Home Sports Eire: Six Nations Preview

Eire: Six Nations Preview



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Feb 2, 2023

Irish rugby is in impolite well being. Shorn of the controversies bogging down their fellow house nations, they head into the Six Nations on a well-earned pedestal. Ranked primary on the planet, Eire might lack the glamour of their French counterparts, however they’re ruthlessly environment friendly, masters in consideration to element, exact and cohesive. Their rating is a testomony to their sustained excellence. However we had been saying all these items in 2019, weren’t we? Can Eire handle the load of the expectation they’ve created?

2022 was a wonderful 12 months for Eire, the spotlight being their very good, historic collection win in New Zealand. Eire have change into one thing of a bogey facet for the All Blacks, profitable 4 of their final six encounters. The Irish additionally received all three of their autumn internationals, together with gritty wins over South Africa and Australia. Eire by no means actually acquired out of second gear within the autumn, but regardless of being concerned in two tight video games, you by no means felt they’d lose. A mark of a very good facet is one that may win once they aren’t taking part in at their greatest, and Eire definitely displayed that within the autumn. The one slight disappointment of 2022 was being pipped to the Six Nations title by the French, who they may tussle with for glory once more this 12 months.

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So what makes Eire the very best on the planet? Eire are ruthlessly environment friendly; each aspect of their recreation is executed at excessive precision. They dominate the contact zone, each offensively and defensively. Eire’s recreation is constructed round creating fast ball; their clearout work and ball presentation are wonderful. As Leinster have proven in latest weeks, fast ball can obliterate any defence. Eire’s assault is extraordinarily fluid, with a number of part choices, creating a number of choices for the ball provider and creating complications for the opposition. Defensively, their line pace is blistering, whereas there isn’t a higher facet in World Rugby on the breakdown. The Irish workforce has a plethora of poachers, the king being World Rugby’s Participant of the 12 months, Josh van Der Flier. Velocity, ability, and physicality type the basics of the Irish recreation, mixed with wonderful decision-making and a calculated ruthlessness.

The Irish squad incorporates a potent mix of youth and expertise, with gamers mentally hardened from their final World Cup 12 months when the wheels got here off spectacularly. The Irish have comparatively few accidents, a testomony to how nicely their gamers are sorted by the IRU, although Robbie Henshaw shall be an enormous miss. Two of their key gamers, the evergreen Jonny Sexton and Tadhg Furlong, are anticipated to be match. Sexton’s affect on the workforce can’t be understated; as spectacular as Ross Bryne was within the autumn, Sexton elevates the Irish to a different degree. Furlong is simply as essential, not simply to their set piece but additionally within the free, the place his deft dealing with and talent to behave as a pivot is essential to their attacking recreation. It’s a squad that must be brimming with confidence, particularly their Leinster contingent, who’ve but to style defeat this season.

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Eire kick off their marketing campaign with a visit to Cardiff. Welsh rugby is in disarray, however Gatland may have galvanised his troops, and they’ll relish being the underdogs. Nevertheless, if Eire play to their potential, they need to dispatch with the Welsh pretty simply. The next week is the large one as they welcome France to the Aviva. In what was a bruising encounter, Eire paid the worth for an ill-disciplined first half of their loss in Paris final 12 months. It’s a captivating contest with two sides who’re damaging in numerous methods; Eire, with their affected person multi-phase play, ready to take advantage of flaws within the opposition defence, towards a French facet who’re devastating in transition. Eire might look to take France on aerially, an space the place England uncovered a number of chinks final 12 months. Scotland and Italy ought to symbolize little risk earlier than they shut the event at house to England, doubtlessly sealing a grand slam within the course of.

Nothing in need of a Grand Slam will do for Eire; with a World Cup on the horizon, they’ll be eager to indicate their fellow contenders that they aren’t going to slide up this time. Eire fell off the horse in 2019, however this looks like a significantly better facet, taking the accuracy and precision of the Schmidt period and including a dose of Andy Farrell’s northern grit. There’s a good steadiness to the Irish squad, with a number of gamers on the peak of their careers. Yet another Grand Slam for Jonny Sexton? I wouldn’t guess towards it.



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