The Championship is back on track for both Joe Schmidt’s men and for Adam Griggs’s charges both sides winning in Scotland over the weekend while the 20s who are coached by Noel Mc Namara made it 2 from 2 with a 24-5 win also on Friday evening.
Both the 20s and women played at the same time with the women having their game covered by RTE unfortunately for rugby fans the 20s games was not covered on any channel or any social media outlet but alas these are the breaks when you have so many masters to please.
The women will be pleased to have got back to winning ways after being humbled the previous week by England 51-7. This win has to be credited to the Irish forwards with the Irish scrum dominating there Scottish counterparts.
The Irish back row of Ciara Griffin, Claire Molloy and Anna Caplice were outstanding and it was their dominance along with the scrum that helped the Irish ladies pick up a much needed win where Alison Miller made a try scoring return to the starting team.
On a challenging evening for either side to try and play any real attractive rugby, it was more of an arm wrestle that the Irish just seemed more in tune to the game and this type of attitude was important in Ireland grinding out the result.
Now there is a two week break until Ireland head for Italy in search of a second win, this will be a game that the squad will have targeted in the build up to the Championship.
Even in victory Adam Griggs will know he side can still improve and he will really need to use whatever window of opportunity that is afforded to him to get some key messages to his players and he will also be hoping some more players who are involved in the 7s programme may be freed up to get involved in squad training to boost the options ahead of a tricky fixture away to Italy.
It was a good win by the women on Friday evening and hopefully now they will use the next two weeks sharpening up the attack and defence with Italy in mind.
The men got there campaign back on track after defeat last time out at home to England. After results this weekend, Ireland are 4th in the standings but I do honestly feel the game with England was a blip and Ireland will use the 2 week break to reassess where things went wrong in the opening two rounds because although there was a win over Scotland there is plenty to work on.
The attack is extremely rigid and very much still a real work in progress and maybe the fact that Joey Carbery saw game time for over 57 minutes last Saturday might work out for the best in the long term because Ireland are still hugely dependent on Jonathan Sexton to run the show and if the worse was to happen in the next few months and Jonathan Sexton was to be ruled out of the Six Nations or the World Cup, the likes of Carbery and Ross Byrne will need to be trusted to run the show in green.
Yes he threw an intercept pass but he will learn, he is still only 23 and it is far more beneficial that he learn on the field rather than sitting there to get on with 10 or 15 minutes remaining and have no chance to show off the skill set that is beginning to hone down with Munster.
Others like Chris Farrell, Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane put up the hand to suggest to Joe Schmidt that it is not only Iain Henderson and Tadgh Beirne he has at his disposal behind the first choice pairing of Devin Toner and James Ryan. The squad depth was challenged at the weekend and came up with some if not all the answers to the questions asked.
It is now a two week break to look back and take stock before they go again in Rome. It’s back to Pro 14 action for a few members of the squad to get valuable game time while aiding there club sides quest for league points…