Posts Tagged ‘ Vern Cotter ’

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 – England Seek Revenge

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Of course Irish fans want one team only to run in as title contenders when the Six Nations kicks off, but there can be up to four potential victors in a given year. Even Italy, when they started in 2013 with that famous win over France, looked hotter than ever. England are without doubt second favourites and Wales, well they’re just always a threat in this tournament year on year. Scotland have that Vern Cotter fella in charge, maybe you’ve heard of him. Yes it’s not plain sailing for Ireland by any means. Continue reading

Summer Internationals – Ireland Fare Better Than Most In Argentina

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Not fluid flying rugby, no real flash and certainly a few mistakes to rectify. But Ireland do stand as one of only two Northern Hemisphere teams to have started their summer tour with a win, and they stood up to a far more organised unit than Scotland that’s for sure. We’ll have a quick look at how the other games panned out but now let’s see what was learned from the Joe Schmidt experiment.
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Summer Internationals – Schmidt Looks To Future Stars

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We’ve wanted it for a long time now, we’ve got it in dribs and drabs over the years on tours to the United States and such, but finally tomorrow evening our time, a fairly experimental Irish rugby team will come up against a closer to top tier nation in the first of a two game summer series.  Exciting times indeed, let’s have a look at what Joe Schmidt has put together for us
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Six Nations 2014 – One Glorious Day

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Why can’t we ever do things the easy way? Sexton off with his neck braced, a French penalty opportunity thankfully swinging wide, a missed touch finder, a moment of panic from Kearney, a turned scrum. This titanic struggle had every feature that usually leads to an Irish loss yet for once we actually got the rub of the green. Just another demon Joe Schmidt has exorcised I suppose.
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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 – 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