Forum for the discussion of all International Rugby
- nelly the elephant
- Isa Nacewa
- Posts: 2195
- Joined: April 13th, 2008, 4:29 pm
- Location: Gleann Fhaidhle, Contae Cill Mhantáin
+1CiaranIrl wrote:Excellent post, and I think you're very much on the money there.dropkick wrote:Well I think its only fair to judge this team against teams in recent history, around the time when the game went professional. For all we know there could have been fantastic teams in the past who have been forgotten about.
Anyway, of the professional era, the squad of players is definitely the strongest and the team is as good as previous teams. The difference between this and previous teams is this is mostly a very young side that will improve further. Thats the exciting thing about it.
One big difference between this side and previous generations is the current side have no baggage. Previous generations carried a load of baggage and that held them back IMO. Whenever Ireland were playing France all the talk would be about Ireland hadn't won in Paris in so many decades and the French players would be hyped up into god like players. The Irish players really lacked belief, even up until recently.
In 6 nations history Ireland are second to England in terms of games won but its more interesting to compare Ireland to Wales. Ireland have won 11 games more thn Wales and Irelands points difference is +671 compared to Wales' +225. That reflects the provinces dominance over the regions yet Wales have won more 6 nations titles than us plus they've won 3 grand slams in that time compared to Irelands 2 grand slams. The Welsh have won more 6 nations titles because they believed in themselves whereas Ireland's lack of belief resulted in things like the last minute Clerc try in Croke park, being camped on the Welsh line and not getting over, the All blacks last min try in 2013 etc. That mental baggage is like a horse carrying extra weight in the big races.
So its refreshing to see todays team of young players go out and look comfortable in the big games. They have grown up looking at Ireland and the provinces winning things thanks to the golden generation of players who changed the culture of the team. They now have a grand slam in their locker and I think the Sexton drop goal against France was massive in terms of the belief it gave the players, just like the win over NZ was.
We all dream of a team of Sean O'Briens......