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Ireland stand in way of England beating world record



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    Ireland's Johnny Sexton. (AFP PHOTO / IAN MACNICOL)

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    England are looking to win their 19th match in a row – a world record – when they face Ireland at the Aviva stadium, on Saturday, March 18th at 5pm.

    England share the current world record (18 victories) with New Zealand. Ironically, it was Ireland who ended New Zealand’s record, back in November fifth, 2016, in what was Ireland’s first win against New Zealand ever.

    A win would also give England their second, consecutive Grand Slam. They have already won the Six Nations championship, after beating Scotland, 61-21. The win left them with 18 points on the table, far more than their nearest rivals, Ireland (10).

    It was the second time in a row that England were awarded the trophy, with one match to spare, having done so in 2016.

    It was an amazing performance by England. They were facing a resurgent Scotland, who were themselves looking to win their first Triple Crown since 1990.

    It was not to be as England ran riot, scoring seven tries in all, including a hat-trick for centre Jonathan Joseph and a brace for replacement scrum-half, Danny Care.

    It was a nightmare game for Scotland, who were down to 14 men after two minutes, when their hooker, Brown, was sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle.

    They also lost four players to injury, including Stuart Hogg, who has consistently been one of their best players in the last few years. Scotland conceded 20 points in the first quarter of the match and never managed to get a grip on the game.

    The 61-21 scoreline was the biggest winning margin in the fixture, which dates back to 1871 and is the oldest rugby Test fixture in the world. It was also the greatest number of points England have scored against Scotland.

    It was the also the second highest number of points that England have scored against another of rugby’s giants, having beaten Wales, 62-5 in 2007.

    Ireland were hoping to also be going for the Grand Slam but this year’s tournament has been one of disappointment, with losses to both Scotland and Wales.


    Ireland were beaten by Scotland in the opening fixture and lost to Wales last Friday, by 22-9. Wales scored three tries in all, including two for their giant wing George North. It was North’s best game for his country in a long time.

    Ireland weren’t helped by the absence of their talismanic half-backs. Jonny Sexton was sin-binned in the first few minutes of the game, for committing a professional foul and Conor Murray went off injured after suffering an arm injury.

    Murray’s replacement, Kieran Marmiom, played very well when he came on, his snap pass really opens up the opposition defence but he didn’t have the same effect that Murray has had.

    The two half-backs are pivotal to Ireland’s chances of victory against England. Some pundits have talked of Ireland getting predictable and complacent (former coach Eddie O’Sullivan certainly thinks so) and there has been talk of Joe Schmidt changing the team.

    Rob Kearney played well against Wales but someone like Jared Payne would be an unknown threat. Likewise, Jamie Heaslip has been a great player for Ireland over the years but the other countries are wise to his style of play.

    A suggestion was bringing in CJ Stander at no.8, with Sean O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony on the flanks. That would certainly be a more dynamic back row. Not to say Heaslip won’t play well if selected.

    Another intriguing aspect of the game concerns the Farrell family, with out-half Owen Farrell being a pivotal member of the English team and his dad, Andy, is Ireland’s defence coach! It’s the first time the two have been on opposing sides in the championship, since Andy Farrell took on the job.

    As it stands, England go into the match as favourites. Ireland will need to pull out their best performance since beating New Zealand if they are to have any chance of winning.

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2017 @ 2:32am
      DECLAN MURPHY said | March 17th 2017 @ 2:32am | ! Report

      Ireland have made three changes, with Jared Payne replacing the injured Rob Kearney (knee) at full-back and Kieran Marmion in at scrum-half, replacing Conor Murray, who damaged his shoulder against the Welsh. The only change in the pack sees Iain Henderson replacing Devin Toner in the second row.

      Leinster’s Luke McGrath may make his 6 Nations debut off the bench, while Andrew Conway has yet to be capped.

      15. Jared Payne (Ulster) 19
      14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 58
      13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 7
      12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 28
      11. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) 32
      10. Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 65
      9. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 11

      1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 40
      2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt) 103
      3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 15
      4. Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster) 46
      5. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 31
      6. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 14
      7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 48
      8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) (vice-capt) 95


      16. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 3
      17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 66
      18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 5
      19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 46
      20. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 39
      21. Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster) 1
      22. Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 23
      23. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) *

      • March 17th 2017 @ 2:46am
        Hello Everybody. said | March 17th 2017 @ 2:46am | ! Report

        I think England will win but Ireland are capable of beating them.
        Ireland are a good side, top 5 for sure but they are a notch below England clearly. Eng have won 18 from their last 18 and Ire have won 9 from their last 18.

        P.S. Why on earth do you guys count backwards from 15 to 9 and then start at 1 and count upwards to 8. It seems so random.
        Is it easier and just as useful to count from 1 to 15?
        I dont get it and I must say it bugs me a bit.

    • Roar Guru

      March 17th 2017 @ 2:46am
      DECLAN MURPHY said | March 17th 2017 @ 2:46am | ! Report

      England have made 2 changes with Billy Vunipola coming in at no. 8 and Anthony Watson on the wing. Vunipola makes his first start of the 6 Nations this year, after putting in a strong performance off the bench against Scotland last week. Watson makes his first appearance for England since last year’s whitewash tour of Australia.

      15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 59 caps), 14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 25 caps), 13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 32 caps), 12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 51 caps), 11. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 12 caps), 10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 34 caps), 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 69 caps).
      1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 50 caps), 2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 83 caps), 3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 73 caps), 4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 41 caps), 5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 57 caps), 6. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 11 caps), 7. James Haskell (Wasps, 74 caps), 8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens 33 caps).
      16. Jamie George (Saracens, 16 caps), 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 41 caps), 18. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 7 caps), 19. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 49 caps), 20. Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 7 caps), 21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 70 caps), 22. Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors, 7 caps), 23. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps).

    • March 17th 2017 @ 4:36am
      Mike said | March 17th 2017 @ 4:36am | ! Report

      Yes its’s a positive step pairing Henderson and Ryan together. We won’t be much of a threat at lineout though. Just watched the 2011 vs England now that was a team! Ireland to win I think.

      • March 17th 2017 @ 10:00am
        adastra32 said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report


    • March 17th 2017 @ 5:10am
      Barham said | March 17th 2017 @ 5:10am | ! Report

      Funny thing – it’s only really England’s demolition of Scotland last week that has created this narrative that Ireland will have to play out of their skins to win. I doubt many England fans are anything like as confident of victory as is assumed. Ireland are very capable of winning, England are very capable of playing well and still losing.

    • March 17th 2017 @ 6:31am
      P2R2 said | March 17th 2017 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      If England win – WELL DONE and all NZers will say so, but GO the IRISH

    • March 17th 2017 @ 6:41am
      RT said | March 17th 2017 @ 6:41am | ! Report

      Go Ireland, please beat England, the Collingwood of world rugby.

      • March 17th 2017 @ 1:03pm
        Perthstayer said | March 17th 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

        RT – Hatred of England goes back way longer than a dislike of Collingwood.

        Dislike of England predates any other sporting rivalry across the globe. Dates back to empire, upper class launching most sports over there (which meant everywhere back in the day). Despite private schools and lords and ladies being minority participants nowadays it suits the narrative to persist with the theory.

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