Thursday 19 April 2018

'They played low-risk rugby' - Shane Horgan explains why Ireland can overcome England and Wales

England and Wales was a tough encounter and players need more than a week to recover from such games
England and Wales was a tough encounter and players need more than a week to recover from such games

Aaron Gallagher

Elliot Daly’s 75th minute try swung a tumultuous game against Wales in England’s favour on Saturday evening.

It could prove priceless now that pre-tournament odds have tipped Eddie Jones’ side as immovable favourites for a Grand Slam and Triple Crown in this year’s Six Nations.

Whereas Ireland’s 63-10 bonus point demolition of Italy was nothing but a straightforward affair, Dylan Hartley’s side had to leave it late to maintain their position at the head of the table.

Their pre-tournament form of fourteen consecutive victories has been bolstered by two wins from two from the opening set of weekends, meaning they welcome both Italy and Scotland to Twickenham with maintained confidence and little fear in their ranks.

Former Ireland wing Shane Horgan, speaking on RTE after yesterday's game, said England were lacking in creative outlets in their conservative approach to yesterday’s game in Cardiff, with Wales in the lead and in control with just minutes remaining.

From an Irish perspective, Horgan thinks that the battle in Cardiff showed Joe Schmidt areas where Ireland can exploit both England and Wales.

“I think in that game they were relentless and they were passionate. There was great excitement, there wasn’t much innovation. There wasn’t much innovation or ingenuity,” he said.

“They played low-risk rugby and I don’t think watching that from Joe Schmidt’s perspective, that if we match either of these team’s physically we've got a good chance of beating them. I don’t think they brought a whole lot of sophistication to their game today and neither did Wales.”

He added that the side could be exploited when England visit the Aviva Stadium the day after St. Patrick’s Day, with both Billy Vunipola's absence and Nathan Hughes underperforming a worrying thought for head coach Jones.

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