Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


The Top 5 Schoolboy Prodigies


Why you should always tackle low


Springboks edge All Blacks in thriller


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Southland sensational try after big bump


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ireland ruin England's Grand Slam ambitions with convincing win in Dublin

Ireland ruin England's Grand Slam ambitions with convincing win in Dublin

Englands Grand Slam dream became a painful nightmare at the hands of a ruthless Ireland team, who demolished the Red Roses 24-8 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this weekend.

England may have been crowned the champions of the 2011 Six Nations, but the defeat, and the one-sided nature of it, will have left a bitter taste for England fans.

It was undeniably Irelands performance of the tournament, with David Wallace, Sean OBrien, Brian ODriscoll and Jonathan Sexton immense in every aspect of the game. England had no answer to the pace and power of Ireland, and no response to tries from Tommy Bowe and O Driscoll who set a new all-time record for the tournament with 25.

England were harassed and bullied around the breakdown and the contact area, losing possession and even getting shoved off their own ball. The fierce environment had clearly rattled a few of the more inexperienced English players; most notably Toby Flood, Chris Ashton and Ben Youngs - who was shown a yellow card for throwing the ball into the crowd.

England coach Martin Johnson looked to his senior players to provide some stability in the second-half, bringing on Jonny Wilkinson, Steve Thompson and Tom Croft. But unlike last week, there was to be no second-half heroics from the bench. Steve Thompson saved some face for England and showed a surprising turn of pace to run in for an interception score, but it was small threat to an all dominant Ireland team.

The result was a reminder of the work that needs to be done before this year's World Cup in New Zealand, and a frustrated Johnson admits mistakes were made. "We got it wrong today," said Johnson, who captained England to the Grand Slam in 2003.

"Our first-half was horrible. We did everything you shouldn't do when you play away from home. We had a lot of guys doing this for the first time - not a Grand Slam decider but playing a full championship - and there were a few errors. We came to win and we've fallen way short. This is a scar and we'll have to wear that scar."

Ireland captain O'Driscoll was glad his side had proved that they had 'not become a bad side overnight'. "We knew we had a performance like that in us but for some reason we had not put it together in our four previous matches," said the Irish captain.

"We felt we hadn't set down a marker at the Aviva Stadium and we needed a reason to call it home again and there's no better way to do that than by beating England and it's a nice moment."

_____________________________________________________________________________________
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Posted at 4:59 pm | 142 comments

Viewing 142 comments

Anonymous March 20, 2011 4:53 pm

First

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 4:57 pm

from a Welshman, If ireland played like that throughout the six nations they would of picked up the championship without a doubt. Forwards and outside backs dominated.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 4:57 pm

Second











...best england were in all aspects of the field

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 5:00 pm

I think our media need to keep a lid on it before they start building us up like they have been doing for the past few months. We are a good squad but not the best... yet. This was out first major test and unfortunately, we aren't yet up to the task.

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gordan darcy March 20, 2011 5:01 pm

Chris Ashton... who???

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 5:09 pm

first time gordon d'arcy had played well this six nations

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No Potatoes March 20, 2011 5:10 pm

Ha, Gordon Darcy is the worst ever centre to have played International rugby!
England played badly, Ireland played well enough to beat a poor England side on the day. Oh well, if they learn from this it's not so bad.
Surely it's better to save the best for the World Cup!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 5:16 pm

typical cocky english, they can never admit they were beaten by a better team

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 5:20 pm

^ who are you referring to?

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Wexman March 20, 2011 5:20 pm

'No Potatoes' great comeback you dipsh*t! D'arcy hasn't been great this six nations alright, but he is far superior to any of the brain dead centers england have to choose from!

Why does this Irish team need to be up sh*t creek before they can perform like this? Such talent, if the bench can get sorted and some old favorites not given a guaranteed place we really can cause some major damage....

Haven't been Earls's biggest fan but the last couple of games he has really been top notch, fair play to him! Ireland should use the England fly-half policy from now on; Johnny first then bring on ROG its the way to go

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wow-jiffy-lube March 20, 2011 5:23 pm

@No Potatoes

That's pretty rich coming from the country that uses the likes of Hape and Banahan, neither of whom are anywhere near international standard. Hape was absolutely anonymous yesterday and Banahan was torn apart by a superior center partnership. England's midfield is like a running joke in world rugby, they're totally ineffective yet hyped up to the nines. D'Arcy however has proven himself to be world class, look at the Autumn series (in which he was immense) or the 2009 Six Nations.

Yesterday he ran circles around his pitiful opposing number and cut him in half with tackles from time to time.

Now quit trolling and go cry about what could have been.

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DEO March 20, 2011 5:26 pm

Too right wexman, Hape thinks he's regan king, and banahan thinks hes lomu, darcy made that jersey his again yesterday. Thought O'gara was fantastic when he came on , and O'Brian was outstanding , along with O'Callaghan.

Just wish wales had won too...

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DEO March 20, 2011 5:27 pm

@ wow-jiffy-lube

Nice timing haha

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Luxi March 20, 2011 5:31 pm

first time ireland played well this 6 nations
ashton's a cunt
that pass was flat shoulda been a try

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Wexman March 20, 2011 5:39 pm

Yeah DEO every player fronted up in fairness to them but, the back-row was immense as was the aggression of the front five. I believe that that is the area that lets Ireland down the most, if our front five could play like that more often we would play far better.

And i think the No. 9 jersey has to be Reddan's after that performance, although he really shouldn't have passed that ball for the English try, at least he can pass a ball, get it out quick and is able to box kick. The most important scrum half duties. Give me Reddan and Peel over O'Leary and Phillips any day of the week.

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Fruean March 20, 2011 5:44 pm

ireland were much the better side. Just a shame the only possible thing that can motivate this Irish team to play to their potential is the prospect of upsetting the English.

It's why Ireland wll never beat the All Blacks.

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Mike March 20, 2011 5:44 pm

Ha, Gordon Darcy is the worst ever centre to have played International rugby!
Hilarious. You don't win 60 international caps beside O'Driscoll and go on Lions tours without a bit of talent.

It's interesting that you rank Banahan ahead of D'Arcy - your credibility vanished right there.

On the game - it's very hard to say to what extent it was due to England playing badly or Ireland playing well, but as someone observed somewhere else, the lesson seems to be that Ireland are not as bad as we thought, and England are not as good. But England will be back, there are a lot of good young players in that side.

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Mike March 20, 2011 5:45 pm

By the way, I know the English folks seem to think that it was 'beating the English' that was the motivator here, but that was only a small part of it - the real difference was that they owed the fans a performance and this was their last chance to put down a marker before the world cup.

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King March 20, 2011 6:05 pm

Amazing performance from Ireland, very nearly a perfect display. England didn't have a chance to get into the game. Every player basically gave everything and more.

I think the key was the quick ball and the intensity of the rucking.

You have to really admit defeat, no excuses. It was the most comprehensive victory of the 6N bar Eng vs Italy.

I may be clutching at straws but the only positive to take from this is that a) it was a lesson on intensity and passion b) brought us back down to earth after some mediocre wins. I just think that we're great in open play and running the ball but have been second best at ruck time for many of the games that we won (Scotland springs to mind)

Also for Ireland, chatting to my Irish mate at the game he was obviously delighted and took great pleasure in rubbing it in my face whilst calling Ashton an arsehole but he was slightly concerned that they only play like that against England and never against anyone else.

England fan

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BigBucks March 20, 2011 6:06 pm

Ireland have been building up to this - Its unlikely its the 'english factor' that made the team play well. That factors well subsided now, in croke park it counted a bit - not too much anymore.

The real driving for is that theyve been trying to get this game out of them for the past year and little knock ons like the ones all championship have prevented them. Today they had their backs to the wall, and had nothing at stake - and hence went out without a reign and played the way they wanted. And this is what happened - and comprehensive perfomance 1-22.

I'll bet my bottom dollar they'll keep this up - maybe not as intense - but this stylish and with clinicality - everyones said it this team needs one big game to hit their stride - this is that game.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:08 pm

ROG seems to be the most hated man in international rugby, ashton was running after him like a rabid dog for the last 10 minutes trying to smash him. not the first time he's wound the opposition up

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I hate ppl who write March 20, 2011 6:16 pm

I have to say that slating the opposition rather than simply supporting your own is one of the most unrugby like habits one can have. Can all the soccer supporters who've started following Rugby over the past couple of years get a bit of culture before they come on here and ruin the rugby threads?

Ireland played well and England looked shook yesterday, an average of 40+caps per Irish player to an average of 20+ per Englishman was shown up in a big way. The English have their media to blame for a lot of premature hype.
In the long run, I think we(Irish) did them a big favour for the world cup. They'll have no delusions of grandeaur as we did in 2007.

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Gavin March 20, 2011 6:20 pm

ROG seems to be the most hated man in international rugby, ashton was running after him like a rabid dog for the last 10 minutes trying to smash him.
That might tell you more about Ashton than it does about ROG to be honest. ROG has been playing at the top for over a decade and I can only remember two other occasions when he had a bit of bother (one of those times was Duncan McCrae's unprovoked attack). It's odd - ROG seems to have discovered the joy of aggression and physicality in rugby, handing off a hooker to score against Scotland, and trading handbags with Ashton here. Where was that aggression for last decade, ROG?

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Eoghan Cole March 20, 2011 6:28 pm

satisfying win.

That missed tackle against France (D'arcy v Rougerie) and a shitty call by TJ v Wales...what might have been - and that with having played well for lets say 120 minutes (80 v England, 40 v France in fits and starts).

I just hope Ireland kick on into the World Cup with this attitude.

It just goes to show...all the gameplan in the world still needs bite, bollock and bloody mindedness to succeed.

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Gf March 20, 2011 6:37 pm

So many funny comments on this thread.. E.g. Darcy being world class, Ireland building up to that performance and it was against England and the grandslam didn't have an effect..

I think Ireland and England fans have to question the players attitudes. (England and the final Ireland and all their other games). At the end of the day a very inexperienced (10 players below 25) England side did well throughout lacking maturity in the end, an experienced ireland side perhaps lacking motivation for games with no massive consequences.

Congrats England and good luck ireland, I hope they build from this.

NB I havent said hape or banahan are good.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:44 pm

From a Frenchman:

Very disappointing to see England, arguably Europe's best chance in the RWC, fall short like that.

I thought they had some great momentum going for them, with a coherent game plan and talented players across the field to support it. What went wrong this time ?

I think for the first time a team managed to expose their blatant weak point, which his their center pairing. Hape and Banahan are no good.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:45 pm

GF - how can you say hape and banahan are good?

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Gavin March 20, 2011 6:47 pm

Well, "No Potatoes" says that Banahan and Hape are better than D'Arcy, and he seems to be an expert...lol

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:48 pm

Gutted, oh well - great stuff Ireland you deserved that win.

O'driscoll - legend!

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CameSawConquered March 20, 2011 6:50 pm

hahahahahaha unlucky you english cunts, leave the grand slams to the big boys. Maybe you'll get another one in the next decade?

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:51 pm

following from above...

...how much longer do we need to wait for Manu to be in the squad!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:53 pm

are you suggesting Ireland are the big boys? because although they played very very well yesterday, they have been shit up to now!

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BearGryllsFurCoat March 20, 2011 6:55 pm

Whatever about Banahan, who I think has some potential, Hape is very average.

Frenchman above, I think you're being far too generous to England and too harsh on the French. Their pack is the best in the world, so if they just changed their coach, they'd be a shoe in for the SF.

Ireland were immense yesterday

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 6:56 pm

Not great from England, but we are a very young side, and destined for big things, a great learning curve that game I recon.

Still gracious in defeat - The Irish where outstanding!

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Mike March 20, 2011 6:56 pm

Every country has its embarrassing triumphalist morons, including Ireland. You can always trust some fool here to embarrass us.

I didn't think the English were 'arrogant' in the slightest - that's just a tired old clich like drunken paddies and mean Scots. Of course, some people find it hard to interpret the world around them and use these clichs instead, treating them as truth...

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themull March 20, 2011 7:02 pm

Excellent by Ireland but I'll wait until the Summer tests(if they are happening with it being WC year and all) to see whether or not they can actually bring that form to the WC...If they can they could put it up to anyone in the world...

But if they play like they did for the other games they will be lucky to get out of the groups....

England will learn more from today than Ireland..Johnson should be able to use it as a huge learning curve for this young side in what not to do when under pressure and how important the little things matter...ie Floods missed peno just before the Ire try, Young's silly sin binning etc...

I still say France have the best chance to do anything this world cup, from the NH..They are pretty much the only team that can match NZ in terms of pace and physicality...

Anyways here a happy Irishman hoping to more and better things from this Ire side...

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Colombes March 20, 2011 7:03 pm

Congrats to ireland for their finest match
Congrats to England for the 6N title

Pretty impressive performance from Ireland. not because it was england, but because of the rythm that they have shown during 80 minutes.
The backrow was excellent, Sexton was a good animator and the seniors (o'driscoll, o'connell) leaded perfectly the orchestra; as you say in France, wine become better with time ;)
Let see in september if this victory means an irish "renaissance" or just a proud reaction

In another hand, england performance wasn't great.
The weakness of this team have been revealed: the inexperience. England new boys Flood, Youngs and Ashton were overwhelmed by the event. A personal remark on the english front row and youngs who tried to milk penalties rather to push the scrum (as they did it vs france and wales, but with success)
But I'm not worried for england, Johnno can find the words to remotivate them

It was a quite exciting tournament but the game level was uncertain. Ireland, France and England can maybe dream of the cup, but they will have to elevate their levels

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 7:04 pm

Well said Mike!

I agree bear, The French should not be discounted, they have shown moments of brilliance, and on their day can beat anybody!

Come the world cup I'd love to see Ireland playing like they did yesterday, France showing their best flare, Wales back to winning wyas with guys like George North at their most dangerous, Scotland as brutal as they where against us, with the confidence to run with the ball in hand. And England able to show the flare they have done in this tournament with our old defensive and 1st phase dominance.

Oh and with Manu!

This has been a great 6 nations

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No Potatoes March 20, 2011 7:04 pm

Darcy is terrible. I didn't say it before but even Banners and Hape are better! England are definitely lacking an effective centre partnership, but we have time to find the right one before RWC. Give Manu a go!
lol @ Irish fans here - delighted after 1 win. We thought we'd won before we even played and we didn't expect Ireland to play slightly better than average!
Playing like that anyone would have beaten us.
Enjoy this one though Ireland, you wont get many when most your team retire after the World Cup!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 7:06 pm

Most people were talking about the fact they were owed a good performance rather than the beating of the English after the match (I was there).

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No Potatoes March 20, 2011 7:12 pm

OK, OK, I'll stop trolling.

Well done Ireland. You truly outclassed us yesterday. I guess we need to keep our feet a bit more grounded next time round.

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No Volcanoes March 20, 2011 7:13 pm

Some terrible trolling right there, No Potatoes.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 7:15 pm

Ireland played very well for 50 minutes, but had lack of concentration in the last 30. Would have liked ireland to have scored more. England didn't create anything which should be worrying for them.

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The Other Conor March 20, 2011 7:21 pm

Well well Ireland really turned it up for this one. This is the first time since the All Blacks match(in November '10) that we've actually saw this Irish squad gel and actually play rugby. Sadly I'm still not really convinced of this line up, I've tried to stick away from complaining about your team throughout the 6N but I'm afraid now that this victory will paste over the cracks rather then heal them.

This 22 haven't changed greatly since last years 6N with possibly one or two missing through injury it's given an opportunity to a couple of others. We've seen Fergus Mc Fadden, Sean O'Brien & Mike Ross all won their first 6N caps which was great to see. Haven said that once Bowe came back Mc Fadden disappeared only to crop up in Leinster colours a week later. Considering how well he played, and considering Paddy Wallace spend the whole six nations covering the two places in the back line that we have the most cover. Even in this match Wallace was there why? he isn't going to cover 10 if sexton got injured because ROG was there basically the only positions he was covering was 12...which is crazy neither D'Arcy or Wallace are fast enough to cover wing or full back positions if Earls, Trimble or Bowe got injured durning the game.

Kidney has to choose a different team in the run up to the RWC we have to see the so called dept that we have in the country, lets see Spence, O'Malley Dan Tuohy, Darren Cave, Paul Marshall, Johne Murphy, Donnacha Ryan, Jamie Hagen Dominic Ryan, James Coughlan, Devon Toner and most of all FIONN CARR in the green of Ireland. These players will be key to Ireland's success in this world cup without them we are fucked!

Hard luck England I never expected yous to win the Slam but with the pressure of the media on yous it most of hurt. Can't wait what you guys are like in a couple of years after a bit of experience.

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No.7 March 20, 2011 7:33 pm

wow a huge amount of comments in a bitching contest...fantastic...

I think a lot of Eng supporters should follow suit of what MJ said 'take it on the chin!'

The irish should be proud of the win.

Personally i thought banahan played quite well, the guy is still a young lad and he didnt produce any shockers..I'd say he played a 'good game' not outstanding, but did most centres would do.

Tbh, i think MJ was on the ball the whole time. he never talked about the grand slam, he talked about each game as it came. As usual the fans and media got a sniff after the first english win and nearly sh*t themselves with excitement.

Anyone see Sexton's little dig at ashton after he kicked a penalty ashton gave away? and ROG's little scuffle...lol

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Flipje March 20, 2011 7:41 pm

Funny game....rugby is not it?

First time Ireland played at Crooke Park, lost narrowly to France and trashed England....

First year in the "New" Landsanroad, guess what happened....

Few things as a neutral french:
- ROG / Sexton.....for the WC? Well go old ROG is still decisive at the key moment that is what I learnt during those games.
- Ireland with a bit more lucked could have won the 6 nations (clearly vs a poor french team and what about Welsh: ref and last minutes forgotten pass...)
Still I say "could" because I wondered if they have turned up in the same manner vs the English with the label of favorites....anyhow we will never know!!!!
- France and Wales looked a mess.... The first one played with 8 1/2 players and the second, unlucky with some injuries, played offensive rugby but with no sense of direction (I feel)
- Congrat to England, overall they deserved it. Relatively young people shaping us well and once more (typical England) will be ready for the World cup. Best things that happened to England: this loss vs Ireland. They will not be cocky approaching the BIG event!!!!! That is dangerous....
- Richie is the new KING of Scotland!!!! Long live the King!!!!!

Final point, bloody h..ll, we are so far away from the South Hemisphere in term of gameplay, physicality and stamina.....Let's hope we catch up soon!!!!

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Mike March 20, 2011 7:54 pm

Flipje - good summary. I think is clear that the SH are still ahead in athleticism and skills, but I still think that France can destroy any team in the world on a good day. And to No.7 - I agree re. Martin Johnson. After a hilariously bad first season, he has really grown into the role and I thought he did a great job this year.

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Gf March 20, 2011 7:57 pm

French have the best pack in world rugby?! Ludicrous statement.. no disrespect intended they are up there but behind NZ, SA and I would go as far to say the Sharks..

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No.7 March 20, 2011 8:08 pm

Im not so sure anyone can judge the French pack right now.

I watched all (i think) 6N games, and I can't recall the huge amount of changes that were made.

So I think until the world cup, the french pack is going to be somewhat of a secret...

ah yes, i forgot to mention, fantastic run by Steve Thompson. I couldnt believe my ears when I heard the commentators say 'Steve Thompson' I was sure that was not a front row player steaming down the line!!!

Im looking forward to the WC, I think everyone should take a leaf out of MJ's book and keep it to themselves about who is going to win...there are a lot of months for injuries to happen before the start of the WC and a lot of games to go before the final!!!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 8:10 pm

I agree that NZ and the boks are stronger than any of the rest as teams, but I disagree about pack strength.

AUS and NZ packs just are not up to the standard of most NH sides - im refering to 1st phase here, they clearly know how to play the continuity game. The AB scrummage is still suspect, and I would suggest that the way to beat them would be at the break down, if they get good ball in hand nobody is beating them.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 8:19 pm

Ireland completely outclassed England right from the start, and that really got the momentum and crowd support for them to continue. England are a very good side, but with all respect to Ireland they never let them play. When England were able to hold on to the ball they kept phases well and earned penalties on possession, but other than that, well done ireland.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 8:39 pm

o'driscoll had banahan in his back pocket all day

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 8:50 pm

thoroughly enjoyed jeering at Martin Johnson when he came up on the big screen near the end of the match. He has to be the biggest wanker in the world loved wiping that face of that smug bastard... move over to your side when asked, we never forget.

English fan... lol i joke!

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Carlos da Costa March 20, 2011 8:57 pm

Nice one ireland. great game of rugby! very fast, unpredictable plays, interplay between forwards and backs. really nice.
England may have won 6N, but they can't play like the irish did this game and like the french do when lievremont doesn't screw the squad.

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Carlos da Costa March 20, 2011 8:59 pm

also... who thinks that england centers suck, no matter who they put there, their game is always so predictable, they never produce something great. And, wtf is hape doing there? Do they need to go to NZ to pick a piece of shit like that? Get johnny on the center or even manu tuilagi or gheraty.

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Christ March 20, 2011 9:15 pm

"""I agree that NZ and the boks are stronger than any of the rest as teams, but I disagree about pack strength.

AUS and NZ packs just are not up to the standard of most NH sides - im refering to 1st phase here, they clearly know how to play the continuity game. The AB scrummage is still suspect, and I would suggest that the way to beat them would be at the break down, if they get good ball in hand nobody is beating them."""""



Are you actually smoking something?

Do you know the front five that New Zealand have?

Mealamu, Hore and Elliot
Afoa, Franks, Woodcock and Tialata
Boric, Donnelly, Whitelock and Thorn


That is the front five choices for NZ and they are all world class players!

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No.7 March 20, 2011 9:18 pm

'thoroughly enjoyed jeering at Martin Johnson when he came up on the big screen near the end of the match. He has to be the biggest wanker in the world loved wiping that face of that smug bastard... move over to your side when asked, we never forget.'

Im pretty sure Johnson never had a smile on his face...He never expected a win today...infact throughout this entire tournament he has been pretty pessimistic..or perhaps realistic. Lets not forget how games can go. On paper did you ever expect Italy to beat France?!? I think that is what MJ was getting at, you never know, so take it day by day.

Gavin: I think ROG has had the 10 shirt guaranteed for a long long time so with Sexton coming in I think ROG is pulling out all the strings: Aggression, fight, mouth.

And whoever said Banahan was in BOD's back pocket all day...Consider the fact Banahan has been on the International scene for just over a year?! maybe? BOD (who is never shy of tackling or running hard) has been on the international scene for longer than I care to remember, not to mention the fact he has captained Ireland for years, and the lions...I mean, the guy has won 112 caps or something silly like that..one on one at the try line banahan MIGHT win, but anywhere else on the field, BOD's experience would win ANY day!

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aaron20water March 20, 2011 9:18 pm

france are rubbish! and england never had a chance going into the game teams dont beat ireland we beat ourselfs.. the amount of easy points we give to teams intercept trys.. is a joke we did not play anywhere near our best against england there was too many individuals in that game we should have past the ball better and Earls has no vision Tom Court should be dropped! England havent got the players they will not make it out of there group in the RWC

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Alexander March 20, 2011 9:23 pm

Well done Ireland, gave us a harsh lesson. I kinda thought it may happen, the grand slam was too far for this Eng side, and Ireland were yet to show their metal. Hope for their sake they have a bloody good showing at the world cup, because I do believe Ireland have it in them to do very well, so long as they play as they did against Eng.

Happy Eng got the Championship though, and to call them average or a poor side despite finishing first as some have is a little disrespectful to the other nations they beat to get the championship, so I disagree there!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 9:27 pm

TAXI FOR MARTIN JOHNSON!THE CHARIOT HAS BROKEN DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF DUBLIN! TAAAAAAAXXIIIIIIIII!

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Jonno March 20, 2011 9:28 pm

I think I'm one of many englishmen too humiliated to watch that clip. no hiding from it, we got knocked down a peg or six and had our stars handed to us all match. woeful.

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Sam March 20, 2011 9:36 pm

^Ignore the c*nt...sorry, troll..

As for the few irish fans who are perhaps a little over excited... I think you should seriously look and WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

England were guaranteed to win the Grand slam, and they lost it.

...dont get ahead of yourselves. You destroyed us, but take each game as it goes.

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Mike March 20, 2011 9:37 pm

I'd like to apologise on behalf of the genuine Irish posters for what the (possibly Irish) retarded troll above me just posted. Shameful, whoever you are.

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 9:39 pm

People are saying that the first half is where Ireland were strongest but they were equally strong in the 2nd half bar a minute or two of concentration lapses. In the 2nd half, Ireland played a much more territorial game and completely shut England out. They even managed to score a try. After the first 40 / 50 minutes, England never had a realistic chance. Ireland stopped them in their tracks when they got the ball and then just pinned them in the corners using kicks.

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Stag March 20, 2011 10:03 pm

completley agree with "i hate ppl who write first", including the name. what is the point in letting everyone know you were the first to comment....to then leave your self as Anonymous, atleast give a respectable oppinion!

had very mixed emotions in this game, pulling my hair out one minute then really enjoying watching some good rugby the next...unfortunatly the players playing good rugby were all wearing green shirts, England got taught a tough lesson yesterday, hope they learn it b4 RWC'11.

also the flirting between Ashton and Ogara was quite amusing.

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Stag March 20, 2011 10:03 pm

completley agree with "i hate ppl who write first", including the name. what is the point in letting everyone know you were the first to comment....to then leave your self as Anonymous, atleast give a respectable oppinion!

had very mixed emotions in this game, pulling my hair out one minute then really enjoying watching some good rugby the next...unfortunatly the players playing good rugby were all wearing green shirts, England got taught a tough lesson yesterday, hope they learn it b4 RWC'11.

also the flirting between Ashton and Ogara was quite amusing.

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Russell March 20, 2011 10:16 pm

poor performance from england. And fair play to ireland. you never gave us a chance to get going. good for both teams in a way. Ireland needed a win for confidence. we needed bringing down a peg or two so we can work our arses off for the world cup. Plus they might sort out the bloody centres now!

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 11:26 pm

From above...

No im not smoking anything! nobody is saying the NZ pack are crap - its all relative, but if you look at 1st phase, the best props in the world, Adam Jones, Castro giavani (apologies for spelling)etc... I dont think any of those blacks are quite up to their standard.

Thats a strength that the NH teams are going to have to use in order to disrupt clean ball. You only have to look at the autumn internationals and everytime NZ had the put in their back line either did or very nearly scored - simply outstanding, inventive tactical play.

I appreciate the patriotism but dont just say team x are the best and your all twats - we all know rugby is more complicated than that otherwise the AB would win the WC everytime!

England have got to not only find ways to answer the questions of SH teams, but also asktheir own questions

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Anonymous March 20, 2011 11:30 pm

As an England fan I have enjoyed seeing England's progress over the course of this 6 nations and like most educated England fans, never expected us to win in Dublin (althought I never expected such a comprehensive beating). This is due to the fact that the Irish side, whilst not playing well for much of the tournament, are an experienced side and didn't want to lose 2 games at home - the fact that it was England I think was irrelevant, the Irish have moved on from this mentality. England have been pretty poor and dull to watch for many years following the success of 2003 and it was good to see them playing some positive rugby (especially in the earlier games). This whole typical English arrogance thing is getting very boring, MJ hasn't said anything derogatory regarding the other nations or their players unlike some comments from other 6 nations participants. Rugby is a uniting game and as an Englishman it's nice to have a bit of banter - and that's what it should remain. Let's just enjoy the rugby. I for one will be cheering on all the northern hemisphere teams when we travel to NZ for the WC.

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Mike March 20, 2011 11:32 pm

I guess we will find out how good the SH forwards are come WC - but I don't think that any of them have to much to fear. It wasn't that long ago that the Boks were going toe to toe with a selection of the best of the B&I Lions and they didn't come off second best (they punched each other to a standstill).

My money is still on one of the SH powerhouses to win the WC.

An interesting thing I have noticed in the 6N this year though is that there were some very poor performances from the SH refs. Any thoughts?

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Mike March 20, 2011 11:36 pm

Anonymous above - totally agree re. this 'arrogant' nonsense from England - I didn't see it at all, I'm Irish. MJ did very well this year and was totally realistic in his post-match assessment. On the arrogance thing, it seems to me that that perception is a hang-over from the past when English teams perhaps were arrogant, but I don't think it's been a fair accusation for many years. When other teams' players declare that they are confident, it's ok, but when England's players do it, people are very fast to accuse them of arrogance it seems to me.

Anyway, onwards to the WC. Good luck to all!

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milo March 21, 2011 12:08 am

anyone else slightly concerned that none of the northern hemisphere sides are putting their hands up for the world cup? and dont try and claim that ireland just did, anyone can have a one off good game against a side who in anyones terms had a shocker

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 12:25 am

ROG seems to be the most hated man in international rugby, ashton was running after him like a rabid dog for the last 10 minutes trying to smash him. not the first time he's wound the opposition up

Noticed that too. He went looking for O'Gara after their little 'tete a tete'.

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Andrew March 21, 2011 12:46 am

Felipe Contemponi gave a post match interview a couple of years ago after Argentina had beaten Ireland. He goes on to say O'Gara talks a lot of crap during the game and then calls him 'asqueroso' (disgusting)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DGLYDG2Xd4

Appreciate not all may understand the language but take my word for it he means it and there is genuine dislike for the guy. I'd take Contemponi's side on this, ROG does seem like a pretty horrible person on the pitch and it does make me wonder what he'd said to wind up Ashton so much!

Also dont forget the post match review he gave on Sexton earlier on in the 6 nations!!

ROG - you're a douchebag!

View Video

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 2:19 am

O'Gara is clearly a twat.

The times he's written to the Irish Times to complain about journos criticising him.

The times he takes little swings and cheapshots and then waits for his forwards to rush in to the fight for him.

The times he misses tackles and loses everyone a Lions tour.

Good player though, when he isn't botching Lions tours. Although I do sympathise with that New South Walian who destroyed him in 2001.

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Canadian Content March 21, 2011 2:51 am

I thought Earls had one of his best performances in an Irish jersey, if he keeps up play like this, he'll be one to watch. Perhaps 15 is his best position? freedom to roam and create?

good on Kidney for throwing trimble in there, the irish back line is looking pretty good. D'arcy did have a good match, but is too inconsistent, then again, who else is there?

haskell is very overrated and this was displayed yesterday, he was anonymous. Easter isn't too useful either unless his pack is on the front foot. Wood however, looks to be very good.

the english back line looked pretty shaky and consistently made bad decisions. Hape is solid at best, unproductive at worst, banahan is inconsistent aside from the occasional big run. Ashton doesn't seem to do much except when in the open. Foden had two or three chances to pass and put someone away and took the contact.

Ireland look dangerous for the RWC, they and France are the 6N's contenders ( I know the french can suck, but they can also shine).

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Dub in Oz March 21, 2011 8:44 am

some strange comments here on Ogara. So what if Conemponi calls hims whatever. it's no secret they don't get on and Contemponi tended to get owned by ogara for years. what about guys like Howlett and De Villiers who have said he's a legend and a natural leader and "as tough a player as i've ever played with".

dallaglio has said he's every pack's worst nightmare and "untouchable in the rain". fair play to him for staning up to the over rated ashton who spend the whole match looking for hits on the fly halves and got nothing for it. since when is it a winger's job to go looking for the opposition fly half? ogara has given the irish fans many many glorious days over the years. don't forget that. petulant he may be, but that's part of every natural born winner's makeup. i think it's great to see him fronting up, handing off ford and giving back to ashton. legend. leinster fan .

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Von March 21, 2011 9:14 am

Well played Ireland. Thoroughly deserved win.

Particularly impressed by the work their forwards did, especially at mauls where they just would not allow England to deliver anything approaching quick ball. Put a lot of pressure on England at all aspects of the breakdown and, slightly surprisingly considering how the rest of the competition had gone, forced England to lose their discipline and give away some truly silly penalties.

I thought O'Callaghan, O'Driscoll, Wallace and Healy were particularly impressive in the tight.

Talk about earning the right to go wide - and when they got the ball out to the backs and loose forwards, f*** me did they get some decent pace and width on it! Opened England up like a can of beans every single time.

Unfortunately Ashton and Youngs reminded us that they really are very young / immature - Youngs in particular let us down, but to be fair he's a lot more mature than I was at his age!! Didn't realise O'Gara was such a brilliant wind-up merchant - totally got under Ashton's skin didn't he!? Anyway, hopefully they'll both learn from the experience.

Finally, I've watched O'Driscoll's first (disallowed) try about a dozen times now and I still can't see the alleged forward pass. I don't suppose he or anyone in Ireland really gives a s*** though!

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ForzaaaaItaliaaa March 21, 2011 10:09 am

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Ireland!!!!

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Other Jo March 21, 2011 10:14 am

Yeah Thank you Ireland!

A small win for England, showing that Italian show was easy.

I don't burry anyone for the WC though! It will be a different game with less pression for the NH team!

Com'on guys, I want to see some dream rugby. A good french dream match, a solid Irish perf, a AB destruction of oponent, an Aussie center and wing fury and a boks destitution in the end :-o

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Nick March 21, 2011 10:16 am

Good to see a decent 80 mins from Ireland. They seem to have sorted out their major issues at the breakdown. England had an awful day at the office. Irish pressure was a factor but they couldn't string a few passes together at any point in the game.

On the Banahan thing, I'm getting bored of the english setup trying to alter players. On the wing he's a decent player and could be a good alternative to Cueto (especially as he's only got a few seasons left in him), but he isn't a centre. It's interesting how many NH teams are struggling with a decent centre partnership at the moment, I think the Irish are the only team with a stable 12/13.

On the pack side of things the French have an excellent front row that is probably one of the best out there but I don't see too much behind it that is a league above any team, Dusatoir and Harinordauq (terrible spelling!) being the exceptions.

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vinniechan March 21, 2011 11:35 am

Oh come on!! Any reasonable person would not trust the media hype. The English media have been hyping the team up and Johno has been trying to keep a lid on it in every press conference.
As a fan, I do concede the England mid field is a total let down - any balanced mid field should consist of sb to do the hard work and sb to do the trick. We have been far too fixated with hving to blunt instruments and got away with it at times. Johnno is far far too conservative to try anything else.
England got some momentum and surged ahead but let's honest the difference from Australia to Ireland (top 2 - 6) isn't that great. Ireland have been close when they played big teams and this game will boost them their much needed confidence.
Meanwhile, perhaps it's fair to say England is a good team that can compete with the best, which is a different thing to say England is among the best (on par with SH sides).

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vinniechan March 21, 2011 11:37 am

and btw, Gordan Darcy is the mid field player who does the grunt work while BOD works his tricks.

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Mike March 21, 2011 11:58 am

Vinnie, you are right about D'Arcy, but O'Driscoll does plenty of grunt work too - before the rule changes, he was like a number 7 in competing for the ball on the ground, and he's a very destructive tackler. I'd say his defence has been better than his attacking for the last 6 or 7 years to be honest.

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 12:52 pm

At the end of the day, as it stands on paper the wins are building up. Ireland have won the last 7 out of 8 games against England.

you can dissect every match and argue about injured players or this and that but England aren't as consistent as they used to be.

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ConnachtFan March 21, 2011 12:55 pm

Worst Six nations EVER,standard of rugby truly shocking, these lads are profesisonals?! World Cup finals will be all SH I can honestly say. Ireland one swallow does not make.....

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 1:18 pm

ConnachtFan

yup wasn't as good quality this year but so what, you can't have it excellent every year, and i think most countries are looking towards the future to the WC

you don't have to watch it!

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 3:50 pm

From Pete:

Well done Ireland. Looking at the WC though I think as long as England top their group (tricky games against Scotland and Argentina) their route to the final isn't so bad. They will probably face France in the quarters and then Australia in the semis (two teams that England have done well against in previous World Cups). I think the South Africans will beat the All Blacks in the semis (NZ will have too much pressure in their own back yard) and meet England in the final. I then think SA will win a thrilling final 24 - 17. Oh and NZ are by far the most arrogant of rugby nations (then it's a toss up between SA and France).

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 3:55 pm

In relation to the world cup, a six nations like this was exactly what the NH teams needed. Ireland needs to address disciplinary issues. 7 tries for and 2 against (1 bad call) and we still hit third due to penalty decisions given away. No place for that in WC.

Scotland turned a corner last season and are looking to build. Wales fallen short somewhat but are unpredictable during WC. France need to address consistency. England have a team, and can plant their feet and start to build momentum on 6N win. Italy should ask some questions of Ireland in final WC pool game.

Personally I think Ireland can make 3rd place playoff. Oz or SA are there for the taking, it will be the biggest win of Ireland's history in WC, but we are due an upset. Kidney is a world cup winning coach, with some of the present players from U20. Ireland's team will have a nice blend of youthful excitement and experienced leaders. 2 decent # 10s, unheard of before. You heard it here 1st.

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 4:19 pm

completely agree pete I think Argentina will be a great game. For me I think SA will nip it, I think NZ always look the best but tend to crack a little under the WC presure.

When it comes to the crunch SA physicality will pip it. Either us or Aus playing them in the final, I suspect it will be Aus. Its a shame about the draw, a SA NZ final would be awesome!

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 5:04 pm

well the 1st and second team get trough to the quaters. That meens Ireland and Austrailia will face off agenst Wales and South africa. This tournaments is anyones to call because I cant

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 6:20 pm

Good win from the Irish, congrats!

Again you see how a poor center pair can have awful effects on your offence... now you Englishmen understand what we French people must endure everyday...

Worst 6 Nations ever. France coach Marc Livremont was (and for the only time in his career) right to say 6N is 2nd division compared to SH...

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 10:21 pm

The disallowed try was called back for a forward pass from Heaslip to Bowe, not the final pass from Bowe to O'Driscoll. A fair call. Great game, delighted with the win.

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No.7 March 21, 2011 11:10 pm

I thought the 6N produced some far greater rugby than is produced in the NH for a long time...just was not consistant...

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Anonymous March 21, 2011 11:54 pm

ogara and ashton. 2 bigger idiots would be hard to find. both good players though.

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 12:00 am

banahan is a quality winger,just an inexperienced centre.shontayne hape is shit .shit at wing ,shit at full back, shit in the premiership, shit at home watching the game on tv. he isnt even english and hes shit. get him out.flood is shocking too. cipriani back at outhalf,wilko at first centre, taking the place kicks and then all they need is a second centre. will carling possibly?

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 12:06 am

france have no outhalf. a team cant play without an outhalf. irealnd have no front row and two outhalfs now.despite this game mcfadden should be in instead of darcy or even bowe. and then find another winger

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 12:18 am

The comment above is just crazy

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Mike March 22, 2011 8:56 am

Bowe is an outstanding winger, one of only a couple of Irish players who are genuinely world class. McFadden may be something down the line, but right now Bowe will be one of the first names on the team sheet. The difference he made to the backline was huge - if he had played the first few games, we might have been chasing the Slam against England :(

The argument for McFadden versus D'Arcy is slightly different, and has merit - but who do Leinster play in the centre? When McFadden nails down a centre spot for Leinster, then he can do the same for Ireland.

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Gavin March 22, 2011 9:00 am

The disallowed try was called back for a forward pass from Heaslip to Bowe, not the final pass from Bowe to O'Driscoll.
I don't think so - the pass before Bowe to BOD was from ROG I think, and was flat. The pass from Heaslip was a whole phase before, and the linesman didn't signal anything.

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 1:57 pm

Ireland have no front row? Obviously you didn't see Mike Ross make shit of the English on Saturday. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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Dave March 22, 2011 2:12 pm

Christ, Irish, there's optimism, and then there's blind faith...

Do you honestly believe that one (great) win against overhyped, fragile opposition who have been coasting is enough to signal Irish rugby rising like a phoenix from the flames?

You have a group of players who don't seem to play as a team, a bewildering selection policy, a bunch of players who are on the verge of retirement.
In what way does Saturday's victory change any of this? The answer, it doesn't.

You played really well on Saturday, and completely blew an inexperienced/rudderless England team off the park. This does not address any of the problems with Irish rugby, and most certainly does not make you world-beaters.

Reading Irish fans' opinions is like looking after a hyperactive, bipolar child.
If you lose, Ireland are going to sh*t, your players are over the hill, Kidney needs to go, you need to make a dozen squad changes, there are too few/many Leinster/Munster/Ulster players, and you're not likely to get out of your RWC pool.
If you win with predominantly the same squad, suddenly you are realising your potential, you're a match for anyone on your day, you're in with a shout of a RWC semi-final spot, and you're ready for the Southern Hemisphere teams.

Jesus guys, can't you just be a bit more pragmatic, and less quick to jump in with both feet at the same time - good and bad. It makes cringeworthy reading...

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Dave March 22, 2011 2:13 pm

To the above - I'm neither English nor Irish. Just an impartial observer.

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 2:47 pm

Dave I don't know what Irish people you know or have been talking to. Most fans would have said that they knew this team were decent but that they had under performed and been indisciplined in the previous few games. Nobody in this thread has said we're world beaters, but yes, a semi final spot is possible if not probable, given that we've avoided the NZ side of the draw. A win against the Aussies sets up Wales, and if we lose we get SA. The Aussies at a neutral venue... surely even you would have to give us a chance!

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 2:53 pm

For all those peole who claim that others are''lazy'' for branding England as arrogant, you didn't happen to get your hands on one of those 5,000 limited edition Grand Slam t-shirts they made a few weeks ago?

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 3:01 pm

Any chance of getting the video of the English grand slam up on the site. I could use a good giggle.

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Tanora March 22, 2011 3:32 pm

Oh England, you've embarrassed yourselves with this one... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unOGLMoYSqc

View Video

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 4:31 pm

To all the people moaning about England being arrogant - get over it!
Of course we are arrogant, so are SA, Australia and NZ - and what do we have in common - WORLD CUP WINNERS. France are also arrogant but the problem that they have is they keep getting us in the knock out stages and will face us again this time round after we have topped our group and they have been smashed by NZ.
Come on Ireland get some arrogance, beleive you are a better team, believe you are unstoppable, believe, believe, believe, if you think you can't you wont, if you know you can, you may just pull it off. Be positive, be superior and show the world what you are made of, I know England will go into this tournament thinking that they are going to win it. Maybe, just maybe Ireland need to get some arrogance after smashing us on Sat I think they deserve it!!!
Arrogance for the win ;o)

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Some idiot said

''france have no outhalf. a team cant play without an outhalf. irealnd have no front row and two outhalfs now.despite this game mcfadden should be in instead of darcy or even bowe. and then find another winger''

Agree about Trin Duc, his game doesn't seem to suit an attacking game, and he too often resorts to lazy garryowens.

However, to say Ire have no front row after this championship, means any point you ever make is completely invalid. Maybe you sky plussed the shit out of the scrums but thats still no excuse for blind ignorance.

Bowe, are you crazy. The only world class finisher in the backline and only Irish back over 6ft. That added to your front row point should mean you never post about rugby again.

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Dave March 22, 2011 5:47 pm

@Anonymous:

This is exactly the kind of Irish over-optimistic waffle I was talking about!

A "probable" World Cup semi?
And the Irish have the gall to accuse the English of arrogance?

What makes you think that a semi place is "probable"?

Your recent World Cup form?
Your current IRB World ranking?

Or, the fact that you beat an average England team in a one-off game, on home turf, in your new stadium, while cruising to a mediocre third in the Six Nations.

Christ, you Irish lads live on a different planet - you really do...

This is coming from a fellow Celt too.

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Anrowa March 22, 2011 7:11 pm

Thrashings! Hope the Boks were watching the Irish tactics. Love the way they kept the tackled players off the ground.
BOD is a flippin legend. Has to be one of the all time great centres.
I think England don' look too hot for the World Cup all of a sudden. In fact its hard to look past NZ at the minute.

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Mike March 22, 2011 7:57 pm

This is exactly the kind of Irish over-optimistic waffle I was talking about!

A "probable" World Cup semi?
And the Irish have the gall to accuse the English of arrogance?

What makes you think that a semi place is "probable"?


I think you have him bang to rights there.

Your recent World Cup form?
Your current IRB World ranking?

Well we are IRB ranked 4 now, but I'm far from confident that you'll be seeing us in the WC semis.

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 8:14 pm

Fair enough England were shocking, but Ireland forced alot of the errors. Their strategy of holding the offensive player round the head so he can't go down was annoying, but England should be commiting more big boys to clear out. If Ireland played like that every game, they'd be ranked alongside the allblacks. Definately their dislike of the English that pumped them up i think. In defense of the English shocker, they were on their third choice captain and had no true exp in the back starting line up - Having oldman tindall would have steadied them alot. Hape and Banahan didn't stand a chance, and are nowhere near world class standard (yet).. Well played Ireland, well deserved win but did they deserve to move up a spot in IRB rankings?
Hmm

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Anonymous March 22, 2011 8:43 pm

At last a performance by our boys! I was dissapointed we didnt put more points on them in the second half. Also well done England on winning the championship you have made great progress. I wont be too optimistic about our wc chances until we string some consistent performances together.

Tom (Eire)

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ciaran March 22, 2011 9:38 pm

I think what the Anonymous ment about the Irish front row been weak is right in a way I meen Ireland have a great front row thats getting better.Its very rare you destroy an English scrum but have no cover for Mike Ross on the bench.No good tight head up and comeing.I meen you saw Tom Court pop out of that scrum everytime we need another scruming prop who can lock down a scrum. Even if we bring in a young tight head and bring them from the provincial academys into the Irish camp during international training weeks at least he can learn from Ross. we need to develop a tight head convear belt the way we developed the admasing back row conver belt. Ireland are starting to look like Leinster with that attack you see thats what you get with Reddan and Sexton togther. But the front row lack of depth has me worried.

But other than that im loveing the going for the jugular the first chance you get hopefuly we can see that speed rage and power again next match :)

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MNO eyes March 22, 2011 9:53 pm

England have already started filming ad rehearsals for winning the World Cup.

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Maxime March 22, 2011 9:54 pm

I love Irish team, thanks to didnt let english made slam . hh

From France

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Jono March 22, 2011 10:42 pm

Ireland will most liekely lose to Australia, but beat Italy, USA and Russia.
Which means they'll face a quarter final against South Africa.
Who will almost certainly beat them.
Meaning they'll exit at the quarters.
It would be a massive upset if this wasn't how it went.

Beating England at home does not mean this Irish team is capable of beating one of the top three at a WC.

Not at all.

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 12:38 am

Ok i'm English, i think if we want to win the RWC i think we need to address these issues. Firstly the midfield needs sorting, i personally think there's alot of calling for manu to start for england i personally think the midfield that should start on form should be Anthony Allen and Jon Clarke with Manu on the bench. Allen, Clarke and Manu have been the form centers of the Prem.

As for the back row, i think we need to look past Moody and go with Wood starting at 7 with Croft at 6. Number 8 has been puzzling me, with some points i like Easter but he's too slow! you look at Pierre Spies, Heaslip etc they've all got the ability tp get round the park and i think we're missing that so im open for suggestions???

The 10 issue has been settled for being honest, Flood and Wilko sharing the job is fine with me. Although i think Wilko should have started against Ireland, a good coach would have seen Flood was waning towards the end of the 6 nations.

Front row great no complaints there.

Now second row needs sorting as much as the centers, we need Lawes back asap on form and Attwood. One for people to keep an eye on would be Greg Kitchener of Worcester, he'll be moving to Leicester next year.

I would also say we've got quality on the wings and at fullback although i do wish we had an option to Cueto. Maybe give Sackey a go??? he has a subline nack of scoring trys.

So my drea, starting line up for the RWC would be

1.Corbisiero/Sheridan.
2.Hartley/Thompson
3.Cole/Stevens/Wilson (Stevens over Wilson anyday)
4.Attwood/Palmer
5.Lawes/Deacon
6.Croft
7.Wood
8.????? Easter (yawn)
9.Youngs/Care
10.Flood/Wilkinson
11.Sackey
12.Allen
13.Clarke/Manu
14.Ashton (class)
15.Foden (class)

Any thoughts?????????

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 1:31 am

Amazing game and super play by the Irish but Im dyin to see O'Gara and the Ashton mash up despite how brief it was. Tension was high!!

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 9:50 am

Dear Tanora,

England along with every other country made those adverts.

It was silly of NIKE I agree but not England as I'm pretty sure MJ or anyone else for that matter would have said yes to that.

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Dave March 23, 2011 10:52 am

Dear everyone.

Those Nike ads don't represent anything other than an advertising agency creating an advert a few days before it's due to go on air. This is absolutely standard practice, particularly if you want to capitalise on a sporting event.

The mistake was to let it get leaked so that a bunch of spotty, pubescent dickheads on the internet could dissect it.

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 11:02 am

The vid was made HALF way through the 6 nations, that's the wrong message to give to players BIG TIME, it was like they were expecting to win and they got complacent. The audacity of even agreeing to such a commercial route whilst in the middle of a competition just shows how naive the English RFU are.

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BFD March 23, 2011 11:43 am

It's called marketing, and if England had won the game it would have worked out brilliantly. Nothing wrong with planning ahead. It's pathetic how everyone gets a kick out of laughing at it.

Many teams do the same thing. Didn't Spain put on some fancy t-shirt straight after winning the world cup football? Maybe it was Barcelona, but I remember something similar. It's done over and over again. It's shrewd marketing which just didnt work out this time. Calling it arrogant is clutching at straws. They won the tournament after all.

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 12:36 pm

1.Corbisiero/Sheridan.
2.Hartley/Thompson
3.Cole/Stevens/Wilson (Stevens over Wilson anyday)
4.Attwood/Palmer
5.Lawes/Deacon
6.Croft
7.Wood
8.????? Easter (yawn)
9.Youngs/Care
10.Flood/Wilkinson
11.Sackey
12.Allen
13.Clarke/Manu
14.Ashton (class)
15.Foden (class)

It's interesting but I think there's a few changes that could happen. Doran Jones had a decent couple of games off the bench, and was strong in the scrum. He's made a mess of a lot of highly regarded players this season. Including Englands great hope Mahler.

I'd avoid Sackey, if you want experience Balshaw and Simpson Daniel are having a decent season, or just let Banahan play where he should. Armitage could be a decent alternative.

Haskell has had the best run of internationals he's ever had and I'd like to see Moody in the squad, he may not be the best but you can gaurentee the commitment.

12/13 looks a bit inexperienced and I see that as the major problem, as you've got a choice of the old and unsuprising or throwing in new talent. I don't mind what England do as long as there is a nurturing approach to how players are put in. The way Allen was thrown into the squad and instantly dropped last time was a bit of a disgrace.

Probably put Attwood on the Bench and let Palmer start.

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Dave March 23, 2011 12:50 pm

Dear everyone.

Frankly, you are a retard if you think that advert represents anything other than the ad agency preparing a campaign.

God, you people are unbelievably petty...

A Welshman.

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Anonymous March 23, 2011 4:46 pm

To be fair Dave, I can't see too many Irish being cocky. There's the odd one or two but there always is... regardless of country.

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No.7 March 23, 2011 11:08 pm

Dave, I think the fact you dissected that guys comment so where he actually said:

Nobody in this thread has said we're world beaters, but yes, a semi final spot is possible if not probable, given that we've avoided the NZ side of the draw.

The words 'if not probable' do not fill me with a great sense of arrogance or blind optimism...

If a bookie came along and said 'its possible if not probable that X will win' it doesnt inspire me (nor i'd imagine many) to empty their banks and throw it towards a bet on X....

The guy gave a pretty good point. Ireland are far from the NZ side...and if by luck they get a win over a young Aus team, then that puts them in good stead to make the semi's...

I personally would say it is possible, if not probable that Ireland will make the semi's.

However I base that on the names within the Ireland team, and how they generally are all class players, therefore the big problem is will they gel enough to beat Aus.

So i'll round this off by whilst it is possible, if not probable that ireland will make the semi's, it is more realistic however, to assume that they will not come first in their pool (basing that assumption on their play generally over the last ages) and therefore most likely face SA in the quarters..where they will most probably get destroyed. (unfortunately)

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Jono March 24, 2011 2:11 am

Seriously, Ireland beating Australia would be a massive upset, huge.
Australia are very, very much favorites for that game as it currently stands.
Ireland will more than likely come second in their pool, the likelihood is Australia (who have a far superior backline and a forward pack that can match anything Ireland can throw at them), will win fairly comfortably.
Aus is a better team, they beat NZ, SA, England, Wales, France, Ireland, Fiji and Itlay last year.
They are ranked higher and are much more used to NZ conditions.

And if Ireland doesn't beat Australia, they have to face South Africa in the semis.

It is much more likely that Ireland will lose to Aus and get knocked out by SA in the semis.
Much more likely.

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Jono March 24, 2011 2:12 am

^ I meant 'knocked out in the quarters'.

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munsterfan March 24, 2011 6:46 am

Typical arrogant english counting their chickens before they hatch.

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Anonymous March 24, 2011 9:16 am

Hmmm - there are a lot of keyboard warriors on here!
I'm going to throw my England fantasy team in to the ring.

1.Sheridan
2.Hartley
3.Stevens
4.Palmer
5.Lawes
6.Croft
7.Rees
8.Haskell
9.Youngs
10.Cipriani
11.Banahan
12.Tindall
13.Simpson-Daniel
14.Ashton
15.Foden

Now before anyone says this team will never happen - I know that. Clearly MJ does not like Cips for whatever reason but I think that whilst Flood started the 6 nations well he faded badly under pressure. All the arrogance talk is a strange one as I think Cipriani does back himself and I think he can run a game - you need that at this level. Another area that I have addressed is the back row - Easter has passed his sell-by date and we have been crying out for a Neil Back style open side for 8 years, so I have brought in Tom Rees. Also another area of concern has been the blunt instruments at centre. Tindall, Banahan and Hape are too similar, so I have kept Tindall (for the experience) and partnered him with James Simpson-Daniel who has the speed, invention and flair to light up the England midfield.

Flame away keyboard warriors!

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ciaran March 25, 2011 12:01 am

Ireland lost to australia last year because they had 11 injurys hahaha and had no attacking game and still managed to put trys past them.

The ausies dont worry me one bit if England can beat them Ireland are well capable and have done so on a few occasions.

Ausies are not home and NZ conditions are very much like Irish conditions personaly it suits both teams running game.

And thats not including the players comeing back shane horgan,stephan feris, rob kearney,Luke fitzgerald,geordan murphy.

they all have to come back Ireland will be just fine with that kind of fire power on the bench.

I am not been arogant I know what the Ausies can do but I know what the Irish can do is well and there starting to attack like Leinster and strangle the oppisition. I cant wait till August to see if they can do it again.

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coventry March 25, 2011 6:57 am

"Oh and NZ are by far the most arrogant of rugby nations (then it's a toss up between SA and France)."

I know people and parrots keep saying this but they don't put up the evidence. I know a lot of kiwis and they're as passionate as any fans but no more arrogant as far as I can see, and the players as a group don't come across as more arrogant than your average international player. Not at all in fact. At least they have a fantastic record going back decades over all other opposition. Imagine how bloody arrogant some Eng or any of the 6N people would be if they had that record. Don't mistake pride and understandable confidence, considering the stats, for arrogance.

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Anonymous March 25, 2011 3:47 pm

For all you Leinster fans who think Shane Horgan will play for Ire again (post 2 above), stop it, I've had enough. Its not funny how deluded you are if you think he has a hope of ever wearing green again.

Ire wings ahead of Horgan

Bowe, Earls, Fitz, McFadden, Trimble, Kearney (even though he's a FB), Johne Murphy (poss) and Felix Jones (maybe) if he can string an injury free run together.

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Donkey Punch March 25, 2011 5:01 pm

ciaran mentioned shane horgan coming back, hahaha ill have whatever your drinkin man you fucking lunatic!

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ciaran July 05, 2011 3:33 pm

Donkey punch I am drinking kopperberg lol. Horgan had a great season and I said ''they will be great fire power off the BENCH!!!!!'' end of lesson please read keyboard warrior.

Jones not a chance wouldn't have him near my squad Murphy maybe Kearney is a full back that cant pass. Keith earls is animal I will give u that McFadden is not ahead of Horgan in starting for Leinster so I don't see why he would be ahead starting for Ireland.

And Fitzgerald after the season he has had would be on the bench or out of my 22 talk about a stinker of a season.

Obviously I am a Leinster fan but the fact is the leinster academy is producing the best players no offense.

So what have u been drinking cause from where I stand most of the players in Ireland starting 15 should be from leinster and a few from ulster and Munster.

Oh by the way congrats to Munster on the Magners league win over Leinster you relay deserved it its nice to see Munster finally bringing players through like Danny Barnes,Connor Murry and Simon Zebo.

There is one guy i want given a shot for the world cup Andrew Conway who equaled Zac Guildford's U 20's try scoring record during the junior world cup.

Exciting times ahead.

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badger guy October 14, 2012 9:09 pm

Whey Malachy Whey!!!

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