Ireland 20-18-19-20

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Ireland 20-18-19-20

Post by rumncoke »

These observations are generalisations based on the collective Internationals over the last couple of seasons.

Ireland are basically a mature team with few changes of personnel over that period of time and have thus become a known quantity. In the pack the number of ball carriers are limited and thus targeted as are those who obtain turn overs.
The pack therefore will be less effective against a well prepared, physical, pack such as the All Blacks and English. Its performance in the set piece depending upon basically how the referee calls it on the day.

A few changes in personnel are due in the pack because of the age of the players and the fact that they are looking back at their prime rather than approaching it but individual changes won't basically alter the collective performance in my opinion.

Unfortunately the backline can not be viewed collectively

Scrum half --Murray in my view is a player who has suffered a serious injury and has failed to recover mentally from it and thus his game is less natural and marginally slower which has affected his performance and to some extent the performance of those outside him. His selection could well be based on the preference of his out half.

Out- Half Sexton if Loyalty and Motivation were all that was necessary he would be a Star --but the fact is he is a physical and mental wreck -- whose selection is based more on the lack of a viable alternative than is current form.
At club level Leinster are wrapping him cotton wool only to be exposed when totally necessary.

Thus Out -Half requires a review of the current alternatives .

Carberry -- the IRFU are spending a mini fortune trying to physically prepare him for next season but in my honest opinion he is not the answer . He is a will-o-wisp something similar to Larmour only playing out half rather than wing or full back who when asked to play to a script allows the script to the control the game rather than the out half. And the question remains can he come back from injury . As an out half his skill set make him a STAR at AIL level but in the professional game he is not facing AIL level back rows.

Ross Byrne is an average out half playing behind a match winning pack with a backline out side him at Pro14 level who frequently face an opposing backline lacking a cover defence.

Mc Carty has a game suited to limited objectives and based on the exploitation of space rather than the use of the players outside him. ( admittedly this opinion is based on Ireland Performances rather than Pro14 )

Centres and wings in my opinion you could perm any number of players into the side with little difference in performance of the team at the moment due the performances at half back. Most have their strengths and weaknesses.
Within this carapace of skepticism there lives an optimist
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