Rugby 2018


#3872

So, is Ireland the World Champions now?


#3873

Great game and a fantastic result.

This team is improving all the time too and we’ve a serious squad now


#3874

Well a lot of the pundits reckon if things go to form it’s a dress rehearsal for the final next year


#3875

Which Ireland will turn up at the world cup though , time will tell.
But enjoy this tonight !


#3876

Look at them Ulster boys … and then the fcukin DUP …

Every one a hero - Stander magnificent


#3877

Great game played with amazing intensity. Two best teams in the world at the moment.

What a year for Irish rugby, Grandslam (with away fixtures to France & England), Leinster win the Pro14, Leinster win Europe, we beat NZ and are up to number 2 in the world.


#3878

Nearly as good as the Dubs. But only nearly.


#3879

McKenna picked the right time to take a break from Twitter :joy:


#3880

#3881

That sad ■■■■ is nt taking a break from Twitter. He wouldn’t be able to , his ego telling him that he be missed .


#3882

He’s back already…


#3883

Savage! No more about McKenna.


#3884

Great performance by Ireland, super try too, and our defending up the field and back was magnificent.
We kept them constantly under pressure and tired them to the point where they couldn’t keep the ball or gain momentum. Most of the game played between ABs 10 and 22m lines, with fantastic discipline and control by Ireland.
Marmion did a really good job considering, only real downer being his kicking which was wayward.
Stockdale does some really risky things like that chip that was blocked but what an attacking talent along with Ringrose, who did all the sensible stuff but forces the oppo to stay defensive to avoid getting caught by either of those in the loose and on the break.
Stander and POM as ever just brilliant. JS still great. Ireland’s performance after all the subs was still top class which is amazing to see.

The ABs were very subdued, again. That’s three major games in the last few weeks where they’ve had to play serious catch-up just to try to snatch it. Barrett’s much-improved kicking has kept them in it each time but no tries tonight is a telling stat as well as possession and territory in each of those three games.
Since the last WC, and their routine walloping of the Wallabies notwithstanding, they have been in gradual decline. In the last few years they haven’t replaced the great leadership of McCaw and Nonu and Carter amongst others. They also have not dealt so well with the tactical side of things against the Lions last year and the major opponents this year, Hansen has alot of questions to answer now and the Kiwi press will really start to turn against him now.

Perhaps most tellingly the ABs are going into their shell and playing more and more conservatively to survive, the team of all the talents and total rugby has disappeared for now. Have they simply kept their powder dry for the WC? Might be an element of that, they look a tired bunch but there’s more to it than that I feel. Psychologically and tactically I think they don’t know what sort of game to play now, they look messy and very uncertain.
I think there’s one player who leads them and makes them look more like the team they were and that’s Sonny Bill, if he’s fit for next year they might turn the decline around but Hansen for me is on borrowed time. That said they may not have any serious competition next year pre-WC unless they’re going to play an early Championship?

Finally on the subject of the quoted post above, long way to go but on current form and trajectory it could well be an Ireland-ABs Qtr final, or even if NZ win that group I can see them being taken out before reaching the final.
NZ next year will either have to go the whole hog and play the game more like Ireland, SA and England, or take a big risk on going back to what they were doing so well til the Lions found the answers. It’s hard to come down off such a high as the best rugby ever seen up until the Lions Test 2 last year.


#3885

And it continues…


#3886

He’s a sad act.


#3887

When was the last time New Zealand failed to score a try, can anyone say?
I still think that Rory Best is a weak link saved, in part, by having a 6’ 11" Devon Toner to aim at in lineouts. But, in fairness, he seems to have tremendous leadership qualities.
Watching the 2nd half was torturous in terms of the time passing slowly (or too quickly if you were a New Zealander) and thinking Ireland kept taking the wrong options. But those somewhat risky options proved, more than not, to be the right options. Keeping possession generally in the 3rd quarter killed enough time when I believed, at the time, they should have kicked in behind the NZ back three and let them start from there. When Ireland (and NZ) did kick and chase, they did so very well. A huge amount of hard and fairly contested high ball.


#3888

That’s class.


#3889

Daire O’Brien on RTE last night said we’re the first Northern Hemisphere team to stop them scoring a try since the professional era began in 95.


#3890

Last week v England


#3891

Barrett scored a try