Six Nations 2019: Every team from Round 4 RATED - Page 3 of 3 - Ruck

Six Nations 2019: Every team from Round 4 RATED

Schmidt’s Aviva farewell ends in triumph to revive back-to-back title hopes

How good was Jordan Larmour? That man single handedly brought back the Ireland we’ve been missing and he wasn’t even in the starting line up on Sunday morning. Injury stole Rob Kearney from Ireland, but Larmour’s creativity kick started an outstanding showing from the title holders, who quite simply dominated France, and reminded us that despite a big win last time out against Scotland, they’re still in building their bridge over troubled waters.

They have the squad, and they have the potential, and I can see them making the World Cup quarters, if not the semis. But the coaching is what’s killing their hopes, and this is a team who will be the ones who never could if they come away from this generation with no silverware to show for it. They were spirited in their comeback, and they gave Ireland a good go, but the too little too late adage spoke volumes for this one, as 14 late points took the shine off Ireland’s win. Speaking of which…

Schmidt bowed out of the Aviva Stadium one last time in the Six Nations, and he will without a doubt go down as one of the greatest Ireland coaches of all time. He has worked wonders on Irish rugby, and three titles and a Grand Slam are a hell of a way to show how good you’ve been. A big performance would’ve been the perfect send off for him, and it was just that until they dropped off in the last hour, but the bonus point victory was all they needed as they run into next weekend’s decider against Wales. Irish rugby will forever be in debt to Schmidt, and the squad he leaves behind have so much potential to go further under Andy Farrell, and as we sat and watched what we now call a routine performance from Ireland, it was hard to sit and think what life will be like without him at the helm of Irish rugby.

They might not win the title, but there’s an awful lot of positives to take away from this, with the biggest lift of all being that they know how good they can be and that anything is possible in the green of Ireland. For now, we can look forward to their trip to the Principality Stadium, but Farrell is going to have a lot of fun with this team, and for that we can only thank Schmidt for the future he has built for a team that for years never quite could.

Team Ratings

Ireland 4/5

France 2.5/5