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6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March

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6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March Empty 6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March

Post by George Carlin Sun 6 Mar 2016 - 17:05

6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March Irelan116N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March Italy11
IRELAND v ITALY
12 March 2016
KO: 13:30 GMT
Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Live on RTE, DMAX, ITV, FR2 / BBC (H)

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Touch judges: [tbc]
Television match official: [tbc]

A. Head to Head

16 Played 16
15 Won 1
0 Drawn 0
1 Lost 15
519 Points 209

B. Recent Form

4 October 2015: Olympic Stadium, London, England
16 – 9 to Ireland
2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D

7 February 2015: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
3 – 26 to Ireland
2015 Six Nations Championship

8 March 2014: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
46 – 7 to Ireland
2014 Six Nations Championship

16 March 2013: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
22 – 15 to Italy
2013 Six Nations Championship

25 February 2012: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
42 – 10 to Ireland
2012 Six Nations Championship

C. Teams

IRELAND
6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March Father10 
[tbc]

ITALY
6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March Pope-f10
[tbc]
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Post by the-goon Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 13:00

Isn't that pope an Argie?

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Post by toml Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 13:19

Is the Vatican Italy?

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Post by George Carlin Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 15:22

picard
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Post by SecretFly Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 15:39

Well....Ireland have a point to prove now. All pressure off and probably a few more 'regulars' back. So a good win coming for Italy.

I have a funny feeling that just as the media think Ireland are onto a winner that they'll keep a bit of a season's habit going and lose. Italy will certainly now be less afraid of Ireland than they usually are - and they're never afraid of us and always ready to prove we're not as far above them as we might like to think we are.


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Post by profitius Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 15:42

As I mentioned on the Hook thread, Jack O'Donoghue has been called up along with Bealham. What are the chances one of them benches?
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Post by SecretFly Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 15:50

Speaking of that idiot......................... Hook............. Cool ..... it's been a long time since I heard a mention of his grandson.... the one with the brains, that is........... Murray Kinsella??!!!!!!

Is it just that I've been away from longer stints or has Murray's opinions fallen out of favour now? I wonder what that young scoundrel thinks about the bench?

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Post by Golden Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 16:36

No loosehead called up so Healy will be benching again. He really shouldn't be near the International team at the moment (same with Ferg). Surprised Buckley or Cronin werent included.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 17:15

profitius wrote:As I mentioned on the Hook thread, Jack O'Donoghue has been called up along with Bealham. What are the chances one of them benches?

I think the back row will remain the same with Rhys Ruddock on the bench. Personally I would like to see Ruddock, JvdF and Stander starting for one of the games with Heaslip totally rested. JOD on the bench. I just can't see it happening, especially when we seem to be lacking leaders. Heaslip is one of those undroppable consistent players that Schmidt seems to favour.

We really do need more big ball carrying options in the pack but at the same time it will make little difference if they are getting static ball. It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation but I think that Fly has been spot on with his criticism of Conor Murray. Ireland have certainly upped the tempo this season but it is immediately slowed down at the base of the ruck. We have pods of forwards being marshalled to take the ball static.

I do not see enough of Connacht to have a sound opinion, but how is Marmion's distribution from the ruck? I would assume very good considering the amount of good attacking rugby we have seen from them. Personally I believe the best 9s are the ones we don't tend to notice as they are doing their job consistently and with pace, allowing other players to shine.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 18:08

Rory_Gallagher wrote:Personally I believe the best 9s are the ones we don't tend to notice as they are doing their job consistently and with pace, allowing other players to shine.

I partly agree and partly disagree with this!

They shouldn't be noticed if they are up with play, get the ball quickly and pass it accurately to the stand-off. However they should equally be noticed making breaks, taking quick taps, seeing kicking opportunities or slowing down play to help re-organise either the attack or defence.

Ireland haven't had many world class nines in their history, with only Colin Patterson really springing to mind who could do all of the above. Conor Murray's service has got noticeably slower and less accurate but a large part of that is the accuracy with which the ball is being presented to him. He is not a great 9 behind a weak pack, but then who is?

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Post by Notch Mon 7 Mar 2016 - 18:35

I would quite like to see Jack O'Donoghue feature, but I don't think we should go with him and Van Der Flier. Van Der Flier surrounded by some combo of Ruddock, Stander and Heaslip would be fine, or else swap VDF out of O'Donoghue.
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 0:48

With the amount of rumours going around about the number of newbies being used for this match, you wonder if Italy will recognise any of the squad.
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Post by SecretFly Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 11:21

This is it.... this is the time for the new version Ireland/Leinster-style to show its full bag of tricks that they've secretly now being working on for a long time.  Joe has been building to this now for nearly three years and increasingly finding it harder to keep the plan under wraps. Thornley was getting ready to publish an exclusive exposure.  So finally, the pieces of the jigsaw are in place and Joe is prepared to unleash his Real Ireland team.

Prepare to be stunned.  Prepare for Shock'n'Awe!!!

I'm so excited.









(okay, so IRFU - I want the payment made in unmarked notes and dropped off at the Swiss Bank I named in our earlier correspondence.  That's the best I could come up with given the short notice)

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 13:07

Buckley was excellent against Edinburgh the other day who were no scrubs in the scrum. Healy did alright for Leinster but is not the form loosehead. You have 3 carriers in Best, Heaslip and Stander. Neither of your locks are real carriers and that is where I would look to find something more. Looking at the Gray's, AWJ and the English locks (Lawes, Launchbury, Kruis and Itoje), they can all carry consistently at a decent level. Not convinced that Toner or McCarthy are carrying effectively enough. Henderson would be the solution but he is out injured and I don't know Irish rugby well enough to know if Dillane or a Munster boy could do it.

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Post by Notch Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 13:11

Dillane couldn't be any worse and the other locks are off form so for me there is little to lose by starting him. I would have Ryan running the line out beside him. We'll need to keep Heaslip to have some continuity in the line out. We're really suffering from a lack of good jumping options in the back row though. You really need three excellent line out options at this level and we don't have a guy in the back row like that with POM out. Diack can play that role, but he's not good enough everywhere else to justify a place in the squad.

I'd be tempted to pick Ruddock at 7 even though he isn't a 7 to add extra ballast to the back row and an extra option at line out time. All our forwards are pretty strong over the ball so I don't think we lose much by not picking an out and out open side.

But, in the big picture, sticking with Van Der Flier has more long term benefits.
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Post by carpet baboon Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 13:57

Anybody else think he should go a bit radical in this game? Maybe not in the front 5, but dillain to start, with aback line of marrimon, Jackson Healy mcklosky Marshall, Zebo, Henshaw

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Post by the-goon Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 14:32

I defo think the guys that made their debut vs England should all keep their places. Joe won't make wholesale changes and nor should he, as we are still developing a new attacking strategy, continuity is required.

With Payne being fit again, I'm not sure where the 3 fits into 2. I'm certain Jackson will be involved in this game. May even start? If he does start, I think it will be the Henshaw/Payne axis though.

My team  // The team I think Joe will pick

McGrath
Best
Ross

Toner
Dilane  // Ryan

Stander
VDF
Heaslip

Murray
Sexton

McCloskey  // Henshaw
Henshaw      //  Payne

Trimble
Earls

Payne // Kearney

Strauss
Buckley (but not in squad so Healy)
Furlong
Ryan  // Dilane
Rudduck
Marmion
Jackson (I think Joe will give him a chance)
Zebo

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Post by Notch Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 14:36

In theory yeah, thats a good team baboon, but as much as the fans and the media can be vicious towards a coach and a team for losing when we're supposedly "conservative" in selection or tactics they are going to be equally brutal if not more so should we experiment and lose at home to Italy. And the IRFU needs to sell tickets and merchandise to these people remember. Keeping a bandwagon rolling means winning test matches, and this is a game we need to win or the next bandwagon leaving the station will take the casual fans with it. That means we'll never get to see games as only development tools, rightly or wrongly.

I think that back line could beat Italy, but as much as I want to see 2 or 3 younger players getting exposed to this level as we build towards the next World Cup we should surround them with the players who are experienced and who are the best in their positions.

Sexton should start, Marmion I would have no problem with, the midfield should be McCloskey and Payne. Wingers should be Earls and Zebo with Henshaw at fullback. Murray and Trimble are experienced players who have been disappointing so no problem for me if they are dropped but bring them off the bench with a point to prove. Putting Payne alongside McCloskey will help him a lot and at this stage I'm absolutely dying to see Ireland pick someone at fullback who can defend AND attack to a high level. People say Payne is that player, but the off the cuff attacking play we see from him at Ulster isn't going to look good at test level without slack defences to flatter him the way they do at Pro12 level. Not saying he won't be able to show any spark but Henshaw is faster than him, stronger than him and has his own ball playing abilities. It seems obvious Henshaw should be at 15 with Payne at 13.

Payne probably only has a season left at test level, maybe two, because he's just losing a bit in the legs. He just seems a yard slower than when he first signed for Ulster, which was probably the peak of his career and his physical peak. You're not going to see him win any collisions or exploit many gaps from now on at this level where defences are unbelievably organised and physical. He makes up for it with sublime rugby intelligence and ability as an organiser. But he's a stopgap at this point. Still, absolutely no point in failing to utilise him while we bed in a whole new generation of centres and hopefully a new fullback too. Another organising voice in the back line is crucial.
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Post by marty2086 Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 14:48

Notch wrote:Sexton should start, Marmion I would have no problem with, the midfield should be McCloskey and Payne. Wingers should be Earls and Zebo with Henshaw at fullback. Murray and Trimble are experienced players who have been disappointing so no problem for me if they are dropped but bring them off the bench with a point to prove. Putting Payne alongside McCloskey will help him a lot and at this stage I'm absolutely dying to see Ireland pick someone at fullback who can defend AND attack to a high level. People say Payne is that player, but the off the cuff attacking play we see from him at Ulster isn't going to look good at test level without slack defences to flatter him the way they do at Pro12 level. Not saying he won't be able to show any spark but Henshaw is faster than him, stronger than him and has his own ball playing abilities. It seems obvious Henshaw should be at 15 with Payne at 13.

I think Payne or Henshaw would be an improvement on Kearney, who apparently sat out training today. Not nice seeing a player getting injured but hopefully it opens the door for a change there.

Reddan also missed training so a chance for Marmion too

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Post by profitius Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 16:56

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
profitius wrote:As I mentioned on the Hook thread, Jack O'Donoghue has been called up along with Bealham. What are the chances one of them benches?

I think the back row will remain the same with Rhys Ruddock on the bench. Personally I would like to see Ruddock, JvdF and Stander starting for one of the games with Heaslip totally rested. JOD on the bench. I just can't see it happening, especially when we seem to be lacking leaders. Heaslip is one of those undroppable consistent players that Schmidt seems to favour.

We really do need more big ball carrying options in the pack but at the same time it will make little difference if they are getting static ball. It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation but I think that Fly has been spot on with his criticism of Conor Murray. Ireland have certainly upped the tempo this season but it is immediately slowed down at the base of the ruck. We have pods of forwards being marshalled to take the ball static.

I do not see enough of Connacht to have a sound opinion, but how is Marmion's distribution from the ruck? I would assume very good considering the amount of good attacking rugby we have seen from them. Personally I believe the best 9s are the ones we don't tend to notice as they are doing their job consistently and with pace, allowing other players to shine.


Marmion is a good passer of the ball and plays with tempo. He is also good at making breaks. His only fault - and possibly a big fault in Schmidt's eyes - is his box kicking. Then again, Reddans isn't great either. Marmion is also fairly experienced.


I'd love to see JOD get a run out against Italy. He is a serious talent and he would be very comfortable playing a high tempo, fast paced game.
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Post by carpet baboon Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 16:59

I say let's go for a high tempo ball in play kinda game.run them off there feet apart from Ross, he can just jog a little

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Post by Notch Tue 8 Mar 2016 - 20:02

Thats how we generally play against Italy and it generally works extremely well. However in years gone by we've done it with a rock solid set piece- if the scrum and lineout creak they'll get into the game and cause us problems.

Really the biggest issue for Ireland is the forwards. The backs selection is very peripheral.
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Post by profitius Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 0:31

Irelands defence is a major problem and it could be an even bigger problem against the Scots. At least we know Farrell is coming in and he'll transform the defence from being passive to aggressive. I also think he'll add some much needed aggression throughout the squad.


carpet baboon wrote:I say let's go for a high tempo ball in play kinda game.run them off there feet apart from Ross, he can just jog a little


He doesn't jog, he waddles. Smile
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Post by Notch Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 9:01

He glides over the turf like a ballerina.
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Post by tigertattie Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 9:14

GC, why doesnt the name of this thread have "The wooden spoon decider"???????????
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Post by JmD Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 10:38

http://m.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/simon-zebo-set-to-start-at-15-against-italy-with-stuart-mccloskey-likely-to-miss-out-34523752.html

Is there any doubt that Schmidt is the worst team selector in world rugby? I'm seriously questioning his man management skills too. First, McCloskey only gets his (rightfully deserved) starting slot because of injury. He played a good game, but Schmidt immediately criticises him in the press for the crime of having the balls to attempt an offload or two. Imagine any other international coach criticising a debutant for this, ridiculous stuff. And now he is being dropped from the squad completely despite clearly being the best option. Of course, this is Ireland, so all of this will be accepted in the name of the Great Leader's System.

I'm done with him. The sooner he is sacked, the better. Schmidt out.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 11:15

Not sure if serious... I mean the team hasn't even been announced yet. You want to get rid of Schmidt based on speculation? Okay... Rolling Eyes

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 11:23

JmD wrote:http://m.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/simon-zebo-set-to-start-at-15-against-italy-with-stuart-mccloskey-likely-to-miss-out-34523752.html

Is there any doubt that Schmidt is the worst team selector in world rugby? I'm seriously questioning his man management skills too. First, McCloskey only gets his (rightfully deserved) starting slot because of injury. He played a good game, but Schmidt immediately criticises him in the press for the crime of having the balls to attempt an offload or two. Imagine any other international coach criticising a debutant for this, ridiculous stuff. And now he is being dropped from the squad completely despite clearly being the best option. Of course, this is Ireland, so all of this will be accepted in the name of the Great Leader's System.

I'm done with him. The sooner he is sacked, the better. Schmidt out.

Lol you're obviously a member of the Simpsons Golden Years Appreciation Forum.

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Post by the-goon Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 11:53

JmD wrote:http://m.independent.ie/sport/rugby/six-nations/simon-zebo-set-to-start-at-15-against-italy-with-stuart-mccloskey-likely-to-miss-out-34523752.html

Is there any doubt that Schmidt is the worst team selector in world rugby? I'm seriously questioning his man management skills too. First, McCloskey only gets his (rightfully deserved) starting slot because of injury. He played a good game, but Schmidt immediately criticises him in the press for the crime of having the balls to attempt an offload or two. Imagine any other international coach criticising a debutant for this, ridiculous stuff. And now he is being dropped from the squad completely despite clearly being the best option. Of course, this is Ireland, so all of this will be accepted in the name of the Great Leader's System.

I'm done with him. The sooner he is sacked, the better. Schmidt out.

What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

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Post by eirebilly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 11:54

JmD,

Although I share your concerns, the team has not been announced yet so I wouldn't jump the gun.

If Schmidt indeed drops McCloskey then I will be very disappointed.

Zebo, although on current form, is a step up from Kearney attacking wise, is also not the best option at 15. His defensive positioning at times leaves a lot to be desired so I would have loved to have seen Payne be given a go there. Zebo should only be seen as back up wing and 15.
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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 12:04

It would be hugely disappointing to see McCloskey dropped but I would hold off printing the Schmidt Out T-shirts just yet.
If Zebo gets the 15 shirt I will however run straight to the printers Smile

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Post by eirebilly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 12:14

I think that Zebo's powerful left boot is what gives him the nod over Payne at 15 in Schmidt's eyes. He does like a kicker in the team that can get some distance out of the 22.

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Post by SecretFly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 12:26

eirebilly wrote:He does like a kicker in the team that can get some distance out of the 22.


Not so much of a bright spark idea these days with all the new high catching confident opponents that run anything long right back at us - with interest in the guise of lightening speed. Plus...not such a bright spark idea these days when only perhaps one of our chasers ever remotely get close to anything kicked.... and even then, they've lost the ability to collect anything much from onhigh...... Whistle

I say give it to Kearney and let him duck and dive and evade his way up the field with ball in hand............................................ Cool Erm

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Post by JmD Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 13:26

the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

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Post by JmD Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 13:27

eirebilly wrote:JmD,

Although I share your concerns, the team has not been announced yet so I wouldn't jump the gun.

If Schmidt indeed drops McCloskey then I will be very disappointed.

Zebo, although on current form, is a step up from Kearney attacking wise, is also not the best option at 15. His defensive positioning at times leaves a lot to be desired so I would have loved to have seen Payne be given a go there. Zebo should only be seen as back up wing and 15.

I get that the team hasn't been announced yet, but the article is a reporting piece, not an opinion piece. By all indications, it's accurate.

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Post by eirebilly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 13:38

Well I hope its not accurate JmD, I would not be happy with it at all.

In a way, I can understand what Schmidt would be aiming for if this team was the team he selects. He will be going simply for the team he knows, my problem with that is, that team has not been performing.

Ireland are playing Italy (no disrespect to Italy as they have played well for no luck this 6N) and with the championship over for Ireland, he should really go for it by using the best players available in their best positions.

In no way did McCloskey look out of his depth against England in England and I feel he would cut Italia's midfield to shreds. With Payne at 15, he would have a defensively solid player who can counter and bring others into the game.

I would also rest Heaslip and give Stander the 8 shirt and even rest Sexton (to the Bench) and give Jackson a start.
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Post by SecretFly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 13:57

Joe is about as much as an Outside of Ireland person as you can get on this Earth unless you look at Richard Branson, who is obviously from another planet.

I think Joe, and indeed Kidney before him, have been dogged by a constant Irish curse of many Irish players always playing below themselves in an Irish shirt - or to word it differently for the over-sensitive souls who feel one should never unduly criticise players - we have a constant stream of players that are inconsistent in the number of times they play above themselves whilst in an Irish shirt.  It's always so much promise but when an Irish shirt goes on them, they slow down a grade, they become less sure of their handling, the fluff their box kick lines etc etc....
Joe has also been the victim of a regular Irish IRFU malaise of thinking one 'good' coach is enough and then fill in the assistants jobs with...well............. that's always a less important bit for the IRFU it seems.  The it'll-do approach.
Schmidt functioned best when he had Plumtree around him - a no nonsense coach that knew what he wanted and wouldn't let the players off the hook by lowering intensity.  This Irish side lacks intensity - both on the field in sheer belligerence and even off the field in their ha hum bland comments.  There is too much a sense of 'it'll do' running through the language and the body language in games itself.

Maybe Farrell WILL be a kickstart to this very timid coaching lineup we currently have.  Joe needs an abrasive guy in camp to push genuine intensity levels.  I don't think we're seeing them in games because I genuinely don't think they're reaching those levels in training.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 14:17

It is genuinely insane that people are calling for Schmidt to leave already. It is literally mindless, thoughtless garbage. Schmidt has won the past two 6 Nations trophies, transforming a bottom table 6 Nations team into a genuine threat. Last season we won an entire SH tour. These achievements are huge. Regardless of what the Schmidt detractors wish to believe, losing 5 of your best players in one game in the World Cup is going to royally mess up your campaign. As I have said before it is incredibly childish to think this wouldn't affect any coach or team in a major fashion. Which is why we lost so badly to Argentina.

At the minute we are still having a tough time against very tough competition. The reality is that Wales, England and Ireland are always going to swap positions as they are on relatively even terms. This has been much harder for us given that we are in a bad position injury wise. The loss to France had the most sting as it is one we really should have won but again our lack of an adequate tight 5 was telling. It is very difficult to win these big games without a good set piece, especially given the fact that we have relied on set piece dominance for the past few years.

I am not a fan of some of the selections made so far by Schmidt but I can understand each of the calls whether I agree with them or not. Either way Schmidt has brought a host of new players into the system and there are not many others outside of the training squad who deserve to be there. At the end of the day this is yet another example of fickle fans letting their emotions get the better of them and jumping to rash conclusions. We will not get a coach better than Schmidt.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 14:45

JmD wrote:
the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

This makes me question if even watch the games,we've been playing some really adventurous rugby this 6N ,we also have played far more boring,innefective and uninspired rugby in the past the 90's and 2011-2013 stand out in that regard.

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Post by JmD Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:05

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
JmD wrote:
the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

This makes me question if even watch the games,we've been playing some really adventurous rugby this 6N ,we also have played far more boring,innefective and uninspired rugby in the past the 90's and 2011-2013 stand out in that regard.

You're either intentionally lying or genuinely clueless. We should not be comparing the current Ireland team to one from 20 years ago. We should be comparing them to the other international sides right now, and clearly we don't stack up to them.

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Post by eirebilly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:06

I actually agree with asoreleftshoulder Shocked

Ireland have been far more adventurous this 6N but I feel that Schmidt has actually selected the wrong players (in their wrong positions) to fulfil this adventurous game plan.

I have no problems in loosing matches if the future is being invested in i.e. bringing in young form players and introducing a more offensive game. Schmidt has done this but feel he often reverts back to his old favourites (which I understand but disagree with).

I don't like players getting injured but a few injuries this season has forced Schmidt to pick certain players who have performed so I would not understand if these players were to be left out. What it has done though, is create a very healthy competitive feel to certain players.
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Post by JmD Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:12

Rory_Gallagher wrote:It is genuinely insane that people are calling for Schmidt to leave already. It is literally mindless, thoughtless garbage. Schmidt has won the past two 6 Nations trophies, transforming a bottom table 6 Nations team into a genuine threat. Last season we won an entire SH tour. These achievements are huge. Regardless of what the Schmidt detractors wish to believe, losing 5 of your best players in one game in the World Cup is going to royally mess up your campaign. As I have said before it is incredibly childish to think this wouldn't affect any coach or team in a major fashion. Which is why we lost so badly to Argentina.

At the minute we are still having a tough time against very tough competition. The reality is that Wales, England and Ireland are always going to swap positions as they are on relatively even terms. This has been much harder for us given that we are in a bad position injury wise. The loss to France had the most sting as it is one we really should have won but again our lack of an adequate tight 5 was telling. It is very difficult to win these big games without a good set piece, especially given the fact that we have relied on set piece dominance for the past few years.

I am not a fan of some of the selections made so far by Schmidt but I can understand each of the calls whether I agree with them or not. Either way Schmidt has brought a host of new players into the system and there are not many others outside of the training squad who deserve to be there. At the end of the day this is yet another example of fickle fans letting their emotions get the better of them and jumping to rash conclusions. We will not get a coach better than Schmidt.

Right now, Ireland are not a threat. We aren't even a "beat anyone on our day" type of threat. We are genuinely a poor team, and it's not because of injury. How many players are currently injured who would make a first choice side? Henderson, O'Brien and O'Mahony. That's it, 3 players. Not to mention that an argument could be made that only one of the backrow players would be starting with the emergence of Stander.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:33

JmD wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:
JmD wrote:
the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

This makes me question if even watch the games,we've been playing some really adventurous rugby this 6N ,we also have played far more boring,innefective and uninspired rugby in the past the 90's and 2011-2013 stand out in that regard.

You're either intentionally lying or genuinely clueless. We should not be comparing the current Ireland team to one from 20 years ago. We should be comparing them to the other international sides right now, and clearly we don't stack up to them.

It must be tough to watch the rugby in between re-runs of The Simspons.

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Post by profitius Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:38

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
JmD wrote:
the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

This makes me question if even watch the games,we've been playing some really adventurous rugby this 6N ,we also have played far more boring,innefective and uninspired rugby in the past the 90's and 2011-2013 stand out in that regard.


The difference between this year and last year is Ireland are kicking the ball less. Its still the same type of rugby. Low risk, safety first, ruck to ruck, high attritional rugby. Remember, Ireland have scored 2 tries in 3 games! Even if you count VDF's disallowed try, its still 1 try per game. Thats not good enough.
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Post by SecretFly Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:41

JmD wrote:

Right now, Ireland are not a threat. We aren't even a "beat anyone on our day" type of threat. We are genuinely a poor team, and it's not because of injury. How many players are currently injured who would make a first choice side? Henderson, O'Brien and O'Mahony. That's it, 3 players. Not to mention that an argument could be made that only one of the backrow players would be starting with the emergence of Stander.

But JmD, do you solve our current issues by jumping suddenly to yet another new coach?

Or do you perhaps say Schmidt has reached a slump in his coaching career for whatever reasons.... but that he's certainly had a less than slumped career to date in terms of results to give him quite a bit more 'grace' time to get out of his slump and turn this side around.

We said it after yet another disappointing WC...our standard isn't and hasn't been good enough to compete with SH at the highest level in real competition (WCs) - our style of play and conditioning levels just isn't good enough yet.  So what's the point in winning or coming close in another 6N and quickly forget again just how below the grade we are for competing in WCs.

We have to genuinely grow a philosophy of correct rugby practices (playing a brand of rugby that wins - ie SH speed and accuracy) and we must have the conditioning that allows us to play such a game.  Anything else - settling for being kings of Europe with slim wins and no Slams will get us nowhere only more delusion.

So there has to be a beginning of a new way...again!  But it has to be given time to be.  Doing the England job of New Coach for virtually every tournament isn't going to help us.  Gatland went through a rough patch with Wales but post Lions he seems to be back getting the best out of the players he has at his disposal.
And there again, he has a great backup assistant coach to whip the philosophy along with grit in his teeth.

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:41

We were unlucky not to beat a very strong Welsh side, I mean you don't get closer to winning than a draw Smile
Were really should have beaten the French and it was utterly frustrating but there's no shame in losing in Paris by a point is there?
At Twickers we were beaten by the better side but created our own chances to be in with a shout, we just didn't finish them off.

So, although we're not going to win this year, we're not far away from the likes of England and Wales so give Joe the time to work with the players and I reckon we will have better results to come in the future. I find it frustrating when the on form players are missing out and the passive defence is used time and time again. I almost teat my hair out with frustration at the missed chances but I'm never going to be stupid enough to want to get rid of Joe Schmidt....unless he'd like to take up a post with Ulster Smile

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:50

Please remind me which team aside from NZ are almost always on song and do not go through losing streaks every once in a while? I mean it was only about 6 months ago South Africa lost to Japan in the World Cup, for goodness sake. Yet they still bounced back and made it further than we did. Test rugby is going to have ups and downs and only a total moron wouldn't expect this to be the case. It would take an even bigger moron to then call for the coach's head at the beginning of one of these rough patches. If we are still as bad and have made no progress a year from now then these people might have a point but at this stage it is ridiculously childish.

As for the list of players missing, compare our team this 6 Nations to the strongest 15 we were hoping to field (had the injuries not occurred) during the RWC:

McGrath - Best - Ross
POC - Toner/Henderson
POM - Heaslip - SOB
Murray - Sexton
Henshaw - Payne
Earls - Kearney - Bowe/Kearney

The tight five has easily been the biggest problem for us and Ross (our most important player in the scrum) has only just returned. POC is a huge, huge loss. Henderson is a huge loss as he would have been the best replacement. POM is a huge loss for both his leadership and his defensive work which I believe is vital to the sort of drift defence we employ. He is also underrated in terms of the hard yards he makes. SOB is a big loss for his robust carrying game and breakdown work. The pack is where we have suffered the most and that is where we have won our big games, along with the boot of Murray and Sexton.

It shouldn't be a surprise that we have struggled more this year than other years. Did anyone expect otherwise with our inadequate options in the tight 5? We had to use inexperienced tighthead props and an ageing second row. The fact that we have even looked at Dillane, a 22 year old uncapped lock who nobody would have even considered for the match day 23 if all other options were available shows how utterly desperate we are. Look at where we directly lost the first two games - the scrum. Is this a coincidence? Obviously not.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:56

profitius wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:
JmD wrote:
the-goon wrote:
What have we won under him? Nothing! Who have we beaten? Nobody! You're right, get him out.

So who do we replace him with? And why will that person do a better job?

We haven't won a game since the group stages of the World Cup. Not only that, but we have been playing historically boring, ineffective, uninspired rugby, and there are no signs of improvement. As for who to replace him with, how about somebody from outside Ireland? Somebody without favourites, somebody who doesn't have the option of picking all their mates, somebody who will pick on talent, ability and form. Is that too much to ask?

This makes me question if even watch the games,we've been playing some really adventurous rugby this 6N ,we also have played far more boring,innefective and uninspired rugby in the past the 90's and 2011-2013 stand out in that regard.


The difference between this year and last year is Ireland are kicking the ball less. Its still the same type of rugby. Low risk, safety first, ruck to ruck, high attritional rugby. Remember, Ireland have scored 2 tries in 3 games! Even if you count VDF's disallowed try, its still 1 try per game. Thats not good enough.

Nope,we weren't running it from our own half at all previoulsy whereas now that seems to be our main play,unless we are forced to we don't kick anymore.Our boxkick/chase game has almost disappeared and if our setpiece was working correctly we'd look a far better team.
We do play fairly narrow rugby when we get into the opponents 22,I'll grant you that but like everything else I expect that to evolve,we are on our way to a good place imo and personally if we can keep Ross or Moore fit I expect at least one win on the Summer tour to S.A.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 15:57

I do still maintain that certain selections probably would have helped us more than hindered us (McCloskey lining up against Roberts) but we equally would have won these games if we had a dominant set piece. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and I can see why Schmidt made the calls that he did. With the exception of Madigan over Jackson and bringing McFadden into the match 23...

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 9 Mar 2016 - 16:01

JmD wrote:
Rory_Gallagher wrote:It is genuinely insane that people are calling for Schmidt to leave already. It is literally mindless, thoughtless garbage. Schmidt has won the past two 6 Nations trophies, transforming a bottom table 6 Nations team into a genuine threat. Last season we won an entire SH tour. These achievements are huge. Regardless of what the Schmidt detractors wish to believe, losing 5 of your best players in one game in the World Cup is going to royally mess up your campaign. As I have said before it is incredibly childish to think this wouldn't affect any coach or team in a major fashion. Which is why we lost so badly to Argentina.

At the minute we are still having a tough time against very tough competition. The reality is that Wales, England and Ireland are always going to swap positions as they are on relatively even terms. This has been much harder for us given that we are in a bad position injury wise. The loss to France had the most sting as it is one we really should have won but again our lack of an adequate tight 5 was telling. It is very difficult to win these big games without a good set piece, especially given the fact that we have relied on set piece dominance for the past few years.

I am not a fan of some of the selections made so far by Schmidt but I can understand each of the calls whether I agree with them or not. Either way Schmidt has brought a host of new players into the system and there are not many others outside of the training squad who deserve to be there. At the end of the day this is yet another example of fickle fans letting their emotions get the better of them and jumping to rash conclusions. We will not get a coach better than Schmidt.

Right now, Ireland are not a threat. We aren't even a "beat anyone on our day" type of threat. We are genuinely a poor team, and it's not because of injury. How many players are currently injured who would make a first choice side? Henderson, O'Brien and O'Mahony. That's it, 3 players. Not to mention that an argument could be made that only one of the backrow players would be starting with the emergence of Stander.

Good post Rory. thumbsup

We can talk about injuries but it's more than that. McGrath is not the player Healy was at his best, which was world class. Ross is showing his age and offers little to the modern game while other teams have THs who actually do more than scrum. POC was world class and while Henderson might aspire to that he isn't there as yet even if fit. Toner/Ryan/Tuohy/McCarthy/Dillane etc. are struggling to be Lion's class and that is where the loss of POC is felt greatest - in his partner. Stander is inexperienced and might turn out to be really good but is no SOB or Ferris yet who physically dominated their opposition. Heaslip hasn't changed... yet the opposition have - he is now sixth in his position in the 6N.

Where are the standout world class players in the pack who are significantly better than their 6N opposition to make a difference? That is not Joe picking his mates but picking the best options available to him, and it is irrefutable that if the pack can't win good ball, then the backs will struggle irrespective of who's selected.

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