So after week one of the 6 Nations , both our senior men and women’s teams have some soul searching to do after chastening defeats in Donnybrook and the Aviva. The women were humbled 51-7 and the senior men were beaten 32-20. The only bright spot on week 1 was the 20s who won down in Cork 37-28.
All three sides will head to Scotland to try and find form in the case of the men and Women’s sides and to continue the good form of the 20s. The 20s started the weekend off in fine style scoring some scintillating tries in a first win at this level over England since 2015.
The women also had good spells of possession in the opening half of their game in Donnybrook but they could never force home the advantage and England led 13-0 at the half time break and took full advantage in the 2nd half and pulled away to win convincingly 51-7.
Adam Griggs will need his side to bounce back in confident form and redress the balance after Scotland came to Donnybrook and won last season. Will Alison Miller come back into the side on the wing and what 7s players will Griggs have at his disposal for this game will be interesting to see.
Unfortunately, the pros vs amateurs’ argument has to be had because it was plain to see that Ireland struggled fitness wise in the face of a constant pressure as the game wore on. This is again going to be laid bare when they face France at home in a few weeks when they visit Dublin in Round 4.
It will again open the question of professional contracts for those players to let them compete at this level. The appetite for this discussion will have to wait until the end of the competition but it is a discussion that will need to take place to just decide where the 15s game is actually going in Ireland.
For the Senior men, it is a case of where the game plan went wrong and why in the face of an England onslaught, they did not have a real plan B to fall back on ?? The loss of CJ Stander for a month is a blow but with Sean O Brien and Jack Conan in the squad , Ireland should have strong replacements and Dan Leavy is also knocking around so he may train this week in the build up to the Scotland game.
Last weekend was not what was expected by many but let’s be fair ,England had the home work well done and executed the game plan that Eddie Jones gave them and they dispatched Ireland in good style. For Ireland , there will really need to be a strong reaction to the loss last Saturday and the 23 selected will really need to show the type of aggression and skill in attack and defence that England showed. Round 2 is next up so the training week will be interesting in Carton House….