Things are looking pretty decent from an Irish rugby point of view right now. After Saturday’s win over Scotland paired with England’s loss in Paris, Joe Schmidt’s side were crowned Six Nations champions, move up to second in the World Rankings, and have been installed as second favourites for the World Cup by bookmakers.
They now head for Twickenham on Saturday hot on the heels of a Grand Slam, and judging by their recent form, it’s hard to bet against them.
A quick glance over the fulltime scores of their four games to date would suggest varying degrees of difficulty. However, there has been one constant – Ireland are running the opposition into the ground.
The champions-elect have been forcing high tackle counts from the oppositions, with the numbers telling their own stories.
Ireland – 113, 106, 89, 150 tackles so far. Their opp – 253, 175, 225, 230 tackles.
— Russ Petty (@rpetty80) March 11, 2018
In the four games so far, Ireland’s possession percentages stand at 68, 63, 69 and 62, with territory numbers stacking up as 68, 65, 75 and 63. To put this simply, Ireland aren’t giving the ball to the other team, and when they are, the opposition is often pinned back in their own half.
Schmidt and Co. will be hoping to keep up these numbers as they look ahead to their trip to London this weekend.