Friday 9 March 2007

Scotland vs Ireland preview


Ireland
1 Marcus Horan
2 Rory Best
3 John Hayes
4 Donnacha O'Callaghan
5 Paul O'Connell
6 Simon Easterby
7 David Wallace
8 Denis Leamy
9 Peter Stringer
10 Ronan O'Gara
11 Denis Hickie
12 Gordon D'Arcy
13 Brian O'Driscoll
14 Shane Horgan
15 Girvan Dempsey



Scotland
1 Gavin Kerr
2 Dougie Hall
3 Euan Murray
4 Nathan Hines
5 Scott Murray
6 Simon Taylor
7 Kelly Brown
8 David Callum
9 Chris Cusiter
10 Dan Parks
11 Chris Paterson
12 Rob Dewey
13 Marcus Di Rollo
14 Sean Lamont
15 Hugo Southwell

Given the respective teams current form I'm inclined to just simply say Ireland are gonna run away with this game but I'm not sure. Granted the Scottish pack is a mess but the return of Parks at out-half will settle the team as a whole I feel. With Parks kicking for position and just generally mastering the Scottish attack this team could be a very different beast from the one that capitulated so spectacularly against Italy. Murrayfield itself with no doubt play its part as well, the stadium has become a sort of fortress for the team in recent years, that one glaring blip against Italy excluded. Typically shitty Scottish weather could really throw a spanner in Ireland's explosive backline's capability and break the game down into a battle of the packs. But as far as the Irish backs being far superior to their Scottish counterparts, the forward comparison is even more stark. Taylor, Murray and Hines are the only established faces in an otherwise average pack that was bulied around its home field by the Italians. Sure they'll be fired up to make up for the embarrassment of two weeks ago but the Scottish pack has nothing for the Irish to fear. The same can be said of the Scots' backline. There is no shortage of pace or power in players like Lamont and Dewey as well as a solid goalkicker in Chris Paterson but the Scots lack a real playmaker and are going to struggle to break the Irish gainline. Unless a monsoon hits Edinburgh before tomorrow or the Irish simply decide to lose the game on their own accord, tomorrow shoul be a comfortable win for Ireland unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong.

1 comment:

David said...

It seems Marcus Horan has gotten himself injured. He's been replaced by Simon Best. Its unlucky for horan but i actually feel this isn't the worst event, as Best has hardly had a chance with Ireland yet and it will be good for him to get some game time. Horan needs to get himself fit for the italian game though.

In other news, check out the new blog that barrie and i have made: flagrance.blogspot.com