wixfjord wrote:munster#1 wrote:We will soon find out if it is the restrictive game plan that meant we didn't get to see Zebo play how he has been all season, or if as you say, he is unfit.
Hugo had an excellent post on this during the week. The 'Zebo being restricted' argument was firmly put to bed by it.
Cheers. It's in the U20s thread – a response to an article contrasting the play of the U20s vs the senior team.
Just to recap: examining Zebo's performances for Munster 2016-7, Ireland 2016-17 and Ireland during the 2017 Six Nations, on average Zebo gets more ball, passes more, runs more, makes more ground, more clean breaks, beats more defenders and offloads more often for Ireland than for Munster.
It's also worth taking into account that he has played 8 games [616 mins] for Ireland this season – 3 in November, 3 in February and 2 in March – and 10 games [697 mins] for Munster – 3 in October, 3 in December, 3 in January and 18 minutes against the Scarlets in September. He has essentially split his game time 44% to 56% between Ireland and Munster [in terms of games] and 47% to 53% [in terms of minutes].
So if somebody references how he has played 'all season', as a contrast between his try-scoring achievements for Munster and Ireland, it doesn't make much sense to me. He has played for both teams 'all season'. I think the difference between try-scoring is more reasonably explained by three factors: better defences at test level; a slightly different tactical emphasis; and simple chance. I don't know what weight you can ascribe to each.
As a contrast, Earls has only scored one try in the last two seasons for Munster [source: http://munsterrugby.ie/player?PlayGuid=KE263615 ] [22+1/1593 mins] and a whopping 10 in the same period for Ireland [source: http://www.irishrugby.ie/rugby/fixtures ... ef=dynamic ] [20+0/1461mins ]. In terms of a split between Ireland and Munster, that's 46.5% to 53.5% [games played] and 48% to 52% [minutes played] – strikingly similar to Zebo.
My only real conclusion is that there's a lot of chance involved in terms of try-scoring at test level. Zebo has been staggeringly productive at club level as a try-scorer, but far less so at test level. He has bagged 8 tries in 33 tests [29+4/2340 mins] which compares unfavourably in every regard – fewer tries, fewer tries/start, fewer tries/match, fewer tries/gametime – with Fergus McFadden's 10 tries in 32 tests [15+17/1430mins ].
I don't think that makes Ferg a better winger than Zebo [although to me it shows that the criticism aimed at the former from certain quarters is over the top]; I think it shows that there's a good bit of a] being in the right place at the right time; and b] taking chances when they're available to you. I can't recall Zebo fluffing many chances this season for Ireland, so the most likely scenario is that the chances haven't really come his way this season. They've gone Earls' way, and he has taken them.