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Sunday Mar 1, 2015

Ireland stay on track with victory over England in Dublin

Ireland stay on track with victory over England in Dublin
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Robbie Henshaw got up high to score a fantastic try as Ireland beat England 19-9 in Dublin earlier today. The win puts the defending champions in with a great chance of retaining their title, but they still need to face a rejuvenated Wales outfit in Cardiff in a fortnight.

Following another victory that keeps Ireland on track for another title, skipper Paul O’Connell spoke about the feeling in the camp and the focus of the group.

“I think we’re doing a lot of things really well. The way we’re preparing is a lot different from what we’ve done in the past in my time here,” POC said.

“I just think the game-by-game focus suits Irish teams and Irish people. I’m sure the coaches look at the bigger picture, but for us, there will be a fairly brutal review of this game, and we’ll be put under pressure then to prepare certain things for Wales, and that will be the sole focus of the players.

He also hinted at retirement, saying it might have been his last Six Nations match against England, but he wouldn’t commit to that, as he claims he genuinely hasn’t made a decision yet.

“I’m undecided. I’ll probably make the decision soon enough, I really want to play to the World Cup and be in the best shape I can there and see after that. I’m really enjoying playing at the moment in the set-up we have in Ireland, but I’m conscious we have a lot of good second-rows coming through as well.”

Coach Joe Schmidt has given an injury update, after stars Johnny Sexton and Sean O’Brien were forced to leave the field. “Johnny just felt a twinge in his hamstring when he was kicking that conversion from the corner,” Schmidt said.

“Again, we haven’t had that assessed yet so I can’t really comment as to the severity or non-severity of that. With Sean, we’re not too sure how it happened.

“We had a look at the tape and maybe it was a head-to-head clash, but he’s going to through the HIA [Head Injury Assessment] protocols and he’ll work his way through those in the next six days.

“He’s certainly asymptomatic at the moment, he’s fine, just a little bit grumpy and disappointed he didn’t see out the match,” Schmidt added.



86 Comments

  • drg
    6:34 PM 10/03/2015

    ....ditto.... :S

    Reply
  • danknapp
    10:12 AM 08/03/2015

    I've only just realised that your username is meant to be pronounced as 'Doctor Gee'. I've been calling you 'Dee roog' for years.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:19 PM 07/03/2015

    Has anybody else been wondering how he can be called Boo-rell, when Farrell isn't called Faaa-rell? Has me up at night...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:32 AM 05/03/2015

    (Don't know where the question marks came from)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:31 AM 05/03/2015

    Sorry. Seems like a top bloke too. ????

    Reply
  • facepalm
    8:50 PM 04/03/2015

    The only role I see him playing is a backup to a fully fit Tuilagi, alright player though he is.

    Reply
  • reality
    8:13 PM 04/03/2015

    In my case there's just a shiny e where the video should be.

    Reply
  • drg
    4:00 PM 04/03/2015

    I agree with you in the sense that it's early days on the kicking front. I just feel if we line up Ire against SA, you've got meaty Irish forwards who can front up to the big SA lot. SA backs are brilliant, but not 'angels sent to earth to bring heaven rugby to the ground'... so Ire can do well to front up to them. Australia, perhaps, have been unfairly tagged with having an unstable pack to play off, this certainly isn't the case, but again I think the Irish do well to fight back. Aussie backs have a bit more flair than SA, which can catch teams on the hop, but Ireland have a strong pack to work things off, so I think they did well there. I'm still figuring Arg out, they're very 'french'... one minute they beat a top team, the next they can't beat a 'lesser' team... So brings us onto NZ. They appear to have a very strong pack and you remember those angels I mentioned above... that's NZ... But then again, as I am typing this, it's just dawned on me that Ireland have come very close to beating NZ.. You're right though, their kicking 'plan' is being used very differently and it isn't their only style.

    Reply
  • 3:23 PM 04/03/2015

    If you hark back to 2007 SA won the RWC with nothing more than Percy Montgomery kicking his goals, a dominant setpiece, Fourie du Preez boxkicking superbly and Habana in the form of his life. Granted Ireland aren't at that level but it was a fairly limited gameplan nonetheless. I don't think Ireland are capable of winning the World Cup making as few linebreaks as they are but it's food for thought. As for who should be backline cover, I think it's very easy to fall into the trap of saying who is excelling for their club sides at the moment as they are playing weakened teams. Would have to assume that the guys in the Ireland team would also be dominating in these games if the roles were reversed. But I would agree in Fitzgerald over Jones but Schmidt did an interview recently where he said he doesn't fancy Fitz for the bench because that would give them too many left-footers in their back 3. Talk about attention to detail!

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    1:17 PM 04/03/2015

    This should be fixed now - can you please have a quick look and let us know (replying here is fine)? Much appreciated and apologies for the issues before. Thanks

    Reply
  • 10:57 AM 04/03/2015

    I think it's early to be talking about "Ireland's kicking plan" as if it's their only plan. Schmidt is a shrewd head and adapts to each game in detail. It's only been a few short months since we closed out Argentina, Australia and South Africa, so the question really is can we finally manage a win against the ABs, southern hemisphere has been covered otherwise. If any coach can come up with the right game plan I think it's Joe Schmidt. I'm a leinster fan and a Westmeath man. Joe coached Mullingar years ago, and then Leinster. The guy has the most brilliant rugby mind in the game.

    Reply
  • 10:52 AM 04/03/2015

    That's Hosea Gear, if you were to sideline every international back he has bumped you're narrowing your options quite a bit! That said I'd have Luke Fitzgerald as back-up instead of Jones as utility back.

    Reply
  • 10:42 AM 04/03/2015

    It's not enough...you have to add...."and he seems like a top bloke" (just look at his twitter) :)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:39 AM 04/03/2015

    Fair enough. I'll retract that thuggery accusation then.

    Reply
  • 5:23 AM 04/03/2015

    Agreed. I love an Irish win. Any Irish win. But after that game, where they came so close, all I ever think is "Would this game have beaten that ABs?". Hard to say. Ireland are so good at forcing a team to play their game....but I can't help to think that NZ wouldn't have had only one try against that England squad... But maybe my hopes are just too high. As I said, though, a win is a win is a happy win.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:52 PM 03/03/2015

    I think most of the posts are definitely containing some sort of congratulatory message to Ireland. As for the 'grimy' comment (I think I read that or heard that somewhere too..). I personally didn't find Ireland was playing a grimy grungy sort of play. I thought that was certainly demonstrated by their wonderful back line moves... switches, loops, dummys and I didn't have a ******* clue where it went until I noticed a ruck being formed.. I think it was actually Englands defence that did very well to stem the attacks, which is perhaps something the Irish knew/expected, which is why their game plan involved kicking up the ball. I actually think the Irish backline is not feeling the loss of BOD, purely because they've accepted it is over. The one thing I personally noticed about England after JW retired was that they went down down down because every 10 was not JW.... It sort of looked like a case of "look, we still have Jonny's boots and kit here, just wear it and see if it fits"....and hey ho, it didn't... The Irish on the other hand have never seemed to mention that they're missing BOD, it's almost as if 13 on a green shirt is just another position, a case of "Can you play 13?" not "can you play BOD?". I agree with you though, I think Ireland kicking plan is brilliant while it works, but against some of the SH teams I think it'll be the death of them if they try it for any length of time.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:52 PM 03/03/2015

    I think most of the posts are definitely containing some sort of congratulatory message to Ireland. As for the 'grimy' comment (I think I read that or heard that somewhere too..). I personally didn't find Ireland was playing a grimy grungy sort of play. I thought that was certainly demonstrated by their wonderful back line moves... switches, loops, dummys and I didn't have a ******* clue where it went until I noticed a ruck being formed.. I think it was actually Englands defence that did very well to stem the attacks, which is perhaps something the Irish knew/expected, which is why their game plan involved kicking up the ball. I actually think the Irish backline is not feeling the loss of BOD, purely because they've accepted it is over. The one thing I personally noticed about England after JW retired was that they went down down down because every 10 was not JW.... It sort of looked like a case of "look, we still have Jonny's boots and kit here, just wear it and see if it fits"....and hey ho, it didn't... The Irish on the other hand have never seemed to mention that they're missing BOD, it's almost as if 13 on a green shirt is just another position, a case of "Can you play 13?" not "can you play BOD?". I agree with you though, I think Ireland kicking plan is brilliant while it works, but against some of the SH teams I think it'll be the death of them if they try it for any length of time.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:52 PM 03/03/2015

    I think most of the posts are definitely containing some sort of congratulatory message to Ireland. As for the 'grimy' comment (I think I read that or heard that somewhere too..). I personally didn't find Ireland was playing a grimy grungy sort of play. I thought that was certainly demonstrated by their wonderful back line moves... switches, loops, dummys and I didn't have a ******* clue where it went until I noticed a ruck being formed.. I think it was actually Englands defence that did very well to stem the attacks, which is perhaps something the Irish knew/expected, which is why their game plan involved kicking up the ball. I actually think the Irish backline is not feeling the loss of BOD, purely because they've accepted it is over. The one thing I personally noticed about England after JW retired was that they went down down down because every 10 was not JW.... It sort of looked like a case of "look, we still have Jonny's boots and kit here, just wear it and see if it fits"....and hey ho, it didn't... The Irish on the other hand have never seemed to mention that they're missing BOD, it's almost as if 13 on a green shirt is just another position, a case of "Can you play 13?" not "can you play BOD?". I agree with you though, I think Ireland kicking plan is brilliant while it works, but against some of the SH teams I think it'll be the death of them if they try it for any length of time.

    Reply
  • themull
    10:02 PM 03/03/2015

    On irish creativity i wouldn't mind seeing the likes of earls, marshall, and gilroy given some game time..while we are playing and winning well right now..We are going to have to develop a more creative game when we come up against teams who are well prepared and well able ot handle the high ball (I'm thinking, wales, NZ and South Africa in particular)...Earls and Gilroy in particular are in good form for their clubs and probably offer a bit more in terms of stepping and creating space than some of our current starters, and with so little games left between now and the world cup my only worry is that we might become a little too one dimensional.. This isn't meant as a moany post, but i feel that some of us irish supporters are getting a little carried away...It's all well and good being able to win games like that but you need guys who can create line breaks if we are truly going to challenge for the WC..Remember england played a tight game in 2003 but they still had the likes of jason Robinson at Full back who could split defences open from anywhere

    Reply
  • notawelshdavies
    8:54 PM 03/03/2015

    4) was holding me back! Wigglesworth has got an absolutely superb pass, and his box kicking is equal to Young's. It's also worth pointing out that he did make a break in the short time he was on- I'm pretty sure Young's didn't but I might be wrong... Also, the speed with which Wigg'wth gets the ball away from the breakdown might alleviate some of the pressure on Ford and allow the backs to stop being so flat. Having said all of the above,I agree with you that he's not inspiring, and I'd much rather see Care or (preferably) Simpson in front of them all!

    Reply
  • reality
    7:48 PM 03/03/2015

    Stroudos, I would have phrased 'talking bollocks' differently, but since you said it yourself... But anyway, the stamp on Cole is where the comments about Healy being a thug started. If we're talking about the same SBW tackle then I'm really surprised that you think it's that bad. It was at the very, very most a penalty, but, those things happen all the time, and SBW didn't even land badly. Another thing was when he made a dangerous charge into a ruck last year against France for which he probably should have been carded, and once he smashed a player at club level who was loitering on the wrong side of the ruck (some people were for, some against) but they are literally the only things, official or otherwise, that people can use against Healy (unless I'm forgetting other stuff). Actually, there was also the imaginary bite during the Lions tour when the Australian player struck him in the mouth with his arm, claimed to have been bitten, and then had no bite mark to show. If you watch him play, he doesn't pick fights with people, he doesn't do that annoying thing where he pats people on the head when they make a mistake or rough them up when they're defenceless on the ground. He's a tough player, and while he has gone over the limit a few times, I really don't understand why he's looked upon so badly outside of Ireland. The way people talk about him you'd think he was Bakkies Botha or Callum Clarke.

    Reply
  • 7:21 PM 03/03/2015

    Very English-centric messageboard. Few comments from an Irish point of view. Personally I dont think Ireland were failing to support their body weight at the breakdowns, I felt from 1-23 they just did a very good job of jackaling the ball whenever an English player got slightly isolated and legally so. It is a shame to see us winning games without particularly threatening the tryline or throwing audacious offloads, bar one beauty from Dev Toner on Sunday, but to say the play is "grimy" or what have you is a bit harsh. With O'Driscoll gone, Payne was never gonna offer the same gamebreaking abilities as BOD (Ireland-Italy at the Aviva last year case in point) so it's harsh to expect them to play with a lot of flair. I'm not saying it's pretty but it's winning games and a spectacle to behold in it's own right as they are so brutally efficient. A good example of this being that England only had one scrum on their own put-in all game, meaning the Irish handling was near perfect. As for England, they were just kind of blown away. I felt after the Welsh game that England were over-hyped as they beat a Welsh team who more or less didnt leave the dressing room for the second half and were ten points to the good by the 8th minute by a single score and I also feel you cant read too much into this match either as Ireland were so good. I think Tuilagi-Joseph would be a scary centre axis and I also think you should keep Ford as he creates more than Farrell. To criticise Attwood is very harsh, he made 19 tackles on Sunday and also caught the most lineouts for you. Brown sorely missed but all in all England, for me, are moving in the right direction

    Reply
  • bnations
    6:21 PM 03/03/2015

    Thanks for looking into it. I've wondered if it was a geofence of some sort the way that Australian sites limit video to Aussies only. But then the highlights were all over YouTube, so who knows.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    3:08 PM 03/03/2015

    when what they should have looked at was the bigger picture, that Ireland has an awesome kicking game, so why try and take that on directly if yours is not up to the same standard - or, as Phil Mc Avity so eloquently put it at the top of this page, "why fight fire with a shitty little flame?"

    Reply
  • stroudos
    3:02 PM 03/03/2015

    Well Warburton's was technically more dangerous because Clerc's head was pointing downwards. Healy on SBW, although he didn't tip him, he deliberately dropped him from a height. Obviously, no harm done, partly because Williams actually tried to break his own fall rather than milking a penalty... *cough*, anyway... My view was it was Healy showing off and trying to make a statement. Some would argue that's what you want your prop to do. I just felt it was a bitch move. Must admit, the fact that I can't think of any other specific examples of Healy thuggery (except the stamp on Cole) makes me question whether or not I may in fact be talking bollocks.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    2:53 PM 03/03/2015

    I love this line: "Late for a backline player, but for a prop I'd say it was just on the limit."

    Reply
  • drg
    11:53 AM 03/03/2015

    ...yeh, it did seem like an odd plan... keep kicking it to Zebo... I mean, I know in club rugby when you see someone stuff up a catch the temptation is to fire another one towards him (well, I can only imagine that is the temptation, seeing as I'm currently banned from kicking the ball...) But these are international players. They probably looked at stats and said "Zebo is the worst catcher on the Irish team" what they perhaps didn't take into account is that whilst 99% of successful catches is worse than 99.5%, it's still pretty damn good... (made up figures)

    Reply
  • drg
    11:48 AM 03/03/2015

    Oh come on Stroudos.. I'm personally in the camp that Warburtons tackle wasn't 'that bad'.. Healy's was far less 'dangerous'... Late for a backline player, but for a prop I'd say it was just on the limit.

    Reply
  • rugbydump
    9:34 AM 03/03/2015

    Hey guys, we weren't aware of this - will look into it asap. Thanks for letting us know.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:27 AM 03/03/2015

    Perhaps, but Ireland had the referee in the palm of their hand, mainly because England set the tone early as being the team who were most likely to give away stupid penalties.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    7:02 AM 03/03/2015

    Edit: definitely worse than Warburton - Healy on SBW was late and cynical.

    Reply
  • 5:56 AM 03/03/2015

    Also didn't notice your comment down below. I agree with the sentiment.

    Reply
  • 5:55 AM 03/03/2015

    "England's number 15 was more than likely to run straight at the nearest green jersey instead of passing the ball to any linking backs." To be fair, that sounds like Rob Kearney as well. But I see your point.

    Reply
  • 5:50 AM 03/03/2015

    Noticed that, too. Coming from an Irish fan, England could've felt a little hard done by a couple few decisions on the pitch. That being one of them. There were a couple of close calls that could've resulted in turnovers but for Irish hands not letting go of the pill, too.

    Reply
  • pipo
    3:16 AM 03/03/2015

    I disagree with your humble opinion on Irish players not supporting their weight. The Argentine commentators of the channel I was watching the game on even said "he had to get one wrong" when he penalized that one time you refer to. Still, I liked your comment. I could very well be wrong, I once learned the trick of not really trying to steal the ball but putting more of an effort on holding onto the ball and player, and even putting some of my weight on it, to get penalties for not releasing in rucks. It has served me well.

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    11:50 PM 02/03/2015

    It would be depressing if that was the case, but lets not forget England were in a similar position with South Africa in the autumn shortly into the 2nd half. Then all of a sudden, boom, 2 tries and they were back in it within 10 minutes. Not suggesting that they would have definitely scored a try had they gone for the corner instead of the posts, but if they had it could have swung the game massively in their favour. Strange things can happen in rugby, insane comebacks from seemingly nothing amongst them.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:17 PM 02/03/2015

    Don't know about his actual record with the judiciary, but I was thinking more about general observations of the bloke playing. The only concrete example i can call to mind right now is a blatant lifting tackle on Sonny Bill a couple of years ago. Definitely in the same league as Warburton-Clerc 2011. I know I have seen plenty of others.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:28 PM 02/03/2015

    One of the best bits of rugby I've seen from Ireland in a while. I thought they played so well. They made the English into a bit of a non existent team for the majority of the game. I thought aside from the Irish kicking, their running and passing was also brilliant. As others have mention, they need to also have a plan B. Perhaps if they'd that against Mike Brown, it might not have worked so well. I also seriously doubt they'll have the same joy with that tactic against New Zealand for instance. Bit unpleasant to see SOB staggering around. I saw the replays but nothing looked particularly 'stunning'...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:15 PM 02/03/2015

    The exception that proves the rule!?

    Reply
  • stroudos
    10:14 PM 02/03/2015

    Yeah that was nice admittedly!

    Reply
  • bnations
    8:41 PM 02/03/2015

    I always see the same thing, which is weird given that the 6 Nations folks put together multiple highlight packages for each game now.

    Reply
  • reality
    7:02 PM 02/03/2015

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the only blemish on Healy's otherwise clean disciplinary record?

    Reply
  • coostov
    6:42 PM 02/03/2015

    BRING BACK THE OLD VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS. EVERY TIME I COME HERE TO WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS, THE "VIDEO IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE." PLEASE REVERT BACK TO THE OLD FORMAT!

    Reply
  • 6:06 PM 02/03/2015

    Maybe you can only be shit on so many counter attacks, that you get one lucky one?

    Reply
  • facepalm
    5:32 PM 02/03/2015

    Agreed. Except when he's in the shithouse behind his own try line with 50 Irish defenders trying to tackle him!

    Reply
  • facepalm
    5:29 PM 02/03/2015

    Love that, Murray was so influential all game! Definitely thought he could have got MoM over Henshaw.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    5:27 PM 02/03/2015

    There is something about Alex Goode's body language that seems to make it incredibly obvious that this is the option he'll be taking too.

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  • facepalm
    5:24 PM 02/03/2015

    Definitely agreed on 1,2 & 3 - not to sure what happened to 4?! :D But you can't really believe Wigglesworth is better than Youngs. Granted I'll admit Youngs is a bit of a turnstile, whilst Wigglesworth is strong in defence. But that's hardly the defining trait of a good scrum half. For me I can't imagine a lethal England back line with Wigglesworth at the helm. Youngs, Care and Simpson must surely be England's strongest options right now.

    Reply
  • notawelshdavies
    5:00 PM 02/03/2015

    The most frustrating thing was England's inability to recognise that what they were doing wasn't working and change something. Part of the problem with the backs is how flat they were: OK, the ball they were getting was often slow, but on the occasions when it wasn't they've got to aim to bring Joseph into the game

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  • 3:39 PM 02/03/2015

    :o Israel Folau, Dagg, Kearney, Halfpenny and Brown... Don't think you can say that all fullbacks can't counter attack. These guys are magiciens. Also for the kick to touch when it was 6-3 Ireland had just been penalised (on a scrum or maul) and Ford had just missed a kick before, the forwards were pumped up and confident, but as...also said on the red button, by Keith Wood, if you go for touch, you make sure, you know you are going to win the ball, and also... Try and stay away from the 6ft10 lock (irish).

    Reply
  • larry
    3:30 PM 02/03/2015

    I liked the play that set up the try, the scissors move by the backs. Murray had some space to work with, and chose the kick into the in-goal. Brilliant move. He might not have made it to the goal line himself.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:23 PM 02/03/2015

    A few of those Irish kicks went too far downfield. I would say that when the plan to combat that requires the fullback or wing to run straight at the opposition to set up another ruck, yes, that isn't such a good plan. Perhaps running laterally across the pitch and linking up with passes to team mates might be a good plan, and entertaining to watch!

    Reply
  • larry
    3:21 PM 02/03/2015

    Well, it sort of makes up for the forward pass not called against New Zealand in the final moments of that Irish loss back in November of 2013.

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  • larry
    3:20 PM 02/03/2015

    When Ireland had chance to score a try they did. England put pressure on late and didn't do it. Credit the Irish backs who pulled off the scissors move leading to the kick into the corner for the score.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:13 PM 02/03/2015

    I meant to type too long.

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  • larry
    3:13 PM 02/03/2015

    The Garryowen did work well yesterday. Still, some of those ball went to long. But not to worry. England's number 15 was more than likely to run straight at the nearest green jersey instead of passing the ball to any linking backs. That's not what I'd call a counter attack to counter Ireland's tactic of kicking the high ball.

    Reply
  • larry
    3:09 PM 02/03/2015

    I wish French flair would return. I think the main problem is the game planning, which takes away any sort of individual skills of the players. They play to this pattern now that I really find rather annoying, the constant running into opposition to set up rucks. And the scrums are turning into a joke. Most never get done, as a penalty, but usually a free kick, is awarded. Defensive scrums know they are at a disadvantage if clean ball is won in the scrum by the team putting in, and with forwards having to stay bound, there's a lot of space out there for the backs to use. Perhaps the laws need to change making some of the infringements at the scrum full penalties again.

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  • larry
    3:03 PM 02/03/2015

    I really have to wonder if these fullbacks and wings in this "modern" game know how to counter attack. Isn't that a tactic or "skill" that should be taught? The ball was kicked deep enough yesterday by both teams that the play should have opened up, but instead the fullback, or sometimes the wing or another back, just ran right straight at the opposition to set up another boring "ruck." It's counterproductive. Don't these "International" players know how to pass the ball about the pitch? I'd suggest that maybe these wings and fullbacks need to look at some old footage of Andy Irvine of Scotland, who was an expert at returning kicks that went too far, finding and using space and linking up with team mates to move the ball downfield and inflict some damage. This is supposed to be rugby union, not rugby league!

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  • stroudos
    1:57 PM 02/03/2015

    Indeed. To try and speculate an answer, I believe the 6-3 moment was after Ford had just missed a relatively easy one - not that that should have stopped him from trying again. At 19-3 I reckon England had given up all ideas about trying to win the game and set about damage limitation. Relying on Wales or Scotland(!) beating Ireland and trying to narrow the final points difference shakedown. A very negative and depressing tactic if that is the case, but seems more plausible than any other reason I can think of...

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    12:46 PM 02/03/2015

    Another note on England's decision making. Why oh why, when it was 6-3 did England decide to turn down a shot at goal, yet when it was 19-3 and England had a rare moment of ascendancy they went for the posts??

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:35 PM 02/03/2015

    Yes!!! Remember hearing that years ago, yet now it seems even more appropriate, doesn't it. Made the mistake just now of listening in the office - pissing myself laughing!!

    Reply
  • 12:23 PM 02/03/2015

    Who's "they"? I don't think England are too young, (maybe compared to Wales) but they do have a team that for me is not the finished product. Mainly die to injuries. (My main key players missing are: lawes, launchbry, Tuilagi, Farrell, BROWN and even Wilson for the bench and Wood). I still thought England would do better though, but for me now I would really start to build an A team (like Wales). Take Wales: Warburton or Lydiate is injured, Tipuric comes on. Who's just as good. You take out any centre or wing and you've got North to move to centre, or Scott williams, and Cuthbert as cover. But the game plan stays the same. England lose Wood and Lawes, and they use Haskell as a lineout jumper... Who is not world class jumper. They lose Tuilagi and have to change the game plan. They lose Brown... And Goode is targeted which puts England on the back foot as he can't counter attack (a part from that lucky burst out behind the line up to the 22m). Wales know where they going (physical game), so do Ireland (kicking game) but England without these leaders and game players are lost. Same with France. Woodward said "French rugby has been all about a big pack and backs with magical feet and flair. Yet now they're going for an athletic pack and a back line based around Bastareaud" They're also going down the wrong track for me. I think France need to do what Lancaster did to England in 2012. Fresh page, bring back meaning to the jersey, brong in youngsters such as Nowell, Watson, Ford/Farrell...etc (For France: Fickou, Tolofua I would even put Antoine Dupont castres number 9 18year old, in the squad to give him experience at least for the training). France have the players, as do England but their game plan is all wrong.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    12:17 PM 02/03/2015

    Ah yes, so it was! And I'd forgotten about that particular bit of previous from Healey - makes it all the sweeter. I really dislike the bloke, he's a bloody thug. Much as though I wouldn't usually take pleasure in someone's pain, I quite enjoyed that one.

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  • 12:06 PM 02/03/2015

    It was Healy that got knocked by Cole. (Revenge for Healy stamping on Coles ankle in 2013). And couldn't see May making the tackles Nowell did ;)

    Reply
  • 12:03 PM 02/03/2015

    No problem. :) The red button is brill by the way, I would recommend it. This page and the bbc red button forums are I think the best.

    Reply
  • welshosprey
    11:57 AM 02/03/2015

    lol how long are they going to keep milking 'england are a young team'

    Reply
  • 10stonenumber10
    11:49 AM 02/03/2015

    POC will be out on the field until he is 60. If he retires, you know he will still be involved in the back room staff. No brick wall left un-run at. Like we saw with Italy, you cannot underestimate the intangible weight of a solid leader. I'm not a religious man, but whether it is Celtic wizardry, or Roman Gods shining down, some players seem to have a higher power on their side when gears need to be taken. MANIC AGGRESSION! 110% INTENSITY, BLOOD CURDLING COMMITMENT! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHc2YwdgIog&spfreload=10

    Reply
  • 45678
    11:40 AM 02/03/2015

    shitty little flame or not, i think it had a big bearing on the game. the biggest frustration I find with all refereeing is consistency. if you are going to penalise something once, then it needs to be applied throughout the game, not just in a manner consistent with junior rugby referees ticking a box to show they have covered a law of the game

    Reply
  • 45678
    11:37 AM 02/03/2015

    isn't the purpose of an online forum that you can discuss points from the game? There are always controversies. I don't buy the holier than thou sportsmanship card that some rugby supporters try and display. it isn't football, but we are entitled to air a view, whether right or wrong. its just human nature to feel wronged, especially when we were so bloody disappointing!

    Reply
  • 45678
    11:33 AM 02/03/2015

    i think the penalty was for offside, not the tackle. If it was a dangerous tackle it would have to have been penalised after the try awarded? having said that it wasn't offside

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:13 AM 02/03/2015

    Call me a bitter and parochial little bastard, but I'd edit your last sentence to: well played Ireland, but I hope Wales or Scotland somehow manage to derail your Grand Slam.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    11:04 AM 02/03/2015

    I think the moment that dazed O'Brien was when he went in ridiculously upright to tackle Dan Cole and got his noggin in the side of his head. Maybe you're right on that tackle - Joseph's left arm was sort of near the bloke's neck and from Joubert's view he may have looked like he had more influence in the tackle, whereas in actual fact it was Nowell at knee-height that actually made the tackle.

    Reply
  • 10:43 AM 02/03/2015

    "O'Brien's just a little bit grumpy"...haha, like an angry bear!

    Reply
  • 10:16 AM 02/03/2015

    I think it was high to be fair, but again, didn't catch the explanation given. I think (France more than anyone) there are way too many high tackles being let go, I think it was Ford shoulder that caught O'Briens jaw and dazed him. I have green tinted glasses though, so you might want to take my Ire-Eng comments with a pint of Guinness ;)

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:31 AM 02/03/2015

    Fair enough then. I hadn't seen your comment until after I'd posted my second. Times like this, you could do with a "delete comment" button on here...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    9:28 AM 02/03/2015

    Sorry. In spite of my last sentence, I can't help myself... If you pause the video I posted the link to around 1:14, there are at least four players directly between Joubert and Twelvetrees, blocking his line of sight of the pass. Also, touch judge does not appear to react at all - maybe he said something on the radio but didn't seem to raise his flag. [Note to self: stop bloody complaining about the ref stroudos, especially when he's probably correct...]

    Reply
  • danknapp
    9:27 AM 02/03/2015

    Ireland totally deserved the win, they out-classed us tactically and on the pitch. Their work at the breakdown was good, if not excellent, but England totally lacked teeth in that department. We're missing Launchbury massively. Atwood and Cruiz just didn't look the part. The Irish do love their high ball and it worked for them, although I think they'd need to tighten up their kicking if they are going to use that tactic against the southern hemisphere teams. I thought England's pack was very weak and gave the backs nothing much to play with. I understand that the England backline looked unimpressive but they had very little ball to get going with. Our forwards cost us a shot at the game. Lastly, and frustratingly, once again stupid penalties hurt us. We looked rattled early on and apart from one section of the game we looked out-classed. So well played Ireland, good luck for the rest of the tournament.

    Reply
  • 9:22 AM 02/03/2015

    England weren't great against Italy, yet the press would say "England thump Italy in 40 point win" . The press say all kinds of stuff. I agree it was not my A team england team, but my expectations were higher. And that's not disrespcting Ireland. But for me England are going in the right way, they just have not got their A team at the moment. That's why I was disapointed because still a lot of those players (10 out of 15) would get in my A team. Ireland are at the top of their game. Yet didn't smash England either

    Reply
  • 9:16 AM 02/03/2015

    On the red button forum on bbc they showed it again and paused it, Nowell was almost 2m in front, and also I looked like he had his foot in touch. I was also gutted when it was live, but the ref must have been in the perfect place to see. Right call 100%.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    8:59 AM 02/03/2015

    Joubert seemed pretty confident in his decision though didn't he. Personally I thought it looked fine. Even looking again at the only video footage I seem to be able to find - which changes shot at the precise moment you need to look at - it looks OK to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOgLhlBXTsU Nowell's very flat, but he does seem to be checking his run just before the pass and change of video shot. I think it was certainly a flat enough pass that, if I'd been the ref I'd have though worth a second look. There's also the issue of whether Nowell had a foot in touch. Maybe I need to take my white-tinted glasses off but again I reckon he just about avoided it. That points difference argument is valid too - at the moment Ireland have a huge advantage here; if that try had been legit and converted, the difference in points difference would be a single point. But, the ref's decision is final and I'm starting to annoy myself with whining about the ref, so I'll shut up now...

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:41 AM 02/03/2015

    The penalty awarded just before Murray's kick to set up the try - can someone explain what that was for? All I can see there is a well-executed tackle by Nowell. Joseph attempts a tackle as well, not high or anything and there's no offside line as it's open play. Clearly it had no effect on the game; just curious. (Although having said that, I'm not sure Conor Murray would have kicked there - potentially kicking away possession - if he didn't have penalty advantage coming).

    Reply
  • bbrannigan
    11:08 PM 01/03/2015

    Experience told. The early scrum push by England which was so crucial to releasing the pressure towards the end was a Conor Murray classic. He tapped, making sure the English prop felt it, but delayed put in for half a second, and that prop initiated the early push for which England was penalized.

    Reply
  • notawelshdavies
    11:01 PM 01/03/2015

    1) England knew that Ireland were going to kick that much and yet still didn't seem to have a plan to combat it. 2) Ireland dominated the breakdown. 3) I don't think Ford was too bad: the drop goal showed class and the backs outside him were poor, but saying that, Cipriani might have changed the game in the last 20minutes. 5) Conor Murray and Sexton are world class. Wiggleseworth > Youngs

    Reply
  • jimmy23
    10:40 PM 01/03/2015

    As good as the Wales win was, I always felt this was going to be the truly tough one. I won't deny Ireland deserved that one and were the far better team on the day, but once again it was the needless penalties and school boy mistakes at crucial times AGAIN that really killed us. You can't give away 10+ penalties in a test match and expect to have a decent chance in winning. The only time we actually looked decent was that 10 minute period in the 2nd half when we got 2 penalties and almost scored a try (until Twelvetrees decided to pull whoever it was who had the ball). Then our scrum went in early and that was that. One can only hope that this time England will actually LEARN from losses like this and grow from it. On a side note, I don't like to complain about the ref but I felt that the final pass should have at least been looked at. It didn't look that obviously forward in my eyes. I know it wouldn't have had an effect on the final result but say Wales or Scotland manage to get one over the Irish the points difference could again become a huge factor.

    Reply
  • 10:29 PM 01/03/2015

    Why oh why... Would you try and fight fire with some shitty little flamme? Ireland imposed their game on England. Kick and chase, and if England get the ball, smash them at the breakdown. England didn't have a game plan. Nothing to say on the England performance. Well done Ireland, but if Sexton and Murray come of, or are injured I don't know what they would do. Stiil a great performance though. So ... ENGLAND: Attwood shite. Haskell... Was he even there? I mean I remeber him giving away the first penalty then didn't see him. Ford... Shite I thought, got dumped, ran sideways, didn't seem to have a game plan (people would say this is the inside centres fault as well, but everyone seemed to diss Farrell when England failed to have a game plan) And... Alex Goode... Won't say anything no need. How to repair this team: England have a good pack, but we seemed to lack leaders at the moment. I would have Wood straight back in, also a lineout jumper. (At 6) I would have Care on the bench, Wigglesworth was way too slow!! Lawes instead of Attwood. And bring back Manusamoa on the bench for 36. My england team: (would love to see everyone elses 23) Marler Hartley Cole (good game today) Lawes Kruis Wood Robshaw Vunipola (good game) Youngs ... Cipriani ( :D ) May LOL! Nowell (who really stepped up! As predicted :D ) Burrell Joseph Watson (good game) Brown Vunipola, Thomas/Brookes, Youngs, Croft, Haskell, Care, Ford Tuilagi I would have giving Cipriani a chance to change the game plan... Well to bring a game plan against Ireland around 55mins into the game. He just refused a Toulon contract and isnt getting a runout... Fair play to him. His time should come!

    Reply
  • 45678
    10:09 PM 01/03/2015

    Ireland clearly won the breakdown, although it took 70+ minutes for Joubert to penalise a player for not supporting their body weight in the ruck. It was penalised just once but went on unpenalised throughout the game. Ireland cleared rucks with greater intensity, but England suffered with much possession slowed down illegally imho. The penalty count was distorted from reality A lot was made of the kicking, but it was the kick chase that also separated the two sides. England didn't chase kicks with any gusto. Ireland did the 6N has been better so far for England than any English supporter could have hoped. It is amazing how we have got carried away with expectation again despite all the injuries. Well done Ireland

    Reply


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