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The Stats Behind The Ireland U20s Quest For Grand Slam Glory

The Stats Behind The Ireland U20s Quest For Grand Slam Glory
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Get ready rugby fans, because there's more to look forward to this weekend than just the senior team's quest for glory. While all eyes are on the Aviva Stadium on Saturday for Ireland's bid to secure their first-ever Grand Slam on home soil, don't forget that on Sunday the Ireland U20s will be aiming for their piece of history by following in the footsteps of previous Irish winning teams from 2007, 2019, and 2022.

The Ireland's U20s team is a hotbed of rugby talent and has been a launching pad for many players to secure contracts with one of the four provinces. But it's also a fantastic opportunity for rugby fans to catch a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow in action.

After demolishing Scotland last weekend with a crushing 82-7 victory, Ireland is now the only team capable of a Grand Slam, with France having already poured cold water on England's hopes with a convincing 42-7 win. Although England and France are still in contention for the Championship, Ireland's fate is in their own hands.

If Ireland wins on Sunday, they'll secure the Grand Slam. However, if England wants to snatch victory from them, they'll need to win with a bonus point and prevent Ireland from gaining any points.

Meanwhile, France will be crossing their fingers for an Irish win as they face off against the bottom side Wales.

So, how did Ireland find themselves in this position, and how can they overcome a bruised England side to set themselves up for a shot at the World Rugby 20s Championship in June? Let's take a closer look and get ready for some high-stakes rugby action. 

Ireland U20s free-scoring form

Ireland has been dominating the Six Nations U20 tournament with some seriously impressive figures. With a whopping 203 points scored in just four games, they're sitting pretty at the top of the points table, and they've also scored the most tries with a incredible 26 to their name in just 4 games.


But what's noteworthy is how they've managed to pull off such impressive performances. For starters, they've been scoring a staggering 35% of their points in the final 20 minutes of games, with superior fitness levels to the opposition and clever use of substitutes in keeping the team fresh and firing on all cylinders.

Richie Murphy has been a master at using his bench players to great effect, and the impact of players like Diarmuid Mangan has been felt right when it counts.

When it comes to scoring tries, Ireland's lineout has been a key weapon, with nearly 60% of their tries coming from this set piece. And with a success rate of 92%, they've been executing their game plan to perfection. Add in 6 tries from transition attacks and 2 from tap penalties, and you've got a team that's deadly in every situation.


Possession has been key for Ireland too, with an impressive possession rate close to 60% (compared to England's less than 50%). They've won a staggering 464 rucks in just four games, putting maximum pressure on opposition defences. And while they've excelled in ball-carrying and breakdown skills, it's their lightning-fast speed in the attack that sets them apart.


They've also been ahead of the competition in offloads, passing, and linebreaks, with Sam Prendergast leading the charge as the tournament's top points scorer with 63 points. And when it comes to ball-carrying stats, players like Diarmuid Mangan, James McNabney, and Ruadhan Quinn have been dominating the field.

But that's not all. Ireland U20s lineout defence has been a force to be reckoned with, thanks in no small part to Conor O'Tighearnaigh's ability to disrupt the opposition's ball. England will have their work cut out for them when they come up against him.


This team's ability to outmanoeuvre their opponents is second to none. Thanks to the clever playmaking of stars like Prendergast and McErlean, coupled with the crafty running lines of their teammates, Ireland always seems to have more attacking options than their rivals can handle. The result? Chaos for the opposition defence. 

England concerns

What will the opposition bring to the party as England prepares to take on Ireland in Cork this Sunday? While Ireland's U20s are aiming for their own Grand Slam, England will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to France. England's first-phase momentum has been impressive so far, with the majority of their points scored within the first three phases. But Ireland will need a clear plan to stop England's set-starter plays, which have been very effective.

And let's not forget about England's formidable maul, which they will look to use as a weakness against Ireland.

But Ireland has some tricks up their sleeve too. With playmaker Prendergast's kicking game, they should be able to take advantage of England's poor backfield cover. And with a mobility advantage over England, Ireland will look to break up the game and pick off England's chase line.

With both Ireland and England displaying impressive skill sets and tactical prowess to date, Sunday's match promises to be a thrilling clash of contrasting styles. Ireland's attack shape, and multi-phase possession game, have been their standout features, while England's, set starter plays, and maul has caused havoc for their opposition.

But it's not just about playing to your strengths, it's about exploiting your opponent's weaknesses. Ireland will be looking to take advantage of England's poor backfield cover with their kicking game, and use their mobility advantage to pick off the England chase line. It's clear that both teams have their game plans set and will be looking to execute them flawlessly on the day. With so much at stake, Ireland will need to deal with the pressure of the day as well as the pressure brought on by England. This team has dealt with every task so far in the previous few weeks and a trophy would be a fitting end for the class of 2023

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