newer generation of players beginning to come through.  

Better to have your bad years a few years before a WC than have a bunch of clueless rookies turning up at the next one with only one season or less under their belts.  The blooding of newer talent is required now or certainly a reorganising of some prime positions on the team.  It may be painful to watch for a few seasons but Ireland have to begin a long climb back into being the kind of a unit that competes for the honours.  The journey has to start sometime.  All Hail the Wooden Spoon!

There is no long climb back required. We drew one game and lost anther by a point. I don't think we are far off where we need to be.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:08 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:Fair enough, Sin, no POC the whole time and no Sexton for 3 and a half games, but an incomparably more street-wise and powerful pack, BOD still playing very well and enough leadership to have righted the ship if all had been OK at the tiller. Even without POC, we'd blown Wales away in Cardiff for an hour in 2013. Without both of them, we should still not have been turned over by Italy nor allowed Scotland to re-enact Rorke's Drift at our expense. Both our performances this year have still been in advance of a lot of what was served up then. More balance in attack and a bit more playing with the heads up would help us now until the right men can be slotted back into the right place or the new ones can be allowed to take their turn.

Agree 100%. We aren't far off where we need to be.

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Post by SecretFly Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:28 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Yeah it's mathematically possible now that Ireland will be fighting it out for the Glorious Wooden Spoon (give over the anoraks who'll now come on board to correct me on my interpretation of the Wooden Spoon qualifications Wink - yis know what I mean)

Yeah, it's possible.  Would it be a disaster?  Well, it wouldn't be pretty - not for the players, the coach, the IRFU or the followers.   But then again, we'll take the hit if it comes - there'll be no avoiding the ignominy, so just suck it up and put the year down to a hard learning curve for the newer generation of players beginning to come through.  

Better to have your bad years a few years before a WC than have a bunch of clueless rookies turning up at the next one with only one season or less under their belts.  The blooding of newer talent is required now or certainly a reorganising of some prime positions on the team.  It may be painful to watch for a few seasons but Ireland have to begin a long climb back into being the kind of a unit that competes for the honours.  The journey has to start sometime.  All Hail the Wooden Spoon!

There is no long climb back required. We drew one game and lost anther by a point. I don't think we are far off where we need to be.

That's your prerogative of course to think so, Guns.  I prefer see us over the last two seasons (with some of the older, stable, more 'trusted' personnel still with us) playing a close-to-the-edge game of squeezed out wins and over-reliance on massive defensive shifts; shifts that have hurt both our players physically and hurt their chances of playing more ball in attacking formations with real teeth.  So I've seen us yes, be successful enough the last few years - but never as much above our European colleagues as some often would have us believe.  Nothing we won was easy - most of it was won on those slim margins.  So in other words, nothing has been easy and we haven't been cruising.

So most observers including me hoped that our progress was an uphill journey - that expansion would come to the plans as Schmidt settled in and got a taste for the players' skills.
And where are we?  A bad WC again - people can pin any excuse they like to it, it was another bad campaign where players looked unready, undercooked and not up to the conditioning required for rugby at such a level.  Even Jones complains now about the fitness of his English players!  He's looking at it from the outside in still and I won't be told our players were close to fit enough to compete against sides like Australia, New Zealand or Argentina.
And now a bad (already) 6N.  Again, no soothing balm can be put on it.  It is what it is - players underperforming by the bundle.  

So my question to you would be if the 'improvement' comes as you see it.  If we're not far from where we need to be - for me that's simply back to where we've been.  Where we've been in the last few years has been 'fruitful' but it hasn't nearly been good enough.  Other sides are moving forward - not backwards simply to get to the same place they've already been.

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Post by Notch Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:41 pm

Yeah, the margins are very fine between success and failure.

Ireland have won games and been criticised for performance standards, yet been able to say we've ground out wins- if we have our first choice front row available I believe we would have been able to escape with two narrow wins despite not playing well and actually still have a shot at the title and the Slam. We've conceded two tries and both have been off the scrum. We've also conceded a huge number of scrum penalties.

Where we were before the RWC was saying we've been good enough to grind out wins and tactically outthink opponents in the Six Nations, but we need to improve to compete with the SH teams. Now we're still able to get the right tactics, but when you are being dominated at the set piece it takes it out of the legs and we're seeing the impact of that on our ability to control territory and possession as the game goes on. It's a worrying trend that we are not able to sustain our effort over 80 minutes.

But imo we have to take a step back from thinking about what we need to do in terms of how we use the ball to attack teams in order to close the gap with the Southern Hemisphere and think about what its going to take for us to get a solid foundation in our game that we can rely upon to give whoever is in the backs the platform to attack off. If you don't have possession, and you are in the wrong part of the field, you can't execute attacking moves anyway and we very much need to learn to walk again before we can run.

In Schmidts first few years we had the solid foundation to be incredibly well organised and hard to beat, and it was a question of whether we were able to add the finesse on top. The injuries and retirements in the tight five have changed that, particularly with the scrum. Its not all bad news- I fell like we still have great structures in our line out and maul, and players at halfback who can exercise a kicking game. I feel like defensively we are excellent in not conceding many points. But besides the scrum issues I feel like our restarts are average enough and our exit strategies have been sloppily executed. The standard of kicking from hand from the back three is not good enough. These are the core issues we face. Very valid criticisms are there to be made of us when we do attack; we are not being accurate enough in terms of handling, which is disappointing, and when we execute a play the support play isn't good enough. The decision making in attack is often panicked and questionable too. I don't feel the structure is anywhere near as bad as is being made out, but the execution is poor.

However poor execution is fixable; our future at tight head and lock is a much more foundational problem. Numbers 3 and 5 are the positions where we are hurting incredibly badly and despite the criticisms of selection further out, its the superiority of opponents in the tight five that is making the difference in these very tight games. A draw and a loss by one point- were the pack better it would've almost certainly won us both of those games, the backs misfiring with the ball would only ensure the wins were narrow and ugly.

In terms of coaching, I have complete confidence in the set-up; my only concern is that we don't have our defence coach in situ so the workload on Schmidt himself is too much for this tournament. In terms of personnel, I'm worried we just don't have the tight five forwards atm and bigger nations will expose them as a unit regardless of the coaching and selection.

I think we will face a period where we struggle to impose our tactics whatever they are until the successors to Mike Ross and Paul O'Connell are identified and begin to reach their potential. The only big difference I can see between us in previous years and today is the ripple effect caused by lack of quality in their positions. The game really starts and ends up front and any team with no tight head and no quality lock is going to struggle with any coach. Thats why we may have to go backwards until we go forwards again.
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Post by Notch Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:44 pm

Positive; Henderson and Moore are temporary absentees, young and promising.
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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:46 pm

A bit of perspective though, Secret. The GS was won by pragmatism, rather than flair - squeaking by a wretched England; grinding out the win against Wales and so on. The last two years, for every outstanding all-round performance (Scotland and Italy last year, Wales and Scotland the year before) there have been games when we've done it hard and everything hasn't been as pretty as we might like. We under-performed in the WC, for sure, but until the physical cost of the ultimate Pyrrhic victory against France became clear, we still fancied our chances against Argentina. I did, anyway. We don't have, and never, throughout history, have had the depth to cover the absence of five or six major figures and still be where we want to be.

This year, we're down Henderson (our potential POC of the future), O'Brien, O'Mahony, Healy in the pack. Bowe at 14. I don't think that Jonny is 100% fit just now, either, having taken some fair old whacks in the first two games. We do lack leadership at the moment - Rory's a good player but he isn't the man to give a cool tactical appraisal of what needs to be changed on the hoof - but the basic elements are still sound apart from out tendency to be one-dimensional in attack. Even with BOD and D'Arcy in situ, though, and Kearney and Bowe playing out of their skins in the halcyon days, we would still moan about an inability to put lesser teams to the sword. What that means just now in 2016 is a draw and a narrow defeat, rather than a couple of narrow victories.

Sometimes I feel that we expect more than is reasonable of ourselves.

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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:54 pm

Notch, you just about summed up how I see it too. Good summary.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:57 pm

Does anybody know what is happening to the French player who took Sexton out off the ball with a cheap shot ?

He seriously has to be looking at a ban. Shocked

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Post by Notch Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:07 pm

captain carrantuohil wrote:Sometimes I feel that we expect more than is reasonable of ourselves.

Definitely.
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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:08 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Does anybody know what is happening to the French player who took Sexton out off the ball with a cheap shot ?

He seriously has to be looking at a ban. Shocked

Isn't today the citing deadline? Personally I think the high tackle on Dave Kearney was just as bad if not worse. In fairness to the French if Ireland were as poor a team as the French are now we would probably try to beat the crap out of them too. I know this because this is what we have done in the past when we were fairly crap. Memories of Peter Cloghessy stamping on Olivier Roumat's face in Paris.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:10 pm

The French tried that with us years ago, but Arwel Thomas just decked their player. Laugh

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Post by GunsGerms Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:16 pm

So anyway, I would like Schmidt to use the remainder of the six nations as an opportunity to deveopl the team a bit more. However, I doubt we will see too many changes for Twickers.

Neither does Rog:

http://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/2016/0214/768005-ronan-ogara-england-ireland-twickenham/

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Post by SecretFly Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:25 pm

Notch wrote:Yeah, the margins are very fine between success and failure....

.

The scrum and our forward issues are what they are and few would deny we're not exactly loaded with bountiful resources in that department; - actually a few might question why that is still so though, after so many years of professionalism and Ireland not exactly being one of the commercially poorer Nations at that game.  Where was the long term planning that the IRFU are supposedly famous for when we still struggle to fill essential rugby union positions in the forwards department a good 20 years after professionalism began?

But, that wasn't my point.... our scrum and forwards have their issues, but like I've said earlier, that doesn't allow the rest of the team to down tools and not play themselves out of trouble as much as they can - and it doesn't allow a coach or coaches to use excuses of scrum issues to cover up the shortfalls in other areas of the field.  
Schmidt to his credit doesn't make excuses about that (it's said he was even dissuading Best from using such excuses in the after-game press-conference).
And the players to their credit haven't downed tools in their attempts to ameliorate the forward lack of grunt..... but there is time enough in a game to offset scrum weaknesses.  Australia were successful enough at pushing off their weaknesses in that area at times over the years by becoming more ruthless and creative out on the fringes and in the open - attacking more to defend more easily.

It is unforgiveable at this point that we still 'evade' the benefits (genuine benefits) of well executed and drilled offloading out of trouble and contact to perhaps keep promising moves going.  We instead are drilled to bull into contact and recycle.  It's no secret then that on the few occasions we do offload that it can look so edgy and panicky and prone to knock-ons and mishandling.... it's because it's rusty.  It's rusty because for whatever continuing reason is there, it is not being promoted seriously in training.  If you don't practice and use a skill at a high level in high quality competition then you won't be very good at it - simple.  Practice keeps skills honed.  Our offloading skills are now virtually the worst in the top ten ranking list - when we get around to using them at all.

And that fast, offloading, strongly support based, keyed-in attack platform doesn't rely on massive scrums.  We've all too often had enough ball to play with, in our hands, going forward.  We've had enough possession to do serious damage in the last two games.  It's our sharp edge, our lack of quick step sustained evasion and passing before contact that is killing us.

We have had and continue to have more than enough possession to do damage to opposing sides - we're not starved of having quality possession through 80 minutes, (even with struggling scrums) - but we do lack the needed attention to detail of attack to make the possession count on the scoreboard.

That's our Achilles tendon - we lack sustained speed and creativity (which MUST include offloading) in attack.  My opinion is that our main issue has been and continues to be our lack of smartness and evasion in attack (forwards included) not our seasonal shortcomings in the forward (scrum) department.

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Post by captain carrantuohil Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:33 pm

All true, Secret and, although Saturday, with the rain hosing down all day, probably wasn't the ideal day to display those offloading skills (I gave up counting the knock-ons from both sides after about twenty minutes), it has been a recurring problem. You can't imagine that the backs aren't drilled to death so the answer is a tricky one - I refuse to believe that the ability is lacking among the available personnel but it would be nice to see more evidence of the necessary self-belief in this regard.

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Post by Notch Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:55 pm

SecretFly wrote:It is unforgiveable at this point that we still 'evade' the benefits (genuine benefits) of well executed and drilled offloading out of trouble and contact to perhaps keep promising moves going.  We instead are drilled to bull into contact and recycle.  It's no secret then that on the few occasions we do offload that it can look so edgy and panicky and prone to knock-ons and mishandling.... it's because it's rusty.  It's rusty because for whatever continuing reason is there, it is not being promoted seriously in training.  If you don't practice and use a skill at a high level in high quality competition then you won't be very good at it - simple.  Practice keeps skills honed.  Our offloading skills are now virtually the worst in the top ten ranking list - when we get around to using them at all.

...

That's our Achilles tendon - we lack sustained speed and creativity (which MUST include offloading) in attack.  My opinion is that our main issue has been and continues to be our lack of smartness and evasion in attack (forwards included) not our seasonal shortcomings in the forward (scrum) department.

I agree, but I simply do not for a second believe it is possible for us to pursue results every year in the very hard-nosed way the IRFU do and execute this game plan. There has to be space for us to lose all five games in the Six Nations for a period, and potentially by worse margins than our defeat to France think more 10 points.

Why? For the exact reasons you have described. You are right about it. You are right in everything you say. You just haven't taken it to its logical conclusion. Practice keeps skills honed- we don't practice these skills at schools level. We don't practice these skills at club level. We don't practice these skills at provincial level. So if we're going to introduce them at national level, we will improve. But we're looking at a long period of reconfiguring our game totally because players are coming in with maybe 15 years of not practicing those skills, and then they have four training sessions with the national coaches and its into the test arena. Introducing skills that have never been developed and players have no confidence in in that timeframe is really hard to attain.

The national team sacrificing results would be fine with me, if thats whats needed for us to truly progress. But it's never going to happen. You just have to ask; why do the IRFU prioritise pursuing results in the short term as opposed to sacrificing them for long term benefit? Well, the fans are fickle. Everyone is more biased towards the province and susceptible to jump onto the next bandwagon that rolls into town so if results drop we'll get crucified. Sponsors are fickle; being associated with a winning team is fantastic, a losing team is no good. And the income generated by the national team is subsidising every level of the game! So put a few seasons of poor results in a row and suddenly the whole damn house of cards can fall down! And then you have to ask why the coaches won't push for such a policy; Schmidt has one draw and one defeat by one point in this years tournament and the fans and media are practically calling for his head. The last two coaches of Ireland were so thoroughly reviled after their sackings it basically killed their rugby coaching careers off entirely. The Union is only concerned with the national team remaining profitable and they will only back coaches as long as that is happening. What coach who wants to provide for his family by working in the job he loves with any sense would implement a policy that doesn't utilise the core strengths of his players as developed by years of coaching by others before he even gets a chance to have one session with them? The 'Irish Way' is ingrained and he has just a few days to try and change it.

At Ulster, we are playing the kind of rugby which will hopefully translate to national success, and the exact kind of expansive, risky game plan that you want to see, but the error count is phenomenal. Even the really talented players who have the offloading skills are surrounded by players who do not. What use is McCloskey, Williams or Jackson offloading the ball when the player they are offloading too is hard-coded from the point they first picked up a rugby ball not to anticipate it? I'd say 50% of the time we attempt a slick reverse pass or offload out of the tackle it results in a turnover even if the ball carrier does everything perfectly- the receiving player knocks on. And so, to win, we have to tell our most talented players in the biggest games to reign it in and play down to the level of the players around them. Now at Pro12 level you're going to have a lot of players who are less talented than international players just by dint of the way our depth is, but we have no choice considering the number of games we play- big squads are inevitable. Similarly the number of club games chokes the amount of time in the season the national squad gets to train together, making it even harder for national coaches...

So really I want the same things as you- and I'm not joking, I want the exact same things as you- but... how we get to A to B is really a long term issue and it involves improving coaching at every single level of the game before we are in a position our national coach can really operate freely. I just see no short-term solution that even a world-class coach like Schmidt can implement. But even if the IRFU do everything right with coaching, and attracting coaches is harder and harder, it's going to take a change in the entire organisation of the NH calendar to give national coaches time to work!
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6 Nations 2016: France v Ireland 13th February - Page 6 Empty Re: 6 Nations 2016: France v Ireland 13th February

Post by rodders Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:08 am

Notch wrote:
Why? For the exact reasons you have described. You are right about it. You are right in everything you say. You just haven't taken it to its logical conclusion. Practice keeps skills honed- we don't practice these skills at schools level. We don't practice these skills at club level. We don't practice these skills at provincial level. So if we're going to introduce them at national level, we will improve.

Well this is the issue - the skills don't exist in any level of the game as can be seen by the u-20s. We have players learning basic skills at pro level which is never going to be enough to compete with the top sides.

I have seen much more ambition with the ball this 6N but it has been to the detriment of the results. We've conceded more turnovers and knock-ons in the first 2 games than in the last 2 6N put together.

Against France we ran far too much, leading to too many KOs and then scrums where they had the upper hand. With the conditions I don't understand why we didn't use more up and unders and kicks to the corner to put their line out, which was struggling under pressure.

I think the criticism about the style of rugby is starting to get to Joe and he's losing the plot - moving away from a successful and clinical approach to a higher risk game we don't have the players in the 23 to play.

The most successful move of the game was Sextons chip for Henshaw but we only saw it once.

This free play kick to the wing is annoying my head as well - when we have the penalty advantage in the 22 we need to play what in front of us and go for the try if its on. It's just lazy play at this stage and the opposition are wise to it.
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