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Ireland v. England – Two Nations Rugby

By Mahons On February 10th, 2013

Noting my nation’s inglorious defeat at the hands of Honduras recently in “football”, I am a little hesitant to proclaim myself man of international sports knowledge.  However, I’ll tell you one thing, the Kumbh Mela millions in India won’t be the only folks on Earth who are heading for the drink this Sunday.

ATW’s founder will be on the scene so we will no doubt have his report on Sunday.   I wonder who he is rooting for?

In any event good luck to both sides (and a little less to one than the other).  Feel free to use this post as the taunt center, wailing wall and outlet for pent up emotions.

38 Responses to “Ireland v. England – Two Nations Rugby”

  1. A soccer post, Mahons?

    What fresh hell is this from our Tulane grad?

  2. I miss playing rugby…while I was often relegated to lock…I loved being a hooker (except for the time I gave my own teammate a concussion) and being young, I loved telling people I was hooker.

  3. I wonder who he is rooting for?

    No need to wonder, he will be supporting England against his fellow Ulster men.

  4. “No need to wonder, he will be supporting England against his fellow Ulster men.”

    So
    a) he knows his own mind,
    and
    b)he’s got his loyalties in the right order.. :)

    I admire the great BOD, and was a fan of Peter Stringer and the kicking guy (my memory is getting worse) whose recently stood down.
    What more blasphemy could you want from an Englishman?

  5. That’d be ROG Agit8ed.

    I’m sure David supports Ireland, however, the only question I’d have for him is whether – like Trevor Ringland once said – he forgets he’s a unionist until he once more reaches Newry again :-)

  6. Fews – when the British Lions tour, which team do you support?

  7. I’m sure he supports the British and Irish Lions, Allan.

  8. mairin2 -

    I was also a hooker and miss playing the game. Getting stuck in was right fun at the time.

    —–

    I’m out to take care of family matters now, then I’ll join my fellow stout English yeomen in the pub (not faux Englishmen who cheer for the leek-munchers – egads!) to watch the match.

    I’ll be back later to gloat commiserate with the defeated.

  9. smg – the ‘Irish’ was only included recently and is in fact unnecessary because the term ‘British’ means ‘of the British Isles’ and that includes Ireland. So, are those Irish who played for the Lions ‘pre-Irish’ sell-outs?

  10. Of course they weren’t sell outs. Why would you use such language?!?

    While some Irish rightly see themselves as British, the majority don’t. I’m not British and therefore it doesn’t include me.

    There’s a geographical term British to include the whole Ireland of Ireland, but it’s a British term. So, while I can see why someone like you accepts it, it’s an outdated term for many of us on the island of Ireland.

    I was glad to see the term changed to British and Irish Lions as it is more inclusive. It didn’t mean I didn’t support the British Lions, especially when they were graced by Irishmen, but it’s all the better for utilising the more inclusive term.

    I understand you don’t like the term or even like the term – but frankly, that’s your issue.

  11. ‘don’t like the term’ should be ‘don’t like to use the term’

  12. “I was also a hooker…”

    Aaah! So many things now fall into place Pete..
    Now we know how you can afford sexy little mountain bikes and the best quality walking gear. And those strappy little high heels… Mmmh Hmmm.. ;)

  13. smurff,
    Yes Ronan O’Gara.
    That’s the man. A great player.

  14. //my nation’s inglorious defeat at the hands of Honduras recently in “football”, //

    Actually, the USA is now 28th in the FIFA world rankings, which isn’t bad and is well ahead of what are normally considered good teams like Turkey and Serbia.

    //I miss playing rugby…while I was often relegated to lock…//

    Mairin2, you may be interested to know that yesterday Ireland defeated England in the Six Nations by a glorious 25 to 0.

  15. 0-6. John Bull in the lead.

  16. “the ‘Irish’ was only included recently and is in fact unnecessary because the term ‘British’ means ‘of the British Isles’ and that includes Ireland.”

    The Canadians will be highly confused if that is the case.

  17. 3-6 now, Pete Moore must be reaching for his Irish Passport just in case…

  18. 6 – 12 England now

    Just turned it on, RTE One radio

  19. 6-12. Ugh.

  20. Congrats to the victors.

  21. Victoria in Angliam!

    Well that was tense, tight, tough and scrappy, and that was just in the pub. Ireland had the possession and territory but England were much more composed, and that was the difference. The Irish fellas just looked edgy, as if they were too keyed up.

    Ireland spent the first half knocking on and couldn’t get any momentum. We’d put the ball deep, squeeze the play and take penalties. Nicely done chaps.

    Robshaw, Ben Youngs and Farrell played very well.

  22. The first half was turning a bit ugly with the Irish ‘beastie boys/hotheads’ getting themselves excited, then Ronan came on and however he does it the whole thing became calmer and Ronan’s intelligent kicking began to turn the tables.

    First part of the second half and I really felt that Ireland actually deserved to win, Whilst Farrell is a good kicker at goal, he seemed to send all his other kicked balls straight to the Irish- and he kept on doing it! Frankly I could have wished that Ronan was playing for us.
    Despite all our talent I thought the English performance over all was poor and frustrating at times. Robshaw deserved MOTM, but for Ireland I would say Ronan O’ Gara for his calm and steadying influence on the team.
    Very close, very physical.

    OT
    I kept looking in the crowd for a follically challenged, bespectacled gentleman wearing a Union Jack suit and a discreet Ulsterman lapel badge.
    Did you go, David??

  23. Agit8ed -

    Are you sure? I recall Farrell kicking very well for our points and playing well with the ball in hand. ROG cost Ireland 3 points when he missed a reasonably comfortable one, and then cost them 40 yards at a crucial point when he sliced a kick to touch.

  24. England deserved the win, their defence was awesome. But it’s not over till it’s over. The idea that the slam is a done deal is stupid.

  25. Pete…some rugby philosophy…the wonder of playing hooker for me was that at that point in time in the scrum, my whole team was relying on me and I was relying on my team to have my back…it was a perfect balance.

  26. mairin2 -

    Absolutely. The hooker is the pack leader, but he’s relying on his mates also. That position is uniquely vulnerable in the scrum and he needs his mates to back him up. Everyone needs to be tight.

    But just getting stuck in is alot of fun too. When I played it was still acceptable to tap dance all over anyone found on the wrong side of the breakdown. That was always fun.

  27. “Are you sure? I recall Farrell kicking very well for our points and playing well with the ball in hand. ROG cost Ireland 3 points when he missed a reasonably comfortable one, and then cost them 40 yards at a crucial point when he sliced a kick to touch.”

    Pete,
    Ronan did miss a couple, but in general his kicking was imv intelligent, aimed into touch and gaining ground for his team. More than that though he has a steadying influence on the team.
    Farrell did kick well to goal, but there were quite a few instances where he kicked almost pointlessly upfield to an Irish player,
    I am glad they won, but I was disappointed with their performance as a team.

  28. Yup, Pete…especially in the mud!

  29. mairin2
    How come you played rugby? I thought youse to be American!
    My stepdaughter played rugby at uni and isn’t much shorter than me at 6′. She was a bit formidable and nursed a crush on Will Carling for a while!
    I am beginning to think hookers are redundant, as when I was at school the scrum was set straight off, the ball had to be thrown in right in the middle, and the ref stood the other side to ensure that the scrum half did so. Hence the fight to hook the ball over to your side.
    Now the scrum half throws it pretty much to his own side, and the ref obsesses about the scrum being bound properly.

  30. Agit8ed -

    Well there you go, I thought England were pretty good and our defence watertight. Dublin’s a particularly tough place to go to, they especially like to welcome an England team there, and it was chucking it down all game long.

    All in all I thought that was an intelligent and composed performance.

  31. Agit8ed -

    Granted the feed into the scrum is a joke, and refs usually have no idea why a scrum collapses, but a prop can’t do anything without his hooker. Alot goes on in the front row, and it all revolves around him.

  32. Agit8ted, I played because I worked and went to school and rugby was a club sport as opposed to a team sport so the practice attendance requirements were more lax. For the record, I did not attend after game rugby parties…they were more rough than the game!

  33. Pete,
    ” but a prop can’t do anything without his hooker. Alot goes on in the front row, and it all revolves around him”

    Watching the scrums it seemed to me that it was as many times the prop caught and fed the ball back as the hooker did.
    The way the scrum is taken now is becoming a hindrance to the flow of the game, and I think they should revert to the older version.

  34. Agit8ed -

    It’s only a hindrance because it’s not played properly by players and not reffed correctly by refs. If you just want a restart then you can do away with scrums and just give a free kick, but a scrum is a test of strength, courage, technique, timing and cohesion. It’s an essential rugby element.

    We know about the feed, but here’s another example of how players and refs fail to do their part. We hear alot about the “hit” at the scrum, i.e. the harsh initial contact, but the rules make no mention of a hit. In fact the rules say a pack is not allowed to push until the ball is put into the scrum, but many of the problems arise because each pack wants an advantage from an initial hit, that hit is imbalanced and so down it goes, the pitch is churned and another minute is lost.

    If the authorities found the courage to impose the laws as they are written – and back up the refs in doing so – then any hindrance can be minimised.

  35. Pete,
    Your knowledge of the modern rules is greater than mine, so I bow to your opinion. Tell me though, why do so many players kick up the field, rather than into touch for ground advantage? I/we really don’t understand it because as soon as you kick that ball into the opposition territory you lose possession and give your opponents the advantage.

  36. Agit8ed -

    I agree that the kick is used too much, but it’s a useful/quick and easy way of relieving pressure and gaining territory when you’re deep.

    Remember, when a player is outside of his 22 yard line, or a team carries or passes the ball from outside of the 22 back into it, if the ball is then kicked it must bounce in play before going into touch. If it goes directly into touch without bouncing a line out will be awarded to the opposition level with where the ball is kicked.

    So in this case it’s sometimes safer to keep the ball in play and push up quickly to put pressure on the receiver in his own territory, rather than risk overcooking the kick and putting the ball directly into touch.

    Also, if you kick deep into their 22 and push up quickly either A) the opposition reciever will kick to touch and you’ll get the line out much further up the field from where you just were or B) he’ll kick it back to you.

    In the event of B, any player on the kicker’s team who is in front of the ball when it’s kicked cannot move towards it until it’s played (by the kicker, anyone level or behind him or by the opposition). So if you chase your own kick well to their full back you can isolate him as the only opposition player who can chase his own kick. This gives you a much greater chance of either reclaiming the ball when it comes back down or turning the ball over if he gathers it, because he’d be isolated.

    In a game such as yesterday, with heavy rain and Ireland treating the ball as a bar of soap, it’s useful. Kick long, squeeze the play with a good chase and watch as Ireland turn it over in the tackle or offload, or we get it back with a line out.

    It’s less intelligent, say, in the dry when you’re playing against an All Black backline which loves broken play and the chance to run at you.

  37. Yes I see what you’re saying Pete, but when your team has fought hard to wrest the ball from the opposition, to kick it too far up the field undoes all that work. Which is why I said that in Italy v Scotland, because Italy has no good runners, they would have done better to kick for territory and risk the lineout and the scrum because they are or were pretty good in scrums and remain very good in defence.
    Anyway, I concede the point that England did well considering the venue and their relative newness as a team. I have yet to “wed” myself to the new England team, and I do accept a slight perception that some of the players are exhibiting a certain unseemly arrogance.

  38. Agit8ed -

    That was just Jim Telfer digging up some old cliches. I don’t see anything arrogant in this England team.

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