Betway insider Blog >> Peter Stringer: Another Irish Grand Slam is there for the taking >>

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Betway insider Blog >> Peter Stringer: Another Irish Grand Slam is there for the taking >>

Peter Stringer has blogged on Betway about the upcoming game between Ireland & England in the Six Nations ,,,  See the full blog @

Check out some of Peter’s comments below….

Food good factor around Ireland

“There’s a real feel-good factor around this Ireland team, which is incredible after the heartbreak of the World Cup. People were talking about needing a rebuilding phase while they learned to cope without Johnny Sexton, but they’re still on that upward trajectory.

When Johnny retired, not only was there the void of the No.10 jersey to be filled, but also the absence of their captain that could prove costly from a game management perspective. Peter O’Mahony has filled those boots heroically. He’s also been fortunate to have other leaders emerge within the squad to assist with decision-making, which has meant that responsibility of captaincy has not detracted from his game, where he is often buried at the bottom of a ruck.

Jack Crowley has come in and shown a real level of maturity. He’s done the basics well and hasn’t tried to do too much. Yes, he’s got the ability to take the ball to the line and create something through offloads, but getting those fundamentals right is what it takes to be a really good player at international level. There’s been plenty of pressure on him, but he’s managed things well from that key position.

Ireland have been quite comfortable in the Six Nations so far and have only really had to play in fits and starts, but they’ve still shown glimpses of being able to go up a gear if needed. It’s certainly hard to see either England or Scotland stopping them from becoming the first team to win a second consecutive Grand Slam.

Ireland stronger than England all over the pitch

England is probably the tougher game on paper. Going to Twickenham is never easy, and they were so poor against Scotland that you’d expect there to be some sort of backlash. England have got some quality players, but I’m not sure any would force their way into this Irish team.

Jamie George is a great leader who has come into his own as captain, but Dan Sheehan has got it all and will be world-class. Maro Itoje is one of England’s most senior players, but the second rows for Ireland have been phenomenal. Tadhg Beirne was a doubtful starter not so long ago but has made the position his own and is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

I’ve been so impressed with Ben Earl over the last 12-18 months, but this Irish back row is just so competitive. The loose forwards that Ireland are developing are just a new mode of player in terms of offering a line-out option, having an engine that goes all day and possessing pace, handling and great footwork. Caelan Dorris has barely missed a minute over the last 30 games and has been my standout player of the tournament so far.

It will be fascinating to see how England approach the game. They tried to mix it up against Scotland but came up with so many errors, turnovers and spilt balls from poor passing. The threat that Ireland bring on both sides of the ball means England won’t want to get caught in their own half, so I have a feeling that they may go back to the territory kicking game that worked so well for them in the World Cup. It’s not pretty but it got them to a semi-final and is very effective.

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