Following within the footsteps of Eire’s most profitable head coach of all time was at all times going to be a problem for Andy Farrell and it has definitely taken time and persistence.

However after an unconvincing begin to the 12 months, which included back-to-back Championship defeats within the opening two rounds, Eire have reeled off eight consecutive Check wins.

Eire full excellent Autumn Nations Collection

That run included significantly spectacular wins over England and New Zealand whereas the boys in emerald inexperienced additionally seem to have established a mode of play that’s fully in Farrell’s mould.

A workforce now brimming with each youth and expertise, Eire’s sensational Autumn marketing campaign has set them up completely for a severe tilt on the 2022 Guinness Six Nations crown.

Guinness Six Nations

After a pandemic interrupted 2020 Championship – his first accountable for Eire – Farrell went into the Guinness Six Nations earlier this 12 months with one thing of a degree to show.

For a lot of, post-Joe Schmidt Eire had been largely indistinguishable from how they performed beneath the three-time Championship successful head coach within the early days of Farrell’s reign.

Defeats to Wales and France within the first two rounds of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations didn’t assist issues however because the Championship went on, progress step by step began to be made.

Furlong

Will Connors scored a brace as Eire obtained off the mark on the third try with a commanding 48-10 win over Italy in Rome earlier than they overcame Scotland 27-24 in Edinburgh in Spherical 4.

However they saved their greatest efficiency till final, overpowering England 32-18 as Johnny Sexton’s 22-point haul secured third place within the Championship for the second 12 months operating.

Summer season Tour

A much-changed Eire launched into two summer season Checks on the Aviva Stadium as Farrell seemed to blood some contemporary faces within the absence of his British & Irish Lions vacationers.

Having been surprised by the Courageous Blossoms within the 2019 World Cup, Eire’s first project was not one to be taken flippantly and so they had been definitely put by means of their paces.

The back-and-forth contest featured 9 tries in complete, with Chris Farrell, Stuart McCloskey and Finlay Bealham all crossing within the first half to nudge Eire 19-17 forward in Dublin.

Stuart McCloskey try against Japan

Additional tries from Josh van der Flier and Jacob Stockdale, plus 14 factors from Joey Carbery, sealed a 39-31 win however not earlier than Japan crossed the whitewash 4 occasions themselves.

A dominant 71-10 win over USA every week later supplied additional cause for cheer, with eight debutants on present together with Robert Baloucoune and Nick Timoney within the 10-try triumph.

Autumn Nations Collection

Eire’s upward pattern skyrocketed through the Autumn Nations Collection, ending their November marketing campaign with a flawless document after beating Japan, New Zealand and Argentina.

Sexton marked his a centesimal cap in fashion towards the Courageous Blossoms, scoring certainly one of 9 tries as Eire produced a scintillating show of attacking rugby to win 60-5.

Andrew Conway grabbed a hat-trick whereas James Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki and Cian Healy additionally dotted down in a dynamic, high-energy show.

But that was nothing in comparison with what Eire delivered towards the All Blacks every week later, making an enormous assertion with a 29-20 win in entrance of a raucous crowd of 51,000 in Dublin.

Bundee Aki scores a try

James Lowe and Caelan Doris, particularly, had been sensational as Farrell’s facet outplayed New Zealand, securing solely their third ever win over the All Blacks of their historical past.

A closing weekend take a look at towards Argentina was additionally navigated in excellent trend, with a brace from Van der Flier contributing to a seven-try 53-7 victory to place the icing on the cake.

Standout performers

Whereas Farrell was beforehand labelled as being conservative in his alternatives, he has subtly remoulded this Eire workforce and handed out the twenty third new cap of his reign to Dan Sheehan.

Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park and Hugo Keenan have all change into established gamers over the past two years and Eire are higher for them.

Doris was excellent through the Autumn Nations Collection, incomes Participant of the Match towards New Zealand and happening to be topped Participant of the Collection for his shows.

Lowe additionally had a wonderful Autumn marketing campaign after making an unsteady begin on the worldwide stage, scoring a superb attempt to contributing everywhere in the pitch towards New Zealand.

Ireland celebrate

Then there’s the entrance row trio of Porter, Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong, who’ve fashioned a formidable partnership which appears set to be a mainstay beneath Farrell going ahead.

And for all of the discuss concerning the dependency on Sexton and his age, the veteran fly-half has been instrumental in all of Eire’s huge wins this 12 months and exhibits no indicators of going wherever.

2022 prospects

The long run seems to be shiny for Eire beneath Farrell, with optimism excessive after such a profitable Autumn Nations Collection – each when it comes to fashion and outcomes.

Whereas there had been promising alerts throughout his first two Championship campaigns in cost, inconsistency and an absence of id had been the overriding themes.

Nothing may very well be farther from the reality following Eire’s November marketing campaign, nevertheless, enjoying a model of rugby that had New Zealand gasping for air repeatedly through the 80 minutes in Dublin.

Excellent Eire down New Zealand in Dublin

This Eire have broadened their attacking horizons and performed with much more pace and width whereas additionally displaying the steely defensive prowess Farrell has at all times been famend for.

The true take a look at now’s to see whether or not they can keep it over 5 rounds of the Guinness Six Nations, a feat they haven’t managed since 2018 Grand Slam beneath Schmidt.

A gathering with the reigning Guinness Six Nations champions Wales on the opening weekend in Dublin may show an ideal alternative to put down a marker to their rivals.

That will probably be adopted by a tricky journey to Paris to tackle France earlier than taking up Italy, England and Scotland within the closing three rounds in what may very well be the closest title race in years.



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