Sunday, February 5, 2012


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




15   Rob Kearney  Leinster
14   Tommy Bowe  Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales
13   Fergus McFadden  Leinster
12   Gordon D'Arcy  Leinster
11   Andrew Trimble  Ulster
10   Jonathan Sexton  Leinster
9   Conor Murray  Munster
8   James Heaslip  Leinster
7   Sean O'Brien  Leinster
6   Stephen Ferris  Ulster
5   Paul O'Connell (Capt.) Munster
4   Donncha O'Callaghan  Munster
3   Michael Ross  Leinster
2   Rory Best  Ulster
1   Cian Healy  Leinster
16   Sean Cronin  Leinster
17   Thomas Court Ulster
18   Donnacha Ryan  Munster
19   Peter O'Mahony  Munster
20   Eoin Reddan  Leinster
21   Ronan O'Gara  Munster
22   David Kearney  Leinster
    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


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