Given the number of headlines sent to print and the variety of plaudits doled out for Ireland’s performances in November, it has been telling that very few of those made a hero of Devin Toner, one of only two Irish players to have gone the full 80 minutes in the three games against Southern Hemisphere opposition. Continue reading
Category Archives: Six Nations
Ruck Marks: England vs Ireland 2014
Wor Roses – Lancaster’s Men
“There were over 700 caps in their team and you only have to look at how many British Lions they have. It’s a pretty good side all round at the moment.” Continue reading
The Gospel of Saint Joe
The road to being canonised in the Catholic faith goes through Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed before arriving at Saint. Two miracles must have been performed through the Saint’s intercession. Continue reading
The Core of Ireland & Wales
After looking at Graham Henry’s Prefects and the ‘ideal’ number of caps (660) that a championship team should have, we thought we’d have a look at Ireland and how the numbers fitted the team. Can Graham Henry’s policy be replicated in other situations or is he simply fortunate to come from a country with a great rugby culture and a comparatively large player base?
Stuart “Retainer” Lancaster is going to interview this week for his job. If Lancaster was unknown before the 6 Nations, he is high profile now and even his main competition for the job (Nick Mallet) accepts that he’ll probably get it. There were low expectations surrounding England before the tournament but things look much rosier now. Continue reading
Deja Vu All Over Again
Ireland would most likely have lost on Saturday but Tomas O’Leary’s decision to carry the ball over his own line and concede a 5m scrum after Owen Farrell’s aimless kick was a dreadful lack of composure from a player woefully short of form and confidence.
Match Reaction #2: Where The Game Was Won And Lost
Twenty-four of England’s thirty-point haul came directly from scrum penalties; the other six were from two penalties late in either half for offside. Rory Best was pinged for “taking up the space” on the English side of a ruck on about 33 minutes, and the Irish defensive line were penalized en masse at 76 mins in front of the sticks, from which Farrell mercifully took the points instead of inflicting another scrum. Yep, it could have been even worse … Continue reading
Match Reaction #1: Sins Of Omission
From an English perspective, it has been a hugely encouraging Six Nations: the team improved with every performance, won four out of five games, were narrowly [and somewhat controversially] beaten in the single game they lost and finished with a resounding thumping of a team who have had their number in recent years. Continue reading