We take another look at how the nations are matching up to each other in the Celtic League.
A couple of weeks ago, I did a piece looking at how the three nations were stacking up and whether the pre-tournament expectation that the Welsh would be on top of the pecking order and Scotland on the bottom was being realised.
At that point, due to the ‘derby weekends’ there hadn’t been that many inter-national matches played. The evidence at that point was stark, with the Welsh sides way out in front. But with another couple of inter-national weekends passed, we thought it might be interesting to re-visit this.
At this point, the Irish sides have won 8, lost 5 and drawn one out of 14 against overseas opposition. This equates to a 62% success rate.
The Welsh have won 10, lost three and drawn one of 14 matches against Irish or Scottish opponents. This equates to a 77% success rate.
The Scottish sides have just 1 win and 11 defeats from 12 matches, equating to an 8% success rate.
Between the individual nations, Wales also come out on top, having secured 5 wins and a draw from the 8 matches between Irish and Welsh teams. They have also 5 wins from 6 matches against the Scots. The sole defeat being Cardiff away to Edinburgh.
Irish sides have a perfect 6 from 6 against the Scots.
Despite the figures, one must feel some sympathy for the Scots given how close, for instance, Glasgow came to beating Munster over the weekend, or The Borders in their match against Connacht. Indeed, it augurs well for the League that the bottom club and winless side, The Border, can push the unbeaten top side, The Ospreys, to an eight-point game as they did over the weekend. Even Edinburgh against Leinster was very tight until the final quarter surge by the Irish side.
The figures do appear to bear out the pre-tournament fancies for now. But the Irish sides are starting to reel the Welsh in. Connacht’s remarkable win in Llanelli and Munster’s victory over the same side has redressed the balance somewhat. Now, if Leinster and Munster could just give us a double against The Ospreys and Cardiff next weekend