Oh Joe, you cunning tactician you. Making us miss your presence less come the end of the World Cup with a subpar performance that flew in the face of all expectations. Ok, there’s a chance I’m still in denial. Who wouldn’t be though right? That was one of the worst Irish performances of the Schmidt era, capitalised on brilliantly by one of the best I’ve seen from England in a long long time. So what happened and what happens next?
I gave up. I won’t bullshit anyone, I flat out gave up. Why wouldn’t I though – we simply don’t come back from moments like that. How many times have Ireland mounted a last minute comeback that simply falls short? How many times have they given up the lead moments from the end? This was New Zealand 2013, the difference being that, for once, we were New Zealand.
You couldn’t predict it. If you think you did, you’re wrong. 240 minutes of rugby and not a single one went as anyone would have expected. We knew that Gatland would have his Welsh squad fired up of course and that they have one of the best backlines in Europe, but we didn’t know that Italy were going to collapse as spectacularly as they did. Nobody could have seen Ireland coming out of the traps like that either, matching their best ever winning margin over the Scots. Of course, England and France, thank you. Quite simply the best game of rugby I have ever seen and Welcome back France, you have been missed. Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – What We Watch It For
Ryle Nugent’s words have never been more appropriate as we go into one of the most exciting final weekends of the Six Nations in some time. Last year two teams remained in contention at this juncture, this year it’s three and if some abbhorently strange sequence of events were to unfold, four. It’s what it’s all about, it’s what we came for, let’s dive right in.
Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Don’t Forget To Breathe
Two coaches ringing the changes this weekend in the other two Six Nations fixtures, however the balance of tactics and insanity are on fairly opposite ends. Ahead of facing a rejuvenated but floundering Scotland in Twickenham Stuart Lancaster has seen fit to make five changes in total to his 23 to ensure Scotland don’t pick up their first win against the second favourites. Phillipe Saint Andre on the other hand has reverted to form in his never ending quest to destroy the reputation of French international rugby. Let’s have a look so.
Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Changes Abound For England And France
Freak. There’s no other word to describe Jamie Heaslip in relation to his healing abilities. We won’t complain, but many others would be out of their desk job for six months but here he is, the sole change from the team that beat England two weeks ago, ready to take the field in the Cardiff cauldron. Schmidt has made only enforced changes this Six Nations when you might think variety and choice are crucial in winning a championship – conservatism or wisdom? Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Heaslip Returns For Welsh Showdown
Dual blogged on Irish News Review
Alongside England Wales are the second team vying to knock Ireland out of pole position in this year’s tournament after a less than comprehensive win over France on Saturday. Even less comprehensive was the turgid affair between Italy and Scotland that preceded it and title ambitions remain anything but immediate concerns for these two sides.
Continue reading Six Nations 2015 – Wales Stay In the Race… Just