The Northern Hemisphere Teams Hit Back!
Ireland triumph in New Zealand whilst a reenergised and resolute England overcome the Green and Golds.
New Zealand 12 v Ireland 23
Australia 17 v England 25
The Northern Hemisphere fights back. Across the continents wins for England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and France.
Shakespeare couldn’t have scripted a more compelling drama than the All-Blacks v Ireland clash in Dunedin.
“To be or not to be……concussed.” Whitelock out, Sexton in; eyebrows raised.
“A tale of two Farrells.”
Farrell the elder referenced chaos several times during his pre-game interview. Well, he got it, lots of it!
Across the Tasman Farrell the younger or more specifically his right boot took centre stage with laser like precision, and England shot to a 19-point lead.
For Dunedin ditto Auckland. Ireland started with passion, ball security and Porter barged over inside 3 minutes. The All Blacks, incidentally, playing 3 number 7s in the back row glanced furtively at each other. The tsunami continued,7 became 10 and Ireland built heaps of pressure, then……...
England brutalised in the press and social media began like men possessed! Lots of boxes ticked; attitude, energy, set piece, a smart line-out move starts up the scoreboard. The Wallabies have the look of the All-Blacks.
If you measure performance across, technical, tactical, physical, and mental, then England scored heavily.
No further tries ensued and that remains a concern. Farrells laser boot cannot camouflage poor phase play and unproductive attack. He is the wrong fit for Smith? As a respected colleague suggested to me, Smith is tactically ill-disciplined. Farrell lacks quickness and hard running.
Back in Dunedin, the house of pain, became painful when Angus Ta’avao was shown red. Surely Ireland will thrive on his absence.
Here’s the deal Ireland…...” when your opponents are reduced to 14 men you must maintain your own discipline and build pressure,
A yellow for Ireland and Barrett scores under the posts. 7-10 at the break, a poor return for Irelands pressure.
Australia got the fillip they needed when Tupou barged over Smith and Farrell to score on the cusp of half time. Coach Rennie may have made some last second changes to his half-time address.