The Six Nations is underway and by their own admissions things are not going according to plan for the Irish team. In 2018 they were riding high after becoming the Grand Slam winners so sitting in third place is not entirely cutting it. Freetips.com looks at their game so far.
In the first round, Ireland met England and lost. Jonathon Sexton, Irish fly-half is the first to admit that the team are more than a little bit frustrated by their performance and lack of progress. Third could be worse, but they clearly had their sights set on the top spot which is currently held by Wales who are 3 points clear.
In their second match, they met Scotland and then took on Italy, and while they won both games they have been called unconvincing and Joe Schmidt the head coach has said that the team are "a bit broken by the fallout from the England game”.
When they met Scotland, 2018 World Player of the Year Sexton, had to come off the pitch at the 24-minute mark having been hit nastily a couple of times. In Rome, the team won thanks again to a bonus point, but he was also guilty of committing many handling errors. With his head low, he explains to a Virgin Media One audience that: "We just have to say that we haven't been good enough yet, We’re unbelievably frustrated. How can you not be when you're doing as good a preparation as you did last year, you're training as well as you did last year? You're doing everything right, and things aren't just clicking. No one cares more than us.”
Coming off the back of such a good year it is easy to see why the team are feeling a little disheartened but in a long interview Sexton did also comment that he felt the clean sweep in 2018 was actually down to a little bit of luck. Which he said he felt just was not there this year: "Probably didn't get the bounce of those balls against England and now we're trying to find that sort of performance that we need to revive us again and get us going,
Whatever the reasons it is now far from certain that they will lift the trophy this year, with just two more meetings to go. They will be
playing at home and hosting France on the 10th March, and then in the last ditch attempt, they will be facing off against Wales which perhaps could not be a worse opponent to end their campaign with. This away match sees them take on the current leaders who are also unbeaten in their matches, which could knock any remaining confidence out of them. At this point in the contest, it looks like Wales will be triumphant, but both England and Ireland will be doing their best to accrue more points and possibly take the number one position and with it the title.