Wales v Ireland in Dublin
Venue: Aviv Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Both these two teams provided so much at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Who could forget Ireland’s performance against Australia at Eden park. I was there! Such passions from the players and supporters! It was fantastic.
And what about the Welsh efforts in all their games. A one point loss to South Africa. Not to mention the open and adventurous play of the Welsh backs.
Its seems so long ago. The question is can these two teams produce such rugby back in the Northern Hemisphere. There is the feeling we may just see a return to the boring northern play that surfaced at Murrayfield yesterday. I hope not.
Wales has had to contend with a string of injuries to key players, including Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Lloyd Burns, Luke Charteris and Alun-Wyn Jones. I see Priestland back in at fly half after an injury scare. With a number of new players Wales could well struggle to make a cohesive effort.
Ireland is without BOD. Ireland without Brian O’Driscoll is simply not the same team. But Declan Kidney has choosen almost the same side that did so well in New Zealand. Compared to Wales the Irish side should be cohesive.
Ireland should win this encounter.
Last Five Encounters
08.10.2011 Wales 22-10 in Wellington (World Cup, Quarter Final)
12.03.2011 Wales 19-13 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
13.03.2010 Ireland 27-12 in Dublin (6 Nations)
21.03.2009 Ireland 17-15 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
08.03.2008 Wales 16-12 in Dublin (6 Nations)
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Wales 5th, Ireland 6th
Europe Table-Wales 4th, Ireland 5th
IRB Ranking Points
Ireland 80.65, Wales 79.61
Prediction: Ireland by 4 points
|14||Tommy Bowe||Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales|
|5||Paul O'Connell (Capt.)||Munster|
|COACH: Declan Kidney|
|15||Leigh Halfpenny||Cardiff Blues|
|14||Alexander Cuthbert||Cardiff Blues|
|13||Jonathan Davies||Llanelly Scarlets|
|12||James Roberts||Cardiff Blues|
|11||George North||Llanelly Scarlets|
|10||Rhys Priestland||Llanelly Scarlets|
|9||Michael Phillips||Bayonne, France|
|8||Tobias Faletau||Newport Gwent Dragons|
|7||Samuel Warburton (Capt.)||Cardiff Blues|
|6||Ryan Jones||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|5||Ian Evans||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|4||Bradley Davies||Cardiff Blues|
|3||Adam Jones||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|2||Huw Bennett||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|1||Rhys Gill||Saracens, England|
|16||Kenneth Owens||Llanelly Scarlets|
|17||Paul James||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|18||Andrew Powell||Sales Sharks, England|
|19||Justin Tipuric||Neath Swansea Ospreys|
|20||Lloyd Williams||Cardiff Blues|
|21||James Hook||Perpignan, France|
|22||Scott Williams||Llanelly Scarlets|
|COACH: Warren Gatland|