Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm proposing some sneaky tactics, and demanding some heart from Ireland against the All Blacks!


I see Darren Cave and Felix Jones have been called up to join the Irish squad, and I can see a plan taking shape. The All Blacks are renowned for pushing boundaries, Ritchie McCaw for instance spends at least as much time on the wrong side of the breakdown as the right. Sounds we could be planning to sneak a few extra players on the field – maybe another three in the pack, then have two fly halves, and three wings. Let’s see them push an 11 man scrum around! If Sextons not fit – no selection problem! Jackson AND Madigan can start, as right and left flyhalves. 

Well, that plan, plausible at it sounds, may not come off, so I had a look at what happened last year when we toured New Zealand. We last the first test 40-10, played badly- then came back, albeit to lose, but lose 22-19, the All Blacks narrowest victory in the last two years? And this was the team that did it

Kearney McFadden O'Driscoll (c)  D'Arcy      Trimble  Sexton  Murray  Heaslip  O'Brien  McLaughlin  Ryan      Tuohy  Ross  Best  Healy

Not our strongest team by any means, so I don’t care who runs out on Sunday, it’s all about heart and effort, about putting them under huge pressure for 80 minutes. Former Munster player Rua Tipoki met with the Irish team before that second test, and said to them ‘Play the men, not the jersey’. I’m not saying we’re going to win, but the All Blacks have been through two really tough matches on the trot, both of which they were keen to hear the whistle at the end of, everybody’s giving us no chance, and it’s time for us to stand up and fight! I hope it’s freezing cold and raining, and that the All Blacks get tired of kamikaze tackling, and just want to get the hell out of here, get on a plane and go home! We have the slimmest chance of winning, but whatever, we can at least show them and the world what we can do.

Otherwise, I’m also planning to see the Scotland Australia, with the Wallabies hi-jinks in Dublin (Australian men getting pissed in Dublin – hard to believe!) evening up the Scots chances a lot. They have also lost Kundrani and Toomua. I hope Ewen McKenzie is fit. And then the France/Springbok match will probably be the match of the weekend. Without Fourie Du Preez, I think the Boks might struggle a bit actually. It must be every international coached nightmare going to France these days – 10 minutes after landing, and Toulon have already signed half your squad.

And I might go the whole hog and see Wales and Tonga, and Italy and Argentina, just for the craic like.

International Match
Friday , November 22
Wales vs Tonga 
Saturday , November 23
Italy vs Argentina 14:00
Scotland vs Australia 18:00
France vs South Africa 20:00
Sunday , November 24
Ireland vs New Zealand 14:00

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