Ireland Winning Mentality
Looking at all that has been written this week in the build up to the game this weekend , Ireland will need to gain a victory over a side they have struggled to beat consistently since Warren Gatland took over in 2007. On the eve of his 100th Test as Welsh head coach you can be sure his men will want to come to Dublin and gain victory.
Ireland have made a few enforced changes because of injury. Like 2015 against Argentina , they will be without 5 first choice players but unlike 2015 there are able deputies will to step in , Chris Farrell into the side alongside Bundee Aki , Andrew Porter in to fill the massive boots of Tadgh Furlong only a few months after making his move from loose to tighthead.
Devin Toner returns to the side in place of Iain Henderson. Ireland may be shorn of 5 key men but it is time we trusted these players and see how they get on. As the 2015 World Cup showed you need these players to step up when needed and not to fear the International stage.
Yes Wales will have some key men back to ease the burden on men like Gareth Davies and the centre pairing of Parkes and Scott Williams. Ireland will know all about the lapses late on two weeks in Dublin against Italy and if they happen again Wales will take full advantage and we could find ourselves in the same boat as the Scots in Cardiff.
Joe Schmidt is still the most forensically clever coach I have ever seen he really doesn’t leave anything to chance. He will have his troops well schooled and drilled; Wales still have a Championship to play for whereas for the time being it’s all still on for Ireland.
Ireland don’t do favourites very well, I feel it is time we as a nation embraced the favourites tag and realised it isn’t something to fear. Let’s hope Ireland can transform all the possession into points tomorrow and they give Wales the type of reception that they haven’t received in Dublin for as few season’s since the last World Cup.
Ireland will need to box clever in this game and be squeaky clean in all facets and let’s face it, these are two teams who for the most part don’t give away many penalties in any game. This game has all the makings of a classic let’s hope it will leave up to the major billing and deliver another classic Six Nations encounter.
Another major concern is if anything happens to Jonathan Sexton who has now entered that critical category of most needed players , John Hayes and Ronan O Gara were two of those men so important over their careers. Joey Carbery will be in the number 22 shirt tomorrow and will come into the side if anything happens to Sexton , the big question will be has he the temperament to manage this type of game , he has the skill so here’s hoping everything else falls into place.
Roll on 2.15 tomorrow….
Cian Mc Gibney