ANALYSIS: Ireland's defence and the importance of Bundee Aki

ANALYSIS: Ireland's defence and the importance of Bundee Aki
The Six Nations is back this weekend! A cracking round of action sees Scotland head off to Rome, Wales host a high flying French side while the weekend is wrapped up at Twickenham on Sunday with England hosting an unbeaten Andy Farrell side. So far in the competition, Ireland and France are yet to face defeat while Italy will be in the hunt for thier first victory in over 20 Six Nations matches.
Once again Omar Mouneimne has dissected the Six Nations' sides and had analysed some of the key points and parts of their games so far in the competition. In this piece of analysis, he takes a look at how Ireland defend with a particularly look at the impact of inside centre Bundee Aki.
A quick glance at Aki's stats don't paint a pretty or fair picture of Aki's contribution to Ireland's defence as he has made 17 tackles and missed 4 so far in the competition but in the clip below Omar, highlights the centres massive contributions as well as key elements of Ireland's defence.
Continue reading below...
So let's have a look at this Irish defence. 
Look at the massive line speed from the Irish on every flight of the ball. They push up through the Welsh decoys and Wales end up feeling like they're hassled and have to rush the passes until they come upon the edges and force the turnover from the hassle.
Although it was a penalty to Wales for an earlier infringement, it's great line speed and great hassle from this line out steps and nothing.

Again from this lineout they have a massive quick line speed to shut Wales down. They make a great choke tackle forcing the ball to be slow.

Then from the pick and go, Ireland pile into the breakdown, putting bodies in the way and Aki rips the off the ball carrier in the tackle.

This is extremely disruptive for an attack to lose the ball in just the second phase.

Again, in the clip below you will se that they push up on every flight of the ball. They push up quickly, make big shots, choke tackle and Bundee Aki forces Justin Tupric to clear him out.

They just hassle and hurry the defence consistently.

They get up high in the line, block passing lanes and force the errors.


In the final clip, you can see how Ireland again make massive hits and keep up the intensity. I think they do go offside sometimes, but they come up high and heavy.

Another big shot choke tackle by Sexton and Bundee.



And then on the next phase, they are up super quick in your face again, forcing the miracle passes and again another big shot on Tipuric.


From there the Irish are competing like crazy on the floor and Stander early gets over the ball and slows ball right down, almost getting the turnover.

So I think the Irish defence is a huge factor. They've got multiple weapons. They've got the big hits where they dislodge the ball, they got the choke tackles and they compete on the floor. So they've got three or four weapons in the defensive tackling arsenal.

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