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17-11-2018, 09:39   #1
kuang1
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Ireland v New Zealand match thread

Never did one before...have a half hour to spare so here goes...

Teams:



Personally, I've been looking forward to today since the final whistle was blown in the same fixture on the 19th of November 2016.
That was a tough day out. I had the best seat I've ever had at the Aviva, sitting immediately behind the Irish subs bench. But Christ, it was like watching a war. Definitely the most violent game I've ever watched.
New rules introduced since then mean that NZ can't approach this game in the same manner as they did that day.

I was toying with the idea of forensically going into the individual battles that will occur later, but I kinda feel that the way the game is played nowadays, that this has less relevance than before. What's more pertinent I feel is the psychology going on in both camps.

Mind games...or lack of?


Neither coach can be accused of psychological warfare in the lead up to this test. Perhaps Hansen dipped his toe in that water with the references last week to how he expected Conor Murray to start, but that's as close as we've got.
We know how Joe avoids such encounters like the plague, so no shock that he hasn't come out with anything inflammatory this week.

For me, it's the unsaid stuff that's fascinating. Is this New Zealand's biggest test of the year? I would say clearly not seeing as they've lost at home to the Boks, and barely got out of jail in the return fixture. Similarly had a very close call in Twickenham last week.
However, my guess is that this fixture has been on Steve Hansen's radar for quite a while now. As it has been on Schmidt's.
In this fixture 2 years ago (the Aviva one), there was a clear and deliberate "beat them up" tactic deployed by the ABs in order to reinstate their top dog status. This is not an option for them today.
I think they adopted a "win at any cost" approach that day. They had to. They were fearful of what a 2nd consecutive defeat to Ireland would create/destroy.
I think they're nervous now. (or at least as nervous as the ABs ever get!) I think they're as vulnerable as they've ever been. (which is only slightly!)
I think that this is borne out of the acknowledgement of Ireland's new standard of rugby.
We're a tough team to break down, we've great depth in almost every position on the pitch, and if we lose games, it's by small margins.
But they're the All Blacks. Look through that team and those names roll off the tongue of even a casual rugby fan. Scary. Sure.
But whereas we might not be "scary", we're infuriatingly covetous of that ball. Tonight will be no different.
I think we have the psychological edge here.



I typed "Ireland v New Zealand" into google images and one of the first images was the one of Conor Murray celebrating Henshaw's try in Chicago.
Fitting enough given that those 2 are arguably our biggest absentees today. It's been widely said that Murray is a huge loss. I think it's been a little over stated. No doubting Murray's world class, but Marmoin has been trusted by Joe for many years now to step in when required, and he (Marmion) has rarely disappointed. A different player sure, but brings a good standard of SH play and is a terrific defender.
Henshaw is a loss too of course, but a centre pairing of Aki and Ringrose is pretty formidable. Both are in the form of their lives and I expect an outstanding contribution from both.

Set pieces will make or break us. NZ are not as dependant on these as we are, and that for me is the main reason they are 7 point favourites with the bookies. That's about right imo.

This could be the game of the year. 2 titans of this magnificent sport going toe to toe.
The 7.00pm kick off (I don't ever remember as late a kick off in the Aviva before?) is only going to mean that the crowd is louder, more raucous and enthusiastic than they might have been anyway, (an extra drink or two on board than normal) and should be a proper cauldron.

It's going to be epic. Enjoy it everyone!

Edit: forgot to include my prediction :
Ireland by 4.

Last edited by kuang1; 17-11-2018 at 10:05.
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17-11-2018, 09:51   #2
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Ultimately we can make do without Henshaw, but losing Murray deeply wounds us.

Our entire game plan is built around him. His decision making takes pressure off Sexton similar to the way Ringrose can take the playmaking impetus off him with his distribution.

Murray's box kick is so valuable as well because if allows us to play for territory and compete for the ball. Now our only choice will be to kick to touch and compete for the ball because we can't kick to McKenzie in open field. A tall order against Retallick and Whitelock.

Marmion is a great scrum half and would do well in any team. The problem is that for the way we play, Murray's personal skills are so crucial. If we do manage to win without him, it would send a massive statement because Hansen et al know how important he is to us. For any other team it would be like losing their 10.

Murray is our best and most important player, I would prefer Murray/Carbery and even Murray/Byrne to Marmion/Sexton.

Last edited by troyzer; 17-11-2018 at 10:11.
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17-11-2018, 10:11   #3
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Murray became that player by being thrust into the spotlight and getting exposure to test rugby.

It’s great that we’ll now have two scrum halves who have started in wins against the All Blacks, that puts us into a much better position come the world cup
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17-11-2018, 10:20   #4
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New Zealand to win by taking better advantage of the chances that come their way. Ireland have struggled to turn possession into tries and it will cost them.

While the win would be great, the result is less important than the performance and seeing how we stack up against the best.
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17-11-2018, 10:29   #5
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Rewatched the 2016 game in Dublin last night. We played well but struggled to break down NZ. We dominated the ball but their defense was superb. On two occasions in their 22 we won penalties and decided to scrum them before taking the points of offer at the next infringement. We’ll need to score tries in similar situations again. NZ on the other hand had 3 opportunities and took them. We were 14-3 down after 20 with Stander, Henshaw and Sexton off the pitch and we kept them under the cosh. SOB had a chance on 50 minutes to score from a lineout which probably would have left us 14-13 behind. Small margins. NZ went up the other end and scored.

Barrett was unbelievable. He had a big hand in all 3 tries, with the crosskick for the first, skinning us from a scrum for the second and an amazing offload for the third. We need to stop him playing. Reckon VDF will be asked to look after him.

Looking back at our performance, we’ll be missing some key performers. SOB was superb. Heaslip was a very classy player and had a great game. He didn’t put a foot wrong. Murray controlled the game with Sexton gone. Best was at the top of his game, looked very dynamic and a menace on the ground. VDF was hugely impressive. Cian Healy was pretty heavy footed and a lot chunkier then. Losing those 10kg has really added back the dynamism to his game.

To win, we need to score tries when we get into their 22. They stopped us last time on the gainline consistently, and although the game was close, never looked in too much in trouble on the scoreboard. If we can shut down Barrett, hold onto the ball and take a couple of chances, we are in with a shout. They’re good. But so are we. Have a good feeling about today. It’s going to be a cracker!
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17-11-2018, 11:14   #6
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Although I'm happy for Ireland to win, I also want to see a good performance from the AB's.

Unfortunately I believe the two are mutually exclusive.
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17-11-2018, 11:17   #7
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Were going to be asking ourselves tonight if the All Blacks are a bit over rated.

Ireland by 11.
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17-11-2018, 11:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venjur View Post
Were going to be asking ourselves tonight if the All Blacks are a bit over rated.

Ireland by 11.

Hopefully
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17-11-2018, 12:08   #9
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Great report, has lifted my pessimism, managed to bag two tickets this week too, so things are on the up!
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17-11-2018, 12:11   #10
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I know the line out was mentioned as an area of weakness but I definitely think we can put pressure on theirs.
Dev isn't the easiest lad to jump beside so they'll look to vary it. That's where POM comes in....he's a proper defensive jumper and can disrupt ball. Ryan will need his wits about him as well.

As is the norm if Johnny goes well Ireland go well.
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17-11-2018, 12:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venjur View Post
Were going to be asking ourselves tonight if the All Blacks are a bit over rated.

Ireland by 11.
Hope you’re right!!

Don’t see an Ireland without Murray, SOB and Henshaw doing it personally.
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17-11-2018, 12:18   #12
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I think we are weak in many areas the ABs have the better players than us. Scrum half, Wing, being the 2 most pertinent. I think their systems as a team are also better than ours on a consistent basis. Sure we can do it to a level as high if not higher than them but I think their defensive system cracks less than Irelands does. We are going to have to be on top form to get a result with a few players missing. NZ by 15.
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17-11-2018, 12:19   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heymans View Post
I think we are weak in many areas the ABs have the better players than us. Scrum half, Wing, being the 2 most pertinent. I think their systems as a team are also better than ours on a consistent basis. Sure we can do it to a level as high if not higher than them but I think their defensive system cracks less than Irelands does. We are going to have to be on top form to get a result with a few players missing. NZ by 15.
The NZ defense has been really leaky this season, it's one of the few areas we outmatch them comprehensively.
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17-11-2018, 12:22   #14
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I think its only a matter of time before we beat them but on this occasion I think the loss of Murray, Henshaw and O Brien is huge loss and a big ask.
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17-11-2018, 12:36   #15
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All the pressure is on NZ.....

Ireland can lose and it just gives us an idea what we need to improve for WC. NZ lose and they have fecked up their whole AI's and preparation for the WC
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