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RWC2023 Build-up thread for Tonga v Ireland Sat 8PM RTE2 & RTE Player (Ire), ITV1 (UK)

  • 14-09-2023 4:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,725 ✭✭✭

    "As Team B for the fixture, Ireland will wear their Canterbury alternate kit for Saturday’s match as part of World Rugby’s colour blindness protocols" - i.e. we will be in white.

    Gibson-Park and Sheehan missing from starting 15 (and 23), Conan missing from the bench, and arguably Byrne on bench ahead of Crowley.

    Only Herring (arguably), Baird, Casey and arguably Byrne would possibly not make a full strength 23 (not including Cian Healy).

    Sheehan, Conan, McCloskey and O'Brien yet to make a 23 for a match. (Reports today of all fully fit except for Conan who successfully did a running training and looks set to be in full training come Monday.)

    Team announced to face Tonga:

    Porter, Kelleher, Furlong,

    Beirne, Ryan,

    O'Mahony, Doris, Van der Flier,

    Murray, Sexton,

    Lowe, Aki, Ringrose, Hansen,


    Replacements: Herring, Kilcoyne, Bealham, Henderson, Baird, Casey, Byrne, Henshaw.

    1 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi

    2 Paula Ngauamo

    3 Ben Tameifuna (c)

    4 Sam Lousi

    5 Halaleva Fifita

    6 Tanginoa Halaifonua

    7 Sione Talitui

    8 Vaea Fifita

    9 Augustine Pulu

    10 William Havili

    11 Solomone Kata

    12 Pita Ahki

    13 Malakai Fekitoa

    14 Afusipa Taumoepeau

    15 Salesi Piutau


    16 Sam Moli

    17 Tau Koloamatangi

    18 Sosefo Apikotoa

    19 Semisi Paea

    20 Solomone Funaki

    21 Sione Vailanu

    22 Sonatane Takul

    23 Fine Inisi 

    Come on Ireland! ☘️

    Post edited by Cookiemunster on


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,154 ✭✭✭✭Sangre

    Not massively surprising selection given pre game chat. Didn’t sound like farrell would ever rotate heavily.

    Before the RWC, most fans were 50/50 on who they got in quarters. Now i suspect given how France v ABs played out Farrell would prefer not to face a confident French team. This may have influenced his desire to ensure starting team is 100% before SA. Also I doubt he saw anything from Scotland that worried him.

    No doubt the lessons of losing to Japan are still with him too

  • Subscribers Posts: 41,349 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    6/2 bench split for Tonga.

    If we get the weather which is predicted the 36 point spread could get very very short

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,627 ✭✭✭✭thebaz

    not happy with team , if we pick up injuries to Sexton or Ringrose or Doris or Keenan , this selection may come back to haunt Farrell , win and no injuries job done.

    But, if Tonga, as I fear, come all out in ther first game to make a mark, we may seriously regret picking so many frontliners , I think we will win this game whaever selections was used , and squad should have been used . big call by Farrell, he has coached the team superbly , but this is the first time I worry about what he has done. even though Tonga are decent, and a huge leap from Romania , a second string team would have won , perhaps using a stronger bench if needed late on.

    and regarding bench not sure how Byrne is selected over Crowley , if the unthinkable happens and Sexton got injred and game is close , would much rather Crowley at 10.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,879 ✭✭✭Hippo

    Tonga are ranked 15 in the world, this game shouldn't be remotely close. Byrne is on the bench as it's important he gets some game time and I'd say it's likely Sexton will be off on the hour. Of course there's a risk of injuries, but that applies in every match.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,294 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    Aki v Akhi

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,455 ✭✭✭ersatz

    I'm happy to go full tilt again this weekend, injuries happen which is why the squad is 33 and not 23. But this team should be absolutely ready for SA and another match will get them there. Die with your boots on and all that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,627 ✭✭✭✭thebaz

    if it wont be close , why bother risking all the other key players, also a game against Tonga (or Samoa) will be way more physical than your average game - this is not Romania or Chile.

    I hope I am proved wrong

  • Registered Users Posts: 464 ✭✭Iamabeliever

    We could be qualified and quarantined top spot if we pull out a 5 point bonus point against SA and Tonga making Scotland a dud game.

    Coming round to selection when I think of it that way!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,455 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Other than it being Farrell's likely plan all along there are areas of play that still need tightening up, the line out saw a few errors at the weekend, defense for Romania's try was a mess (earlier I pinned it on Jonny but to be fair he was running a support line and both Porter and Aki could have done better to cover), there were a couple of other defensive lapses, a couple of licks weren't ideal, etc. I'm sure the coaches had a long list of things that weren't up to scratch.

    Farrell and everyone is looking for a series of perfect games from this team, nothing less will get us the cup. I'm sure he wants as much as possible for Ireland to create an aura of invincibility going into matches, rotation is not going to deliver that as much as building successfully on each outing will.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,154 ✭✭✭✭Sangre

    I do think Irish teams (including provinces) are too focused on avoiding injuries. As long as players are not fatigued and are fit they should play.

    Northern hemisphere teams don’t have the benefit of the RC occurring right before the RWC which I think has always held us back.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,627 ✭✭✭✭thebaz

    maybe I'm being over cautious , and Farrell know a lot more than me, but I know how tough those islanders can be (great people of the pitch) - I just hope we dont regret picking the likes of Sexton/Keenan and Rigrose.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,154 ✭✭✭✭Sangre

    The other benefit of going full tongs is the game should hopefully be done in 50 minutes (no disrespect to Tonga but we are no 1). Play a scratch team and you might be still in a scrap come 70 minutes meaning players stay on and actually play more minutes than planned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,455 ✭✭✭ersatz

    I live on the US west coast and do a bit of youth coaching. One of my kids plays U18 and there are a lot of Island players here. Tell me about it. Big fast lads who love to hit and are tough as nails. IMO injuries come from a lack of discipline though, swinging arms, high hits, shoulders, pushing rather than tackling, etc. Much less of that in the pro game. Obviously bigger faster people result in bigger hits but that's the game these days. Not a whole lot different to SA or France for that matter, which may be Farrell's idea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,627 ✭✭✭✭thebaz

    Thats where I came up against them , but the nicest guys once game over

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,509 ✭✭✭Shehal

    If we win 5-0 versus SA (big ask but stranger things have happened) Ireland would only need a point versus Scotland to guarantee first and would already be assured a QF place.

    It would be funny though if after all the predictions made that Ireland will struggle because of their hard schedule that Ireland would already be pool winners and can rest their entire side versus Scotland, all those predictions will have gone up in smoke in 1 fell swoop!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,193 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache

    Anyone know who the reporter/what publication was that tried to get back to the non story that Hansen was originally out of the squad last week because of disciplinary reasons?

    I caught Matt Cooper's show on Friday for the rugby show, long stopped listening to it before then, and he had a real hard on for it. He lead into a news bulletin about it and then spent the first 10 minutes, if not more, of the rugby segment trying to stir it up speculating as to what the disciplinary issue was, even asking Quinlan could he find out what it was using his contacts. He was such a moron about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,879 ✭✭✭Hippo

    I agree. I also favour Trimble's theory which is that the team isn't playing particularly well at the moment and needs more game time to become sharper. There was plenty of overrunning the pass in the Romania game, I think the team has to adjust to Sexton's pacing of things now that he's back. Lowe has looked off his game and the line out has been a comparative mess. There's plenty to tighten up before the more difficult tests ahead.

    We saw against Samoa and again last night in the Uruguayan match what can happen when you play the B team, it's not a specifically Irish problem.

  • Registered Users Posts: 815 ✭✭✭amlinopta

    I think it may have been Richie McCormack from Off the Ball on Newstalk, they were joking about it on the news round section at the start of the show last night. The program isn't available to listen back on their app any more, having gone to a subscription model last month.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 26,041 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    I mean, the team hasn't played together much to say it's not playing well. Basically just England and Romania and the latter game was pretty decent and the former I thought was fine for a first game of the season.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,793 ✭✭✭ionadnapokot

    Baird and McCloskey dug a hole in the beach with a green plastic spade

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,540 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    Newstalk love nothing more than trying to cancel somebody

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,377 ✭✭✭GiftofGab

    Who's irelands no1 starting hooker these days??

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,744 ✭✭✭✭Pudsy33

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,793 ✭✭✭ionadnapokot

    In the absence of Sheehan I'd prefer Herring to start v SA. Primarily because of the lineout.

    Kelleher will have to look very good v Tonga to win the starting role.

    Marx out is massive. Deon Fourie is now the reserve hooker for SA.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,725 ✭✭✭Jump_In_Jack

    Could mods close this thread now please as match thread is in place, cheers

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,725 ✭✭✭Jump_In_Jack

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,785 ✭✭✭✭bilston

    It's an interesting one, I think normally Kelleher would obviously be next to start after Sheehan, but his lack of games makes it a live issue should Sheehan not be available for SA and Herring has been playing well when called upon.

    A good performance today from Kelleher may tip the balance though.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,975 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster

This discussion has been closed.