Ireland dare to dream

Sun, 09 Feb 2014 08:34
Large paul o connell ireland team

Ireland's trip to face England at Twickenham in a fortnight is looming large as a potential Six Nations tournament decider.

Ireland's trip to face England at Twickenham in a fortnight is looming large as a potential Six Nations tournament decider.

Ireland not only cemented their place at the top of the standings, but also put a huge dent in Welsh hopes of a record third Six Nations title in a row - with a clinical display in Dublin's Lansdowne Road at the weekend as they ran out 26-3 winners.

While bot coach Joe Schmidt and captain Paul O'Connell tried to downplay the February 22 showdown with England, they admitted it will be a key match.

"To be honest, I'm not thinking too far ahead," Schmidt said with a cautious tone, after his team demolished the Welsh.

"We'll get together in Clonmel for a few days, [next week] Wednesday and Thursday and try to review what we've done in the first two weeks and plot a course going forward to Twickenham.

"That's a massive game, they were very unlucky last week in Paris [England lost 24-26].

"The English dominated long periods of that game so they will be incredibly difficult to beat."

O'Connell described the trip to Twickenham as "massive".

"It doesn't matter how many times you have done it before," the Irish captain said.

Both the coach and captain talked up the English as title contenders, despite and opening round loss to the French.

"England will be disappointed with the French game, as [coach] Joe [Schmidt] they dominated long parts of that game.

"They are an incredibly physical side.

"I worked with [defence coach] Andy Farrell on the [B&I] Lions tour and they have great line-speed. They do put tams under pressure and force teams into mistakes.

"I feel they [England] are growing in confidence all the time, so it is going to be incredibly difficult for us.

"When we saw the fixture list in the back of our minds we thought we would be in a good place with two [wins] from two home games, but I think the competition now gets a whole lot harder when you go to Twickenham.

"It is going to be a big step up."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
Sat, 17 February 2018
Cardiff Blues v Munster 25 | 18
Lions v Sharks 26 | 19
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 2 2 0 0 9
England 2 2 0 0 9
Wales 2 1 0 1 6
France 3 1 0 2 6
Scotland 2 1 0 1 4
Italy 3 0 0 3 0