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Ireland 2021/22

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Post by profitius Tue 05 Oct 2021, 2:15 pm

First topic message reminder :

The squad will be named in about 4 weeks time so that should give players the chance to play their way in or out of the squad.


I think this season will see a number of players breaking into the squad or forcing their way up the pecking order. A few that spring to mind are Dan Sheehan, Hume, Coombes, Casey, Harry Byrne..


Porter to loosehead gives that position a boost although Furlong becomes even more important.
Sheehan has looked very good. Darts seem good and he's good around the pitch.


Doris, Conan and Coombes battling for 6 and 8. Good options. Can Leave get back to near his best.


Casey is pushing hard and there's also the emergence of Doak. All of a sudden a traditional problem position is looking strong.


Carbery has been very poor in the first 2 games. He has to get a grip. Harry Byrne is the hot new talent but I don't think the man can stay fit. Ben Healy could be in with a shout.


I'd have Hume ahead of Ringrose now. Henshaw leading the 12s.


Options in the outside backs also but nearly every option has a question mark around them. Lowes defence, Stockdale errors, Earls' age etc. I think Keenan is first choice 15.
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Post by George Carlin Tue 16 Nov 2021, 6:50 am

Brendan wrote:Good game.  Thought the ref was Good and controlled the game.  Both sides seemed to be shouting at the ref but maybe I'm just more use to them because of the covid period when that was all we heard.  He explained things well and I like how he looked at the videos before talking to the TMO.
Completely agree. Every match report I read had some kind of whinge about the ref but I thought Luke Pearce had a great game.

The RTE commentary picked up his mic clearly the whole game. He was crystal clear with the players and completely in control at all times. I couldn't give a flying proverbial if it takes another 30 seconds of watching video replays - I just want to get the correct decision. The tries chalked off for the double movement and the forward pass were also the correct decisions.

The high hand which caused Taylor to be sent off for 10 minutes was unbelievably soft if you're even remotely neutral (although everyone in the RTE commentary team was immediately screaming for him to be sent off, which made me laugh quite a lot) but a yellow is what the referees' guidance currently says, so that was correct too.
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Tue 16 Nov 2021, 7:39 am

Yeah I thought we were lucky with that yellow, it's a penalty only imo. NZ should have got a yellow for the late hits or the blatant slap down from a mile offside but overall Pearce was good.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:22 am

George Carlin wrote:
Brendan wrote:Good game.  Thought the ref was Good and controlled the game.  Both sides seemed to be shouting at the ref but maybe I'm just more use to them because of the covid period when that was all we heard.  He explained things well and I like how he looked at the videos before talking to the TMO.
Completely agree. Every match report I read had some kind of whinge about the ref but I thought Luke Pearce had a great game.

The RTE commentary picked up his mic clearly the whole game. He was crystal clear with the players and completely in control at all times. I couldn't give a flying proverbial if it takes another 30 seconds of watching video replays - I just want to get the correct decision. The tries chalked off for the double movement and the forward pass were also the correct decisions.

The high hand which caused Taylor to be sent off for 10 minutes was unbelievably soft if you're even remotely neutral (although everyone in the RTE commentary team was immediately screaming for him to be sent off, which made me laugh quite a lot) but a yellow is what the referees' guidance currently says, so that was correct too.

I thought he was pretty good too.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:24 am

If it continues yes.

1/ prior to this season results and performances were very patchy. We need to back it up in the short term v Argentina, in the medium term in the 6N and in the long term in the World Cup.
2/ I still feel Japan was a missed opportunity to give cover player experience.
Ireland have a great habit of going into World Cups with a very good team but will very little cover. We are in danger of doing the same.

We need to improve depth:
In the centre we have three players - Aki, Henshaw, Ringrose. We need, at least, a fourth player who is comfortable in the centre.
I remain convinced that player is McCloskey. He needs to become part of the core.
At lock we have three players - Beirne, Henderson and Ryan. Likewise we need a fourth.
I remain doubtful that anyone quite comes up to the spec.
In the back row the emergence of Doris and Conan is a huge part of the success, we need to try and ensure standards drop off when one of those is injured. I suggest getting Coombes into the core set up and see what he can do. POM would be the break glass option.

However the biggy is game management at half back.
We are one injury from having no credible game manager on the pitch.
There are two credible game managers who could do the job if Sexton got injured but both, for different reasons, are frozen out Cooney and Jackson.
None of the other options come anywhere near close to managing a game like Sexton.


Last edited by geoff999rugby on Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:43 am

geoff999rugby wrote:If it continues yes but with two caveats

1/ prior to this season results and performances were very patchy
2/ I still feel Japan was a missed opportunity to give cover player experience.
Ireland have a great habit of going into World Cups with a very good team but will very little cover. We are in danger of doing the same.


I feel like we only had one bad performance this year and that was v France. The Wales game was disapointing but they did well to stay in touch with 14 men.

This team is already quite new. The pack is quite new. Dont think we have had such a balanced back row in ages and the front row is excellent. Newish scrum half, wings and full back.

Only 6 guys that started v NZ in the RWC started on Saturday, 8 for NZ. If you ask me we are developing at the right pace albeit a replacement for Sexton is still a worry.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 16 Nov 2021, 8:51 am

Collapse I have expanded my reply

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 16 Nov 2021, 10:10 am

I wouldnt be so worried about our locks, Baird is also coming through. Ryan and Hendo are world class IMO, they made Whitelock and Retallick look very average, again.

I also wont be getting too carried away about the two November wins. I do think both our opponents looked a bit jaded and we play these games at home. Solid wins like this away in Eden Park and in Japan are the next level.

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Post by Brendan Tue 16 Nov 2021, 10:33 pm

Positions of concern for me are as follows

1. Fly-half, Sexton and Carbry are too injury prone.  Everyone else isn't good enough currently
2. Wings, we have good wingers but not great wingers (though maybe it was the system based on last two games)
3. Fullback, we have one good player, Zebo is a maybe but not currently.

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 17 Nov 2021, 8:07 am

I’m ok with wing

Earls, Zebo, Stockdale, Baloucoune, Lowe, Conway, Larmour.
Loads of competition and form will decide

As for 15 Keenan, Zebo and a fit Addison would gives us enough

Carbary doesn’t convince me a game manager at this level

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 17 Nov 2021, 8:59 am

Dont forget Dave Kearney

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Post by profitius Wed 17 Nov 2021, 9:18 am

Henderson and Beirne are 29. There's a good 4 years left in them. Ryan is 25. We need to find a few more but Baird and Ahern look good. With those two in mind the second row stocks look fine.


10 is the problem position but only in the short term. I'd back Jack Crowley in the long run. He looks like he has excellent basics but extras on top of that.
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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 17 Nov 2021, 3:26 pm

for Lock - Izuchukwu will be an Ireland player.
Baring further injury he will be an Ulster regular next year ahead of AOC, Treadwell and Kearney(if he stays).
I see him as very much in the mix for an Ireland shirt after the World Cup.
He would have been with Ireland in the Autumn but for injury

Compared to Ahern and Izuchukwu Baird is an old man Very Happy
those three should give us good depth going forward

For 10 we need Healy, Crowley, Harry Byrne and Frawley to get more game time.


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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 17 Nov 2021, 9:55 pm


https://i.servimg.com/u/f18/19/86/73/89/20211111.jpg

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Post by geoff999rugby Wed 17 Nov 2021, 10:30 pm

Little late evening quiz.

Only one Irish player has beaten New Zealand more than once and has a 100% record against them

Who?

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 18 Nov 2021, 12:07 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Little late evening quiz.

Only one Irish player has beaten New Zealand more than once and has a 100% record against them

Who?

Must be an Ulster player.

Jordi Murphy maybe?
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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 18 Nov 2021, 7:04 am

Van de Flier or Carbery?

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 18 Nov 2021, 7:07 am

Might be Aki actually

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 18 Nov 2021, 8:33 am

I missed an important word out of my question.

As written I think both Murphy and Aki meet the criteria.

VdF and Carbery both played a part in World Cup QF.

So no Irish born players meets the criteria

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 18 Nov 2021, 9:34 am

Well only one Irish player has 4 wins v the ABs as a starter and we all know who that is. Absolute legend and his captaincy on Saturday was immense. GOAT.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Thu 18 Nov 2021, 2:51 pm

So what direction do people think the matchday selection will take?

Does Porter just get driven minutes at LH into him?
Herring/Sheahan get the nod?
Furlong presumably has put in enough of a shift, Bealham to start?
Ryan hasn't had much game time and is named captain so likely on the page. Who pairs with him?

Halfbacks, both JGP and Sexton ruled out, but were probably to be rested. Does a Murray/Carberry start help?

Can a McCloskey or a Hume (is he available?) get a start in the midfield?

Does Zebo come into the back three, maybe even an all munster earls, zebo and conway choice?

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Post by Maine man Thu 18 Nov 2021, 3:15 pm

I wouldn't make too many changes up front. Same front row, maybe rotate Beirne for Henderson and POM for VDF.
Murray and Carberry are certain starters now. Inside centre I would like McCloskey or Frawley with Ringrose who imo was immense last week. I'd like to see Balacoune on a wing for Conway.

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Post by Unclear Thu 18 Nov 2021, 4:32 pm

I think we need to getting some experience into a good number of new or back up players.

Bealham should start possibly with O'Toole on the bench.  Sheehan should be on the bench at least probably paired with Herring as Kelleher has played a good few minutes.

Some rotation in the second row but limited as Ryan will be starting.

In the back row I would like to see Coombes starting, or at least on the bench.

For me Casey/Carberry at half back, we need to give it a go at international level.

A new centre combination would be good, with Balacoune on a wing.

Probably too much if all those changes are made, but there must be some building of experience in the wider squad.

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu 18 Nov 2021, 5:03 pm

With Gibson park out injured, does Connar Murry come in to the starting line up? And will cover the bench spot?

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Post by theslosty Thu 18 Nov 2021, 5:59 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Well only one Irish player has 4 wins v the ABs as a starter and we all know who that is. Absolute legend and his captaincy on Saturday was immense. GOAT.
Think you've missed Furlong, who has 4 wins, 3 defeats and 1 draw against the All Blacks. Let alone any other Irish players, there can't be too many rugby players in the world who can better that record.
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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 18 Nov 2021, 6:16 pm

Great shout losty, forgot Furlong. Thats some record.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 18 Nov 2021, 7:46 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:With Gibson park out injured, does Connar Murry come in to the starting line up? And will cover the bench spot?

Either Casey or Murray will start. McGrath was also called up.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:05 pm

Robert Baloucoune starts instead of Conway, Murray and Carbery ahead of Sexton and JGP, Henshaw for Aki. Ryan is captain.

No other changes to the team, Im sure that will get some folk fired up.

Ireland Team & Replacements (v Argentina, Autumn Nations Series, Sunday, November 21, 2:15 pm)

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 15 caps
14. Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 1 cap
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 35 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 52 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 8 caps
10. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 26 caps
9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 91 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 39 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 15 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 51 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 65 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 39 caps CAPTAIN
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 11 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 22 caps

Replacements
16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 111 caps
18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 1 cap
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 24 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 78 caps
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 3 caps
22. Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
23. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 95 caps

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:09 pm

Great team, looking forward to this game. I will be going to the game with my Argentinian wife for the craic.

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Post by Unclear Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:31 pm

Not enough changes for me, another wasted opportunity.  RWCs have shown we need more big game experience through the squad and we won't get that with one "newbie" starting.  Good to see O'Toole, Casey and H Byrne on the bench but surely Coombes for O'Mahoney wouldn't have been a risk (and doesn't even reduce the Munster representation Very Happy).

Best chance of getting through the Autumn unbeaten - yes, learn about our reserve/back-up players - no. Not the way I would have done it, but that's just my personal view. Easy for an armchair critic to look to the future rather than deal with the present.

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Post by theslosty Fri 19 Nov 2021, 2:55 pm

I can understand Farrell is looking for continuity but it's a bit of a shame about the lack of rotation. Yes if you bring in a whole raft of changes there's a risk of a scrappy performance but 2 years out from the RWC I don't think that's a big deal and even a loss would not be in the end of the world in my eyes. Sure look at the dire straits South Africa were in in 2017 when we hammered them 38-3 and they lost to Italy on the same tour. Well forgotten by the time the RWC came round.

Glad to see Baloucoune starting but I feel Coombes is surely part of our future plans so why not get a look at him here. There must be a number of frustrated players in camp - none of Coombes, Dillane, Kilcoyne, Timoney, Frawley, Hume, Larmour, McCloskey or Zebo have even made a bench as far as I'm aware.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Nov 2021, 3:02 pm

Overheard

‘McCloskey to Coombes, Timoney and Hume “ Welcome to my world of being a permanent tackle bag” ’ (joke)

These player should have had runs, even on the bench against Japan.

Even now would Coombes, or Timoney for POM.
McCoskey or Hume for Earls, been unacceptable risks?

Hardly

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Post by Unclear Fri 19 Nov 2021, 4:57 pm

McCloskey is in a really difficult position.  The way into the team seems to be through minutes off the bench.  As he really only plays 12 he won't make the bench ahead of other backs offering more flexibility and so won't get considered.  Who ever said life was fair .....

Totally agree we gain very little from having POM, Earls and Healy on the bench.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Nov 2021, 5:14 pm

McCloskey gives a better bench option than Earls given the players who are starting.

Something happens to Henshaw and Ireland have a significant problem

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Post by theslosty Fri 19 Nov 2021, 7:19 pm

If Henshaw has to go off then Ringrose shifts to 12 and Earls comes on at 13. It's exactly what happened last week at the 70 minute mark when Aki was replaced.
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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Nov 2021, 7:38 pm

Agreed, but McCloskey offers a better 12 alternative.
By contrast if a winger gets injured Ringrose goes on the wing and Ireland lose very little.

Overall McCloskey provides stronger cover for the entire three quarter line and, importantly, get game time to integrate into the squad.

After 95 games we already know what Earls can do

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 19 Nov 2021, 8:55 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Agreed, but McCloskey offers a better 12 alternative.
By contrast if a winger gets injured Ringrose goes on the wing and Ireland lose very little.

Overall McCloskey provides stronger cover for the entire three quarter line and, importantly, get game time to integrate into the squad.

After 95 games we already know what Earls can do
I gave up on worrying about the world cup and team depth after the team selections for the autumn nations cup. It makes it a lot more enjoyable following the team. I'm sure central contracts are an issue where the IRFU want to get value for their money out of them, thus making guys undropable.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 19 Nov 2021, 11:04 pm

And there in lies the problem.

We play for now and then are poor World Cup after World Cup.

The worst record of the 9 leading nations
(Old 5 nations and the 4 southern nations)

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Post by Maine man Sat 20 Nov 2021, 8:45 am

geoff999rugby wrote:And there in lies the problem.

We play for now and then are poor World Cup after World Cup.

The worst record of the 9 leading nations
(Old 5 nations and the 4 southern nations)

Totally agree. I would used this season to develop the squad. For example, start Carberry or Byrne every game. Have Sexton on the bench. We all know what certain players will and can do. We need to develop depth. I'd take a few defeats this year rather than next year if it means squad depth improves

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Post by profitius Sat 20 Nov 2021, 9:57 am

geoff999rugby wrote:And there in lies the problem.

We play for now and then are poor World Cup after World Cup.

The worst record of the 9 leading nations
(Old 5 nations and the 4 southern nations)


We have an embarrassing record. No need for consultants trying to figure out where it all went wrong. All you need to do is look at this starting lineup and the 10 squad players who didn't get a minute.
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Post by Maine man Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:45 am

The bit that annoys me is Henshaw is straight back in to the team. Don't get me wrong, he's Ireland's best centre but surely he should be getting match fit with Leinster. I've never agreed with players being put straight back in. This would have been the perfect opportunity to play McCloskey or Frawley with Ringrose.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:51 am

Maine man wrote:The bit that annoys me is Henshaw is straight back in to the team. Don't get me wrong, he's Ireland's best centre but surely he should be getting match fit with Leinster. I've never agreed with players being put straight back in. This would have been the perfect opportunity to play McCloskey or Frawley with Ringrose.
Frawley looks like he could be genuinely world class at 12 but is plagued by injuries. He reminds me of Luke Fitzgerald in that regard, but hopefully he will get a run this season without picking up a knock.

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Post by theslosty Sat 20 Nov 2021, 10:12 pm

Think that France result puts last week in context. All Blacks looking a bit underpowered
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Post by Pot Hale Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:30 pm

Not bad from Ireland for the Autumn series. Real test is next year's 6N. England and France looking very good in particular.
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Post by The Oracle Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:42 pm

I would fancy Ireland winning the 6N but just looked up the fixtures and you have England and France both away from home so it’s going to be a tough ask. Between the 3 of you for the title though I reckon.
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Post by theslosty Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:51 pm

As a spectacle that was disappointingly dull, Argentina not as competitive as you'd expect meanwhile Ireland scored all 7 of their tries through the forwards.

I felt pre-match Farrell could have been more adventurous with his selection, and it may sound strange to criticise him for proving that perception correct but that's absolutely what Ireland did today.

Lavanini is pretty disgraceful to be honest. I was almost waiting for him to do something like that.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 21 Nov 2021, 5:14 pm

Ireland are favourites for the Six Nations in my mind as France and England are too inconsistent. Don't think it will be a slam that wins it and Ireland have 4 wins in them. Only cards or injuries can get in the way.

If Ireland can keep this sort of form relative to others, got to be looking at them for RWC2023. LH and FH are the only two spots that may need shoring up and it is not like there is a shortage of guys who could grow into those roles.

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Sun 21 Nov 2021, 6:25 pm

It was really pleasing to see Carbery play so well. He's been poor since coming back from injury and really struggled in defense but completely turned that form around today. In fairness his defense was good before his lay-off so it's great to see that he just needed games to get back on track.

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Post by Unclear Sun 21 Nov 2021, 8:01 pm

It's strange to say after such a clear victory but I'm slightly disappointed.  The backs never really fired.  I assume Lowe was instructed to kick back from his own half, but surely there were other options when we had built a lead in the second half and that could have been discussed at half time.

The forwards were fantastic, I would have had Beirne as player of the match personally.  But I think it will be difficult to get that level of superiority against England or France (or SA) for such as sustained period and we need the backs to be more involved.

For me Casey played well, Baird looked very good, O'Toole and Timoney worked hard in limited time, and Baloucoune hardly saw the ball but didn't do anything wrong when involved.

Still feel there was more to learnt about squad depth, but 3 excellent wins must do wonders for confidence.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 23 Nov 2021, 12:39 pm

Interesting article on bbc from a conversation with POM;

https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/59367882

It can be an innocuous enough comment from POM, but let's overanalyse.

Does Farrell give the more senior players a softer run or more leeway?
Has POM settled into a veteran role where he's happy to come off the bench and do what needs to be done?
Has there been a change in team dynamic where we are gelling at a team in green?
Is happier just being less annoyed, and it's a sign that there has been a noted shift in quality of the squad?
POC coming onto the coaching ticket has given a more accustomed focus to the pack to the hay days that POM would well remember?

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Post by Unclear Tue 23 Nov 2021, 4:51 pm

If we don't overanalyse the forum would be half empty.

Perhaps the previous regime was too invested on the individual and improving them and forgot about the collective. I am great believer in team being more than sum of its parts, and perhaps a change in focus to the team rather than the individuals has paid dividends in both performances and enjoyment levels.

In an item on the 42 Timoney talked about sitting with Conan during the first half and taking learning from him.

Whatever it has been, it has worked and lets hope it continues for a least a couple of years ...


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