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Six Nations 2023 General Discussion



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Scottish front rowers are about as overrated as you can get. For me, Porter fundamentally outplayed Schoeman and Genge, with maybe a discussion around Baille.

    Sheehan had a better tournament than Marchand, and had more big moments imo.

    Sinckler had a good tournament. Fagerson looked like the Italian LHP was causing him huge problems on Saturday but some spurious enough refereeing decisions bailed him out. Bealham's performance in the France match alone was worth more than anything Fagerson did in this tournament.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I don't understand a selection with 8 French players and only 5 Irish, when we were vastly superior to them in this tournament. Their only convincing win was against a ramshackle English side, and we beat that French team by 13. Surely that has to weigh the big decisions in favour of Irish players?

    You've selected Aldritt ahead of Doris, presumably down to Doris missing 1 game due to injury? Aldritt was utterly abject in the first two games, and really only performed in the last 2 rounds. He was hauled off early against us as he was nowhere to be seen.

    Danty only played the last 2 rounds and yet has done enough for selection.

    Equally don't get the Duhan van der Merwe selection - he cost Scotland more tries than he scored in this Championship. James Lowe is a better winger than him every day of the week, and Mack Hansen and Damian Penaud had much better tournaments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭hold my beer

    I know a few people that can't stop singing France's praise, effectively ignoring Ireland's performances and grand slam. Bizarre stuff.

    We're in a great place and I'd take where we're at now over any other team's trajectory.

  • Registered Users Posts: 882 ✭✭✭moycullen14

    I think we're scared! It's very difficult to argue that we're not the best in the world at the moment. What brought it home to me - talking of trajectory - was a point made on Virgin about the path of this team being very similar to England 2003 - SH test series win, beating everybody, GS - and we all know what they went on to do. You start to think 'Yeah, we should win this WC' And that's the scary thought. Oh, and I'm never drinking again

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭Quin_Dub

    What I will say about France is that after the Ireland game I personally would have been thinking that they looked tired and were perhaps showing signs of an "Ireland 2019" style slump.

    They have finished the tournament quite a bit stronger though , although the hype about the England game is a bit over-blown as England were utterly dreadful on the day and Wales gave them more trouble than they should have even if they won comfortably in the end.

    Ireland have been very consistent but I continue to have concerns over the mental element around the QF game.

    We saw at the week-end a team that were clearly more than a little nervous and were making uncharacteristic errors as a result.

    The weight of expectation and desire to close out the Grand-slam obviously got to them and I fear that the same type of worries might creep in in a QF , but we'll be playing a much better team than England were on Saturday.

    Oddly enough I think that if we do get past the QF then they'll actually relax quite a bit as that "monkey" will be off their back and anything else will be a bonus to some extent.

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  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 8,121 ✭✭✭fitz

    I think part of it is the emotional scars of the past for Irish supporters who really thought we were going to do something special at a world cup, only to be bitterly disappointed. I still remember how horrible it felt walking out of the stadium in NZ after losing to Wales. Just the worst.

    The other thing is the flair of France when they get on top of teams...little moments of brilliance from Dupont that catch the eye. They can seem more exciting on first glance, I think.

    But take Dupont out of that side, and I think they'd suffer more than we would by losing Sexton. We're less about having a few brilliant individuals capable of magic, and more about a seriously cohesive squad who operate as a whole...not saying France don't have some of that cohesion and across the board strength too, but I feel they're more reliant on their "star players" than we currently are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,483 ✭✭✭BoardsMember

    I think nerves were more to do with expectation....unless we play shite we'll win comfortably. Difficult mindset. New mindset. I think it resulted in us playing conservatively, ponderously, without conviction. JGP looking up, looking left and right, before passing, for example.

    If we get to QF we know we'll have to play excellently. It's a different mindset. I don't think this squad will be overly consumed by QF tag or history. Of much more significance will be the team they have to beat. And they may very well lose, but I don't think it'll be because they start the game like they did on Saturday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭irelandrover

    I think a quarter final is also a different situation. The game on Saturday had one team playing with everything to lose and one played with nothing to lose. In a quarter final both teams have to play with something to lose so there's nerves on both sides.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 15,481 Mod ✭✭✭✭Quin_Dub

    I hope you are right because other than the QF in Dublin against Australia every other QF game has featured an Ireland team playing well below their ability at that time.

    As disappointing as a QF loss might be , a loss where we played at our peak but were beaten by a better team would at least be somewhat less deflating.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,561 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    If you look at Porter, you get 10 penalties conceded! The most in the tournament. He played well but, that's a deal breaker for me. Aldritt finished incredibly well. Filament and Ryan were clearly way out on there own. Dupont is well..... otherworldly.

    There's not between us and France. Bear in mind, that the team is dominated by ourselves and the French.

    Going into the world cup, we will be favorites. Deservedly so. S.A will be the toughest outing for us. They'll be ready to perform and we will be at full pop! People on here will hopefully realize, that the world cup is a tougher ask. Our route is brutal and the squad will be tested. I think we will win it. But, we can't play like we did this weekend.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,169 ✭✭✭✭Clegg

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,421 ✭✭✭✭Water John

    Stephen Jones picked five Irish players in TOTT, and we know his bias. Porter makes any team. Not his fault if the scrum wheels because Furlong was having an off day. What he adds around the pitch is incredible.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Yeah, as I said in my picks above, James Ryan would be my player of the tournament. He played all 400 minutes in this championship for Ireland, (only others who did were the two wingers and JvdF) and had an absolutely outstanding game in all 5 matches. 97% tackle accuracy (only 2 tackles missed across 68 tackles in the whole tournament), 46 carries (at 2.1m per carry), 2 tries, 5 stolen lineouts. He was imperious in this tournament for us.

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

    France could be a better option for us, given the expectations on them. Plus it would be nice to get revenge for Vincent Clerc

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,920 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    I was thinking that on Saturday. If Dupont was injured for the RWC, it would probably scupper their chances. Everything they do well revolves around him. He is rarely injured and plays most of the minutes available. He makes most of the decisions, so Ntamack doesn’t have to. Which I think makes Ntamack look better than he probably is. It would be interesting seeing France play a tier 1 team without Dupont.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 8,121 ✭✭✭fitz

    Yep. The way I've been thinking about it is that he's like Sexton was for us a couple of years ago. Central to their game plan in a way that I think will really hurt them if he's not there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,561 ✭✭✭Dubinusa

    That's an interesting take! I wonder how they'd do minus Dupont.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Ah they'd be in real trouble, still capable of beating most teams but missing an important source of territory and line breaks.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,460 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    We had this conversation at work today. Consensus amongst French fans was that Fickou would be the worst player to lose in terms of what they'd have to change in order to keep the defensive alignment working. Toto is clearly streets ahead of the next best 9 but they'd still have an easier time replacing him. They've a serious shortage of fit, competent centres and a never-ending supply of SHs.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 8,121 ✭✭✭fitz

    I think those are the two players that hurt France's game most on either side of the ball.

    If they lose Dupont their attacking threat takes a massive hit...he's pivotal to their offensive game.

    Losing Fickou seriously impacts their defense, and I reckon you're right, probably hurts them even more. I don't see who else they have that can organize their defense the way he does.

    Either way, I think France are a key injury or two away from being a much weaker side. On the basis of how we handled having so many injured "starters" throughout this 6 Nations, I think we're in a better place than them on that front at the moment.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer

    I can never get over how young Fickou is, he's only 28, about 8 or 9 months older than Ringrose. He's been around forever it feels like. I think I saw it pointed out in all the analysis that Ireland just tried to run at him a lot in the Ireland v France game, because if he's tackling then he's not organising the defence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,105 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer

    Also, James Ryan seriously done dirty by the POTC nominees. He was outstanding. Personally would have had him ahead of Hansen on the shortlist and I think there's a very strong case that he was in fact the player of the tournament.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,597 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    The one that stands out for me on this (and this is an aside to 6 Nations) is Morgan Parra who's still only 34. When he made his France debut (2008), Ireland hadn't won the the 5/6 Nations since 1985.

    Brilliant stat from his wikipedia:

    On 23 October 2021 Parra completes a record series of 48 successful penalty kicks in a row against Pau.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,838 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    Between Keenan and Dupont for me.

    Even though Dupont was awesome in defence in our head to head Keenan was more pivotal in the context of the result.

    So it's Victor Hugo with this jury. 😎

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,920 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    I think Fickou would be a massive loss, as he is a world class player. Though they have moved him to the wing in the past to accommodate other players. So they don’t see him as that vital to their defence..

    Everything good France do in attack, stems from Dupont. The drop off from him to any of the other 9’s. Would be far more sizable than the drop off between Sexton and Ross Byrne.

    As I said, I would really like to see France play a tier one test without Dupont. To see how it would affect them.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,460 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    Those things are a joke. Front five forwards are always ignored and 5/6 of the nominees are backs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,507 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Best stat of the lot for me is that Italy scored more points than anyone against us. Pity they ended up with 0 in the win column but they played some fine rugby and if they can make the last 20 count they'll have some luck next year.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Dupont gets the 2023 Player of the Championship award.

    He probably deserves it just based on individual performances of the 6 nominated tbf, but it's bullshit how it's decided via a public vote, when you have 3 nations participating with populations north of 50m (closer to 70m in France's case).

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,169 ✭✭✭✭Clegg

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,102 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

    138,000 fans voted.... but it might have been 1 sided alright...