Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Forum for the discussion of all International Rugby

Moderator: moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Oldschool
Cian Healy
Posts: 13440
Joined: March 27th, 2008, 1:10 pm

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by Oldschool »

dropkick wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 9:57 pm Have to say it was a great November from an Ireland point of view. After the win against England and then the summer tests against Japan and USA, everyone was wondering if they would continue that style of play. We got the answer.


If nothing else the players love the new style. It's less attritional, more exciting, less robotic, more skill based, less micro managed. It's harder to defend too as we saw.


Argentina stopped the wide attack which left space up the middle for the forwards to make plenty of yardage. Lowes boot also used to good effect with his ability to kick long which imo is underrated.


Credit to Mike Catt who looks as though he's been given the green light by Farrell. Also POC has made an obvious difference since he came in. Easterby seemed a step down from Plumtree and POC feels a step up from Easterby. It was a good move by Farrell. Also the sports psychologist Gary Keegan is highly rated. The start of the second half against NZ was very encouraging after being behind at half time.

Having young starters and old heads coming off the bench was a success. It's what they could eventually do with Sexton to prolong his career.
​​

Negatives for me was the lack of rotation and the failure to translate our dominance to the scoreboard against NZ.


There were a few late call ups yesterday which gave more opportunity to players but there should have been more. The scoreline confirms this. There was no need to play the same players again especially since they play together all year round. They looked cohesive in game 1. You can always perfect things but I think a chance was missed.


The Ireland camp are trying to dampen the hype and no harm in that. It's not that France proved NZ were tired. I'd say making 235 tackled against ireland did that. But against Ireland they were a forward pass and a tackle away from possibly winning despite ireland dominating. So there's still some improvements there. The offloads against Japan were 18, against NZ it was 2. That indicates to me ireland tightened up a bit although I accept that they would get less opportunity to offload against the NZ defence.


A major leap forward overall. Hopefully we get some A matches this season to boost player development. The tour of NZ will be great for the players.
As you suggest Ireland failed to turn pressure on the NZ line into scores.
Against Argentina, the Irish forward rectified this.
You'd wonder was a conscious decision made to use Argentina as a training session in that regard.
What was most disappointing prior to the AIs and Summer was our back play.
Catt had improved the back play of the Italians and it seemed that he just wasn't bringing that to the Irish back play. That now seems to be changing.
Seeing Pom smiling (bet nobody ever expected to see that) suggests that something big has happened or changed to the mental state of the extended Irish squad.
Word of warning, one good AI series doesn't a RWC win or tbf even a GS.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.
Ruckedtobits
Shane Jennings
Posts: 5610
Joined: April 10th, 2011, 10:23 am

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by Ruckedtobits »

Reading this thread this morning on a grey chilly November, I decided to see where these three performances came from. Chronologically, the summer games against Japan & USA were the most recent rehearsals but both of those games were played with half a deck.

The game that gives the clearest indication that this month was coming was the game against England in front of an empty Aviva, but on the occasion of Stander's last game last March. From the end of the first quarter in that game, Ireland started to play like we continued throughout November. For the record we finished 32-18 ahead, despite losing Bundee to a Red Card for the last quarter.

We ran at spaces, we off-loaded before tackles, we passed fast and wide. Conor Murray was high tempo, both in arrival at breakdowns and in moving the ball when he arrived. But, despite an excellent win and possibly because it was the final game of a disappointing 6N tournament, it was easy to ignore, or not hear, what players like Henshaw & Sexton were saying afterwards about the next step being to target consistency in execution of a game style like that. Equally, some of what Andy Farrell said after that excellent victory might have washed over an audience which had been promised so many times that "change was coming"

At this point, there is now a body of evidence accumulated, that this Irish team can build on the progress they have made. All of the factors within that progress have been reviewed and analysed and certainly it has been very enjoyable. But listening to almost every Irish player who has spoken publicly, it's worth listening to how they all talk about what can be improved on and what they have their sights on in both the short and longer term.

It will be interesting to watch.
User avatar
Xanthippe
Seán Cronin
Posts: 3933
Joined: September 5th, 2008, 6:48 pm

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by Xanthippe »

My biggest concern is the same as it was 4 years ago - is two years out from the World Cup too soon to have developed a ‘new style’? Have we shown our hand too early and once again allowed everyone else two years to figure out how to counter what we’re doing?
#LiveLifeLoveLeinster

#BeSeenBeHeardBeBlueBELIEVE



I'm a Book Mark and damn proud of it. Storm 1:08 forever
User avatar
ronk
Leo Cullen
Posts: 11723
Joined: April 9th, 2009, 12:42 am

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by ronk »

Xanthippe wrote: November 24th, 2021, 11:22 pm My biggest concern is the same as it was 4 years ago - is two years out from the World Cup too soon to have developed a ‘new style’? Have we shown our hand too early and once again allowed everyone else two years to figure out how to counter what we’re doing?
We can't afford to think that way. There might be other countries that can sandbag, we're not well placed to do it.

Last world cup we were perfecting a long term plan. The game changed later and it's possible to focus on that but it's just as easy to look at how badly prepared we were going into the tournament and how things fell apart (again).

We were worried about England and struggling to deal with their power but we were ripped apart by the fast wide play of Japan and New Zealand too.

We're playing well now but that's not a tap we just switched on and could turn off. It's not like we have a clever idea and we want to spring it. We'll just have to continue to adapt as the game changes.

Faz didn't have room to wait. He'd be gone before the RWC without improvement and the IRFU desperately need to rebuild an audience.

The changes were half forced by personnel changes, half by the law changes. We had a strategy where Murray kicked most of our ball and Stander crashed with a lot of the rest. Overnight it doesn't make sense to play like the Munster pack.
User avatar
Xanthippe
Seán Cronin
Posts: 3933
Joined: September 5th, 2008, 6:48 pm

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by Xanthippe »

ronk wrote: November 24th, 2021, 11:52 pm
Xanthippe wrote: November 24th, 2021, 11:22 pm My biggest concern is the same as it was 4 years ago - is two years out from the World Cup too soon to have developed a ‘new style’? Have we shown our hand too early and once again allowed everyone else two years to figure out how to counter what we’re doing?
We can't afford to think that way. There might be other countries that can sandbag, we're not well placed to do it.

Last world cup we were perfecting a long term plan. The game changed later and it's possible to focus on that but it's just as easy to look at how badly prepared we were going into the tournament and how things fell apart (again).

We were worried about England and struggling to deal with their power but we were ripped apart by the fast wide play of Japan and New Zealand too.

We're playing well now but that's not a tap we just switched on and could turn off. It's not like we have a clever idea and we want to spring it. We'll just have to continue to adapt as the game changes.

Faz didn't have room to wait. He'd be gone before the RWC without improvement and the IRFU desperately need to rebuild an audience.

The changes were half forced by personnel changes, half by the law changes. We had a strategy where Murray kicked most of our ball and Stander crashed with a lot of the rest. Overnight it doesn't make sense to play like the Munster pack.

Ah I suppose - I guess I just wish we could have waited one more year before unveiling the new us
#LiveLifeLoveLeinster

#BeSeenBeHeardBeBlueBELIEVE



I'm a Book Mark and damn proud of it. Storm 1:08 forever
User avatar
jezzer
Shane Jennings
Posts: 7121
Joined: February 1st, 2006, 11:41 am

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by jezzer »

The big failing of previous RWCs from my pov is that we went in with a fixed idea of how to play and oppo teams could plan for us perfectly. Wales chop tackled us into defeat, Argentina id'd that they could blitz us with width and pace, NZ countered our plodding breakdown driven game by dominating collisions and ruck ball with speed.

We never had a plan B in any of them. So, for me, it's not about how much time Ireland needs to perfect its new gameplan, how early is too early etc etc. It's about how we can surprise teams, how we can adapt to teams taking certain aspects away from us. Let's see.
backrower8
Mullet
Posts: 1152
Joined: December 4th, 2006, 6:13 pm
Location: Blackrock

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by backrower8 »

the spoofer wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 4:06 pm Anyone know who the black armbands was for?
I would guess that it was for Ray McLoughlin who died on Saturday. I believe that his pasing was referenced at the IRFU's pre-match lunch, so the Union would have been very mindful about that.

McLoughlin and Syd Millar were forerunners to Porter. Both Lions who played either side of the scrum at the highest level. McLoughlin a pivotal figure in the '71 tour of New Zealand. Light years ahead of his time as a thinker and trainer.

Other thoughts:

POM is telling everyone [Faz most of all) that he has never been happier ("you can take my international career from my cold dead hand"). He did very well in the AIs, and provides a maturity that the immature alternative Captains don't have....but, he is a Cul-de-Sac in terms of this team's just like Stander was for a few years before he returned home. There are a range of younger players that offer more at thisn stage (especially with every day that goes by), with Leavy the most like-for-like successor as a player (only better) and a leader.

Like the rest of us, Faz'nCatt know that HB is undercooked, needs to earn minutes at Leinster, doesn't deserve a Cap relative to others....blah, blah, blah...they also know they need to take a gamble on their #3 OH for RWC23. I expect that there will be a BIG lean on Leinster to maximise his minutes when fit from here on in.

It was a great AI series but we are all agreed that we left 15-20 points behind against NZL and I was very disappointed that all 7 tries scored against Argentina were by forwards. Balacoune's underutilisation was not fully justified. Like HB he is just establishing a presence in camp himself, it will come if we persist. I imagine Larmour, Stockdale and Dave K (so underrated) are all itching to play.
User avatar
the spoofer
Rhys Ruddock
Posts: 2819
Joined: February 17th, 2006, 5:35 pm
Location: Leinster West

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by the spoofer »

backrower8 wrote: November 25th, 2021, 10:59 am
the spoofer wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 4:06 pm Anyone know who the black armbands was for?
I would guess that it was for Ray McLoughlin who died on Saturday. I believe that his pasing was referenced at the IRFU's pre-match lunch, so the Union would have been very mindful about that.

McLoughlin and Syd Millar were forerunners to Porter. Both Lions who played either side of the scrum at the highest level. McLoughlin a pivotal figure in the '71 tour of New Zealand. Light years ahead of his time as a thinker and trainer.

Other thoughts:

POM is telling everyone [Faz most of all) that he has never been happier ("you can take my international career from my cold dead hand"). He did very well in the AIs, and provides a maturity that the immature alternative Captains don't have....but, he is a Cul-de-Sac in terms of this team's just like Stander was for a few years before he returned home. There are a range of younger players that offer more at thisn stage (especially with every day that goes by), with Leavy the most like-for-like successor as a player (only better) and a leader.

Like the rest of us, Faz'nCatt know that HB is undercooked, needs to earn minutes at Leinster, doesn't deserve a Cap relative to others....blah, blah, blah...they also know they need to take a gamble on their #3 OH for RWC23. I expect that there will be a BIG lean on Leinster to maximise his minutes when fit from here on in.

It was a great AI series but we are all agreed that we left 15-20 points behind against NZL and I was very disappointed that all 7 tries scored against Argentina were by forwards. Balacoune's underutilisation was not fully justified. Like HB he is just establishing a presence in camp himself, it will come if we persist. I imagine Larmour, Stockdale and Dave K (so underrated) are all itching to play.
Thanks. That was a bit thick of me!
User avatar
Oldschool
Cian Healy
Posts: 13440
Joined: March 27th, 2008, 1:10 pm

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by Oldschool »

backrower8 wrote: November 25th, 2021, 10:59 am
the spoofer wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 4:06 pm Anyone know who the black armbands was for?
I would guess that it was for Ray McLoughlin who died on Saturday. I believe that his pasing was referenced at the IRFU's pre-match lunch, so the Union would have been very mindful about that.

McLoughlin and Syd Millar were forerunners to Porter. Both Lions who played either side of the scrum at the highest level. McLoughlin a pivotal figure in the '71 tour of New Zealand. Light years ahead of his time as a thinker and trainer.

Other thoughts:

POM is telling everyone [Faz most of all) that he has never been happier ("you can take my international career from my cold dead hand"). He did very well in the AIs, and provides a maturity that the immature alternative Captains don't have....but, he is a Cul-de-Sac in terms of this team's just like Stander was for a few years before he returned home. There are a range of younger players that offer more at thisn stage (especially with every day that goes by), with Leavy the most like-for-like successor as a player (only better) and a leader.

Like the rest of us, Faz'nCatt know that HB is undercooked, needs to earn minutes at Leinster, doesn't deserve a Cap relative to others....blah, blah, blah...they also know they need to take a gamble on their #3 OH for RWC23. I expect that there will be a BIG lean on Leinster to maximise his minutes when fit from here on in.

It was a great AI series but we are all agreed that we left 15-20 points behind against NZL and I was very disappointed that all 7 tries scored against Argentina were by forwards. Balacoune's underutilisation was not fully justified. Like HB he is just establishing a presence in camp himself, it will come if we persist. I imagine Larmour, Stockdale and Dave K (so underrated) are all itching to play.
The points we left behind against NZ were exactly the type of forward type tries that we pressed home against Argentina so not all bad.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall who's the greatest player of them all? It is Drico your majesty.
User avatar
dropkick
Mullet
Posts: 1877
Joined: January 2nd, 2007, 12:27 am
Location: Cork

Re: Ireland Autumn Internationals 2021

Post by dropkick »

Xanthippe wrote: November 24th, 2021, 11:22 pm My biggest concern is the same as it was 4 years ago - is two years out from the World Cup too soon to have developed a ‘new style’? Have we shown our hand too early and once again allowed everyone else two years to figure out how to counter what we’re doing?

The difference between Catt's style and Schmidt's is big.


Schmidt's style was very robotic. Once teams worked it out they started using it against him. The set ups for power plays for example. Teams wouldn't bother competing at the ruck as they just waited for the power play to come. The lack of offloads also came back to haunt Schmidt. Surrounding defenders had less to worry about so put more effort into stopping the ball carrier.


Catt's style is heads up, looking for space and having plenty of options. Players can adapt to what's happening in front of them. Argentina cut off the supply to the wingers but it ment they were soft down the middle which ireland exploited by driving past the tackler who was often isolated. Easy yards.


That's a much harder attack to defend. They will be tested and might need to add more strings to the bow but as an attacking foundation this looks excellent.


In Paris vs Shawn Edwards defence will be a good test. The French are big and powerful but I like the way the Irish backs work hard off the ball to create mismatches in terms of numbers. That's a part of the game that smaller players should have an advantage.
Post Reply