Thursday 19 April 2018

Eleven from heaven? Joe Schmidt's Ireland can set a new record against Scotland this weekend

Jonathan Sexton, left, and Simon Zebo of Ireland celebrate after beating England last year to start the run
Jonathan Sexton, left, and Simon Zebo of Ireland celebrate after beating England last year to start the run

Des Berry

You have to travel back in time to the season of 2002-2003 to locate Ireland's previous record-run of ten straight wins.

It stirred the interest of a nation as Ireland made their way to a Grand Slam decider in which the future World Cup winners England put them firmly in their place (42-6) at Lansdowne.

Ireland equalled this consistency by making it ten straight against Wales. All they have to do is get the upper-hand on rejuvenated Scotland to become record-breakers. Below is the winning run to this point.  

1 March 18, 2017: IRELAND 13 England 9, Aviva Stadium

England came hunting back-to-back Slams, a feat not achieved since France in 1997 and 1998, before Ireland trampled all over their aspirations. 

2 June 10, 2017: US 19, IRELAND 55, New Jersey 

Keith Earls stole the show by scoring two tries and making three others as James Ryan, Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Porter all debuted.  

3 June 17, 2017: Japan 22 IRELAND 50, Shizuoka

Earls broke Denis Hickie's record for the most tries in an international season with his eighth and ninth.

4 June 24 2017: Japan 13 IRELAND 35, Tokyo

Leinster lock Devin Toner achieved his 50th cap on the same day John Cooney would make his debut from the bench in the match that would lead to Garry Ringrose's shoulder operation.

5 November 11, 2017: IRELAND 38 South Africa 3

Bundee Aki made his debut and a late flourish of tries from Rhys Ruddock, Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale completed the  feelgood factor.  

6 November 18, 2017: IRELAND 23 Fiji 20

It took two penalties from Ian Keatley to seal an uncomfortable deal with a largely second-string side.

7 November 25 2017: IRELAND 28 Argentina 19

The set-piece domination, led by Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson, was the real takeaway, with Stockdale again impressing in attack.   

8 February 3, 2018: France 13 IRELAND 15

The start of the Six Nations campaign all came down to those 41 phases and what will go down as the standout moment in Johnny Sexton's illustrious career.

9 February 10, 2018: IRELAND 56 Italy 19

The build-up of the points difference, just in case it would become as critical as it was in 2014 and 2015, was marred by  Robbie Henshaw’s injury.    

10 February 24, 2018: IRELAND 37 Wales 27

Andrew Porter confirmed his meteoric rise as Ireland later lost man-of-the-match Chris Farrell, leaving Ringrose to prepare for his first international since Japan.   

Herald Sport

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