posted on Oct, 17 2019 @ 08:08 PM
On Saturday evening in Japan, Ireland will face probably the most dominant sports team, of any code, of all time. As an Irish supporter I have great
trepidation about facing New Zealand as we have an abysmal record over the last 100 odd years of the sport. But lately in the last couple of years, we
have succeeded in defeating them. New Zealand have walked through their group, taking the scalps of second favorites South Africa en route. They have
a formidable team on paper. Ireland only came second in their group having suffered a defeat versus hosts Japan. Ireland have also suffered an injury
to their reserve hooker and also lost Bundee Aki their starting 12 to a high shot suspension. Despite all of this I feel there are avenues where
Ireland can have some joy.
Firstly, New Zealand's back row, despite being superb, is a little bit small. It means that New Zealand only have two jumpers in the Lineout and I
feel Ireland who have three great jumpers can attempt to nick ball defensively. Secondly, Ritchie Mo'unga is not a big defender. The number 10 is a
classy footballer and has steered the Crusaders to two championships lately but if Ireland can put big boys down his channel we can makee the All
Blacks retreat and give away penalties at the breakdown. Thirdly, the winger Sevu Reece for the ABs, despite being brilliant with the ball in hand,
cannot kick and I feel Ireland should rain bombs down on top of him. Fourthly, the weather forecast is bad I am hearing which will make it much harder
for New Zealand to play their natural attacking game and it will suit Johnny Sexton more than Mo'unga or Barrett. And finally, Tadgh Furlong is a
beast and will make life hell for the All Black front row.
Embedded here is a link to the starting teams. I just wanted to see if there are any rugby fans here and what chance you give Ireland?