“I can’t see anyone winning a Grand Slam this season but, if England were to win three (titles), that would be a fantastic feat”. I’m not saying that because I’m sat next to you or I’m in Dublin.
Ireland’s self-belief will hit new heights after Saturday’s last-gasp triumph over France in Paris, according to Conor Murray.
Much like 12 months ago when Scotland scuttled Irish hopes on opening day, a hobbled together France team have an opportunity to test if Ireland can handle the favourites tag. That drop goal sailing between the posts will forever be an iconic moment in Irish rugby. Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said playing France in Paris was an ideal place to test Ryan’s temperament and mettle.
“I don’t think we could’ve gone on another couple of phases, but we got there in the end”. We played a number of phases, a cross-kick for Keith Earls, who leapt three or four feet into the air to claim it.
“So he can’t be unsure of himself, I think he has the necessary maturity”.
“I committed two fouls, no more”, he protested.
With Morgan Parra injured, Maxime Machenaud, who started only one Test past year, is recalled at scrum-half and will be the goalkicker – he’s running at 94% domestically this season.
“If you try to break a French defence with slow balls you’re really up against it”. We had to drop kick the ball to start with and Iain Henderson got it back. Lovelace added: “Scotland won’t be surprising anyone this season, because their Six Nations rivals will not be taking them lightly after some impressive results from this young exciting side previous year. The players did have knee injuries, but the independent doctor decided on the HIA”.
“It will be interesting to see how they develop the way they play”.
“But the first team to approach me was Italy ironically”.
He’ll need to be an absolute rock in that midfield for Italy, the ability to stop forwards coming around the corner where people like to beat Italy by beating them up around the breakdown. Yes, of course they have a strength in depth.
Is Clive Woodward, who you played under, or current England lead Eddie Jones a better coach? “No matter what stage you are at in your career you always like to think you can learn lessons”.
“He can bring anything, you don’t know what he’s going to bring, so you’ve got to get in his face and just try to shut him down”.
O’Driscoll tweeted: “Just because we won with an INCREDIBLE 42 METER drop goal that HIA decision shouldn’t get swept under the carpet”.
“We want to be able to keep building in that position”.
Yet, if anything were to restore a feel-good atmosphere to Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, this was it.
“Next week, we go to a venue where we’ve had a lot of success in the last 10 years”.
Nigel Owens was the referee for last year’s clash and he takes the whistle again this Saturday, when he will take charge of his 18 Six Nations match – overtaking the record he shared with Alain Rolland and Jonathan Kaplan.
Would Scottish success be a surprise given recent Six Nations performances?
“Of course, he’ll have to prepare a bit because I’m sure the Irish will have looked at the videos and asked ‘who’s this guy, what can he do?'”
“Just had a pop”, Sexton said.
“Apart from the soft try at the end our defense was outstanding”, he said.