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Tag: Wales Six Nations

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Is the balance of power in the Guinness Six Nations changing?

We have reached the halfway mark in the Guinness Six Nations. Some will find that everything will go downhill from this point on, while others will find it difficult to record one or two victories and earn credibility. Rugby fans worldwide are called to book Six Nations 2024 tickets from our online platform ticketing. co. Rugby fans can book Ireland Six Nations Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

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Six of the nine games played by “The Probables” (England, France, and Ireland) have ended in victories, with their lone defeat coming on Saturday at Murrayfield to one of the “Possibles.” Because of the outcome of that game, Scotland appears to be the most likely team to advance from “The Possibles” and challenge for the championship.

The Odds: Ireland [3-0], coming back from the World Cup victorious!

Ireland’s performance and position in the field

Ireland has followed the plan and recovered from their World Cup setback. In the first two rounds of the 2024 competition, the guys in green have hardly missed a beat. Many of their KPIs have remained the same or have even improved: Elevated mean duration of possession.

Increased by two minutes from 20.5 to 22.5 minutes each game in 2023 and 5% from 52.5% to 57.7% in the first three rounds of 2024 in terms of possession percentage. Ireland has a five-try average so far in 2024, compared to four in 2023. If you give them enough, they will hurt you. Reduce the number of tackles. Because the opponent has less time with the ball in hand, defense is made easier.

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Ireland is 60 down than Italy

Ireland is 60 less than Italy at the bottom of the rankings with an average of just 152 tackles per game [212]. It’s similar to keeping a skilled snooker player away from the green baize; the fewer opportunities they have, the more likely they are to seize them. Increased domination in the last quarter. In 2023, Ireland’s point differential in the final 20 minutes was 50-10; a year later, it is currently 40-0.

Their lineout has been a rock since the World Cup, with a 92.5% retention rate giving them a deadly platform for 13 of their 15 tries thus far. That is the only true warning: discipline. In all three games, Ireland has been on the receiving end of the penalty count, with a total of 29 goals given and 37 given up. With six penalties given up, loosehead prop Andrew Porter has been the main target of referee ire. Rugby fans can book England vs Ireland Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

Captain Tadhg Beirne’s role in success

The standout new lineout captain Tadhg Beirne has been instrumental in the team’s success. He has had an incredible all-around performance, logging 22 carries with four clean breaks and two tries, 10 lineout takes with two steals each at lineout and breakdown, and the formidable James Lowe, whose 33 carries for 265 meters and seven clean breaks sit neatly alongside his real difference: the longest kicking game in the tournament from the left wing [27 kicks for 1226 meters].

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The Likelihood – France [1-1-1] collapsing?

Les Bleus is one of two teams that failed to live up to the great expectations they set for themselves in the same competition in 2022 and 2023. There is some indication of a decline in try-scoring ability outside of set-piece as well as in the lineout. France usually kicks the ball away more than thirty times every game, hence their possession ratio is always poor, hovering around 45%.

To set up their deadly kick-returners Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos, and, until the end of 2023, all-world scrum-half Antoine Dupont from the back. They aim to win the lengthy kicking duels between the 22s. Due to a reduced ability to counter in “unstructured” circumstances outside of set pieces, the Dupont-less difference is evident.

Tricolores scored a staggering 57%

In 2023, the Tricolores scored a staggering 57% of their tries [12 of 21] when the Toulousain nine was in play, or 2.4 “unstructured” tries per game. Only one of five tries from turnover counters or kick returns [0.33%] has been scored by them in 2024 without him. Random aggressive contractions. In just one year, offloads have decreased from one out of every twelve carries in 2023 to one out of every fourteen.

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Additionally, dominant gain-line carries have decreased by 11%, and in just one year, France’s try-scoring potential has fallen from almost four tries per game to just 1.25. In the third round, Les Bleus only managed an embarrassing 0 points on each visit to Italy 22. Is it possible that the impact of a lone player is all that matters?

Talismanic Stars Missing

Two “talismanic” players are missing, which highlights a break in continuity between club and country. Yoram Moefana, a centre, was initially chosen on the left wing against Ireland instead of Louis Bielle-Biarrey. After just one game against Scotland, the absurdly gifted 20-year-old already had three clean breaks and a game-winning try to his name. However, an injury kept him out of the third-round match against the Azzurri.

Before suffering a terrible injury at Murrayfield, No. 8 Greg Alldritt had demonstrated that he was on the verge of getting back to his best with 21 carries, five tackle busts, 27 tackles, and three breakdown pilfers. The coaching staff must quickly win back the support of the French rugby community, and Fabien Galthié’s willingness to attack will be a crucial factor in his selection for the final two tournament stages.

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The Odds: England [2-1], staying the same or stagnating?

With eight wins in his last ten games, Steve Borthwick has a strong record. It has given him valuable time to simplify the attack and restructure England’s defence under former Springbok coach Felix Jones. With England’s two toughest games [away in Paris and at home against Ireland] still to come, the key question is: is this a false position?

One of the primary areas of focus has been defence, especially since world champion Jones arrived to instil the Springbok brand of blitzing mayhem. The signals are looking good thus far. The 2023 tackle completion percentage of 76% has increased marginally to 79.5%, but the average number of tries allowed per game from the previous season has decreased to 2.7.

Jones’ charges boast the lowest ratio of the lightning-quick ball [1-3 second ruck ball] surrendered to their opponents at 38%, despite only having seven breakdowns pilfers in three rounds of play. That metric will be a crucial weapon against the Irish. Since England is currently focusing most of its time and energy on the other side of the ball, the offense appears to be stagnating.

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A year later, 2023’s twenty minutes of active time-in-possession had dropped to 18.5, while the average number of rucks set every game had decreased to 82 from 96 in 2023.

Steve Borthwick Resolving Big Issues

Steve Borthwick now sees the “big issue” as coming from the greater focus on defence. Borthwick must decide with Marcus Smith expected to return from injury, Henry Slade back at 13, and promising new blood like Tommy Freeman of Northampton transfused successfully [five dominant tackles, most run metres [167m] and offloads [3], second in clean breaks [3] by an English back].

Given how much time and energy defense takes up, how can he provide an offensive punch? With his class-leading 42 carries and 12 tackle busts, how can he utilize young rockets like Freeman, Smith, and Ben Earl to their full potential? It will be interesting to see how all-conquering Ireland visits.

What Ifs: Will Scotland [2-1] be kicking themselves in the end?

Scotland will be disappointed that they were unable to easily defeat France in the second round. With a perfect 3-0 record, the Scots would have been well-positioned to take on Ireland in the championship’s penultimate round. Gregor Townsend and his staff might be kicking themselves for overcommitting to the game and ignoring the strengths he has instilled in his team when they see the raw numbers.

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Bloat in the match of kicks! With a 15/15, Finn Russell leads the standings as a goalkicker. In 2023, the Scottish half-backs, Russell and Ben White, averaged 26 kicks for 826 meters a game. A year later, they kicked a whopping 39 for 1226 meters, making the real question of why the game has grown so much in that time.

Scotland looked even better at Murrayfield when they made their first sub-1000 meter drop versus England. The emphasis on the kicking game up until the third round effectively neutralized the threat posed by gigantic wing Duhan van Der Merwe, who scored one of the most memorable long-range kick return tries at Twickenham in 2023.

The hat trick improves a lot

After two rounds in 2024, the naturalized South African had significantly less remarkable stats: eight carries for 62 meters with one break and 1.5 tackle busts each game, compared to the previous year’s average of 10 carries for 96 meters with 1.6 breaks and 7.0 tackle-busts per game. The hat trick versus England helped to improve those numbers a little bit, as it increased the number of carries to seven for 78 meters, with 1.3 breaks and 3.0 tackle busts per contest.

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Although the ball is in play for extended periods, Scotland’s kicking game means that they receive a smaller portion of that “active time”—18.5 minutes of 39 total ball-in-play [47.4%] compared to Ireland’s 22.5 minutes from 39 [57.7%], a difference of four minutes. Townsend will be worried as well because his team is now behind 29-3 in the last quarter of games.

Is that statistic indicative of a physical or mental weakness? Is Scotland suffering more from the kicking game than their opponents? Whatever the case, the Scotland head coach will aim to introduce back-three players Van Der Merwe, Blair Kinghorn, and recent addition Kyle Rowe with the ball in hand. Rowe has 146 meters of running, three breaks, and nine tackle busts.

Wales [0–3]: The Possibles, at last making a turnaround?

Despite losing their first three games, Warren Gatland’s second stint as national coach has seen some excellent performances and a change in strategy from Wales. There are signs of hope in all three games, and in the third round in Dublin, Wales provided the strongest resistance to Ireland’s unrelenting push on the Grand Slam.

In 2024, Wales saw one of the biggest statistical turnarounds of any country. One year later, 20.7 minutes of active possession time and 52% overall possession have increased from 18.7 minutes of possession total and 49% overall possession in 2023.

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In the latter five halves of their match against Scotland, Wales has abruptly changed from being a team of kickers and kick-chasers to a team of ball-keepers and ruck-builders: a rise from 92 rucks at 95% retention rate in 2023 to 109 average rucks created at a 99% retention rate.

Men in red

For the men in red, it’s an amazing leap of faith compared to the prior Gatland game plan. The set-piece is still problematic; against Ireland, the starting front row moaned and creaked, and the lineout is currently running at a pitiful 79% retention rate. Wales has never once attempted an attack after the fifth phase, demonstrating a lack of cohesiveness that prevents them from becoming a serious multi-phase danger.

However, because of their exceptional breakdown management, they have a fighting chance against all opponents. Their penalty count is 35–20, which is a clear indication of their superior breakdown control. It is no coincidence that both of Wales’ outstanding players start in the back row: Openside Tommy Reffell has increased his offensive output [25 carries, two clean breaks, and five tackle busts] to go along with his tournament-high seven breakdown pilfers.

Gatland has finally found a natural, worthy successor to Taulupe Faletau at No. 8 in Aaron Wainwright [38 carries for 149m with seven tackle-busts, plus 15 lineout takes in three highly-energised 80-minute performances].

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The Possibilities: Italy [0-2-1], and fresh buds?

It’s still difficult to predict that the Azzurri will experience a notable improvement in their performance soon. They gained momentum in the first round of 2024, going from a 31-14 loss at Twickenham in 2023 to a close 24-27 loss. However, they lost steam in the second round, going from a hard-fought 20-34 loss to Ireland in 2023 to a 36-0 rout against the same opponents.

A red card to centre Jonathan Danty in the third round against France gave them a chance to win at the last second, but the game ended in a 13–13 stalemate. Under Gonzalo Quesada, the Azzurri are attempting to play a more controlled, tighter style of football, but in the process, Kieran Crowley, their offensive potential, is being lost.

Attacking statistics

The attacking statistics are difficult to read. The percentage of active time in possession decreased from 19 minutes in 2023 (or 50%) to just 16 minutes in 2024 (or 43%). A year later, the average number of rucks per game has dropped from ninety-six in 2023 (with a 60% lightning-quick ball ratio, close behind Ireland) to 72. By 2023, there will only be 3.7 clean breaks per game, down from 5.8 in 2023.

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Consequently, despite playing one half against 14 men, the Azzurri were trapped to the defence and averaged 212 tackles per game in 2024. Michele Lamaro, a flanker, and Monty Ioane, a stalwart wing, both have shown signs of life recently. Lamaro leads the class in tackles (55), and he has five dominant hits.

However, Quesada’s ability to replace the obvious attacking drop-off from the Crowley era is still unknown. The concern is that given the way they lost their last-minute opportunity against the French; Italy’s best chance of winning might have already gone.

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Six Nations team of the week: Which stars starred in 3rd round?

Ireland has made significant progress toward winning back-to-back grand slam titles as the middle weekend of this year’s Six Nations draws to a close. Rugby fans worldwide are called to book Six Nations 2024 tickets from our online platform ticketing. co. Rugby fans can book Ireland Six Nations Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

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Even though they weren’t playing at their best, Andy Farrell’s team in Dublin still had too much for a brave Wales to win three straight games. Following Scotland’s upset of England, the reigning champions maintained their perfect record with a convincing victory at Murrayfield, extending their hold on the Calcutta Cup.

Though 14-man France managed to hold on for a draw in Lille, Italy turned in the performance of the round, coming dangerously close to pulling off what may have been the biggest upset in tournament history.

1 Giacomo Nicotera: Italy

With his promotion to the starting lineup, Nicotera showed great response by being a busy and physical defender who could score points and provide a threat for breakdowns. Also making an impression off the bench was substitute Gianmarco Lucchesi.

2 Andrew Porter: Ireland

A few of the customary complaints over Porter’s scrummaging’s legality were voiced, but referee Andrea Piardi was pleased as the Irishman was superior to Keiron Assiratti. A jackal turnover was created by the prop, who was occupied with restocking rucks on both sides of the ball.

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Ireland Vs England

One of the most intense and well-known rivalries in rugby history exists between Ireland and England. Since they first faced off on the rugby field in the late 19th century, the two countries have been embroiled in a rivalry marked by fierce competitiveness and passionate encounters. Over the years, both teams have enjoyed winning runs, and thrilling moments and near misses have often decided games.

The rivalry between Ireland and England has significance beyond sports and into history and culture because of how complex their connection is. Rugby fans from around the globe anxiously anticipate and watch the games between these two nations, which typically draw large crowds.

Whether they are played on the hallowed fields of Twickenham or in the thrilling atmosphere of Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, rugby matches between Ireland and England continue to embody the best of the sport’s rivalry. Rugby fans can book England vs Ireland Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.

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3 Uini Atonio: France

France was utterly dominant after forty minutes, and they seized their chances in Lille’s first half. The super-sized tighthead side of the French scrum always appeared to be a threat to Danilo Fischetti, and Atonio was a major contributor to that dominance. He can carry the ball well from a variety of launch positions. Dan Cole of England had a strong performance at Murrayfield and deserves recognition.

4 Scott Cummings: Scotland

Scotland won the battle in the pack’s back five thanks to one of Cummings’ greatest performances while wearing a Scotland shirt.

5 Tadhg Beirne: Ireland

Although his giving up a penalty try and receiving a yellow card for it is clear blots on his record. Beirne had very few other mistakes as he ended with style with a well-executed try. His collaboration with Joe McCarthy is working out quite well.

6 Michele Lamaro: Italy

Lamaro, who has been playing his best offence in a while, deserves to be selected despite being his typical hardworking self on defence. For a team that was understandably unhappy to merely draw, Italy’s defensive composure and calmness in the first half was a bright indication.

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7 Aaron Wainwright: Wales

Wainwright switches from the eight to the blindside, where he naturally feels very at ease. The back row of the Dragons is having a great tournament thus far and is taking the lead in a Welsh team that is working hard to advance.

8 Jamison Gibson-Park: Ireland

Ireland’s aggressive play is greatly reliant on Gibson-Park’s deft silver serving. The scrum-half completed 103 passes in round three, which was fifty more than any other player, and every single one of those passes appeared to be zipped exactly to a man in motion.

9 Finn Russell: Scotland

Russell will undoubtedly have more spectacular performances but don’t discount his contribution to Scotland’s fourth consecutive Calcuta Cup victory. The fly-half, who is in a goal-kicking groove, accomplished most of the little things well at Murrayfield. Allowing his team to take advantage of mistakes made by the English. Russell’s kick for Duhan van der Merwe’s third try was a classic example of his ability to see the opening and execute it well.

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10 Duhan van der Merwe: Scotland

an unusual natural phenomenon. Men the size of Van der Merwe shouldn’t be able to travel at such an absurd speed. Although none of his three tries came close to matching the incredible solo score he scored at Twickenham a year ago. He still poses a serious threat. At times, Van der Merwe dealt well with England’s high hoists when they attempted to attack him from the air.

11 Bundee Aki: Ireland

Maori rugby player Bundee Aki is renowned for his strong runs, strong defence, and superb ball-handling abilities. He was born in New Zealand and rose to fame while playing Super Rugby with the Chiefs. In 2017, he joined Connacht Rugby in Ireland. In 2017, Aki made his Ireland debut.

Aki became a well-known character in international rugby because of his journey. It is a testament to his skill, determination, and flexibility. Another week, another elegant Aki performance interspersed with flashes of incredible creativity. About 40 more metres were carried by him than by any other non-back three players during the course of the weekend, totalling 119.

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12 Juan Ignacio Brex: Italy

Brex, who was frequently the quiet cog in Italy’s inexperienced backline, was at his best against France. He is a particularly clever player on the gain line who can change directions or move the ball while still displaying his usual bravery in defence. In Welsh red, George North was excellent once more.

13 Caelan Doris: Ireland

Ben Earl was among the finest in England, and Jack Dempsey of Scotland came very near to taking this slot. But Doris is just such a complete number eight. Doris, the leading tackler for Ireland, was active in the ruck and continued to be a frighteningly reliable carry.

14 Cameron Winnett: Wales

Though it’s difficult to pinpoint Winnett’s area of expertise, the Wales full-back rarely makes a mistake. Growing more assured in the air, his deftness at avoiding impact is astounding for a man who may not have been endowed with extraordinary physical prowess.

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15 Tommaso Menoncello: Italy

Brex’s sometimes centre partner seems to enjoy having a loose role on the wing, moving around the field with intent the entire game. Manoncello missed the first half of the season due to a bicep injury. He is a potent contact player who appears to be regaining some of his signature explosiveness.

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