The 2017 Six Nations – What are Ireland’s Chances?
February 4, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

the-2017-six-nations-what-are-irelands-chances

Memories of beating all that the southern hemisphere had to offer in 2016 will mean that we Irish fans go into this Six Nations tournament with high expectations. Over the top of my pint cup, I watched in amusement as Ireland trounced Australia in the first half of their meeting last November in the Aviva. While the Wallabies came back strongly in the second half, they simply had no answer to the Irish for the first forty minutes of action.

Looking around as men and women roared on the home team, I attempted to appreciate just how far we had come to not even be that surprised that we were beating the balls off one of the best teams in the world. I mean, we didn’t even invent this sport and we’re good at it. Madness!

But what are our chances of reclaiming the Six Nations for the first time since 2015?

What are the Bookies Saying?

Well the bookies fancy us pretty highly, that’s for sure. No, we aren’t the favourites with most leading bookmakers, with England in at 4/5 with Paddy Power for example. Ireland are second favourites (5/2), ahead of Wales (7/1) and France (12/1). The English are hotly tipped after a stupendous 2016. They pretty much bet everyone bar the All-Blacks – because they didn’t actually play them. The bookies expect Eddie Jones’ side to be the only team that Ireland will fail to beat.

We sure hate when the bookie are right, don’t we?

what-are-the-bookies-saying

The Joe Schmidt Factor

Oh, how cool a bast*rd is this man? Over the past four years, Joe Schmidt has proven himself to be one of the best head coaches in world rugby. He already has a couple of Six Nations medals in his back pocket, so he will be confident that 2017 will bring another. Former World Cup winning manager with New Zealand, Graham Henry, believes that much of Schmidt’s brilliance comes from his ability to adapt and learn from his mistakes. He compares Ireland’s approach to being 19 points ahead of New Zealand back in 2013, where they retreated and tried to defend what they had, to the 2016 match, where they continued to attack even when they found themselves with a sizeable lead.

With this man as the puppet-master of the Irish side, they have every chance of ruining England’s season and solidifying themselves as the best team that the northern hemisphere has to offer.

joe-schmidt

Players To Watch

Whether Ireland do collect silverware in this tournament or not, one can’t help but be impressed by the conveyer belt of talent that is being produced on this island. Each year, new players are coming through and adapting extremely well. One of these players is Garry Ringrose. After being thrown in at the deep end during the recent November internationals, the twenty-two year old flourished. Speed, strength and defensively sound, he is certainly one to watch.

CJ Stander is frightening. No, he’s not “technically” Irish, but his ability to carry the ball and pick up man of the match awards makes us want to throw a fáda on his name and burn his passport so he can never leave the country, ever.

Another man who could lead Ireland to Six Nations glory, is Robbie Henshaw. His performance against New Zealand in Chicago was nothing short of heroic. Not one to catch headlines like players such as Johnny Sexton, but still crucial if Ireland are serious about a third Six Nations in four years.

garry-ringrose

So What’s The Verdict?

What are Ireland’s chances? Well they have every chance in the world. Scotland up first in Murryfield, just reeks of a potential banana skin. But Joe Schmidt’s side seems to have far too much experience to be ambushed by a rising, but limited team. Already, many will have one eye on that England game.

What an amazing finish that would be to the tournament, should the number one spot still be up for grabs when those pesky Sweet Chariot chanters travel to the Aviva on match day five? Imagine the scene’s for a moment, a packed out stadium, Guinness flying from the taps, thousands of roaring lungs, signs of Paddy’s day still in the eyes of every man, woman and child and passions burning at an all time high battling our oldest rivals. That’s the dream people!

so-whats-the-verdict

The 2017 version of the Six Nations promises to be extremely exciting for the Irish. What a great start to the sporting year it would be, should Ireland do the business!

Side note: Why is it still called the ‘Six Nations’? Could they not think of something sexier than that? I mean, yeah we get it, there are six countries in this competition. Thanks for that, we couldn’t have figured that ourselves. Ugh.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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The 2017 Six Nations – What are Ireland’s Chances?
February 4, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

the-2017-six-nations-what-are-irelands-chances

Memories of beating all that the southern hemisphere had to offer in 2016 will mean that we Irish fans go into this Six Nations tournament with high expectations. Over the top of my pint cup, I watched in amusement as Ireland trounced Australia in the first half of their meeting last November in the Aviva. While the Wallabies came back strongly in the second half, they simply had no answer to the Irish for the first forty minutes of action.

Looking around as men and women roared on the home team, I attempted to appreciate just how far we had come to not even be that surprised that we were beating the balls off one of the best teams in the world. I mean, we didn’t even invent this sport and we’re good at it. Madness!

But what are our chances of reclaiming the Six Nations for the first time since 2015?

What are the Bookies Saying?

Well the bookies fancy us pretty highly, that’s for sure. No, we aren’t the favourites with most leading bookmakers, with England in at 4/5 with Paddy Power for example. Ireland are second favourites (5/2), ahead of Wales (7/1) and France (12/1). The English are hotly tipped after a stupendous 2016. They pretty much bet everyone bar the All-Blacks – because they didn’t actually play them. The bookies expect Eddie Jones’ side to be the only team that Ireland will fail to beat.

We sure hate when the bookie are right, don’t we?

what-are-the-bookies-saying

The Joe Schmidt Factor

Oh, how cool a bast*rd is this man? Over the past four years, Joe Schmidt has proven himself to be one of the best head coaches in world rugby. He already has a couple of Six Nations medals in his back pocket, so he will be confident that 2017 will bring another. Former World Cup winning manager with New Zealand, Graham Henry, believes that much of Schmidt’s brilliance comes from his ability to adapt and learn from his mistakes. He compares Ireland’s approach to being 19 points ahead of New Zealand back in 2013, where they retreated and tried to defend what they had, to the 2016 match, where they continued to attack even when they found themselves with a sizeable lead.

With this man as the puppet-master of the Irish side, they have every chance of ruining England’s season and solidifying themselves as the best team that the northern hemisphere has to offer.

joe-schmidt

Players To Watch

Whether Ireland do collect silverware in this tournament or not, one can’t help but be impressed by the conveyer belt of talent that is being produced on this island. Each year, new players are coming through and adapting extremely well. One of these players is Garry Ringrose. After being thrown in at the deep end during the recent November internationals, the twenty-two year old flourished. Speed, strength and defensively sound, he is certainly one to watch.

CJ Stander is frightening. No, he’s not “technically” Irish, but his ability to carry the ball and pick up man of the match awards makes us want to throw a fáda on his name and burn his passport so he can never leave the country, ever.

Another man who could lead Ireland to Six Nations glory, is Robbie Henshaw. His performance against New Zealand in Chicago was nothing short of heroic. Not one to catch headlines like players such as Johnny Sexton, but still crucial if Ireland are serious about a third Six Nations in four years.

garry-ringrose

So What’s The Verdict?

What are Ireland’s chances? Well they have every chance in the world. Scotland up first in Murryfield, just reeks of a potential banana skin. But Joe Schmidt’s side seems to have far too much experience to be ambushed by a rising, but limited team. Already, many will have one eye on that England game.

What an amazing finish that would be to the tournament, should the number one spot still be up for grabs when those pesky Sweet Chariot chanters travel to the Aviva on match day five? Imagine the scene’s for a moment, a packed out stadium, Guinness flying from the taps, thousands of roaring lungs, signs of Paddy’s day still in the eyes of every man, woman and child and passions burning at an all time high battling our oldest rivals. That’s the dream people!

so-whats-the-verdict

The 2017 version of the Six Nations promises to be extremely exciting for the Irish. What a great start to the sporting year it would be, should Ireland do the business!

Side note: Why is it still called the ‘Six Nations’? Could they not think of something sexier than that? I mean, yeah we get it, there are six countries in this competition. Thanks for that, we couldn’t have figured that ourselves. Ugh.

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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