…Three For Three…Steadman Locks Horns With Former Team-Mate…Ireland’s 2007 Tournament To Date…Six Nations’ Top Points And Try Scorers…Numbers Game…
THREE FOR THREE: Friday night was a very successful night for Ireland’s representatives sides as the Club XV, Under-20s and Colleges teams all won their fixtures against English opposition.
Buccaneers clubman Sean Carey, who studies at NUI Galway, came off the replacements bench to claim a last-minute try and the man of the match honours as the Irish Colleges XV beat the UK Combined Services Under-23s at Suttonians RFC.
The Irish ran out 34-17 winners in Sutton, with Dolphin right winger Gary Conway touching down in the eighth-minute.
The Cork IT student added his second try and while the visitors registered a try in each half, from Jason Mills and Josh Drauniniu, the Shay McGuinness-coached home side proved too strong with Clontarf out-half Brian Collins, an Blanchardstown IT student who played for Ireland at last year’s Under-19 World Championship, kicking four penalties and two conversions before Carey’s late haul of a drop goal and a peach of a try.
STEADMAN LOCKS HORNS WITH FORMER TEAM-MATE: Little gets past Ireland defensive coach Graham Steadman and he is hoping that will be the case at Croke Park this afternoon, when his former Great Britain rugby league team-mate Andy Farrell tries to get one over on him.
The pair played together for Britain in the league code, as far back as 1994, and Steadman will take much interest in how Farrell, now the England number 12 in union, performs today. Steadman was also a colleague of injured England winger Jason Robinson during his league days.
“‘Faz’ is a very good organiser for those around him, both in defence and attack, and has added a little subtlety to his game,” explained Steadman, the former Castleford player and coach.
“A lot of people talk about his distribution with both left and right, but he’s very smart at drawing defenders and causing separation with that short one-metre pass.
“But we’ve worked on that and I like to think that come kick-off time, the players will have dotted their Is and crossed their Ts. If the players work as a unit, we’ll be good.”
IRELAND’S 2007 TOURNAMENT TO DATE:
Penalty Try: 0
Penalty Goals: 4/5
Drop Goals: 0/0
Scrums Won: 18
Scrums Lost: 1
Lineouts Won: 34
Lineouts Lost: 3
Penalties Conceded: 14
Drives From Rucks: 52
Passes From Rucks: 75
Mauls Won: 6
Ball Won In Open Play: 133
Ball Won In Opponents’ 22: 23
Set Piece Ball Won: 69
Kicks To Touch: 25
Errors From Kicks: 5
Offloads In Tackle: 17
Tackles Made: 146
Tackles Missed: 18
Total Errors Made: 31
Turnovers Won: 18
Free Kicks Conceded: 2
Passes Completed: 217
Possession Kicked: 66
2007 RBS 6 NATIONS TOP POINTS SCORERS (AFTER TWO ROUNDS):
42 – Jonny Wilkinson (England) (1 try, 2 conversions, 10 penalties and 1 drop goal)
31 – Chris Paterson (Scotland) (2 conversions and 9 penalties)
26 – Ronan O’Gara (Ireland) (2 tries, 2 conversions and 4 penalties)
19 – David Skrela (France) (5 conversions and 3 penalties)
18 – Stephen Jones (Wales) (6 penalties)
2007 RBS 6 NATIONS TOP TRY SCORERS (AFTER TWO ROUNDS):
3 – Jason Robinson (England)
2 – Ronan O’Gara (Ireland), Sebastien Chabal (France)
3 – There are just three survivors in England’s starting line-up from the team beaten 28-24 by Ireland at Twickenham last season – scrum-half Harry Ellis, flanker Joe Worsley and number eight Martin Corry
70 – The percentage success rate that both Ireland and England hold in the Six Nations – that is 26 wins from 37 outings in the tournament since 2000
2.7 – The average amount of tries Ireland have scored per match since the inaugural Six Nations championship in 2000
66 – Ireland have won the last three meetings between the sides, averaging 66 points – as against England’s 50