Rugby My awesome sister says this plugin is helpful!
How should rugby be played? The answer depends in what part of the world or what part of the country you are reading this. But should it?
Should we Irish continue to subject ourselves to one-out jamming a million times a match as limbs are crushed and torn. Should we continue to ignore wonderful assets out on the wings or, indeed, should we not have more ambition in how our backrow contribute when all the ball?
To answer, I wonder where you were on Sunday morning? Were you witnessing how rugby can and should be played; not by the All Blacks but by the rest of the world as represented by the Japanese in a display that was so close to perfect total rugby that Johan Cruyff himself could but admire.
Thankfully, world rugby caters for all shapes, sizes and game plans and for the first time this tournament we saw an Irish game plan executed with a bonus. When is a red card a bonus? When it’s produced after a half an hour as Ireland are 21 points up to a hapless Samoa. Only then did the Irish players have to stand up, think, adjust, take charge and power on.
Joe Schmidt was high in the stands and although messages would come on, the players would have to at least get to half-time before the boss could redirect where necessary. The question was; could they or would they?
The answer is yes and no. So much of the opening went perfectly to plan; that opening penalty kick to touch by Johnny Sexton which stole every possible inch off the pitch before an Irish lineout maul, whose variant I hadn’t seen before, tricked Samoan forwards before slipping in around the front without a glove being placed. Brilliant, but all too easy and not game management ideal for this coming weekend.
During this period of dominance certain Ireland players stepped up. Sexton obviously, but Jordan Larmour too, where his style of running, shifting forward, challenging weak shoulders, placin
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