Liam Toland: Small changes point to big evolution for Ireland

Despite defensive game against Scotland, there’s a positive shift in attacking policy

Gerry Thornley and Liam Toland report from Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, where Ireland beat a dogged Scotland 19-12 in round one of the 2020 Six Nations. Video: David Dunne

I won’t lie. I went to the Aviva stadium on Saturday for one reason only: to watch Caelan Doris for 80 minutes.

Could his arrival open up the 70 metres of the pitch by mimicking what the All Blacks achieved with Kieran Read in combating the northern hemisphere blitz defence? By playing wider out, Read (and Doris) consistently opened up a blind side. And, with less defensive numbers, this would be impossible to blitz, allowing Jordan Larmour to flourish.

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