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Ireland v Wales Match Thread

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Feb 03, 2022 3:21 pm

Ireland v Wales
Date: Saturday 5th February 2022

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Kick-off: 2:15pm

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)


Ireland: Keenan; Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Hansen; Sexton (c), Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong; Beirne, Ryan; Doris, van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Sheehan, Healy, Bealham, Baird, O'Mahony, Murray, Carbery, Hume.


Wales: L Williams; McNicholl, Adams, Tompkins, Rees-Zammit; Biggar, T Williams; W Jones, Elias, Francis; Rowlands, Beard; E Jenkins, Basham, Wainwright.

Replacements: Lake, G Thomas, D Lewis, S Davies, Moriarty, G Davies, Sheedy, Watkin.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu Feb 03, 2022 4:16 pm

Doesn't look like the strongest Welsh pack of all time, I reckon the Irish pack should have their number. The Welsh pack certainly doesn't look as formidable without AWJ as their captain and leader in my view. The guy has 161 test caps, that is a crazy, crazy tally.

Fingers crossed there no red cards this time to spoil the game. Predict a reasonably comfortable Ireland win.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu Feb 03, 2022 4:21 pm

There's nothing glaringly bad or inadequate about the side (the midfield maybe), but I'd be very very surprised if we won. It could get ugly if we're not careful.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu Feb 03, 2022 4:29 pm

I assume Biggar is Wales captain? Would you be confident that he will rally the troops to the same standard as AWJ?

Wales have been one of the better sides for playing for each other, I wonder is that because they have had strong captains.

Also Josh Adams at centre?

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Post by Unclear Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:07 pm

It's the 6 Nations, I am wary of making predictions even if the Welsh team doesn't look as fearsome on paper as teams of old.  Ireland should have the upper hand both upfront and in the backs, but still seem to struggle a little with tag of favourites.

The Welsh midfield could be a weak spot, I don't know how often Adams has played at 13.  He is a quality winger but does he have the experience to cover "the hardest position defensively"?  I really want Hume to get some quality minutes for Ireland to see how he goes both in attack and defence.

Really disappointed with Murray on the bench.  Ireland need to be giving playing time to other scrum-halves be that Marmion or Casey (or for real heart in the mouth scenarios, Doak).  I know Murray has a central contract but ...

If Rees-Zammit goes up against Hansen it could be interesting, hopefully it will show my concerns about Hansen's defence are unwarranted.

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Post by majesticimperialman Thu Feb 03, 2022 5:49 pm

Looking at both teams, with Ireland being at full strength and what with Wales having so many injuries and so many missing players, i really cannot see any thing other than an Ireland win.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:57 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Also Josh Adams at centre?

Exactly, we have sacrificed position where we were world class, to put the player in an unfamiliar position, which seriously weakens us, OK, McNicholl isnt bad, but now we have weakened our back line, there are centers who could be just as capable of doing a job who could have been called up.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Feb 03, 2022 7:53 pm

McNicholl is a good player but Lane and Holmes have better defence I reckon. Holmes also plays at 15 and as we all know Pivac is a fan of versatility…. Except for when it isn’t his favourites that are versatile, I guess?

Ireland by 60.

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Feb 04, 2022 11:37 am

I cant see Ireland winning by more than 15 but it will probably be closer than that. I agree McNicholl is a tidy player as are all the Welsh backs.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:01 pm

I dont see a big difference in the backs but Ireland have a much better set of forwards.
Given the weather is not going to be very good I would be really surprised if this not a decent Ireland win

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Post by Oakdene Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:21 pm

Doesn't matter what set of backs we have if we don't get the ball. Our forwards have a hell of a job ahead of them tomorrow.

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Post by The Oracle Fri Feb 04, 2022 12:33 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Doesn't look like the strongest Welsh pack of all time, I reckon the Irish pack should have their number. The Welsh pack certainly doesn't look as formidable without AWJ as their captain and leader in my view. The guy has 161 test caps, that is a crazy, crazy tally.

Fingers crossed there no red cards this time to spoil the game. Predict a reasonably comfortable Ireland win.

On AWJ as captain, yes it might make a difference. But remember that him being captain is a relatively new thing and we’ve done fine without it in the past. He was first capped in 2006 but has only been captain since 2017. Feels like he’s been captain forever but that is not the case. So yes a good leader but we’ve had success under plenty of other captains who were perhaps not seen as having the same leadership qualities as him.
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Post by Collapse2005 Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:11 pm

I dunno, I think 5 years is long enough in international rugby, he also captained the Lions in three series in that time and has been a leader for a long time in the Wales team. I think he had captained Wales before 2017 but maybe only once or something like that. He is also Wales' most capped player as captain of all time. He was also obviously Ospreys captain for a good stretch too.

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Post by The Oracle Fri Feb 04, 2022 5:03 pm

I think Warburton is actually still holder of the record for captaining Wales most (49 as captain) which is huge for someone injured as much as he was! AWJ used to be unbreakable until about a year ago. I think before his recent injuries he had some sort of record for games in a row at international level. Spanned years without missing one. Forget the figures now.

Certainly important and a talisman. I wish he was playing tomorrow. But I just think we can’t hang our hats on just one player, and we’ve been successful when he wasn’t captain too. So it can be done. Plus, everyone tells us how rubbish AWJ is so we shouldn’t really miss him Wink
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Post by majesticimperialman Fri Feb 04, 2022 6:23 pm

I have learnt kver the years write Wales off at your peril.

If, If Wales win tomorrow, they will have to play some fantastic rugby attacking rugby. and Ireland  will have to play crap in defence.

mikey-dragon said Ireland by 60. i dont think it will be that many points, but i  do think it will be an Ireland win.

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Post by Dirtydave Fri Feb 04, 2022 10:25 pm

Hard to see anything other than a comfortable Ireland victory, maybe 8-10 points.

Wales just have too many issues that compound the problems...

- Sheer number of players missing (10-12)
- Key players missing (AWJ, Owens, Tips, Navidi, Falatau) basically the entire leadership group.
- Key unit players missing (Owens lineout / AWJ, Tips, Navidi, Falatau wider defence, and wing based attack play)

- In Elias they have a deeply flawed player, who is making public excuses already for his lineout throwing

- Their backrow is extremely lightweight and lacks grunt

- Their missing 3/4 centres, and are having to convert players

- The regions are all playing poorly

Now in the past Wales have had a number of issues, but never all these combined, the team has always been stronger than the sum of their parts, theyve over come injuries, they regularly overcome a poor regional game, but all these things combined make it very difficult to see them beating anyone but Italy.

Take their AI results in the last few years, Pivac trials fringe players and the results don't lie (The most recent Aus game aside, as Aus were whitewashed and were awful).

In contrast, everything seems to be going Irelands way, few injuries, provinces on fire, recent results make them look incredible (NZ NZ NZ), the fixture list is good this year for them, and they have a settled coaching team and leadership group with a lot of exciting younger guys coming through...

What could go wrong eh?!?!?!?!

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Post by boomeranga Sat Feb 05, 2022 8:54 am

2022 6Ns is massive. I really like reading 606, for lots of reasons (continued reader rarely commenter) including a reality check, but I reckon on the scoreboard this is it the pointing end now. It's exciting Good luck to all of you.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sat Feb 05, 2022 9:16 am

Dirtydave wrote:Hard to see anything other than a comfortable Ireland victory, maybe 8-10 points.

Wales just have too many issues that compound the problems...

- Sheer number of players missing (10-12)
- Key players missing (AWJ, Owens, Tips, Navidi, Falatau) basically the entire leadership group.
- Key unit players missing (Owens lineout / AWJ, Tips, Navidi, Falatau wider defence, and wing based attack play)

- In Elias they have a deeply flawed player, who is making public excuses already for his lineout throwing

- Their backrow is extremely lightweight and lacks grunt

- Their missing 3/4 centres, and are having to convert players

- The regions are all playing poorly

Now in the past Wales have had a number of issues, but never all these combined, the team has always been stronger than the sum of their parts, theyve over come injuries, they regularly overcome a poor regional game, but all these things combined make it very difficult to see them beating anyone but Italy.

Take their AI results in the last few years, Pivac trials fringe players and the results don't lie (The most recent Aus game aside, as Aus were whitewashed and were awful).

In contrast, everything seems to be going Irelands way, few injuries, provinces on fire, recent results make them look incredible (NZ NZ NZ), the fixture list is good this year for them, and they have a settled coaching team and leadership group with a lot of exciting younger guys coming through...

What could go wrong eh?!?!?!?!
These games rarely go to script, it's what makes the 6 nations so special. Wales won't just lie down and this is also the first game of the championship, so expect plenty of rust form both teams.

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Post by Dirtydave Sat Feb 05, 2022 9:54 am

Oh I agree Leinster, I think Wales have a good coaching set up, if not a little bit rigid gameplan (I liked that Gatland would throw out these weird and wonderfull plays / tactics now and then, which weirdly he never got any real credit for)...

However honestly speaking Wales will be out muscled up front, they'll be bullied around the park, and the 2 locks aside Ireland have them man for man.

If I was to put my optimistic Welsh hat on, I'd identify 2 major weaknesses of Irelands, the current red card climate, and the fact that the Welsh bench should add to the Welsh team whereas I dont think the Irish bench adds much.

- Irelands attack relies around Sexton, one big shot, one awkward fall, one mistake and his replacement will definitely worsen the attack.
I think outside Sexton is still a bit questionable at int level, Aki is the most experienced but flawed as player (Similar to Lowe who I am gutted isn't playing, flawed but fun to watch). The rest of the backline are silky skilled, but aren't particularly rounded. With the likes of Adams (Angriest man in rugby) and Rees Zammit, Wales have incredible gas options for counter attack rugby, and Tompkins can create chaos for any defence (Usually both Wales AND the opposition though lol).

- As we see weekly, teams are only one tiny error away from a red card, especially in the tackle area or breakdown. Wales have adapted to this new climate very well, ensuring they aren't overly wild in the tackle area, conceding the ground over risking the smash etc.

- The likes of Moriarty, Davies, Sheedy, Thomas are regularly successful at entering the fray and making a positive impact, I don't think the Irish equivalent are.

So theres my thoughts, Ireland BIG favourites to win 5 in a row against Wales at home for the first time ever, with an outside sliver of hope that some tactical genius, and errors in the tackle area Wales can nick it.

I still say IReland by 8-10 points tho

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:14 pm

Late change on the bench for Wales. Seb Davies withdraws with a back spasm, replaced by Ben Carter.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 1:57 pm

Looks like LRZ is getting his ankle taped too.

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Post by Gooseberry Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:15 pm

Love that at 46 Sexton still looks like a schoolboy in hand me down uniform

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Post by Gooseberry Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:20 pm

Ireland made that look way too easy .....if Wales dont step up big time this could quickly get horrible

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:31 pm

All Ireland really but Sexton ain't got his kicking boots on.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:41 pm

Sexton reffing the game again.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:41 pm

Seatbelt on Elias there.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:44 pm

Beirne doing the same again.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:49 pm

Quick call from Peyper, especially as Conan went off his feet.

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Post by lostinwales Sat Feb 05, 2022 2:53 pm

It is pretty obvious who is on top but I don't think the ref is doing Wales too many favours

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Post by Maine man Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:01 pm

Gibson-Park hasn't been great

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:01 pm

Seatbelt beard ha

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:02 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Quick call from Peyper, especially as Conan went off his feet.

Agree. It seemed he was busting to give it, given how quick he blew.

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Post by majesticimperialman Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:08 pm

To say how many players Wales are missing they are not doing to bad, only 10 points down. I was expecting Ireland to have 4 tries by now.

Wales may well come back and nick it in the second half if Ireland are not careful.

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Post by Pete330v2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:09 pm

Maine man wrote:Gibson-Park hasn't been great

I'd go one further to say he's been terrible.
Hopefully picks things up in the 2nd half.
Wales very much in this and not looking bad at all

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:10 pm

Wales won’t come back Madge. There’s too much pressure and it will tell. Ireland will still likely get a BP.

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Post by geoff999rugby Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:13 pm

Two significant weaknesses in the Ireland first half performance

Poor restarts when Wales kick
JPG passing has been very poor

Minor issues
Ringrose failure to pass with the left hand
Kelleher overthrow in our 22
We should have kicked the two longer penalties into the corner

Overall though a lot to be pleased with
Hansen has done well, in large part Ireland dominance has played to his strength, as he has not really been attacked down his wing

Wales must make one change, Adams is totally lost defensively

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Post by Dirtydave Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:17 pm

Very difficult first half for Wales, they look like a team they are, cobbled together because of 10 - 12 players missing, including what 500 caps from the pack.

Ireland looked good early on, but started to make mistakes, that lineout and pass from Gibson park gave Wales a platform, however Ireland recovered the ball a number of times through good defencive play.

Wales big problem is a lack of ball carriers up front, single carriers getting isolated, and no clue on how to break down the Irish defence.

BOD said at half time that Wales kicking game was very good, some more kicks would really turn the Irish defence.

Jaco Peyper missed 2 choke tackles against Wales, and has already decided that Ireland dominate the scrum and breakdown, so this game is all but over I think. Porter is driving in and through, not allowing a comp at Scrum time, hes lucky not to be penalised a few times.

I said IReland by 8 - 10 before the game, I think with their dominance at the breakdown, and Peypers scrum tendancy Ireland by 15+

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:21 pm

Slow start again by Wales.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:25 pm

Really shouldn't have been allowed to get near the line

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Post by Gooseberry Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:26 pm

Scoreline doesnt reflect how much better Ireland have looked for big periods of the game. Hard to see how Wales get back in this

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:27 pm

Twice LRZ seems very frantic. I get contact with his chocolate ankle etc, but it’s not great. Wales seem very hot potato with their limited ball anyway.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:29 pm

That's naughty by adams

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Post by Dirtydave Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:30 pm

Ryan Elias is a cancer of the Welsh set peice,

Even winning lineout ball it has to be front and safe.

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Post by Dirtydave Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:32 pm

LRZ looks like an U20 covering a full cap spot...

Sadly!

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Post by Gooseberry Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:32 pm

Benefit of the doubt says it looks worse on replay and was just straight clumsy play with the shoulder being a natural reaction to protect himself. Lucky the high contact was only incidental.

Sexton as always acting like hes a soccer player

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Post by tigertattie Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:That's naughty by adams

Was stupidity. Half an inch higher and that was a red card
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Post by neilthom7 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:34 pm

I don't know why Adams was walking away wondering why he got yellowed, he was extremely lucky that wasn't a little higher or he would have been taking an early bath

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Post by RiscaGame Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:35 pm

I think he connected with the chin, albeit glancing. It should be red. It’s brainless.

Sexton 100% milked it though. Should be off for a HIA now, if he’s down.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:36 pm

Gooseberry wrote:Benefit of the doubt says it looks worse on replay and was just straight clumsy play with the shoulder being a natural reaction to protect himself. Lucky the high contact was only incidental.

Sexton as always acting like hes a soccer player

A shoulder to the chest generally hurts tbf.

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Post by Dirtydave Sat Feb 05, 2022 3:36 pm

Mcnichol has been a huge problem today, poor Adams having to put up with his in decisiveness in defence, and now his frustrations have boiled over...


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