Posts Tagged ‘ Guinness Series ’

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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Guinness Series – Clean Sweep For Ireland

Ireland v Australia - Guinness Series

 

Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

Aside from Joe Schmidt, who we now know took off for an appendectomy after the game yesterday, it was all smiles for Ireland as they thwarted Australia and secured a November clean sweep for the first time in eight years. Yes we do need to keep ourselves in check, last time this happened nothing but misery awaited in the ensuing World Cup, but for now there’s no shame in a little basking.

We have seen many shades of Ireland over this Guinness Series, including the stoic defenders against South Africa, the free running scorers against Georgia as well as some super subs and now against Australia we saw that this is now a team that, regardless of performance, will win a game. It wasn’t a complete performance, it wasn’t near perfect, but it was the result that was needed. Beating Australia for the clean sweep was crucial, so too was banishing the New Zealand game from last year. There’s a Six Nations to look ahead to of course, and that looming World Cup of course too. Regardless of how, Ireland snared a crucial win this weekend. You cannot underestimate this Australian side either, albeit they are still in a transition of sorts. This was a serious test match, unquestionably the highlight of the weekend, and Ireland are on their way to becoming a rugby super power. God forbid we should ever believe that one though. Continue reading

Guinness Series – Lessons Learned Late For Ireland

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With such an experimental selection of was always going to be a little hodge podge from Ireland against Georgia. The scoreboard reflects a comprehensive victory, and other results mean they now sit at 3rd in the world rankings, but this was by no means a demolition of Tier 2 opposition and that’s not a bad thing. Here’s why.
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Guinness Series – The Boks Are Back In Town

Willem+Alberts+Ireland+v+South+Africa+eH0Yz2jsPKXlWhen Joe Schmidt took charge of the national team the primary lament from most was that he will have merely two Six Nations and a Guinness Series to get to know his squad. Not an ideal amount of time or experience to get a proper handle on his players and put his stamp on things firmly. 9 months and an All Blacks near miss later, he guides the team to a Six Nations trophy. Now with the second ranked team in the world coming to Dublin on Saturday, you would have to wonder if maybe we were worrying over nothing. After eighty minutes are up tomorrow, Joe Schmidt will have more answers than he has until this point.  Continue reading

Three Uncapped Players In Ireland Squad For Guinness Series

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The Ireland coaching staff have announced a squad of 34 players for the forthcoming GUINNESS Series against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in November.

The make-up of the squad is consistent with recent years. The sole exile included is British & Irish Lions outhalf Jonathan Sexton.

There are three uncapped players included in the squad – David Kearney, who was on the bench for Ireland back in 2012, is included alongside Jack McGrath and James Coughlan. Continue reading

Lessons Learned, Will They Be Remembered? – Guinness Series Wrap Up

rugbyThere’s a peculiar feature of the Irish rugby team that infuriates and invigorates fan interest all at the same time. This feature is the one off. Argentina 2010, England 2011, Argentina 2012,these are the three most recent examples.

With the exclusion of big wins such as Australia last year you may have noticed that these “one offs” as I refer to them are not just big wins. No these incidents are when Ireland not only win against opposition they stood no chance against, but they also win in such a fashion that we all sit back and ask where the hell this performance has been until now. Before the game every journo, fan and pundit, myself included, predicted the usual bruiser this fixture turns out to be. But how wrong we were, as the Irish fifteen took to the pitch and what ensued was a clinical demolition of a team ranked one position above them, and one who only two weeks previously had put away Ireland’s nemesis of late, Wales, with relative ease and skill. Star of the day was of course Craig Gilroy with his eleventh minute try that set the tone and pace for the afternoon, but across the team there was performances produced that fly in the face of the last 12 months before this game. Gordon D’Arcy played at a level not seen from him since 09, Jamie Heaslip regained the Irish form that introduced him to the international stage way back when and then the likes of Sexton elevated his already great game into the neighbourhood of his best ever showing in green. On a tour where so many worried about the absence of the commanders and legends, this performance has many significances apart from ranking points. The need for a win first of all was crucial, but even more so the squad, and indeed the fans, needed assurance that there absolutely is a new guard to take over from the “Golden Generation”.

The only question that remains is whether or not these players will stand a chance of a place come the Six Nations. Will Zebo immediately make room for Kearney? Does the age old D’Arcy O’Driscoll pairing step straight back into the fold? Quite simply, if all of the injured return at the top of their form, there is no reason why they should not go straight back in. But what is crucial is that Kidney stays true to the argument for form over experience. If he does, then based on other results and performances we definitely have a fantastic shot at at least placing second in the Six Nations. It is frustrating that these performances from Ireland have rarely been followed up by one of a similar fashion. But pure logic above all else suggests that sooner rather than later, Ireland can find a run of form for at least the duration of the Six Nations, and finishing the November Series on a high such as this is a great way to start. It’s gonna be a long two months though.