Rugby 2018


Zebo does it for Munster, but not for Ireland.
He chose Earls over Zebo (out of the picture) or Adam Byrne (injured)
Best over Cronin - either way one of them has to start and the other bench. Cronin more the impact sub there, and Best is the captain.
Healy has been ahead of McGrath this season and played better than McGrath on Saturday too.

Italy got hammered at home. Ireland won away against a country with 20-something professional teams…


And I’d rather watch Italy than watch Ireland. Joe’s luck will run out at some stage.
France have 20-odd professional teams, most of them littered with non-French players.
If not Zebo (who I don’t think has been given fair chances by Schmidt as against Kearney and/or Earls), why not Larmour? Kearney nearly cost Ireland again.
Best gets picked because he’s the captain? Eddie Jones is making the same mistake with Hartley. George is a much better player than Hartley but a blind loyalty to a captain sees both coached choose the wrong player. Ireland’s lineout struggled the other day due to Best over throwing on a number of occasions.
McGrath came on at a time when Ireland were on the back foot. Healy’s indiscipline doesn’t seem to bother Schmidt.

Ireland’s groundball team and its manager (especially) get lambasted for their style of play - and rightly so. Schmidt gets a free pass to send his team out to play dire rugby, despite the players he has to choose from. At Leo Cullen lets his players play with some flair.


Is Cronin much better than best? Can go on a few runs late in a game but otherwise?


Best has a reputation as a scrummager, while Cronin is more dynamic, still not a lot between them.

McGrath seems to have lost a bit of form since the Lions tour rather than Healy doing anything impressive. Longterm Healy, Kearney, Heaslip and O’Brien (injuries) don’t look like they have a long future ahead in internationals, all have been solid JS favourites


I would agree to an extent. The problem is the more they go on in the competition the more they will be found out because they play the exact same way all the time. For example Best’s lineouts were all long and didn’t seem to mix them up, the better teams and coaches will find these trends and exploit them as much as possible.
Healy didn’t scrum well at all and the first one he was penalised for.

We won by two bits of brilliance and balls from Sexton with the kick to Earls which could easily have been turned over and was game over and of course the drop goal


He has always had that reputation, in fairness, but with Furlong in the side, I think Best’s scrummaging isn’t as vital so as to make him an automatic starter.


Id rather win ugly than get hammered throwing the ball around.
Schmidt had a game plan to beat France that (just about) worked. Hopefully he’ll mix things up a bit for other teams. Leinster played ugly rugby to beat Exeter twice. Horse for coarses thing.

Not a fan of Kearney at all and would love to see Larmour (or Carbery) there, but I can understand why Schmidt wouldn’t choose away to France at fullback for Larmour’s debut.


And with a more open game plan, the game could have been won a lot sooner. He is too conservative. His brand of rugby will turn some people (me included) away from watching it.


IRFU just announced that Josh van der Flier is ruled out for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage

…… ( I wonder if the Match Doctor thought that was a HIA as well?)


he did look a bit shook coming off, blow to leinster.


Poor lad.
A blow to Ireland also.


And Leinster’s Euro hopes … particularly with the uncertainty about how long O’Brien is out for and who knows what is happening with Heaslip, he’s been gone for about a year now (I think),


Yeah, @Tayto had already said that. The only blessing is that both Ireland and Leinster have plenty of cover for the back row that Leinster, in particular, will need all of that cover now.
Jack Conan is a more than able replacement for Heaslip, in my view.


Am I the only one who feels that was a big risk for not a lot of gain? It was Earls subsequent run that got us some vital yards, which wasn’t by any means as a result of the kick. Unless it was the French being surprised.


Earls did make a few yards, in fairness. I think they were right to try it, they weren’t making much headway prior to that and didn’t make much more after - they made enough yards in the end, however.


It’s getting a little thin right now as Ruddock is also out injured. Will be interesting to see what sort of a side Leinster put out on Friday night


An ideal opportunity for Schmidt to give Luke McGrath (surely the future No 9 after Murray retires/moves to France) some game time… lost.
An ideal opportunity to give Larmour a start… lost.
An ideal opportunity to give James Ryan more international game time (alongside Toner or Henderson)… lost.

At lease he is starting Jack Conan.

Hopefully, Ireland can actually score a few tries this time, secure the win early and give the newer faces on the bench as much time as possible.


Your anti-Joe sentiment is reaching Alan-Davy proportions …


It’s inversely proportional to your love of Tronald Dump.


Italy are shockin, we’ll score a few tries and everyone will think we’re the schniz again.