As you suggest Ireland failed to turn pressure on the NZ line into scores.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.
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.