As the Times Online said yesterday, Ireland are a team who are slowly but surely rediscovering their heart, soul and identity.
Their defeat of Scotland, while not perfect, was a sign that things are starting to fall into place, with the old and young intermingling to create glimpses of the brilliance that we’ve come to know and expect from names like O’Gara, Murphy, and O’Driscoll.
Ronan O’Gara himself was sublime, with his display of subtle crosskicking and pinpoint distribution that made him look the class flyhalf that we all know he is. Not to mention THAT flick pass which set up an excellent counter attacking try for Tommy Bowe.
Scotland themselves still have a long way to do. While competitive at times, they still lack the edge needed at this level, which shows in that they’ve only scored two tries in six internationals. Nathan Hines blew a great chance on the line by lashing out with an outrageous punch that didn’t connect with anyone, but was penalised nevertheless and ruined that attacking opportunity.
Next up, Ireland meet Wales in a mouthwatering encounter at Croke Park, while the Scots host a rejuvenated England team that will no doubt be looking to continue their good run after beating France in Paris on Saturday.