Lightship wrote:Going into the wc qf against Wales we had a team that seemed to be peaking at the right time with lots of excellent individuals. Comments from the inside indicate that they were overconfident but that group never really recovered from that loss. Kidney stuck with them but they never recovered mentally since then. The new group with Heaslip and Sexton promoted in leadership terms has had a massive improvement in enthusiasm. The tactics are from the same people and the personnel are worse imo but the attitude is light years better. I felt we were better than Wales back then and worse now but the results don't back that up.
BOD gave an interview around the start of the season where he said the attitude of players had to change from being provincially focused to nationally focused. If someone remembers the source of that interview I'd love to read it again. I believed and believe it was significant. BOD was a revelation yesterday compared to his Leinster form this season. You certainly could not say that about BOD or anyone else I can think of over the last couple of years.
I don't think we're good enough to win a grand slam but seeing us compete at or near our best is a pleasure.
What 'new group'?
The guts of the team is the team that went to the WC. And Sexton was actually first choice going into the WC and didn't lose his place proper till the QF.
If everyone was fit you'd have Ryan/McCarthy in for DOC, Sexton in for ROG and Zebo in for Earls as the only changes from the WC team.
What's changed this season and in particular since the Fiji game is attitude in attack (although there was still too much aimless kicking for my liking yesterday). We're actually using decoy runners, skip passes, inside men etc. Basic shit that has most Irish fans tearing their hair out in the past for the lack of use. We would never have scored Healy's try last season because we simply wouldn't be in an attack mindset, everyone would have been set up to defend and wouldn't have reacted that well to the blockdown.
I also think yesterday is a decent contrast to the QF, the difference in attack when near their line was stark with Murray taking more ball on and Sexton present and able to take the ball to the line and draw defenders.