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
Fri, 27 April 2018
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Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1