Having watched Ireland celebrate the third Grand Slam in their history at Twickenham on Saturday, Danny Care sat down to discuss just how impressed he was with Joe Schmidt’s men.
Speaking on BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast Danny Care discussed a range of topics surrounding England’s disappointing championship while also admitting how blown away Eddie Jones’ side was by the excellence and ruthless nature of Ireland’s squad.
‘They were brilliant,‘ said Care. ‘They were very clinical. When they got opportunities to score tries, they did… They’ve got some world-class players who are gonna punish you and they deserved to win and deserved to get the Grand Slam this year.‘
I think their 9 and 10 have been great for them. They put them in the right areas, they don’t mess about in their own zones. When they do get into your half, they make you pay & they punish you and their pack of forwards go around doing their business.
They’re very physical, they’re brilliant at the breakdown, they make good decisions and you saw with that last minute drop goal against France, it kind of set the tone for them in this tournament and you know, fair play to them.
Discussing the brilliance of the current Irish side with the Harlequins scrum-half, former England international Ugo Monye stated that he now believed that, although Ireland have never defeated the All Blacks in Dublin, they are now capable of exactly that.
“[If Ireland played New Zealand tomorrow] it would be one hell of a test match,‘ said Monye. “If you said Aviva, I’d say Ireland. If you said New Zealand, I’d say New Zealand.”
I would (back Ireland to win in Dublin). Oh my gosh, those guys are all on cloud nine. We saw it on the Lions’ tour in the summer, the way in which to beat the All Blacks (or to draw a series) is great line speed and fantastic game control.
Well, they’ve seen it. Jacob Stockdale scored three tries from intercepts. We speak about the likes of Bryan Habana back in the day, I’m not getting ahead of myself with Stockdale but, he’s shown such an aggressive pressure in that defensive line. Andy Farrell must be looking down from the stands thrilled, just seeing his defence just absolutely executing everything they want.
So, yes they’ve got the core elements and yes, to your point, they’ve got the best tighthead in the world ever in Tadgh Furlong. But ya, I mean they’ve got an all-court game that could really punish the All Blacks.
Pushed on how Ireland would fare in a neutral venue against New Zealand, Care echoed Monye’s comments stating that he couldn’t see past a ‘high scoring draw’ with the talent in the Irish squad causing the All Blacks serious difficulty.
‘I would go for a high scoring draw. I think they’d give them [the All Blacks] a real run for their money. They’d score some tries, they’d cause them a lot of problems. I would say 27-27… Tadgh Furlong for man of the match.’