Ireland – November Challenge
Ireland take on the All Blacks in Chicago this weekend and then they face Canada, New Zealand again and Australia. 4 tough weekend’s ahead for Joe Schmidt and his squad but after a win in South Africa back in June along with pushing them close in the two other Test’s will give the squad great confidence.
This November could be very special indeed with two chances to beat New Zealand and also a shot at defeating Australia. Ireland will want to start on the right foot and that is with a game in Chicago, New Zealand are back in a Stadium where they defeated the USA back in 2014 winning 74-6.
Ireland have a chance at immortality in becoming the first Irish men’s side to defeat New Zealand. This particular fixture is littered with hard luck stories from an Irish perspective. It’s time those stories changed and Joe Schmidt has proven he can prepare a team to face big challenges. Although people will point at the Argentina game at the 2015 World Cup as a major mishap in the Joe Schmidt reign.
November 2013 will be a major motivating factor over the next few weeks, Ireland can use Canada as a game to give some new talent the chance to shine. Guys like Joey Carbery and Gary Ringrose will get an early chance to show the world what they have shown in the blue of Leinster during the early weeks of the Pro 12 campaign.
Focus will be firmly on Chicago this weekend with the other Tests against Canada, New Zealand and Australia on the back burner until next Monday. Ireland beat Australia in 2014 and will feel they can do something similar in a few weeks’ time.
Australia for their part will need to start showing some real quality to stand any hope of winning any of their Test matches during this November. Michael Cheika knows the quality he processes in his squad and I feel we will begin to see the start of a new era for Australia. That starts with a game against Wales who for their part will want to reset the clock after a 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand.
Ireland as I already stated have a shot at immortality and with Joe Schmidt on board until after the 2019 World Cup Ireland can begin the preparations toward that tournament. First up its New Zealand and time to lay the biggest ghost of Irish rugby to bed.
Can Ireland cope with the intensity with which Steve Hansen’s men will play the game. The time is now to end this famine and beat a team that look unbeatable but as is always the case its 15vs 15. They almost did it back in 2013, I am extremely hopeful that either in 2 days’ time or on November 19th Ireland will beat New Zealand. Immortality awaits, go out and grasp it boys……
Cian Mc Gibney