There are a lot of match statistics on the Women’s Six Nations site and we’ve ran them through the FRU Tabulator for our traditional “Who did What” on the Six Nations.
In fact there are so many stats that we now need to do our analysis in two parts. In the first part we look at the contribution to Ireland’s cause by Province and by club. In the second part, out Friday, we’ll look at individual players stats.
We will be including web stories for both parts if you want a quick flick through the key points, and they are great for sharing via What’s App or other similar peer to peer systems.
The 2021 Six Nations was rearranged and reduced due to the Covid epidemic, with each team playing three games. Ireland won two of their three games.
They beat Wales in the Pool games before losing to France which put them into the Third Place Playoff, which they won, against Italy.
Ireland’s two wins gives them a 67% win ratio for the 2021 season to date. They also move the win ratio for Head Coach Adam Griggs up from 35% to 40% for his tenure.
Ireland used 27 players over the three games. Five players, Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Stacey Flood, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe and Grace Moore, made their International XVs debut, all coming from the International 7s Programme.
Leinster continue to be the dominant Province with 41% of the players in the squad who accounted for 44% of the minutes played. Ulster’s three players, Katheryn Dane, Brittany Hogan and Neve Jones, accounted for 11% of the squad and 10% of the minutes played.
Ireland continued to draw heavily on clubs from Dublin (70%) with a further 15% coming from English Premiership clubs. The final 15% came from UL Bohemian and Malone.
In the interests of supporting women’s rugby throughout all the provinces in Ireland it’s important to determine why this migration to Dublin and the UK is happening. Is it for financial or for quality of coaching or down to other reasons? Whatever the cause, there is the distinct possibility that it is starting to marginalise the clubs outside of D4.
Ireland scored 85 points and conceded 61 over the three games. The points came from 13 tries, 7 conversions (54% conversion rate) and 2 penalties.
We had a look at the points scored by Province and, as expected, the bulk came from Leinster players who, with the two main kickers in their ranks, punched above their representation.
In terms of club, it’s Blackrock who dominated the scoring with over half the points coming from players at the Stradbrook Road club. Scores came from players from 5 of the 8 clubs represented, largely due to positional reasons.
We also had a look at some general attack and defence stats by Province and club in meters made for attack and tackles made for defence to see if there was any unexpected patters.
Ireland carried the ball for a total of 675 meters from 93 carries giving an average of 7.3 meters per carry. It’s Connacht who punched above their weight in this one averaging over 130 meters per player with Munster next, averaging over 100m.
In terms of club contribution it’s Blackrock and UL Bohemian that ground out over 100 meters per player in their carries.
With Ireland largely concentrating on fitness and defence and with team attacks generally stymied by slow passing it’s no surprise that tackling is the most evenly spread discipline across the Provinces with only the Connacht dropping significantly below their minutes paid percentages.
It’s a fairly similar spread across the clubs with only Blackrock a few % points behind where they should be. Shout out for Malone who’s tackle % is three times their minutes played %. Someone was busting to get on the pitch!
This completes Part 1 of our review of Ireland Women, the key concern to take out of it would be the centralisation of the women’s game as players gravitate towards three or four sides in Dublin, Leinster or the English Premiership if they want to be considered for selection.
It may be time for Ulster, Munster and Connacht to set up their own centres of excellence for the women’s game and work more closely with their clubs in a structured manner.