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RWC 2023 Ireland v South Africa Buildup - Sat 23rd Sep 20:00 Paris

  • 18-09-2023 10:01am
    Registered Users Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭

    No.1 Side in the World v World Champions

    Possible teams:


    Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Gary Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton CAPTAIN, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

    Replacements: Rob Herring, David Kilcoyne, Tom O’Toole, Iain Henderson or Joe McCarthy, Ryan Baird, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Robbie Henshaw.

    South Africa:

    Damian Willemse; Kurt-Lee Arendse; Jesse Kriel; Damian de Allende; Cheslin Kolbe; Manie Libbok; Faf de Klerk; Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert; Siya Kolisi CAPTAIN, Pieter-Steph Du Toit, Jasper Wiese

    Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche,  Vincent Koch or Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Grant Williams, Willie Le Roux or Handre Pollard.

    Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (NZ)

    Ireland to win 24 v 18

    1 possible scenario:

    Ireland beat SA (4 pts) = Ire 14 points

    Scotland beat Tonga & Romania with BP = Scot 10 points

    SA LBP v Ireland and beat Tonga with BP (=10pts) = SA 15 points


    Scotland beat Ireland with a 4 try BP = Scot 15 points

    Ireland would need 1 LBP or 4 try BP v Scot = Ire 15pts

    Because all 3* teams would have beaten each other it then comes down to the team with the best difference between points scored for and points scored against in all its pool matches.

    *Only head-to-head Tiebreaker winner applies between when just 2 teams have the same total points won.


    Winner of this game plays NZ in ¼ Final.

    Winner of that plays Fiji/Australia or Argentina in Semi-Final.

    Winner plays France in the Final.

    Post edited by Cookiemunster on



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,801 ✭✭✭Jump_In_Jack

    I would be starting Herring, I think he has excelled recently and giving Kelleher the start against Tonga was in my opinion just to give him minutes to bring him up to speed.

    I would go for Henderson over McCarthy, I just think Henderson's experience is worth the selection.

    I would be torn between Byrne or Crowley for the 22 jersey, I don't think there's a wrong selection there, either spreading game time by selecting Crowley, or continuing the momentum by selecting Byrne, who is also far more experienced and perhaps more comfortable playing with the largely Leinster based back-line.

    On the match, which team wears green? I think it could be South Africa.

    Looking at that Springboks side, we can take them, but it will be a true test. I reckon Etzebeth won't play, and it will be Snyman starting and Kleyn to the bench. Also think Le Roux will start at fullback, he adds such an extra dimension to their attack, his try-assist proficiency is notable.

    Post edited by Jump_In_Jack on

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster

    South Africa are the 'home' side so they should be wearing their change kit. Although there's a lot a similar shade of green to the Ireland jersey in it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,802 ✭✭✭✭bilston

    Agree as I see it there are two possible finals

    France v South Africa


    France v Ireland

    We'll know which after Saturday.

    Obviously NZ could have a say in that and someone from then other side could get lucky, but the above is were the smart money goes IMO.

    FWIW I'm quietly hopeful about Saturday, but it will come down to fine margins.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭All_in_Flynn

    Kelleher had a big game on Saturday. I think he plays. He was excellent at set piece and his carrying and tacking in the tight will be vital against them I feel

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭ionadnapokot

    I wouldn't mind either of Herring or Kelleher starting. Kelleher looked good v Tonga and I think they will keep the same starting unit together. Without Marx its very much advantage Ireland there.

    If SA are also without Etzebeth.....Ireland have the winning of this by more than 15 points. Weather supposed to be dry for the game. That would also suit Ireland of course.

    Yep Le Roux definitely helps their attacking shape & is seemingly a key guy in organising during phase play and in defense. I think SA see him primarily as an impact player these days. He comes on to close out games and implement the strategy required. If he starts I would be delighted! He's not the same threat he once was and he looks a little low on confidence. Usually good for at least 1 clanger in a game.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,796 ✭✭✭Jacovs

    Im just hoping for a red card/controversy/injury free game.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,379 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    I'm just hoping for a win, don't mind if it's controversial.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭wittycynic

    There's an argument for starting Beirne at blindside and putting Henderson or McCarthy into the second row to beef up our pack, but that would deprive us of our best line out operator and serious jackal threat in O'Mahony.

    Also an argument for starting Murray, given his physicality and quality of his kicking, but reckon Farrell will go with Gibson Park.

    Think the team will be

    1. Porter

    2. Kelleher

    3. Furlong

    4. Beirne

    5. Ryan

    6. O'Mahony

    7. Van der Flier

    8. Dorris

    9. Gibson-Park

    10. Sexton

    11. Lowe

    12. Aki

    13. Ringrose

    14. Hansen

    15. Keenan

    16. Sheehan

    17. Kilcoyne

    18. O'Toole

    19. Henderson

    20. Baird

    21. Murray

    22. Crowley

    23. Henshaw

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,796 ✭✭✭Jacovs

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,379 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Controversial draw with two red cards it is so!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,060 ✭✭✭OldRio

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Think we'll win handy enough. SA currently a bit over rated for playing well against inconsistent teams.

  • Registered Users Posts: 262 ✭✭VayNiice

    I can't see any argument at all for picking Murray. Our game is going to rely so much on fast ball. JGP is essential.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭wittycynic

    Depends how we want to approach attack. Murray is probably the best passer we have, but we probably don't want to spin longer passes out anyway against a very fast blitz defence, so maybe less of a bonus for him.

    However, if we want to gain more territory kicking and give ourselves more kicking options (and thus reducing the predictability of our kicking game), Murray would be an excellent shout.

    As I said, I think he'll go with Gibson-Park, who has his own relative strengths, but Murray would have plenty to offer in this fixture.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,796 ✭✭✭Jacovs

    Too far out to accurately predict, but weather showing very little wind, no rain, not very warm. Sounds perfect for a game of rugby.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,941 ✭✭✭TRC10

    Would not be at all surprised to see Murray start this game. Think we'll kick a fair bit to try to avoid what Scotland did which was play directly into SA's blitz defence by trying to play from deep too often. SA have been the only team over the last couple of years who were able to pretty much completely negate our attack. So I can see us trying to keep the game in SA's half as much as possible. Avoiding scrums in our own half will be key. I'd also start McCarthy and spring VdF and JGP from the bench with 20 to go.

    My biggest worry would be that we're going into this game fairly undercooked, having not played any high standard games since March. As professional as the performances against Romania and Tonga were, they're two very poor teams. Whereas SA are properly battle hardened having had games against NZ, Australia and Scotland recently.

    Having said that, with SA's injuries, and with Libbok goal kicking, I fancy us to win this one. The two weeks rest between this and the Scotland game is huge for us.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,796 ✭✭✭Jacovs

    I can see this game having a lot of kicking. Each team testing the back 3 on the other team, hoping for the knock on and some cheap territory gains.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,649 ✭✭✭arsebiscuits1

    As I maintained over the last few weeks. Irelands lineout issues have been overstated and I think this was proved against Tonga.

    I broke down all 22 lineouts (20 successful) and it painted a similar picture as Romania. We have good moves and some excellent movement capabilities which we showed in the first half and then simplified it right up in the second half.

    Kelleher threw as good as I ever have seen him throw for a flawless 11/11 (including one weird over the top thing we regathered that I can only assume was a communication breakdown as we got no lifter in the air) Herring then came in for an impressive 9/11 which did include a really poor overthrow.

    What was interesting to me was POM took a very impressive 7 of ours where as he took none against Romania (again validating my theory we were holding back)

    Beirne took no lineouts but did have 2 impressive steals.

    Doris has taken none to date this RWC but is an accomplished jumper and I suspect we will see him and Beirne used a bit to keep the saffers guessing.

    I think we absolutely are peaking this set piece against South Africa.

    In my mind Kelleher should start and Sheehan should sub for this.

    Also there was an argument made by some (including myself) that Beirne should start at 6. But having analysed the set piece I feel for that alone POM gets the 6 shirt. Ireland score from line outs. It's not a revelational tactic or news. But it's what we do. POM stays there

    Henderson who I had been very underwhelmed by recently also had a timely showing of how good he is in the air. As big a fan as I am of Joe Mc I think Henderson keeps that 19 shirt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 238 ✭✭joficeduns1

    Beirne has put in serious shifts the last two weeks, he looked absolutely gassed by the end of the Tonga game (understandable). I'd imagine recovery is top priority for this week as fatigue will surely be a factor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,840 ✭✭✭ionadnapokot

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,154 ✭✭✭✭Neil3030

    There's a good conversation on this in (i think) the most recent provincial state of mind podcast. If you start Joe McCarthy, you lose a jumper in the lineout. So if you have both McCarthy and van der Flier on the pitch (the latter never seems to be used), you are down to 3 possible targets in the lineout.

    So if we start McCarthy, might we see Baird at 6, vdF on the bench.

    (Or have they been intentionally never using McCarthy or vdF as jumpers with analytics in mind... i.e., surprise them)...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,632 ✭✭✭

    The final to be a repeat of this game

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,446 ✭✭✭✭AbusesToilets

    Has there been any analysis of relative impact on scrummaging comparing Henderson and McCarthy. I could see the benefit of having McCarthy's weight to come on and bolster the scrum late in the game

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,219 ✭✭✭Packrat

    Hi folks,

    I don't post here but read most of what others post.

    It strikes me that if there's to be any surprises in the lineout they'll appear in this test and in the first half.

    No point in holding them back for when we're up or down towards the end OR for a quarter against France if we lose.

    This is the one to win and it all falls into place, barring massive injuries.

    Make of that strategy what you will in team selection but I think it's the only strategy.

    TLDR: No point in holding anything back from this test because it may reduce our options later if it's lost.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,154 ✭✭✭✭Neil3030


    The situation is also getting somewhat clearer regarding the SFs too. Topping our group is a route to SF 1. Runners-up is a route to SF 2.

    Fiji winning against Oz now makes it more likely one of Wales or Fiji top Pool C. They'll face runners-up from Pool D (Japan, Samoa or Argentina). That winner goes into SF 1. You'd have to fancy that would be Wales or Fiji. If Oz do finish runners-up in Pool C, they then face England in the QFs. Winner goes into SF 2.

    A lot could change, but would you rather Wales/Fiji or Australia/England in a semi? I'd certainly still lean the former.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,219 ✭✭✭Packrat

    I think we've the beating of any of them but yes, Wales or Figi because depth will be more of a problem for them by that stage imo.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    A lot could change, but would you rather Wales/Fiji or Australia/England in a semi? I'd certainly still lean the former.

    I'd opt for SF1 because it means we've won all our games.

    But Wales and Fiji for me. Wales would be tough, they'd absolutely show up and Gatland would have them in full red mist but we've a better team, better coach, better athletes and a better style of play.

    We'd be an awful team for Fiji to face, they'd really struggle with our linespeed and breakdown and our kicking game is stronger than Wales / Aus (as is our set piece).

    England and Australia are no great shakes with two coaches that might not be all that, but they've loads of pedigree in the tournament, and provide for very different challenges and whilst I wouldn't fear either, I think both represent a higher caliber of competition to Fiji and Wales (I think we'd find Fiji easier than Aus despite the game at the weekend).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,707 ✭✭✭Shehal

    I do think the winner of this game will make it to the final, whoever wins will just have so much momentum and confidence that it's hard to see anyone stopping them bar each other or France. I wouldnt completely write off NZ but from what I've seen from them collectively I just dont see them being able to go toe to toe with either Ireland or SA over 80 minutes unless the latter 2 have an off day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,749 ✭✭✭sxt

    Ireland are going into this game a tiny bit undercooked,hence playing close to the first 15 two games in a row. They haven't faced a quality team in 18 months(no fault of theirs)

    I expect Ireland to test SA and maybe build an early lead, but eventually SA will find that slightly undercooked side and secure a close win

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,772 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Did they not play the world cup favourites in the 6 nations earlier this year?

This discussion has been closed.