Posts Tagged ‘ Championship ’

European Rugby – And Then There Was One

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

Can anyone else remember the last time only one Irish team managed to make the European knockouts? Eleven years ago, back when Ulster still couldn’t find a way out and Leinster lost out to Stade Francais and Munster were the sole hope in the Quarter Finals. Is it a reflection on the Irish club game that only Leinster have progressed or is it the new format living up to its name and providing a greater challenge to the Celts? Hard to say in this inaugural year but the fact is there to see that only one province from the back to back Six Nations champion country is present this weekend. Pity.
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Six Nations 2015 – What We Watch It For

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You couldn’t predict it. If you think you did, you’re wrong. 240 minutes of rugby and not a single one went as anyone would have expected. We knew that Gatland would have his Welsh squad fired up of course and that they have one of the best backlines in Europe, but we didn’t know that Italy were going to collapse as spectacularly as they did. Nobody could have seen Ireland coming out of the traps like that either, matching their best ever winning margin over the Scots. Of course, England and France, thank you. Quite simply the best game of rugby I have ever seen and Welcome back France, you have been missed.
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Six Nations 2015 – The Math

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

After four rounds and some pulsating rugby coupled with the dour we now have a three way tie for the championship going into the final weekend. On top of that, if a mass sequence of miracles occur we could even see France sneak into contention, though Wales aren’t likely to fall to Italy. Break out the calculators guys, we’re going number crunching.

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Six Nations 2015 – Ireland Brought To A Halt In Cardiff

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Hats off and all that jazz, Wales were superb. The most fair outcome of Saturday’s fixture was that the scoreline for Wales’ yellow card was 6 – 3 Ireland. Not that the yellow wasn’t deserved but it would have been an injustice to nab a lead against a Welsh side who were deserving winners from the first second in such unceremonious circumstances. There is also the issue that Ireland were extremely below par which all led to this absolutely enthralling spectacle in Cardiff.
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Six Nations 2015 – Heaslip Returns For Welsh Showdown

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Freak. There’s no other word to describe Jamie Heaslip in relation to his healing abilities. We won’t complain, but many others would be out of their desk job for six months but here he is, the sole change from the team that beat England two weeks ago, ready to take the field in the Cardiff cauldron. Schmidt has made only enforced changes this Six Nations when you might think variety and choice are crucial in winning a championship – conservatism or wisdom? Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Wales Stay In The Race…Just

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

Alongside England Wales are the second team vying to knock Ireland out of pole position in this year’s tournament after a less than comprehensive win over France on Saturday. Even less comprehensive was the turgid affair between Italy and Scotland that preceded it and title ambitions remain anything but immediate concerns for these two sides.

The concern remains for Warren Gatland’s Welsh side that they have simply run out of ideas. It’s not all that long ago that players like George North and Alex Cuthbert were instilling fear into their impending defenders. Sam Warburton was heralded as the second coming of the 7 and Wales were to be seen as a threat and nothing else. Skip ahead to now and both wins in the Six Nations have come from high levels of good fortune. Even last year, after a comprehensive defeat to Ireland and again to England after they had barely tamed France, Wales still managed to make life look difficult against a 14 man Scotland (though the 51-3 scoreline begs to differ). Continue reading

Six Nations 2015 – Ireland On Course For The Ultimate Prize

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

The chariot has been derailed and Ireland remain unbeaten. Such was the plethora of wins Ireland experienced over England before 2012 that seems strange to write with such enthusiasm but it has to be appreciated for what it means. How did they do it? Well it’s more than worthwhile taking a look.

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Six Nations 2015 – Can Wales Tackle The French?

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’Here

Before Ireland’s crucial game this Sunday we will see Scotland play host to Italy and France the same to Wales. All four sides are finding themselves in turmoil of sorts with underperforming the operative word. Can Scotland show the results of their new coaching team with a result worthy of the quality and can Wales put themselves back in contention against the strongest French side for some time?
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Six Nations 2015 – Ireland Scrape Past France

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Far from perfect, anything but simple and in general; tense as hell. Ireland VS France has always been anything but a straight forward fixture and yesterday in the Aviva reached lofty new heights. It didn’t have as much riding on it as last year of course but it was the chance for Ireland’s first back to back win over Les Bleus in 13 years and you could see every inch of that on the pitch. Continue reading

Guinness Series – Ireland Trash South Africa

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Well, who stopped believing? It’s genuinely hard to not exaggerate, that was an incredible performance. Over the years Ireland have provided many threats at their abilities but few solid shows. Australia in 2011 was followed by that Wales game, earlier that year we hammered England and never again showed the same level of attack. But now Ireland have just beaten the second highest ranked team in the world, and more importantly the best team they will face between now and the world cup. Let’s go.
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