Posts Tagged ‘ George North ’

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 2014 – O’Driscoll Masterclass Keeps Ireland In Pole Position

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He will be missed. Make no mistake. Not as much now as he may have been two or three years ago, before we had the emerging talents of Cave, Henshaw and more. But still, he will be missed. In sixty five minutes he put in a deserved Man Of The Match display, and signed off on his international time at Lansdowne Road in style. All fourteen men who shared the field with him at any time too gave it there all, and Ireland march to France with a ludicrous points difference and the greatest sense of belief since 2009 surrounding them.
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Six Nations 2014 – Ireland Have What It Takes

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We all knew there was a good chance that optimism would be this high in Joe Schmidt’s first season, but now that it has materialised, the Irish rugby machine is truly back in motion. Yes, the England game was a minor setback and with two weeks to mull it over the mood has probably gone lower than it should have, but the fact remains that Ireland top the table still, and by a considerable points difference. Things are looking good, with a sure win this Saturday to help matters.

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Six Nations 2014 – Irish Win Sets Up Twickenham Thriller

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I’ve written this article before. Last year Ireland emphatically beat Wales to set up what everyone, myself included, called a title decider against England. And of course it went all kinds of wrong from that day on. But this is different, notably in the fact that Ireland had this game put away after thirty minutes, and already the nation was looking towards Twickenham.

13 nil is by no means a standard match winning score in a Six Nations fixture, but by the thirtieth minute Ireland had stolen three line outs, turned over at least three rucks, crossed the gain line at least four times in attack and smashed Wales back two metres in defence at least twice. Chris Henry’s try coming off the now regimental Irish maul just sent the dagger home and though Wales were still in it from a points perspective, there was little could be done to salvage the game. Continue reading

Six Nations : Ireland Seek To Banish Welsh Blues

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The Six Nations Championship continues this weekend and Grand Slam hopes are on the line for the three winning teams from last week. If France and England was the pick of the clashes last week, well then undoubtedly, the meeting of Ireland and Wales holds top spot this week. In a year that looks to be very open, even last weekend’s losing sides will feel that the Championship is still up for grabs. England in particular will be looking to get their chariot back on track and will be looking for a big performance against the Scots. The first game of the weekend will see the meeting of Slam hopefuls Ireland and Wales. Continue reading

Six Nations 2014 – Ireland Give Nothing Away In Week One

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Back in November, Joe Schmidt showed his hand more than he ever has before, revealing that the All Blacks game was targeted more so than the others, possibly even to the detriment of performance in the Australian game.
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Six Nations 2014 – More Blind Faith Or A Real Shot For Ireland?

Courtesy of irishrugby.ie

Courtesy of irishrugby.ie

Every year it’s always the same. Our year, things are different, did you see them in the November Series? Yet for the last four years Ireland have brought only one thing to the Six Nations, inconsistency. 2010, we were following up an unbeaten year and finished second, but from there it has been near torture for fans. Multiple implosions in 2011, a lack of force in 2012 and of course the near wooden spoon of 2013, it has been tough being an Irish rugby fan. So then is this faith in the Schmidt era based on solid thought, or is it simply that it just couldn’t get any worse? Continue reading

Heineken Cup – Another Clean Sweep For The Provinces

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Not bad, not bad at all. Not perfect, not by any means, but there is a certain sense of pride to be taken from the Irish teams all sweeping the board in this Round 5 weekend. Not something to get boastful, or big headed about, but evidence of how strong the Irish presence is in this competition and that no bonus points were obtained shows how fiercely competitive this tournament still is, and long may it continue.
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Heineken Cup – Leinster And Connacht Found Wanting In Return Fixtures

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Contrary to what the headline suggests, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the provinces this weekend. Ulster managed to once more thump Treviso, although with a little more difficulty this weekend. And Munster pulled a performance from circa 2002 out of the drawer with a last gasp victory over Perpignan.

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Lions Victorious After 16 Year Wait

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Relief, vindication, puzzlement and ecstacy. Yes the series decider for the Lions 2013 stirred up all of these emotions and more, and that was just for the fans. For the players and management it was the culmination of an immense amount of work, ruthless decision making and above all else, tactical strategies that took their time, but ultimately paid off.
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