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6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March

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Post by George Carlin Sun 06 Mar 2016, 5:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March - Page 2 Irelan116N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March - Page 2 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 - Page 2 Father10 
[tbc]

ITALY
6N 2016: Ireland v Italy, 12 March - Page 2 Pope-f10
[tbc]
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:07 pm

Ireland IMO should have very little to fear in this encounter. Italy's main strength was the scrum but it was in serious jeopardy against England and even more-so against Scotland. Despite Rory's concerns about the tight 5 I reckon Ireland will have more than enough to deal with the flakiest Italian Scrum I can ever remember.

Parisse has also now become part of the problem by trying to do everything himself.

If Ireland play the attack minded game I think they are capable off Italy will fall off the pace. Italy normally come racing out of the blocks, Scotland were fortunate that Italy were far to keen in the first quarter against us and they shipped 17 points. After that they never really looked like coming back.

Murray - Sexton
Henshaw - Payne
Earls - Kearney - Bowe

You have home advantage and these are the players that will win you the game. Play at tempo and at pace and I can see no other outcome than Ireland by 20.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:14 pm

Don't know what Irish fans are complaining about when it comes to Schmidt. Scotland fans would kill for your last 3 years. Heck England and Wales would quite like them. The rugby that is being played at the moment is poorly executed and I hope that we (Scotland) can capitalise. Schmidt is rebuilding a team for the next World Cup with some holdovers to indoctrinate the guys coming through. They still are fighting tooth and nail with all the other 6 nations. He probably wants a similar kind of style to what he built at Leinster and feels those players he taught have a leg up. This attitude should wear off as more of 'his' players age out, retire or just fail to perform in an Irish jersey. 3 games is not the end of the world.

The lack of a real tight 5 and a real leader are the big issues in Ireland this 6 nations so far. P O'Connell managed to have a great last couple of years, but his biggest attribute was he would lead and be vocal if someone needed a boot. Who is doing that now? Heaslip is quiet and Best is not the answer. Connacht are destructive at scrum time and their props (and Dillane) really should be given a shot as the current players just are not playing well enough. Why has the best pack in the Pro 12 only got 2 players in your squad of 13 forwards with all the injuries? I am genuinely curious, this is not a wum.

You are unfortunate really that these injuries have coincided with unsettled centre partnerships, Sexton not being in form and an injury prone back 3. There are no cracks that can be papered over at the moment. If the backs were settled you could go for tries and if the pack was settled you could kick your way.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:15 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Ireland IMO should have very little to fear in this encounter. Italy's main strength was the scrum but it was in serious jeopardy against England and even more-so against Scotland. Despite Rory's concerns about the tight 5 I reckon Ireland will have more than enough to deal with the flakiest Italian Scrum I can ever remember.

Parisse has also now become part of the problem by trying to do everything himself.

If Ireland play the attack minded game I think they are capable off Italy will fall off the pace. Italy normally come racing out of the blocks, Scotland were fortunate that Italy were far to keen in the first quarter against us and they shipped 17 points. After that they never really looked like coming back.

Murray - Sexton
Henshaw - Payne
Earls - Kearney - Bowe

You have home advantage and these are the players that will win you the game. Play at tempo and at pace and I can see no other outcome than Ireland by 20.

I feel much more confident with the tight 5 now that Ross is back from injury. He is that important to us right now. Basically we need Moore/Furlong/Bealham/someone to step up pronto as Ross is 36. I think Furlong is the long term option and I do hope he can get more game-time with both Leinster and Ireland.

Bowe is out until around April and Kearney looks set to miss this game as well.

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Post by eirebilly Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:16 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:

Murray - Sexton
Henshaw - Payne
Earls - Kearney - Bowe

You have home advantage and these are the players that will win you the game. Play at tempo and at pace and I can see no other outcome than Ireland by 20.

Kearney is out so the big question us Irish fans were asking was whether or not Zebo should replace him or Payne.

In my opinion, Payne offers far more from 15 than Zebo and McCloskey has proven he is more than capable at 12 with Henshaw moving to 13.

If Marmion was going to start I would have Sexton but if Murray is to start then I would also have Jackson. I feel that one of Sexton or Murray should have a rest myself.

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Post by SecretFly Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:25 pm

Oh give over about Zeeebo, billy!!!! mad Cool

Murray should be rested or benched to see what a sharper 9 might bring to a quicker backline party.......

There....and that's me giving over about Murray Wink until maybe next week.....

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Post by PenfroPete Wed 09 Mar 2016, 4:43 pm

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
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Post by JmD Wed 09 Mar 2016, 6:02 pm

SecretFly wrote:
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.

But where is that evidence that anything will get better? We're playing worse with every passing game, the selections are getting more and more nonsensical. Even against Italy, a match which 2 weeks ago had everyone saying it would be a perfect time to take risks and let the young (read: form) players loose, it seems that Joe is reverting to form and picking the same old conservative trash.

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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 09 Mar 2016, 6:23 pm

Don't think Ireland need to bother to turn up. This is a very poor Italy side. They always get worse and worse as the tournament goes on. Ireland to win by a big margin.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 09 Mar 2016, 6:30 pm

JmD wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
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.

But where is that evidence that anything will get better? We're playing worse with every passing game, the selections are getting more and more nonsensical. Even against Italy, a match which 2 weeks ago had everyone saying it would be a perfect time to take risks and let the young (read: form) players loose, it seems that Joe is reverting to form and picking the same old conservative trash.

Eh no we're not.Our set piece is misfiring and our linespeed in defense isn't great but with players coming through and injured players coming back plus Farrell coming in to work on the defense there is plenty of reason for optimism.We're on a 4 game streak where things aren't going well,show me a team outside NZ who haven't gone through a patch like that?

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Post by JmD Wed 09 Mar 2016, 6:45 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:
JmD wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
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.

But where is that evidence that anything will get better? We're playing worse with every passing game, the selections are getting more and more nonsensical. Even against Italy, a match which 2 weeks ago had everyone saying it would be a perfect time to take risks and let the young (read: form) players loose, it seems that Joe is reverting to form and picking the same old conservative trash.

Eh no we're not.Our set piece is misfiring and our linespeed in defense isn't great  but with players coming through and injured players coming back plus Farrell coming in to work on the defense there is plenty of reason for optimism.We're on a 4 game streak where things aren't going well,show me a team outside NZ who haven't gone through a patch like that?

My mistake, we've really been improving so much. The way we really took it to the worst French team in memory and a rebuilding England side really did us all proud. Yes, teams go through slumps in terms of results, but it's the performances that lead to those results that drive me crazy. There's no skill, no flair, no excitement, no aggression, no brains. It's all complete drivel.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Wed 09 Mar 2016, 7:18 pm

JmD wrote:

My mistake, we've really been improving so much. The way we really took it to the worst French team in memory and a rebuilding England side really did us all proud. Yes, teams go through slumps in terms of results, but it's the performances that lead to those results that drive me crazy. There's no skill, no flair, no excitement, no aggression, no brains. It's all complete drivel.

You seem to be living in some alternate reality where Ireland have been playing exciting,skillful winning rugby for years and Schmidt has come in and caused the team to go downhill.

In this universe Schmidt has taken the team from their lowest ebb in the professional era to unrivalled levels of consistency with this being the first bump on the road,it is also a campaign where he doesn't have a defense coach.Now this bump has happened at a time when we've lost one of our best ever players to retirement and then have had an injury crisis on top of that.I think you're being completely unrealistic.The first team is strong but Schmidt has a rebuilding job on his hands and that takes time.

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Post by Notch Wed 09 Mar 2016, 9:10 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Don't know what Irish fans are complaining about when it comes to Schmidt. Scotland fans would kill for your last 3 years. Heck England and Wales would quite like them. The rugby that is being played at the moment is poorly executed and I hope that we (Scotland) can capitalise. Schmidt is rebuilding a team for the next World Cup with some holdovers to indoctrinate the guys coming through. They still are fighting tooth and nail with all the other 6 nations. He probably wants a similar kind of style to what he built at Leinster and feels those players he taught have a leg up. This attitude should wear off as more of 'his' players age out, retire or just fail to perform in an Irish jersey. 3 games is not the end of the world.

The lack of a real tight 5 and a real leader are the big issues in Ireland this 6 nations so far. P O'Connell managed to have a great last couple of years, but his biggest attribute was he would lead and be vocal if someone needed a boot. Who is doing that now? Heaslip is quiet and Best is not the answer. Connacht are destructive at scrum time and their props (and Dillane) really should be given a shot as the current players just are not playing well enough. Why has the best pack in the Pro 12 only got 2 players in your squad of 13 forwards with all the injuries? I am genuinely curious, this is not a wum.

You are unfortunate really that these injuries have coincided with unsettled centre partnerships, Sexton not being in form and an injury prone back 3. There are no cracks that can be papered over at the moment. If the backs were settled you could go for tries and if the pack was settled you could kick your way.

It's refreshing to see sense talked abut the Irish Rugby team on the internet Smile

But the truth is, rugby is not Irelands national sport. Nor is GAA. Our national sport is begrudgery and Irish Rugby fans are as good at it as anyone!
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Post by DirtyRucker7 Wed 09 Mar 2016, 11:25 pm

I see Italy sneaking this one, they would have targeted this game from day one.

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Post by eirebilly Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:11 am

DirtyRucker7 wrote:I see Italy sneaking this one, they would have targeted this game from day one.

Pretty sure they would have targeted France and Scotland before Ireland there bud thumbsup

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:21 am

eirebilly wrote:
DirtyRucker7 wrote:I see Italy sneaking this one, they would have targeted this game from day one.

Pretty sure they would have targeted France and Scotland before Ireland there bud thumbsup


Yeah I get the feeling that professional international rugby teams tend to target their next match.
Unless that's where Italy have been going wrong, targeting us all this time. Damn it they could have been topping the table if only they'd concentrated on the task in hand Smile

Anyway, is the match day squad announcement today or tomorrow? Anyone? Eh?????

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Post by eirebilly Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:25 am

Think its today at 14:00 Pete, although I am more than likely wrong.
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Post by marty2086 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:25 am

Pete330v2 wrote:
Anyway, is the match day squad announcement today or tomorrow? Anyone? Eh?????

Its today at 1.45 so will probably be about 2.30

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:46 am

Yeah Joe is always late, he must like to have a dessert before announcing Smile

Hey Billy, we'll get our dream today, Payne at 15 etc Wink

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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 9:53 am

It's going to be Henshaw and Payne in the centres with Zebo at 15. Rest of the team unchanged.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:00 am

Zebo at 15 has an element of the adventurous to it.

Shame that McCloskey isn't going to be given an extended run. Looks the business to me at 12, albeit a little unpolished.

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:02 am

Notch wrote:It's going to be Henshaw and Payne in the centres with Zebo at 15. Rest of the team unchanged.

Yeah but we can dream can't we Wink

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Post by JmD Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:58 am

Thornley is saying McFadden on the bench. Sweet Jesus.

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Post by the-goon Thu 10 Mar 2016, 10:59 am

DirtyRucker7 wrote:I see Italy sneaking this one, they would have targeted this game from day one.

If you say it every year, it's bound to happen once....

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 11:13 am

JmD wrote:Thornley is saying McFadden on the bench. Sweet Jesus.

Jesus, how can that be justified, he's nowhere near international quality anymore.......if indeed he ever was.

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Post by eirebilly Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:06 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Yeah Joe is always late, he must like to have a dessert before announcing Smile

Hey Billy, we'll get our dream today, Payne at 15 etc Wink

Sadly, I don't think we will...
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Post by rodders Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:24 pm

Schmidt out! ...Run



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Post by eirebilly Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:34 pm

rodders wrote:Schmidt out! ...Run




Hater Very Happy
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Post by Sin é Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:47 pm

rodders wrote:Schmidt out! ...Run




https://i.servimg.com/u/f84/16/53/77/41/conser10.jpg
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Post by the-goon Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:52 pm

15. Simon Zebo
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Keith Earls
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Mike Ross
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Devin Toner
6. CJ Stander
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin
17. Cian Healy
18. Nathan White
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Rhys Ruddock
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Madigan
23. Fergus McFadden

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:58 pm

Well. I'm a bit deflanged

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Post by the-goon Thu 10 Mar 2016, 1:59 pm

quite disappointed with the selection. Was hoping to see some of Choo choo stu, Paddy, Furlong and maybe Buckley on the bench at least.

We will win comfortably, but I would would like to see the adventure in play reflected in selection. I guess doing both might be too risky, but still.

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Post by Guest Thu 10 Mar 2016, 2:03 pm

So no Paddy Jackson, and McCloskey wouldn't have started but for Paynes injury..... I wouldn't call for Schmidt out, but it does look as though he lacks nuts.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 10 Mar 2016, 2:08 pm

I thought we were trying to.build a squad? What in the name of feck will healy, white, madigan and McFadden show us off the bench that we don't already know. How will mcklosky Jackson, buckly, develop if there not involved. Why Joe why.
We have the tools so fecking use them

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Post by Pete330v2 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 2:24 pm

I'm obviously not surprised by the 1st XV selection, it's just sad that we already read that selection in the Times this morning which shows how predictable it's all become. I know we need Payne in the centre for the organization he adds to the backline from there etc, etc, etc.

The thing I am really sick to the back teeth with is the likes of Fergus McFadden being included on the bench, a player with exactly zero to offer any more. I am positive that McCloskey could cover the wing and centre better than Fergus McFeckalltooffer ever could have but especially now that he should have been out to pasture a long time ago. Madigan is so hot and cold you don't ever know what you're getting, he's like the French team embodied in one single player but at least he CAN bring something to the party.

Never mind eh, a win is fully expected. If we can get a score or two clear I expect to see a bit more rugby played and that backline can show us what they actually can do. Then again it could well be a tight, nervous affair with our far too conservative gameplan.

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Post by profitius Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:09 pm

I must admit that I allowed myself get carried away the other day. I thought Schmidt might go mad and pick some form players or young players with high ceilings but its business as usual with Schmidt.


A team of fit, available players who are not in the squad.

15. Olding
14. Gilroy
13. Marshall
12. McCloskey
11. Healy
10. Jackson
9. Luke McGrath

1. Buckley
2. Sherry
3. Furlong
4. O'Connor
5. Muldowney
6. Muldoon
7. O'Donnell
8. O'Donoghue

16. Tracy
17. J Cronin
18. Bealham
19. Ross Moloney
20. Leavy
21. Scannell
22. Blade
23. Scholes
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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:12 pm

It's fine to have a blend of youth and experience. But experience doesn't excuse poor performances. Healy isn't fit, Trimble is off colour, Henshaw had his best game in attack for Ireland in the 13 jersey...

I would even be happy with this team if Henshaw was dropped for McCloskey. We know Payne is a very important player for the team but we have a 12 who can perform that crash ball role Henshaw is limited to 12 too better now.
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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:15 pm

profitius wrote:15. Olding
14. Gilroy
13. Marshall
12. McCloskey
11. Healy
10. Jackson
9. Luke McGrath

1. Buckley
2. Sherry
3. Furlong
4. O'Connor
5. Muldowney
6. Muldoon
7. O'Donnell
8. O'Donoghue

To be fair that team would be well beaten by the first team. Especially up front. Back five is more creative but 1-10 clearly is quite far behind the actual team and they'd find it hard to break us down even with good ball. Look at the heavy weather Jackson, Marshall, Gilroy et al. are making of breaking down much worse defences than ours in the Pro12 this weather.

But one or two of those players would just give us a little bit of a spark that might be the edge...
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Post by JmD Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:19 pm

Madigan and McFadden have absolutely nothing to offer off the bench. Zero. I'm sick of this versatility justification that Joe has in his head. Jackson is a better 12 than Madigan is a 10. A Shane Horgan effigy is a better player in any position than McFadden. This whole tournament has been a farce.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:22 pm

Pretty dire selection to be honest but not unexpected. I still cannot understand for the life of me why Fergus McFadden is anywhere near that 23. That is one mind boggling decision. Also, what a shame that Paddy Jackson hasn't been given a chance at all this 6 Nations. I look forward to reading the reaction of Stephen Ferris.

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Post by Rory_Gallagher Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:27 pm

Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:15. Olding
14. Gilroy
13. Marshall
12. McCloskey
11. Healy
10. Jackson
9. Luke McGrath

1. Buckley
2. Sherry
3. Furlong
4. O'Connor
5. Muldowney
6. Muldoon
7. O'Donnell
8. O'Donoghue

To be fair that team would be well beaten by the first team. Especially up front. Back five is more creative but 1-10 clearly is quite far behind the actual team and they'd find it hard to break us down even with good ball. Look at the heavy weather Jackson, Marshall, Gilroy et al. are making of breaking down much worse defences than ours in the Pro12 this weather.

But one or two of those players would just give us a little bit of a spark that might be the edge...

The 3 players you mention have been routinely breaking down defences. Ulster just haven't been clinical enough to finish off the opportunities and the support play has been poor. We also tend to seize up whenever we reach the opposition try line, mostly due to a weak and inadequate pack. Notice the difference when we have Nick Williams or Iain Henderson in there.

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Post by Guest Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:29 pm

Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:15. Olding
14. Gilroy
13. Marshall
12. McCloskey
11. Healy
10. Jackson
9. Luke McGrath

1. Buckley
2. Sherry
3. Furlong
4. O'Connor
5. Muldowney
6. Muldoon
7. O'Donnell
8. O'Donoghue

To be fair that team would be well beaten by the first team. Especially up front. Back five is more creative but 1-10 clearly is quite far behind the actual team and they'd find it hard to break us down even with good ball. Look at the heavy weather Jackson, Marshall, Gilroy et al. are making of breaking down much worse defences than ours in the Pro12 this weather.

But one or two of those players would just give us a little bit of a spark that might be the edge...

Jackson has been a little off his form, but sometimes that's what happens when players are spreading their time between club and country. Marshall has been one of our leading lights. He's been in great form for us, and I have no doubt, given the chance, he would perform to a high standard for Ireland. Gilroy would probably offer more than Trimble on the wing, right now, and I would love to see Healy get a run, at some point.

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Post by Sin é Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:45 pm

Schmidt backline for next world cup:
Murray, Sexton, 11 Luke Fitz, 12 Henshaw, 13 Ringrose, 14 Earls, 15 Rob K.

His backup will be:
Luke McGrath, ???, 11 & 15 Zebo & D Kearney, 12 & 13 McCloskey, Olding & Luke Marshall - the new Darran Cave.

Schmdit does not rate Jackson, Marmion or McCloskey.

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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:49 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:
Notch wrote:
profitius wrote:15. Olding
14. Gilroy
13. Marshall
12. McCloskey
11. Healy
10. Jackson
9. Luke McGrath

1. Buckley
2. Sherry
3. Furlong
4. O'Connor
5. Muldowney
6. Muldoon
7. O'Donnell
8. O'Donoghue

To be fair that team would be well beaten by the first team. Especially up front. Back five is more creative but 1-10 clearly is quite far behind the actual team and they'd find it hard to break us down even with good ball. Look at the heavy weather Jackson, Marshall, Gilroy et al. are making of breaking down much worse defences than ours in the Pro12 this weather.

But one or two of those players would just give us a little bit of a spark that might be the edge...

The 3 players you mention have been routinely breaking down defences. Ulster just haven't been clinical enough to finish off the opportunities and the support play has been poor. We also tend to seize up whenever we reach the opposition try line, mostly due to a weak and inadequate pack. Notice the difference when we have Nick Williams or Iain Henderson in there.


Replying to Munchkin as well; I agree, I was just pointing out that that hypothetical team as a whole- NOT as individuals- wouldn't worry many sides.

The guys who are unlucky are McCloskey and Marshall. I don't see the need for Henshaw at 12 and both of them can offer something more there. Henshaw could be playing fullback. Will he be perfect? No, but Zebo has also failed to execute the basics of the position in this tournament. How could Henshaw be much worse? Some players thrive in confined spaces and some players offer a threat further out and Henshaw seems much more like the second type. At this stage I don't mind whether we use him or Payne in the centres, I just don't want to see both. We should put a specialist 12 in there.
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Post by lostinwales Thu 10 Mar 2016, 3:55 pm

It does seem odd. We gave McCloskey a rough time for most of the Eng/Ire match but he got through that and did some good things in the 2nd half

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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:09 pm

I thought McCloskey did quite well in what was a very hard game for the backs to get into and grew as the game went on- Italy at home seems like the perfect opportunity for him to build on that.

The Henshaw-Payne partnership has been good for us, its won us two titles, it's very solid and dependable but its not going to get better. Payne is a fraction slower and smaller than he needs to be to cross the gain line consistently and Henshaw is not able to show his attacking ability at 12. Defensively I think it's our best partnership and whilst Campagnaro is a very slippery cutover for us to handle I'd love us to go out and impose our game on them instead of trying to counter what they are going to.
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Post by marty2086 Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:21 pm

Notch wrote:I thought McCloskey did quite well in what was a very hard game for the backs to get into and grew as the game went on- Italy at home seems like the perfect opportunity for him to build on that.

The Henshaw-Payne partnership has been good for us, its won us two titles, it's very solid and dependable but its not going to get better. Payne is a fraction slower and smaller than he needs to be to cross the gain line consistently and Henshaw is not able to show his attacking ability at 12. Defensively I think it's our best partnership and whilst Campagnaro is a very slippery cutover for us to handle I'd love us to go out and impose our game on them instead of trying to counter what they are going to.

Notch they only won the one title as Payne only qualified in late 2014, Luke Marshall was the player who started alongside BOD at the start of the 2014 tournament then picked up one of his concussions and D'Arcy came back in

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Post by Kingshu Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:23 pm

Madigan again - why?

Really don't get it, its not to cover centre as Payne had to play on against France with a dead leg.
Jackson is the better 10, and fullback is already covered.

Jackson is being really hard done by this 6 Nations

and McFadden - I can't think what he offers more than any others.

i know there was some Schmidt Leinster favouritism, at this was maybe ok at the start as these players knew his systems, and he knew what they would bring.

But he's been long enough in the job for every player to be familiar with his systems, and for him to know what every player in Ireland would bring, but there still appears to be very much a Leinster favouritism.

Jackson for Madigan isn't even a close call

I can understand that if McCloskey doesn't start he won't be in the squad, but surly Gilroy is a better option than McFadden, Gilroys by far the better winger and has played at fullback a number of times for Ulster as well.

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Post by Notch Thu 10 Mar 2016, 4:38 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Notch wrote:I thought McCloskey did quite well in what was a very hard game for the backs to get into and grew as the game went on- Italy at home seems like the perfect opportunity for him to build on that.

The Henshaw-Payne partnership has been good for us, its won us two titles, it's very solid and dependable but its not going to get better. Payne is a fraction slower and smaller than he needs to be to cross the gain line consistently and Henshaw is not able to show his attacking ability at 12. Defensively I think it's our best partnership and whilst Campagnaro is a very slippery cutover for us to handle I'd love us to go out and impose our game on them instead of trying to counter what they are going to.

Notch they only won the one title as Payne only qualified in late 2014, Luke Marshall was the player who started alongside BOD at the start of the 2014 tournament then picked up one of his concussions and D'Arcy came back in

Yeah thats right. Sorry got my dates confused.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 10 Mar 2016, 5:29 pm

15. Simon Zebo == Toss of a coin between Zebo and Payne.
14. Andrew Trimble == Hasn't played to his best standards, lucky to still be there.
13. Jared Payne == amazing how an ulster for ulster switch shows schmidt bias in selection, undervalued on here for defensive work.
12. Robbie Henshaw == Played decent so far in a lacklustre back line
11. Keith Earls == Played decent so far in a lacklustre back line
10. Johnny Sexton == should be rested the rest of the season and wrapped in cotton wool
9. Conor Murray == box kicks haven't been as good, starting to take 2-3 steps before passing the ball to the outhalf

1. Jack McGrath == Poor scrums so far. Decent around the park but Buckley would offer just as much if not more
2. Rory Best (captain) == Poor darts when in opponents 22.
3. Mike Ross == In the Hayes position of everyone hoping he can just stay semi-fit and on the pitch.
4. Donnacha Ryan == lucky to be ahead of Dillane
5. Devin Toner == been relatively quiet, fortunate there isn't much competition for this spot.
6. CJ Stander == Very strong going forward, currently in the en-vogue-hype-bubble.
7. Josh van der Flier == lucky to be in the squad let alone starting, ToD, Rhys and Jordi are better options.
8. Jamie Heaslip == wtf. He's an '8' who plays the part of a flanker. This 6Ns you need your '8' to play as an '8'.

Replacements: ==Not sure Joe has any faith in Cronin, Ruddock or Marmion. Madigan, White and McFadden make the bench because they don't have as exploitive deficiencies to their games for opponents to have a field day with. Healy is playing poor yet makes the bench (again wtf). Dillane is the only truly correct use of the bench.



Most of the arguments and debate on selection is on the back line and Joe's leinster bias in selection there. Sexton is the only Leinster player starting in the backline this weekend.

But even so that focus misses the point. Italy lost by 2 points (and a stupid drop kick attempt by Parisse) to France. We lost by 1 point. Yet everyone is expecting us to win by 15+ points at the weekend. Feck the back line, the pressure should be on an underperforming pack to man up and keep Italy from taking this game by the scruff of the neck walking away with the W.

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Post by Don Alfonso Thu 10 Mar 2016, 5:53 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Most of the arguments and debate on selection is on the back line and Joe's leinster bias in selection there. Sexton is the only Leinster player starting in the backline this weekend.

Don't think so. It's mostly about conservatism. I'd have Gilroy ahead of Trimble. Nothing to do with Leinster.

The whole ethos of this team is "which players are least likely to make a mistake?" Which is underwhelming. And then he picks Fergus McFadden anyway, which suggest the criterion was actually "which players are least likely to make a mistake in 2013?"

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