Irish Masterclass

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Mar 18, 2023, 11:10



This try was the first against Scotland. It was a very well-executed try. Note how they use forwards and backs together. It didn't matter what number was on their backs, their movement and skills were all excellent. The accuracy and composure to execute was top drawer. Befitting of a team that wants to be the best in the world. 

Part One
Here we have 19 as first receiver with a pod underneath him. 20 runs a hard line to the defensive front, which commits them to stand flat, as 19 rotates and slips a short ball to 10. Notice how they have 14 standing right against the touchline. The edge defender is marking up on 6 who is deep, and the lone Scot wing has to make a decision here to protect the edge defender, as well as mark up on 14. The deep cover for Scotland is tracking on the inside of 6. They are essentially ready for an overload on the edge defender, and protecting him on the inside and outside. 

Part Two
Here we have 10 with 15 and 6 underneath him. He moves diagonally up, committing the defensive front. He has 5 on his outside who also runs a hard line, and this helps hold the defensive front in check, as 10 sends a short ball to 15. When the lone Scot win starts to track inside, 14 raises his hand and calls for the ball. The Scot has a lot of space to cover now. 

Part Three
Here 15 runs a hard diagonal line up with 6 outside him. He has options, he can go it alone, commit the edge defender and slip a short ball to 6 into space, but he chooses to send the long ball out to 14. The Scot win has committed to this dangerous situation on the edge defender, and the Scot tracking behind the line is also focused on a breach here. The Irish really have the upperhand here no matter what the Scots decide to do. 

Notice how the Irish setup very quickly. They are so fluid moving in and out of units, it's actually wonderful to watch. I haven't seen another international side coached with so much care and attention to detail. They are smart players, and very disciplined. Lots of composure. There's a purpose to every unit, every run, and every pass. They aren't simply lining up in clunky layers, as I have bemoaned under Erasmus, but they are setting up each layer of attack for success. Every ball carrier has options, and at least one support runner. It takes the heat off of the individual and is continually forcing the defence to make many decisions with each pass and run. They aren't passively running, and they are not moving through each phase of the attack whilst allowing the defence to slide and track the width of the field with them. This try was a masterclass in how to integrate backs and forwards, dominate key areas of the field, manipulate the defence, and create space. If there was one play I could have at hand when sitting Erasmus down to teach him, this would be it. 

Mar 18, 2023, 14:05

Easily the most watchable team right now.

They seem to run moves effortlessly and accurately. Quite far ahead of everybody else in that department atm.

Again, i wouldn’t mind seeing them win the WC. It’s be we’ll deserved if they do.

Mar 18, 2023, 15:48

I feel similarly Plum. I just don't trust them. They have an unbroken tradition of imploding at World Cups. I hope they can break that mental block, as they have been breaking so many barriers the past few years. They do look very good right now. 

Mar 18, 2023, 16:06

I think they can be had physically…..either by power upfront, or real pace out wide. They are very accurate, but they have to be accurate. The Scots played them even in the first half….but then ran out of gas. That could be a tell.

Mar 18, 2023, 16:13

They are never a big side, but they can rove. They've usually always been that way. The Boks, in spite of some horrific selections by Erasmus, still have some real game changers. Kwagga is the man who can really mess Ireland up. Those small fractures in play can give our speed some space to attack with in transitions. We do have an abundance of speed out wide. Something that concerns me is how average our front row has been looking. In 2018, with Malherbe and Kits, we averaged less than 3 seconds per recycle. They were key players in that feat. In the loss to the All Blacks in the World Cup, we were a tick over 4 seconds, and the likes of Malherbe haven't quite looked as sharp again. Our conditioning isn't very good. Fitness has been a big ingredient at World Cups. 

Mar 18, 2023, 17:02

I swear you’re the only person here that actually puts a number on recycle times, Ex.

The fact we don’t have stats for that sort of thing, in this day and age and considering how many rucks there are in a game, is very weird/backward.

Most people just care about weather it’s recycled or not.

With Ireland’s backs playing like they are, their forwards have some reprieve because opposition are frightened of their counters and are apprehensive about going all in up front.

The Boks are probably the team most likely to beat them. Our natural game negates a lot of what the Irish are building on.

Mar 18, 2023, 17:11

A team with strength up front can kill your momentum. We have moments of strength at the breakdown. We really need Kwagga for Ireland, not off the bench. We need players who can compete at the source and fracture the structured way Ireland play. Penalties are going to be in our favour, and that's one way of taking Ireland out of their game. If we can get a lead early, Ireland could have a tough time.

The recycle times... back when I had fewer commitments! Quality and speed of recycle are big aspects of the game. New Zealand were almost perfect at this when they were good. A second per recycle and clean ball presentation make a world of difference. The backs play a big part in this too! Knowing the Boks, they will hit in numbers. And defend in numbers too. We need to tighten up that defence. A few players with better instincts will help a lot. Such as Esterhuizen at 12.

Mar 18, 2023, 21:28

Another good win by Ireland winning Six Nations

World Cups are won on defence and great kicking,drop-goals vital. 

They have a two match tour here next year,having only played here 10X before with one win. 2004 they were strong but Bokke came thru

Mar 18, 2023, 22:10

Credit to England for showing more grit. I expected more resolve, but didn't expect it to hold up as long as it did, especially after the red card. Ireland were clearly still the better side. In 2004, they lost the two tests in South Africa, but won the fixture on the EOYT. Since those losses in 2004 they've won 7 of the next 11 tests against the Boks. That's a fairly long span of time. 3 of their 4 losses to us were by less than 7 points. 

Mar 18, 2023, 22:24

Well done Ireland but I think that is the only Trophy that they will win this year.

The RW Cup is going to either come to the southern hemisphere again and if it does not it will stay in France.

Sure the Irish team played well in this 6N tournament but Italy, Wales and England are nowhere near the quality of teams that they will have to demolish to win the WC.

If the Springboks get past the AB's the WC will be coming back to where it belongs.

Mar 18, 2023, 22:36

If Ireland were on the opposite side of the draw, they'd be my favourites. Australia might just be a dark horse this time around. It's going to be a hard path for all of Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and France. 

Mar 19, 2023, 08:06

Congrats Stav, the GS & number one world ranking, well deserved.

Mar 19, 2023, 08:16

Certainly shaping up to be a much more interesting WC than the previous one.

I don’t think we should write the Kiwis off.

We’ve kinda forgotten about them a little.

As for the Boks, we should be headed into this WC with Marx as captain, Kwagga starting every game, Snyman and Eben as our starting lock combination and DDA watching the games from his condo in CT.

Mar 19, 2023, 08:56

I read somewhere that Snyman will be playing against Etzebeth/ Saarks soon, forget who Snyman plays for.

Mar 19, 2023, 09:42

Eben should be captain. He is one of the best Boks and the strongest candidate for leadership. I think giving him the arm band would encourage him to play his very best rugby. There are a few players who need to be cut from the squad.

The Kiwis found some good players last season. Their front row improved and so too the back row. We can't rule them out. They carved up our defence in both tests last year, and ploughed through the gainline in both as well. Some tactical naivety cost them the first test, but they adjusted for the second. Of all of the top 5 in group A and group B we have the softest defence. We certainly cannot take anyone lightly, even Tonga. Those boys are incredibly physical, the most physical of all the islanders. And the most aggressive! 

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