Discussion in '2019 Guinness Six Nations' started by TRF_Olyy, Feb 17, 2019.
VS Stadio Olimpico
I'm going to try and retain some optimism, no matter how uninspiring the first two games were. I said in another thread that scoring 2-3 tries per game and shipping less than 50 points would constitute an okay performance for Italy and they've done that in both opening fixtures. I'd settle for the same again here to be honest.
Morisi and Campagnaro did alright as a partnership last weekend and defensively we aren't embarassing ourselves.
Be interested to see who's brought into, and who leaves, the squad.
I'd like to see Henshaw at 12, a new fullback Larmour/Conway/Addison and give someone a run in Earls' place as well.
I imagine it will be a stronger Ireland team than normal as they can't risk missing out on the BP like Wales did.
There'll be a couple of changes but not wholesale changes. I expect Iain Henderson will come back into the team. Maybe a change at loosehead and hooker to reward form and give the 30somethings in those positions a breather. Behind the scrum, Garry Ringrose or Robbie Henshaw will be back in midfield.
Did anyone see Luke Fitzgerald's suggested team? Jesus!
Was that the ridiculous backline with players who aren't even in the squad?
The risk of changes is that as the game between two off weeks we're leaving players undercooked leading into the France game.
Probably wouldn't be likely for Best or Healy so it might be a good idea for a few changes there but other than that I don't think there's much need to go crazy. I'd agree with Alpha, I'd like to see new faces at 14/15 and Henshaw back at 12.
Something like: Kilcoyne, Cronin, Furlong, Henderson, Ryan, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Conan, Murray, Sexton (if he's completely fit, otherwise give Joey a run), Stockdale, Henshaw, Ringrose (Tom Farrell is he isn't fit), Larmour, Conway (you could swap those last two but I prefer Larmour as a winger) with Best, Healy, Porter, Dillanne, Van Der Flier, Cooney, Carbery/Carty, and Addison on the bench.
Ian Madigan and Simon Zebo were in the team.
Luke Fitzgerald isn't afraid to criticize former teammates when warranted which is to be commended but he'll follow that up with daft comments. I can only assume his team was to get people talking and not a serious proposed selection.
Henderson has been cleared to play by the citing commissioner.
Andrew Porter has been left out of the squad. He struggled in the scrum last weekend for Leinster. Probably better that he gets a start for his province than sit on the bench for Ireland.
Dick Dawg D'Arcy more or less summed up how I feel about this 6 nations right and the current state of Irish rugby in his Irish times column, this paragraph in particular stood out:
"So, Ireland can forget about the title race as it has got nothing to do with them. Even if they spoil it for Wales on March 16th, England are out of reach. Move on, embrace the lack of pressure. Play some rugby. Find some form."
The Bigger questions
@1 a formality. Healy is 1st choice, give Kilcoyne a start just to expose him more to this level.
@2 Cronin is in the best form of his career and deserves a start. But is he viewed as a 16 or nothing. If so Scannell should start.
@3 Same as 1 however do we start Furlong as you don’t want massive changes.
@4/5 Ryan will start with Henderson and maybe Beirne at 19 however.
@6 POM has milage on the clock. Maybe start Beirne here.
@7 SOB here (another solution to rest POM is move SOB to 6 and VDF to 7)
@8 Conan or Jordi
@9 & 10 – Here is the big area. Do we play Sexton and Murray and see can they perform better than the crap they’ve produced so far this 6Nations or play Joey and Cooney. I have a feeling Murray will play and well 10 I don’t know.
@12 – Aki here just for consistency or Henshaw.
@13 – Farrell has earned his striped
@11/14 – Maybe rest Earls and play Conway and Stockdale.
@15 – Rob K isn’t exactly at edge of his limit in terms of mins. How do we approach this. Yes we need to blood a new 15 but as we seen vs Italy in Chicago you learn F all about a new 15 here. So how do we approach this. If Henshaw is going to be a 15 play him here to simply get used to positioning etc.
I doubt there'll be that much rotation, I think the pack needs minutes together.
Murr and Sexton definitely need to get properly reacquainted.
Aki and Henshaw will probably be the midfield, I don't think Edinburgh would have forced Farrell in ahead of Henshaw, he's a more direct runner but I think that's the only area where he's definitely better than Henshaw, Farrell is very much fourth choice in my opinion.
I'd play around with the back three though, we've a clear first choice three but after that the picture is very unclear. Conway/Byrne on the wing and Larmour/Conway/Addison should be getting minutes. I'd consider Byrne for the wing, Conway is very much proven as an Earls impersonator, Byrne is an athletic option that we've never really had before, he could be a very handy bolter for the squad.
No idea about 15 though, Carbery is the 2nd best 15 in the country for my money but that won't happen.
But will Henshaw be 15? If so he has to play this game. Hence Farrell at 13. Add in Henshaw and Aki are not good together. Don't disagree that Byrne ia an athlete but he is nowhere near getting a game
I don't think Henshaw will be at 15, it's also a complete fallacy that him and Aki don't work.
You're right on Byrne, I'd like to see it but it's unlikely at the very very best.
So you are saying they are creative and good as a pairing. Now I know they have a good win-ratio but that could be argued it coincided with the team as a whole hitting their peak. Not saying they are awful together (also not saying they are poor) BUT we wouldn't beat New Zealand or England with them as a starting pair I feel.
Creative? No, but neither is Aki - Farrell.
Good? Definitely, they're absolutely outstanding defensively and have a low error count for the most part. Aki does have a frustrating amount of handling errors but that's an individual thing. We could definitely beat England and NZ with them, they bring an extra dimension of physicality, and although you lose Ringer's gamebreaking ability none of our wins against either of those in this RWC cycle had a massive offensive Ringrose moment.
I would like to see Henshaw - Farrell but I think Schmidt is set on Aki - Henshaw when Ringer is out.
I'd go for Henshaw and Tom Farrell. Chris Farrell started really well against Scotland but faded badly, although he wasn't helped by a really poor game from Aki. The only thing that can be said with any certainty about our midfield is that Ringrose is by far the best 13. Him and Henshaw are almost always great for Leinster when they play together so they should be considered the ideal pairing.
I think it's unlikely that we'll see Byrne but it wouldn't be undeserved if he got a game.
I'm not here saying Farrell is deserving at 13 just Aki and Henshaw don't mix well. Had a look at stats there. Since Aki made his debut in green the worst performances as a duo were vs France last year, Australia in test 1 and England this year. The 1st 2 were Aki/Henshaw.
When they start together we never score many tries. Exclude the Italian game last year and agaiunst a very poor SA team on Aki debut.
In 5 games they started as a centre pairing we scored 4 tries against a poor SA team, 0 vs a poor France team, 8 vs a desperate Italian team, 0 against a poor Aus team in Test 1 of Summer and 1 against same poor team in Test 3.
Compare it to when we have a proper 13 (be it Farrell, Ringrose, Addison) we have scored 43 tries in 11 games. Averages 3.9 tries per game. Compared to 2.6 per game when they are together.
The stats show that their footwork, clean breaks and linking up is not good statistically. Yes they are strong defensively but it shows that attacking we need a threat at 13.
I agree Ringrose is the best 13 but any replacement for him I feel needs to be a 13. Henshaw is a 12 now. Aki is a 12 now. I feel it's a case of 1 or the other there.
Exactly my point on why we would never beat England or NZ with them as starters. Yes you get physicality but no creativity as I have shown via stats they are not as impactful vs top tier teams as we think. You need that creativity bit and neither has that aspect. And if you look at stats I think you will see alot of those games had offensive moments from the 13 or 12 due to space created or breaks. Especially the English game last year if I remember correctly.
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