Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Clinical Ireland the best team in Europe'

Six Nations media reaction to Ireland's 10-point victory over England at the weekend

Robbie Henshaw celebrates the only try of the game against England at Lansdowne Road.
Robbie Henshaw celebrates the only try of the game against England at Lansdowne Road.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

As Ireland continue their charge to retain their championship, we look at how other media outlets reacted to Joe Schmidt's side 10th successive victory.

France

"Ireland shows that it is currently the best European team"

Rugbyrama, when not discussing the home defeat to Wales in Paris, were fulsome in their praise for Ireland.

They believe the win is proof of Ireland's dominance in the Six Nations and single out Racing Metro out-half Johnny Sexton for special mention.

"Perfectly disciplined, dominant in the air, the Irish had the better backs in the game," they said before suggesting a World Cup tilt is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Wales

Wales Online is licking its lips at the prospect of a showdown between Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland in Cardiff.

The half-back combination of Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray is discussed in glowing terms.

"Hard to distinguish between Ireland’s dynamic duo at the moment as they make the case for being the finest half-back partnership in the world. Sexton scored 14 points in another No.10 masterclass before being forced off the field as a precaution because of a slight hamstring tweak. Murray can rightly be regarded now as the leading scrum-half in Europe."

They also go on to describe Robbie Henshaw as a "revelation" after an "incredible" performance against the red Rose.

The South Wales Argus is already looking forward to the match against Ireland after further away success in Paris.

"Warren Gatland's men are building momentum after Paris win" runs the headline for the potential Six Nations title decider.

Scotland

"Irish trample England"

The Scotsman went for a simple and to the point headline, which felt as much as a dig at Lancaster's side as praise for the victors.

They concentrate primarily on the dramatic loss to the Italians at home as they stare down the barrel of a wooden spoon following a third successive defeat in the competition.

The Herald Scotland too was taken by the performance at Dublin 4 yesterday, highlighting a "clinical" game plan and a "peerless" performance from the half-back pairing of Sexton and Murray.

"Ireland comprehensively out-thought and out-fought England at Lansdowne Road yesterday to stretch a record-equalling winning run to double figures."

"They did so on the back of a smart and simple, clean and clinical game plan executed to consistent effectiveness by the peerless half-back pairing of Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray. Robbie Henshaw scored the game's only try and once the Connacht centre had touched down, there was only going to be on winner. In fact for the vast majority of the 80 minutes, it looked as though the victors could only be Joe Schmidt's men in green."

Read more: 'Outclassed, ill-disciplined and imprecise' – English media react to chastening Ireland Six Nations defeat

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