Ireland Vs Italy
Ireland take on Italy this weekend in the second game of this year’s Six Nations Championship. Ireland won in dramatic fashion last Saturday thanks to a last gasp Jonathan Sexton drop goal. This win keeps alive the hopes of a Championship win for the first time since 2015.
Ireland will need to improve in certain aspects of their game plan if they are to beat Italy this weekend and beyond in this campaign. Ireland created a few try scoring chances early in the game against France in the first half. They failed to take any of the chances that they created and this particular aspect of Irish play is a source of concern.
Yes Ireland win a large percentage of the games they play by tight margins and they don’t score too many tries and this will come back at them at some point in the future. Joe Schmidt is a man that always seems to have a plan and in most cases it works although in the 2015 World Cup Quarter Final the best laid plans were left in ribbons when several key players were ruled out through injury and Argentina ran riot in the opening 20 minutes and the game was gone. They came back into that game in the 2nd half but alas that was too late.
Getting back to the game coming up this weekend , Ireland will know they need to make improvements and they will need to do more than just maul and use the line out as an attacking weapon. They will need to use their half backs to try and launch certain plays to see can they cross the whitewash.
The man with the plan Joe Schmidt will know the majority of the 80 minutes last weekend wasn’t good enough and you can be sure that they will try to correct all the wrongs from the French game. Looking to the positives from the game , James Ryan in particular stepped up and was counted along with Peter O Mahony and a number of other players who will hope to continue that good form on Saturday afternoon.
Ireland play a very structured game and have become very clever playing this game since Joe Schmidt came onboard in 2013. Joe Schmidt has been commended for turning Leinster into the best attacking club side in world rugby and you can be sure that his well stocked play book will be seen over the coming weeks, Ireland may need to stick to playing the structured game they have become so adept at playing but they will need to call upon his play book in this Championship to beat the other sides.
Let’s hope that Ireland will find the right mix between the hard edge and soft hands. So its time now to see can Ireland get the Italian job done.
Cian Mc Gibney