News | March 21st, 2015
The Paddy Wallace Blog – Who Will Win the Six Nations 2015?
While it would be wonderful for Ireland to have won another Grand Slam, it is sometimes good to have a reality check. The Irish team that won in 2009 was captained by Brian O’Driscoll and he would have made the difference on Saturday had he being playing.
Rugby has become a game of stats. Sport in the USA has always been analysed statistically, with baseball and Gridiron being discussed by supporters on the basis of batting averages and yardages gained, among other numerical things to talk about.
This is becoming more common in Rugby too. Ireland won a lot of the statistical battles during the match in the Millennium Stadium. In the second half, we had 75% of the possession, spent 76% of the time in the opponents half, and won 8 lineouts to Wales 7. Wales lost a scrum and we didn’t. It appeared that we gave away more penalties, but we didn’t. There are more stats to be found, mauls and rucks won and lost, passes made, Wales made 250 tackles to our 105.
But perhaps that shows the value of statistics. Wales won the match, and we didn’t. They made the line break for the try, and we were unable to take advantage of all that time parked in their half.
So it is Edinburgh at the weekend, and not only do we have to win, we have to score points, and that may mean a change in approach. We will know what the situation is with Wales, but England, who are marginally ahead don’t play until we have finished, but while the press have them beating France as a foregone conclusion I am not sure it will be that simple.
The Ireland players are experienced, they know what they have to do, they realise that they could have done better against Wales, so I expect them to come out with something to prove. I hope Ireland win the Championship, but no matter what, we are well set up for the World Cup in the Autumn and it is not too often that we have been able to say that.
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