We are back in pre-season, after a couple of weeks off following our trip to Georgia with the Ireland U20’s, and we’ve quite a bit to catch up on.
First up we have a look at the stats behind Ireland’s summer tour to the USA and Japan. Not the most difficult of tours and one designed to give the young guns a chance to impress.
With respect to results, the tour ticked all the boxes with comfortable wins in the first two matches and a bit more of a work out in their second game against Japan to finish off. Everyone got a game and the only major injury was an ankle injury to Joey Carberry.
Ireland Summer Tour Results.
Ireland used 32 players in total though some will be disappointed to get less than 20 minutes over the three match tour. A total of 3590 minutes were played with ten minutes lost due to a yellow card for Andrew Conway.
The breakdown on minutes played per player is shown below.
Ireland Summer Tour Minutes Played.
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Breaking it down by province it doesn’t read too well for Ulster Rugby, who once again come up short in providing their full representation to the International side.
Leinster, enjoy the lion’s share of minutes played, Munster hit their quota but Ulster and Connacht are well behind in terms of time on the pitch.
However, let’s have a look at who did what while they were on the pitch.
Ireland Summer Tour Tries Scored
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The experienced Kieth Earls comes out on top with four tries over the series and Jack Conan weighs in with three. Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale continued his impressive strike rate with one try in the two games he played but Sean Reidy has perhaps the best strike rate of all, bagging a try with less than 20 minutes appearance time.
Looking at the try contribution by Province we get:
Ireland Summer Tour Points Scored
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Paddy Jackson leads the way slotting over ten conversions and one penalty in the two matches he played and his tally pushes up Ulster’s quota.
Of course, points scored can be determined by your role in the team so let’s have a look at what else the players have been bringing to the party.
Ireland Summer Tour Meters Made.
Keith Earls comes out well on top with the experienced Munster man averaging over 100m per game and his contribution sees Munster punch well above their weight in this category. However, Jack Conan also scores well in this and the other categories, the Leinster back rower making the most of this opportunity.
Ulster just about hold their own here, their main contributors being Stockdale and Marshall.
Let’s now have a look at the defence.
Ireland Summer Tour Tackles Made.
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Leinster dominate the defence with Conan coming out on top in an impressive series. With five Leinster players in the top six for tackles made it’s no surprise that the province are the kings of defence.
Again, Ulster just about hold their own, their main contributions coming from Jackson and Marshall with 13 and 12 tackles made respectively.
However, the current mantra in coaching these days is on discipline and we have a look at that in the form of penalties conceded.
Ireland Summer Tour Penalties Conceded.
Oh dear, this is one category where Ulster are punching above their weight with Luke Marshall leading the way with five in a series where he mixed the good with the bad, somewhat encapsulating Ulster’s last season.
At last a category in which Ulster excel! 🙄 .
On the whole, probably a worthwhile exercise for Ireland, with Conan, in particular, making the most of his opportunity. It was also an impressively professional performance from Earls who is not going to sit back and let anyone take his shirt!
Personally, it was also pleasing to see three of last years U20’s make it into the senior side within the year, with Jacob Stockdale, James Ryan and Andrew Porter all making their debut’s.