Ireland grand slam the Six Nations

David Lord Columnist

186 Have your say

    Jacob Stockdale scores a decsive try in Ireland's victorious Six Nations campaign. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

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    Ireland’s three-test series against the Wallabies in June has taken on a new meaning for Michael Cheika.

    Overnight the men in green downed defending champions England 24-15 at Twickenham to claim their third Six Nations grand slam to match their efforts of 1948 and 2009.

    Both sides crossed for three tries, but England couldn’t land a goal in 80 minutes. Ireland converted all their tries and added a penalty after leading 21-5 at the break.

    In a bizarre situation former England centre Andy Farrell was Ireland’s defence coach charged with keeping his son Owen quiet as England’s fly-half and goal kicker. Dad was the obvious victor.

    Apart from not landing a goal it was a bad night for England, losing their first game in 14 at home on the Eddie Jones watch and their third game of the tournament.

    Jones’s impressive record now stands at 28 internationals for 24 wins – an 85.71 per cent success rate, after having slipped from 96 per cent pre-tournament.

    Ireland rugby union player Simon Zebo

    (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

    For the record, Italy has chalked up two more records with their 17th successive Six Nations loss to equal France’s record set 98 years ago, and their captain Sergio Parisse has become the first to play in 100 losing Tests.

    But all the rage belongs to Ireland, with June looming large.

    Two weeks ago Cheika flagged he would step down as coach if the Wallabies didn’t win next year’s Rugby World Cup.

    “We reached the final three years ago, and unless we improve to win the next one, I haven’t done my job, so I’ll step down,” he said.

    Seeing the All Blacks, Ireland and England outrank the Wallabies in the world pecking order, winning the coveted cup in Tokyo seems remote at this stage. But June will be the perfect litmus test, even though the 2019 RWC will be over a year away.

    Cheika

    (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

    Coached by Kiwi-born Joe Schmidt, Ireland has won its last 12 internationals and a third Six Nations in five years. Schmidt is so devoted to Irish rugby that he became an Irish citizen in 2015.

    Schmidt and Cheika have a lot in common, making June even more intriguing. They both keep looking for youth and depth in every position, but on current results the honours would have to go to Joe Schmidt, with 12 wins from their last 12 starts, while Cheika has won only six from his last 12.

    But in all fairness the Wallabies have played the All Blacks three times for a win and two losses, while Ireland hasn’t played the men in black at all. The Wallabies have beaten the Boks twice and the Pumas twice, while Ireland has beaten those two countries once each. And among Ireland’s victories are two over Japan and one each over the USA, Fiji, and Italy.

    So cold statistics often don’t tell the true story. But three tests in June certainly will.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (186)

    • March 18th 2018 @ 6:38am
      Carlos The Argie said | March 18th 2018 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      David,

      Weren’t you the one waxing lyrical about Eddie’s greatness and how this English side was so magnificent? Didn’t enough people warn you that he has these cycles and eventually bottoms out badly? That it was just a matter of time?

      Tick, tock!

      Riiiiiiing!

      • March 18th 2018 @ 7:30am
        Fionn said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        It’s going to be a bad time for Aus in June, Carlos…

        • March 18th 2018 @ 7:34am
          riddler said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:34am | ! Report

          be positive fionn.. i am predicting a 3-0 win to us!!

          • March 18th 2018 @ 7:42am
            Fionn said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

            Haha, I hope you’re right, mate! I’m going to a couple of the matches, so hopefully at least get some entertaining rugby

            • March 18th 2018 @ 8:13am
              riddler said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

              yeah i saw u said that somewhere… well done!

              am sure you will enjoy it…

          • Roar Guru

            March 18th 2018 @ 3:11pm
            Timbo (L) said | March 18th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

            Confident to put money on it?

      • Roar Guru

        March 18th 2018 @ 8:36am
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        So how did that “cycle” work when Eddie coached Japan? Did they peak before the WC?

        • March 18th 2018 @ 2:35pm
          Jacko said | March 18th 2018 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

          They didnt peak at all. Japan was hardly going to become a top ten rugby nation tho were they.They did manage to beat 1 tho

          • Roar Guru

            March 18th 2018 @ 2:44pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

            Well Jacko… Japan is currently ranked 11th in the world, with a very real chance breaking the top ten in June.

            • March 18th 2018 @ 4:56pm
              Jacko said | March 18th 2018 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

              Haha and who is their coach? Eddis hasnt coached them since 2015. I thought you would know that. England have a very real chance of being 6thor 7th come end of june also neutral.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 7:24pm
                Old Bugger said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

                Damn – you must be referring to the Highlanders previous coach Jacko…….ummm, Jamie Joseph??

            • Roar Rookie

              March 19th 2018 @ 9:30pm
              ChrisG said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

              How are they going to break into the top 10 when they only play Italy and Fiji have no games on the fixture list?

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2018 @ 9:40pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                Oh it is ranking-specialist ChrisG talking again…

                Was it too hard to use the link posted to you where you can calculate future rankings?

              • Roar Rookie

                March 20th 2018 @ 5:37pm
                ChrisG said | March 20th 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                Swede – thank you for referring to me as a specialist. I’ve never really considered myself to be special at anything, so thanks again.

                However I am confused by your statement on “The link posted to me.” My memory is that I sent you a link to the World Rugby rankings site. Looks like you didn’t use it!

              • Roar Guru

                March 20th 2018 @ 5:51pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 20th 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                You are welcome CG 😉

                It was you who posted a link to WR ranking site (like I had no idea about that the rankings can be found on World Rugby’s website). I posted a link to a “ranking calculator” where one easily can see how the future rankings could look like if team X beat team Y and so on. I post it again, so hopefully, you get it this time.

                https://rawling.github.io/wr-calc/

              • Roar Rookie

                March 21st 2018 @ 10:14am
                ChrisG said | March 21st 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                Thanks for that link – I hadn’t seen it before so was relying on some manual arithmetic to get me through. Still looks like you didn’t use it to calculate changes to Japan’s position though!

                If you allow for them beating Italy twice by big margins, they still remain 1.5 pts behind Fiji in 11th place overall. Using the same calculator, Ireland will need to beat Australia in all 3 games, and France will need to beat NZ in 2 games for Ireland to move to number 1 in the rankings. There’s a good chance on Ireland winning 3 however all the stars (and the refs) to align before France win twice – history is against them.

    • March 18th 2018 @ 6:55am
      Ben said | March 18th 2018 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      For a team that had ideas of being number 1 in the world its hilarious they finish 5th in the 6 nations only above Italy.
      Helluva bubble burst.
      ….and what were Eddies words?
      We only lost to the scummy irish but we got them at home this year so we’ll get that 1 back dont worry about that….

      • March 18th 2018 @ 8:11am
        Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Ha ha, and who are Wales he said, a country of three million. Three million!

        Well look up eddie, theyre the ones sitting three places higher on the table than your mugs.😀

        • March 18th 2018 @ 9:22pm
          HenryHoneyBalls said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

          Do you still think Wales Scotland and England are at the same level as Ireland at the moment Taylorman?

          Still no clue who Dan Leavy is?

          • March 19th 2018 @ 4:08am
            Taylorman said | March 19th 2018 @ 4:08am | ! Report

            Yeah pretty much, Ireland slightly ahead as I said. Not a lot separates them all.

            • March 19th 2018 @ 5:07am
              HenryHoneyBalls said | March 19th 2018 @ 5:07am | ! Report

              Bahahaha. 3 six nations in 5 years. England finish 5th and Ireland get a grand slam and there is nothing between them.

              Is that you Eddie Jones?

              • March 19th 2018 @ 5:51pm
                Taylorman said | March 19th 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                Iteland beat fifth place england by nine points. If thats what the difference is between first and fifth then yeah, throw a blanket over them. Ireand beat france by two. France also beat england. Wales beat Scotland by 27, and grance by one, and lost by six to england.

                Theres too much parity in the results to have one side ‘clearly’ better tgan the rest. Yes Ireland won theirs and that puts them ahead, but not as though they stand alone in front.

                Home game results explain that, as they did last year. Play this again with the venues reversed and Idont see Ireland getting the slam. Too many close matches.

              • March 19th 2018 @ 7:33pm
                HenryHoneyBalls said | March 19th 2018 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                Eh Ireland played England and France away. Back to back wins against them both. Do you watch the six nations?

    • March 18th 2018 @ 6:59am
      KiwiHaydn said | March 18th 2018 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      Ireland are the real deal, and the Wallabies are in trouble come June!

    • March 18th 2018 @ 7:11am
      Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Yes poor old oz get these sides when theyre at their best. Oh well gotta play the best to improve.

      Congrats Ireland a congrats kiwi coaches for the 6N quinella.

    • March 18th 2018 @ 7:19am
      Bring it on said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      It’ll be a monumental test series…

      If…

      Most of the Waratahs aren’t in the team

      But, we all know that will be the case, especially with the third test being in Sydney

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2018 @ 11:27am
        pformagg said | March 19th 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

        Considering the Tahs are world beaters as of yesterday, expect a full complement of tah players come June.

    • March 18th 2018 @ 7:33am
      Mzilikazi said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      Great to be Irish born this morning….very proud of a great team. And of a team that has wonderful talent across the board.

      But as an Australian now, though really looking forward to the June series, I do so with considerable apprehension.

      • March 18th 2018 @ 7:41am
        Fionn said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

        Haha you’ve captured my feelings also mate 😊. How good was that Stockdale try??

        Apparently Eddie has said that a number of players have played their last game for England..

        • March 18th 2018 @ 8:16am
          riddler said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

          heard that two.. on radio 5 live.. which players do u think fionn?

          • March 18th 2018 @ 8:28am
            Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

            All the tired ones?

          • March 18th 2018 @ 8:29am
            Fionn said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

            I really don’t know, hey. From what I’ve read in the media it seems like Mike Brown, Johnny May have Dan Cole have had most of the criticism in the English media – and I also don’t understand why Kruis was back in the starting side.

            Who do you think?

            • March 18th 2018 @ 8:43am
              riddler said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

              i think wigglesworth for one..

              cole probably although the scrum wasn’t too flash with sinkler..

              watson didn’t have a good one.. and has been dropped before by jones..

              joseph as well.. think teo is 13 not a 12.. also manu coming back soon..

              kruis is a strange one.. i am a big fan.. no frills, gets on with it, my style.. but since coming back from his injury pre-lions he hasn’t been the same..

              jones has been a bit caught out in not having contingency plans for a few positions.. ie 8 and 9, which has surprised me..

              the backrow balance is still not there..

              very similiar in a way to cheika is jones.. they may have been a bit blinkered/stubborn in a few positions.. like most people.. but at this level you need to be flexible..

              bod was saying after the game that ireland have had something like 30 players play this 6 nations.. which is amazing and superb.. he said his 2009 team had 24..

        • March 18th 2018 @ 10:55am
          Mzilikazi said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          “Apparently Eddie has said that a number of players have played their last game for England..”

          What a mean and vindictive person……so then why did he pick these players in the first place for this game….”Aw mate, I’ll give you one more chance, we are only playing the scummy Irish this week…easy game !”

        • March 19th 2018 @ 6:26am
          Custard Cream said | March 19th 2018 @ 6:26am | ! Report

          A lot of England fans were saying that changes were needed before the game against Scotland, but Eddie just kept picking the same team. Time for him to learn lessons.

      • March 18th 2018 @ 7:44am
        Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        Be interesting who sends what squads to oz and SA now. If either sends a dev side theyll be hammered and for Jones it will be as enbarrassing as the late 90s Woodward sides.

        Schmidt will want the same 3-0 that Jones got so cant see him belittling the tour either.

        Even France look a bit if a handful and are by a mile the best of them all when in NZ.

        • Roar Guru

          March 18th 2018 @ 8:34am
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:34am | ! Report

          How amazing that you think that Springboks or Wallabies are capable to hammer any Home Nation at the moment.

          And yeah, the AB’s might get tested against France in June. Ireland might be ahead of the AB’s in the World Rankings already in June 😉
          Probably to short time for the French to prepare, but around the WC next year, France will be ready to take another famous win over the AB’s.
          I guess according to your stats-bible, a new French win over the AB’s is long overdue also?

          • March 18th 2018 @ 8:53am
            Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

            Their second sides? Not amazing at all, in fact England look incapable of touring anywhere at the moment. With the clubs getting to the business end of the comps over the next two months Id be surprised if they will stay awake on the field. Easy win to SA in that one.

            Ireland have either won at home or against nobodys in their current run bar England, who have collapsed, and the scrape vs France.

            Oz are not looking pretty but Ireland dont tour well generally and will still find beating oz tough.

            Like I said we get this all the time. Before it was england will be no. 1…oh hang on change that its ireland now. Wish people would make their mind up about who the real contender is.

            Itoje was the equal of the AB locks. Oh no wait. Flopped yet again last night.

            • March 18th 2018 @ 9:06am
              Jumbo said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

              I don’t think I’ve seen rettalick, whitelock or even squire thrown around and held up every carry like itoje was last night. One hit wonder me thinks..

              • March 18th 2018 @ 9:11am
                Fionn said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

                I think it is a bit premature to call him a one hit wonder.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 9:57am
                Ben said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                Jeremy Guscott wrote an article where he reckons the Lions tour to NZ is now having an effect on the England players.
                If im not mistakn im sure i saw some Irish, Welsh and Scots players on that tour too…..

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:16am
                Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                Yes I know yet its the english that have the heavier club demands, how coincidental, yet its the Lions tour that seems to have affected only the english players. Hmmm

              • March 18th 2018 @ 11:50pm
                Kane said | March 18th 2018 @ 11:50pm | ! Report

                It’s unlikely as it would require Ireland going 3-0 and NZ 1-2 but it is possible

            • Roar Guru

              March 18th 2018 @ 9:30am
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

              Ireland has built excellent depth over the last couple of years (the real work started earlier than that). I think you are stuck in the old a bit, back in the day (not that long ago) Ireland had no depth, toured badly and was very inconsistent. Not so much anymore, which should be fairly obvious to anyone watching rugby regularly?

              England will get an injection from their second selection. They badly need new blood and let go of some old meat. I actually think the Springboks chances will look better if Hartley, Cole, Robshaw, Haskell, and Brown is on the plane down south.

              And who are you talking to? I have been pretty vocal about that Irish is a real threat to the AB’s number one position. And as said, maybe they will head for holidays in late June as new the No 1 😉
              These days, playing the NH teams (bar the AB’s) is the real thing in the rugby world. Have you ever sat down and actually read what all Saffas, Ozzies, and Argies here on the Roar write? Short Resume: worst teams ever coached by the worst coaches ever is the general consensus.

              Itoje is not as good this year as last year. We shall see how the AB locks fair later this season when they face Itoje again. Maybe they have learned something from the last time? Let us hope so, would be kind of embarrassing if “the greatest locking couple ever” got schooled again by a kid who apparently is the most overrated player in the world…

              • March 18th 2018 @ 9:42am
                Jumbo said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

                Learned something? Itoje is not behind a lions forward pack this year, he’s not a lock either. Didn’t school anyone, one or two good games against your idols don’t make you a legend yet im afraid..

              • March 18th 2018 @ 9:43am
                Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                Year in year out whitelock and retallick are consistently up there. You also put England up there as contenders as well so yeah you appear to be jumping on whatever bandwagon comes next.
                Itoje school retallick and whitelock?
                You do realise how funny that looks on paper dont you? He has already played several substandard tests, something our locks have never done.
                Find another player to compare, that one needs schooling himself.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:00am
                Ben said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                Itoje is still at school I think Taylorman….

              • Roar Guru

                March 18th 2018 @ 10:10am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

                We shall see how Sam And Brodie do later this year. Long season… who knows if they are even standing in when the real business gets sorted in November.

                I still rank England mate. They are a very real contender to win the World Cup. I don’t do bandwagon stuff (you should know by now).

                One thing is for sure, no NH player has ever done a bigger impression in NZ in a shorter time than Itoje. It is hilarious to follow how nervous he makes some Kiwis. It is like you all try to convince each other that Itoje is all hype, so you can feel good about yourself and the AB’s, despite that you all know deep inside that he is one of the best players in the world (bar the last couple of months). As said it is hilarious to follow this, but it is also very true to form. Any NH player that walks into the AB’s team will only get respect after they finish playing.
                And finally, it would be a good start if some NZ teams could beat some teams Itoje starts for, after that some of your attitude might have some merit.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:22am
                Jumbo said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                The rugby championship and bledisloe is the business end of the season, November tests like they’ve always been is a blooding young stock time of the year.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:24am
                Jumbo said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                I found most of the Englishmen i had the pleasure of watching the game with last night don’t rate itoje at all themselves. Ask the irish what they think, time to open the other eye..

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:26am
                Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

                Geez, you really do have no idea.

                And the business end is not november, for us its the june series and the RC. The end of year tours are a wind down to our season though since weve only lost two of these since 2002 from about 50 odd theyre not really up there as a priority, even if they are in your mind.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 19th 2018 @ 8:05pm
                ChrisG said | March 19th 2018 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

                “One thing is for sure, no NH player has ever done a bigger impression in NZ in a shorter time than Itoje.”

                You do the 1971 Lions an injustice. Barry John, Gareth Edwards, Willie John McBride among others all made a huge impression. I could provide numerous other examples of NH players who made big impressions on tour in NZ, however most of those occurred when NH countries sent their A team.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:56am
                bluesfan said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

                What’s amusing is that somehow everyone forgets just how good the AB’s actually are when they have a full strength team on deck.

                When you read some of the comments around the Lions – it’s like they dominated the AB’s and won handsomely – rather than the facts:

                1. In 180 minutes of game time – they only actually lead for something like 3 minutes.
                2. The game they actually won – they only took the lead in the last 3 minutes and that is after playing 15 against 14 for 60 odd minutes.
                3. Supposedly the Lions forwards dominated – I actually saw the AB scrum as dominant and it was evens in the Lineout.

                Look at an AB side where everyone is currently available – Dane Coles etc – what Irish and English players would actually walk into an AB 15 – especially considering how the AB’s play the game.

                Props – Remind me a time when Franks or Moody were bettered in the scrum?
                Locks – AWJ/Itoje – Whitelock/Retalick – are part of the engine room that won the WC in 2015 and have performed over a number of years not one like Itoje.

                Loose Forwards – Read/Squire/Cane vs. Maybe Vunipola – but I would pick Read.

                Half-back/10 – Smith vs. Murray – Smith is central to how the AB’s play with his pass, Murray is good – but what would he add to the AB’s? Farrell/Sexton vs. Barrett – Farrell’s limitations were on show last night and Sexton head to head vs Barrett – would reference the 2016 game in Dublin as an example of their comberable strengths.

                Centre/Wings/Outside backs – Daly maybe – but over any of the following – SBW, Ioane, Naholo, Ben Smith, NMS, Dagg, ALB, McKenzie?

                Again – there is a reason that the AB’s are currently No.1 and have being since 2011. Consider exactly how many games they have dropped since that 2011 final and that indicates exactly how strong they really are.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 2:53pm
                Jacko said | March 18th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

                And as said, maybe they will head for holidays in late June as new the No 1.

                As said by you and you alone.

                So this fantasy you have about Ireland being no 1 at the end of June…..How is that possible? The ABs are still over 6 pionts ahead of Ireland in the rankings.

                And Itole is now a has been. He needs to earn back the respect he had won in his 1 good year

              • March 18th 2018 @ 8:00pm
                Dave said | March 18th 2018 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

                Stick to Wendy ball – ‘Guru’ pffft

          • March 18th 2018 @ 10:06am
            Andy said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

            How amazing that you think the home nations are far superior right now, allblacks won alll there games on tour last year, and I’m sure South Africa will hold their own against England the allblacks will beat France and the wallabies will be competitive against Ireland

            • Roar Guru

              March 18th 2018 @ 10:15am
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              The Home Nations are clearly stronger than SH Test teams now.

              Look through results the post WC-2015 and it is fairly obvious. Amazing ha?

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:27am
                Jumbo said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

                We’ll see how they travel in june one view.

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:29am
                Andy said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

                How many games have the allblacks lost since the World Cup to northern hemisphere nations?

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:35am
                Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                Really? I get between the 6N and RC playing nations the NH are behind 24 wins and 25 losses. So no, theyre actually not.
                Sure you can remove Italy, but it aint as obvious as you are saying….. i see youre starting to get turned on again, something that tends to happen when you get carried away.

              • Roar Guru

                March 18th 2018 @ 10:40am
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                Bring googles T-man!!!! REALLY!!!!

                I write the Home Nations so that is what I am talking about. Is it so hard for you to see that?

                So again, how does the record looks like between the Home Nations and the four big SH teams looks like post-WC 2015?

              • March 18th 2018 @ 10:59am
                Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                Oh being selective are we, well we dont see Argie as one of the big SH 3 so we’ll exclude them. So its 15-12 to the NH. Big deal. Some dominance. And this is a selected period of THE worst SA and Iz teams at the same time, and THE best Scot, Irish and near best English sides.

                And for all that a gap of three wins.

                Wow! How extraordinary!

              • March 18th 2018 @ 3:00pm
                Jacko said | March 18th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                If the Home nations are far superior to the SH teams how come the combined best of the home nations only managed to draw a series against just 1 SH team? 4 home nations and a couple of french refs still only managed a draw…so superior

          • March 18th 2018 @ 11:02am
            Mzilikazi said | March 18th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            “How amazing that you think that Springboks or Wallabies are capable to hammer any Home Nation at the moment. ”

            NVFS, have you ever heard the saying “Never underestimate the wounded Springbok/Wallaby” Just remember it !

            “Probably to short time for the French to prepare, but around the WC next year, France will be ready to take another famous win over the AB’s.”

            One never ever underestimates any French team, but I would say “may/might’ instead of “will”….too much certainty in that statement for me.

            • Roar Guru

              March 18th 2018 @ 11:59am
              The Neutral View From Sweden said | March 18th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

              I never underestimate any wounded team or animal, and Wallys and Boks are very capable of one-off bolter performances, but those special days when Boks and Wallys hit the nerve are not that many anymore. And they usually need to be hammered a couple of times before they step up and bring their A-game.

              It would almost be predictable if France somehow manages to find their wind again against the AB’s. Why beat Wales or Japan when the win is handed on a plate when you can do the hardest challenge in the rugby world and beat the AB’s in NZ?

              • March 18th 2018 @ 3:03pm
                Jacko said | March 18th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                But you said Ireland would be no 1 in the world come the end of June. That would require the French to win all 3 tests and Ireland to win all 3. Ireland may win all 3 but please tell me when the ABs last lost 3 in a row against ANY opposition at home.

          • March 18th 2018 @ 1:54pm
            John said | March 18th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            I take the wink. But even if Ireland win 3 and NZ lose 3 (and that won’t happen) the points won’t be enough for them to get No 1.

            • March 18th 2018 @ 3:41pm
              Taylorman said | March 18th 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

              And even if they did take it tgey wouldnt have it for long. No one ever does.

            • March 18th 2018 @ 11:51pm
              Kane said | March 18th 2018 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

              If France win 2 and Ireland 3 Ireland go to the top.

              • Roar Guru

                March 19th 2018 @ 7:06pm
                Poth Ale said | March 19th 2018 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

                It isn’t going to happen.

                Ireland will be developing more players and France winning one test in NZ would be a miracle.

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