bbc.co.uk Navigation

Alastair Eykyn

Ireland's shot at redemption (126)

Paris - It’s time to go now. The Irish squad did not shed too many tears as they headed north-east from Bordeaux to Paris today. For them it marked a place of unhappiness, of isolation, of rumour and counter-rumour, and most of all, of lousy rugby. Yes, the train to the French capital will be seen as a release of sorts, even if what awaits them there on Sunday is fraught with pitfalls.

So after three weeks of under-achievement, of negativity, and navel-gazing, here’s some optimism. Misplaced optimism maybe, but optimism nevertheless. Feel free to add to the list. Here’s why Ireland can qualify for the quarter-finals:

1. The Munster factor: These boys know how to pull rabbits out of hats. The miracle match at Thomond Park, Heineken Cup v Gloucester 2003… Munster needed to score four tries and win by 27 points to qualify for the quarter-finals. They won 33-6, with John Kelly’s try in the last minute allowing O’Gara to convert, to seal the deal. It’s not the only time they’ve done it either…. Against Sale in the Heineken Cup of 2006, Munster needed a win with a bonus point, and to deny the Premiership team one themselves. All was duly delivered with a 31-9 victory – this time David Wallace grabbing the fourth try in injury time. It’s high risk rugby, but hey, when it works, it sure does lift the spirit. Eight of this team play for Munster. Seven of them in the pack. Some of those played in both matches. They have fire in the belly, ice in the veins. This is the single biggest factor weighing in Ireland’s favour.

2. Expectation: Most of Ireland’s fans have written this one off, if those here in France are to be believed. They’re hoping for – some even expecting – a gripping thriller, edged by the boys in green. But not many actually believe Ireland can win by more than seven points and score four tries in the process. It may be a well-worn cliché, but these are precisely the conditions in which Ireland have prevailed, in years gone by. Argentina by contrast are solid favourites. The pressure is on, the country expects. They’ve been watertight so far, but this is the biggest game in their history. Their rugby futures depend on the outcome. Victory, and they play Scotland (most likely) for a place in the semi-final. It’s massive for them. They are in the shop window, rightly demanding inclusion in top-tier tournaments. There will be South American jitters.

3. Ronan O’Gara: He just can’t play so badly four matches in succession. Whatever’s eating him, it probably still is, but the law of averages suggests he’ll come good. Expect the lazily-rolled touch-finders early on, the miss-passes fired wide to release the three-quarters, and the odd darting break. O’Gara’s 30 years old. He’s unlikely to reach the next World Cup in New Zealand in 2011. He’s overdue a blinder, and he knows it.

4. Simon Best: The unexpected trump card. Playing for a stricken mate can be a powerful spur. Best’s trials this week have put everything in context for this lot. It’ll mean they go out determined to seize the moment. His health is uppermost in their minds of course, but the knowledge that he’s watching in hospital, his World Cup over, will focus the minds of those charged with producing the goods.

parc438.jpg

5. The Parc des Princes: OK, this is a spurious one perhaps, but worth a thought. This is a good old-fashioned rugby stadium. Yes, many of the Argentinians play here regularly with Stade Francais, but this is a place where the Irish fans could play a role. It’s not a giant bowl like the Stade De France, where the supporters are miles from the pitch (though the view is amazing from anywhere). It’s a living, breathing bearpit where fans can make their presence felt. Remember those vibrant scenes from the 80’s with Camberabero and Blanco running riot, as the French cockerel strutted pitchside? This is a place where Ireland can flourish. It’s incumbent on the fans to turn it into a home game. Intimidate Argentina, and use the intoxicating atmosphere to play with adventure and freedom. It can be done.

There, I’ve now convinced myself. What about you?

Alastair Eykyn is a Radio 5 live reporter specialising in rugby union, tennis and hockey. He is covering Ireland at the World Cup and you can see 5 live's full broadcast schedule here.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:41 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • le crunch wrote:

No chance.

I won't be surprised if Ireland win but they will not score four tries AND beat Argentina by more than 7 points. The dismal failure to collect a bonus point against Georgia has come back to haunt Ireland.

With hindsight, Argentina's late late bonus point try against Georgia was crucial and it should see them through to the QF's in 2nd place at worst.

  • 2.
  • At 08:51 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

We need to recreate the spirit of our Italian rout on Paddy's day ths year and also the four try sesond half performance against France two years ago(though we still lost). Free-flowing rugby, flank attacks and bundles of luck are the order of the day. Here's hoping!

  • 3.
  • At 09:00 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • eamon burns wrote:


Sorry to dampen the spirits but here are five reasons why Ireland won't have a miracle game on Sunday

1. Eddie o'Sullivan
2. Eddie o'sullivan
3. Eddie o'Sullivan
4. Eddie o'Sullivan
5. Eddie o'Sullivan

  • 4.
  • At 09:01 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Ciaran Kavanagh wrote:

After reading all those positives I am encouraged to say the least, I think the game on Sunday will be an exciting game and I fully expect Ireland to play well and win, if they can manage to score a try early on in the game then perhaps the confidence will come back. After all it’s only been a half a year since Ireland scored 51 against Italy and not to mention the 43 that they put past England in Croker!

Let’s home for a win and the magic bonus point. We need a rub of the green.... and lets face it…. It’s well overdue! Come on Ireland!

  • 5.
  • At 09:12 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Lorcan Byrne wrote:


The Parc des Princes as a reason for optimism??


Check out Ireland's record there (rugby and soccer).

Played 17 Won 0 Lost 17

  • 6.
  • At 09:20 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • jim wrote:

wat about probably the best player in the squad, the magician, the god@ Brian O Driscoll???

COME ON IRELAND!!!

  • 7.
  • At 09:25 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Depressed Irishfan wrote:

Wishful thinking.

The so-called Munster pack are past their sell buy date. The Argentina pack will dominate.

O'Gara has been shown to be the one dimensional fly half that he is.

Argentina's defence - have not allowed a try so far, against an irish team that has had a hard time scoring tries.

  • 8.
  • At 09:36 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Depressed Irishfan wrote:

Wishful thinking.

The so-called Munster pack are past their sell buy date. The Argentina pack will dominate.

O'Gara has been shown to be the one dimensional fly half that he is.

Argentina's defence - have not allowed a try so far, against an irish team that has had a hard time scoring tries.

I predict a wonderful game next Sunday.
Ireland is a team to be always wary about, I won’t never underestimate them.

Everything can happen on Sunday let’s hope the best for our teams.
Regards,

  • 10.
  • At 09:41 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • gottentheattitude wrote:

South American Jitters????? I don't see nothing in that article of Times even remotely close to the Pumas' spirit. Neither something that makes justice to South American people.

It's s nonsense man!
The Argies are much more happy and comfortable with rugby than the Irish, and for that matter all British Teams.

Pleasure, cold mind, strategy, a bit of cunning maybe, a LOT of great Rugby, but not jitters.

That's why Ireland will be defeated. In despite of the support of thousands of froggies croaking at that stadium (whose main figures by the way are Argentinian players during the French tournament)

You should remember instead last Irish tour in Argentina with two test matches lost to Pumas.

The only argument I agree with is about a possible renascence of real rugby soul with Irish players thinking of their mate Best recovering.

That said, I wish victory to the best in the field.
That said, my best wishes for

I predict a wonderful game next Sunday.
Ireland is a team to be always wary about, I won’t never underestimate them.

Everything can happen on Sunday let’s hope the best for our teams.
Regards,

  • 12.
  • At 09:45 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • gottentheattitude wrote:

South American Jitters????? I don't see nothing in that article of Times even remotely close to the Pumas' spirit. Neither something that makes justice to South American people.

It's s nonsense man!
The Argies are much more happy and comfortable with rugby than the Irish, and for that matter all British Teams.

Pleasure, cold mind, strategy, a bit of cunning maybe, a LOT of great Rugby, but not jitters.

That's why Ireland will be defeated. In despite of the support of thousands of froggies croaking at that stadium (whose main figures by the way are Argentinian players during the French tournament)

You should remember instead last Irish tour in Argentina with two test matches lost to Pumas.

The only argument I agree with is about a possible renascence of real rugby soul with Irish players thinking of their mate Best recovering.

That said, I wish victory to the best in the field.

  • 13.
  • At 09:46 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Muircheatach O'Ceallaigh wrote:

I thought that England would lose but they didn't.

I thought that Ireland will lose so now I think that they won't.

Up Ireland.

Murcho

Tallaght
Dublin


  • 14.
  • At 09:49 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • ManofMunster wrote:

if we score four tries, think it's pretty safe to say we'll win by more than 7.

i feel it in my toes - think we can do it.

(but then again i also thought we'd put 50 on namibia, 70 past georgia and just sneak the match against france - so i may not be the best man to listen to)

  • 15.
  • At 09:55 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Aidan C wrote:

Ireland are due to play a blinder and definitely have the players. The question is whether they have the self-belief. Bring in Declan Kidney (Munster coach) - he's the man to work miracles!!

  • 16.
  • At 09:57 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • John Chillingworth wrote:

Am I correct in thinking that there is another permutation of the possible outcome on Sunday? Should Ireland win by more than seven points but both teams score four tries, surely Argentina would still get the bonus point they need to qualify?

  • 17.
  • At 10:04 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Garbol wrote:

I'm surprised Eykyn wrote so much after a belly full of Guiness. What an imaginative article with no substance and foundation. Ireland have next to zero chance of beating a well solid, well drilled Argentinian side.
Welcome to the 'transition' years Ireland.

  • 18.
  • At 10:04 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • John Chillingworth wrote:

Am I correct in thinking that there is another permutation of the possible outcome on Sunday? Should Ireland win by more than seven points but both teams score four tries, surely Argentina would still get the bonus point they need to qualify?

  • 19.
  • At 10:06 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Tinoflyer wrote:

Ireland have been a huge disapointment.

Eddie O'Sullivan's Irish team has become stale and lifeless. There is infighting, strange decision making, and looking towards BOD is no longer sparking anything.

The last few years of the Golden generation failing is coming home in a big way.

Its sad to see, but the most fancied of the home nations are going home as early as Georgia.

O'Sullivans instance on only selecting from his 'clique' of players is once again costing Ireland in what should be truly wonderful times.

Once again, Ireland have been hugely disapointing.

  • 20.
  • At 10:10 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • John Chillingworth wrote:

Am I correct in thinking that there is another permutation of the possible outcome on Sunday? Should Ireland win by more than seven points but both teams score four tries, surely Argentina would still get the bonus point they need to qualify?

  • 21.
  • At 10:12 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • John Chillingworth wrote:

Am I correct in thinking that there is another permutation of the possible outcome on Sunday? Should Ireland win by more than seven points but both teams score four tries, surely Argentina would still get the bonus point they need to qualify?

  • 22.
  • At 10:12 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

Will be in Paris roaring the guys on to a big performance and hoping that we can get the bonus point win. We need to ensure that Argentina don't get a bonus which means a victory by 8 AND stopping them from scoring 4 tries - we could score 20 tries and it wouldn't matter if they scored 4. So it will be a big defensive effort that is needed as well ! C'mon Ireland, make us proud

  • 23.
  • At 10:15 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Tinoflyer wrote:

Ireland have been a huge disapointment.

Eddie O'Sullivan's Irish team has become stale and lifeless. There is infighting, strange decision making, and looking towards BOD is no longer sparking anything.

The last few years of the Golden generation failing is coming home in a big way.

Its sad to see, but the most fancied of the home nations are going home as early as Georgia.

O'Sullivans instance on only selecting from his 'clique' of players is once again costing Ireland in what should be truly wonderful times.

Once again, Ireland have been hugely disapointing.

  • 24.
  • At 10:24 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Wayne wrote:

Before the tournament I believed we had a good chance of winning the thing, but we have been diabolical. I hope for a win On Sunday, but hand on heart I don't believe we'll win. The Magners league and the Heineken Cup beckons.

  • 25.
  • At 10:30 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • dave wrote:

The boys will need to be drinking HOLY WATER and have a modern day miracle to beat the Argies with 4 tries and more than 7 points. I thin k they will beat them but not with the necessary points to go any further. Irish RFU are an embarrassment giving EOS a four year contract. His favourites are in comfort zone next four years and his non favourites have thrown in the towel. Ireland rugby have been put back 10 years by a bunch of back slappers.

  • 26.
  • At 10:36 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Alberto Chiari wrote:

I'm Sorry will be a tremendous match, because Ireland have a very strong team, but this time we will win. We need this to obtain a place in ones of the important tournament in the north or the south.

  • 27.
  • At 10:42 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

EOS should resign, how can he stand up and call himself a manager. Against France O'Connell was sin binned and what happens, France send on two fresh forwards to pound our gallant 7 and what does EOS. Sits with his thumb in his mouth. Any basic coach would have immediately sent on two fresh forwards to bolster the pack and hold tight till O'Connell got back into the fray. He has stuck with the same 15 and will not give fresh legs a chance untill its too late. 2003 he admitted his 15 were tired after playing all four games and the same applies here. he hasn't a clue, a few world class players has carried him for far too long.

  • 28.
  • At 10:47 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Tinoflyer wrote:

Can anyone out there honestly see the Irish getting through?

They are playing a team that has scored over twice as many points Ireland, and conceeded a lot less against the same three opponants.

They need to score 4 - a feat they have only accomplished once - against Namibia, and they need to get out of sight against the opposition which they only managed against Namibia.

There is no evidence to suggest that Ireland will even get close to the challange ahead.

Personally - I would love to see Argentina win - not because of some anti-Irish attitude - because they would then finish top of the group, play either Scotland or Italy in the Quaters. They would then be favourites for a semi-final berth.

That would be great for world rugby and would show Ireland what taking an opportunity is all about.

Good luck Argentina.

  • 29.
  • At 10:48 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • seamus wrote:

Ireland 30
Arg 20 , 79 min.

Ireland 30
Arg 25 , 81 min.

  • 30.
  • At 10:51 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • serge wrote:

Allez les Verts!
For at least
1st- Because Argentina had the privilege to play France in the first game only and beat them (us) because they had no pressure.

2- Now everyone one is hot as they had played a real big game in which they felt some threat. Therefore I think Ireland like England is more ready to fight for survival than Argentina.

And 3rd, not the less important: Argentina will probably feel more pressure as the match goes than Ireland. The pressure will be on Ireland until the kick off. But after that the Irish know they have 80 minutes to pressurise the Pumas. Argentina, for once in their World Cup history - if I'm not wrong- will have to defend an advantage they had never have before.

So allez l'Irlande et tous mes voeux de bonheur!

  • 31.
  • At 11:01 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Allez les Verts!
For 3 maion reasons:

1st- Because Argentina had the privilege to play France in the first game only and beat them (us) because they had no pressure.

2- Now everyone one is hot as they had played a real big game in which they felt some threat. Therefore I think Ireland like England is more ready to fight for survival than Argentina.

And 3rd, not the less important: Argentina will probably feel more pressure as the match goes than Ireland. The pressure will be on Ireland until the kick off. But after that the Irish know they have 80 minutes to pressurise the Pumas. Argentina, for once in their World Cup history - if I'm not wrong- will have to defend an advantage they had never have before.

So allez l'Irlande et tous mes voeux de bonheur! Allez les Verts!

  • 32.
  • At 11:10 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Anibal Civarolo wrote:

First of all,Ireland must pray for France getting the bonus point against Georgia, if not you must win by 50 pts against us, something really impossible, even for the ABs.The frenchies won´t start with his stars!!!!!(too much arrogance) Anyway it seems that you have not watched JMH or FC or IC or our pack of forwards. ROG, BOD and GM against Hernandez, Contepomi and Corletto???? Dou you really think you will even WIN the match?????? Yes you have a shot, but it´s a very long one, for winning. Arg 25 - Ireland 10.
Argentina will fight with SA for a final spot. I strongly believe than SCO is no match for us, and we have the strenght to beat SA (very difficult, but still possible)
The Champ is in Aus-Nz match, no doubt.

  • 33.
  • At 11:16 PM on 28 Sep 2007,
  • Tez wrote:

Bordeaux - place of unhappiness, isolation, rumour, counter-rumour...
negativity .. navel-gazing - c'mom get real matey - c'est tous media c**p, Alastair, mon ami Anglais.

1. Yes the Pack must perform, in fact they must play the game of their lives.

2. No ! all true Irish rugby supporters are right right behind the Team, and always will be no matter what. Expectation gives way to Hope - that Lovely Forgiving Lady !

3. If the Pack is going forward, ROG should be OK. Lets us all pray to the irish rugby god!

4. In the mix. Wish him well.

5. Quois??? Not a factor.

More relevant is pride, passion, desire and belief allied to the skills and capability these players have, bu have not yet shown.

C'EST POSSIBLE !!!!!!!!!!

  • 34.
  • At 12:11 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • alan wilkinson wrote:

if rog gets into life then this ireland team could win by 20 points if not we could loose by 20 points, its as simple as that

  • 35.
  • At 12:46 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Walter_buenos_aires wrote:

Agghh! Frenchy arrogance strikes again! Cheese and baguettes are for free.

Sorry frenchy but you lost against us, the privilege of what? Because they had no pressure?

Very funny way to explain a defeat. I hope you don’t use the same criteria for business? Do you?

You lost because you are not on the level you think you are. Called arrogance if you like.
That’s the way it is.

I would really love to see Ireland qualify (of course second after us sorry fellows) how I’ll enjoy it if that happen.

C'est la vie

  • 36.
  • At 12:52 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • seamus wrote:

look, this team is not strong enough, talented enough or smart enough to be playing in the knock out stages of this comption. let alone playing New Zealand.
Post #33 is spot on.
the only hope for Ireland is they get beating on Sunday, and start preparing for Argentina in 2011 with a new managment team, a method of finding the best players to play for Ireland and get Gerraity back playing for an Irish club so he can play for Ireland in 3 years time,

  • 37.
  • At 01:43 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • George Mullaney wrote:

The Media have pressurised this team We beat Wallabies, Springboks in tour tests. We beat a weak English team in Croke Park. Lose to Scotland and should have lost to Italy in warm ups. Typical Irish Bullshit. These Guys have not the ability to qualify to the next stage. Wake up Ireland. We are as backward in Rugby as we are in most forms of sport, even G A A as the Australians proved.

  • 38.
  • At 01:44 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Facundo wrote:

I can't believe those frenchs, YOU CAN'T WITH US REMEMBER, IN YOUR STADIUM, IN FRONT YOUR PEOPLE? You have to think in Georgia now, and the AB next, because that's what you'l get, we have business with Ireland and you have nothing to do with it.
Remember 15-14 in 2003 Irish? It's our time now.

  • 39.
  • At 02:41 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Ed from Argentina wrote:

re comment #30 by serge.

I think you French fans need to get down from your horse. That attitude is the same that put you in the position you are now: facing NZ in quarterfinals.

Please play Georgia first, get the bonus point and then pray for Ireland on Sunday -funny you are cheering for Ireland after all the trash you published about O'Gara-. I guess this is not new since you are accostumed to ask other Nations to do what you weren't able to accomplish.

Oh, and the comment about Ireland putting pressure against Argentina...if it is similar to the one France put in the first half, the game will be just a one sided contest. Please read in the RWC site the comments of Namibia's coach about the Argentinian pack and Ireland.

Au revoir and get prepared for the Haka

  • 40.
  • At 04:19 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • rich wrote:

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song,
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o'er us;
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning's light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song!

  • 41.
  • At 05:06 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Brutus wrote:

I am Irish but I am afraid I hope Argentina win thus putting them into pretty much the semis. They deserve it whereas if we by some miracle get through it will be a travesty and more importantly we will have learnt nothing. Group of death maybe but its painful how irrelevant that seems now.

  • 42.
  • At 08:39 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • sinclair wrote:

look on the bright side - Georgia beat France, Ireland beat Argentina, with or without bonus point, whoever gets to play Italy or Scotland loses, whoever plays the All Blacks bursts the New Zealand bubble, and we all - France excepted - live to fight another day. Well, it could happen - or we could score 4 or more tries and knock the Argentinians out - though I would prefer to see them going through, I just don't want us to go out as well.

  • 43.
  • At 08:57 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • DesinVienna wrote:

One very good reason, even if only wishful thinking, Geordan Murphy!
Strangely this may prove to be the only sensible thing that Eddie O'Sullivan has said throughout the tournament - "Cometh the hour, cometh the man"! I hope that Geordan has a creative blinder on Sunday and unlocks some of the latent talent in the Irish team.
We can only hope!!!

  • 44.
  • At 09:43 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • hinzsa wrote:

Ireland has the players to win their next match against Pumas and pass to the next stage, no doubt about that. (Even though the south Americans are having a good campaign, but they still belong to the 'minows') . But what it worries me is the appointment of the (official) referee Paul Honiss , this kiwi-man, has the tendency to apply different rules to different teams, showing a favoritism for the 'bigger team' (especially the ones that generate bigger revenues) the international press vote him the worst official in history, after the Springboks beat Samoa, it also made awful decisions in the opening match in Australia 2003. He will be the mayor threat for the Pumas.

  • 45.
  • At 10:35 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • baekjool wrote:

to Rich (in 41)

You'll sing a song...
a soldier song
el 1ro de octubre
sentado en el avion!!!

And, if you want to win
those rifles and cannons.
to Paris...
You should bring.

That's just to Rich, coz I think that's nothing to do with our anthems, it's just a game, not a war.
Anyway..GO PUMAS!!!

  • 46.
  • At 10:50 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • babbaa wrote:

ireland will het thrashed. they are overhyped and overrated.

  • 47.
  • At 10:53 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

You can't compare Munster to Ireland at the moment. Munster firstly had home advantage and secondly they rarely play badly in the Heineken Cup, including in that season. Ireland on the other hand have looked lost in all their World Cup fixtures. The situation and the momentum going into the game are totally different as Munster at Thormond can be formidable.

Still come on Ireland.

  • 48.
  • At 11:10 AM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • tom wrote:

Based on the statistics Ireland need to win by 48 points. They need a bonus point as well. Argentina haven't conceded a try in this tournament! It's very hard to break their defence down.

If Ireland want to have a slight chance of even winning they need to put in the biggest performance. And that's just to win.

Sorry I'd love to see it happen but unfortunately Argentina's defence is brilliant and their attack format is very good to.

Prediction: Ireland 21-32 Argentina.

  • 49.
  • At 12:00 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • JimW wrote:

Ultimately its the Georgia game where Ireland lost their chance in the RWC. If they had secured the bonus point here they would only have to beat Argentina to qualify and they are capable of that. Its hard to think that they can put four tries in on a team that has been so solid in defence.

Argentina have one of the best scrums in the world so Ireland aren't going to make headway in the scrums on Sunday so let write that off immediately. That means its up to the lineout to get some decent ball for the backs to work off. They also have to be a lot quicker in getting the breakdown and releasing quick ball for the backs. Then the backs themselves are going to have to be a bit more imaginative in their running rather than just plough straight into the Argentinian lines.

Once more I will be shouting like mad for the team but while I can see the win, I can't see them getting the result they want. But then again being an Ireland supporter has always required a lot of hope. This time it requires a miracle.

  • 50.
  • At 12:00 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • mark wrote:

Its the last chance saloon for alot of the Irish players and I hope and still believe that we can bring all that talent onto the field and deliver on sunday for one last horrah in the quarters and the all blacks. I was at Croke park for both the french game and the english game this year. Two great occasions and one fantastic performance that, in my opinion would have turned over any team in the world that day (including all blacks). I know we were at home and it was croke park against the old enemy etc, but if we can put that sort of performance in against the pumas and beat them with all that is required, then the irish beast mentality will return and the all blacks will sit up and take notice. We are a sleeping giant of world rugby that has beaten and beaten up both the boks and the aussies recently and a moral boosting victory against a very good argentina side would bring us back to where we can and should be. O Gara and O driscoll need to step up and play the game of their lives with the forwards ahead of them playing as if their lives depend on it. Its their last chance or they are out of what is likely to be their last world cup. A shame really, considering Ireland were one of the favourites. I feel in my bones that we have another fantastic performance in us. We will need it but its not all over yet. Lets hope we get a bit of the Irish luck that the english keep talking about. The same luck that has deserted us for so long. Good luck Ireland!!

I really do hope we see a committed performance from everyone involved. Let's start it with nailing the passes and ball handling as that has been sorely lacking for some time now. I don't hold out much hope for O'Gara, he's obviously just not right at the moment and as much as I'm annoyed by his performance he deserves a good game in this cup to be remembered by. From O'Sullivan I'd like to see him use the bench better in this game and be ready to make incisive changes if things aren't working.

  • 52.
  • At 12:57 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Al wrote:

OK I'm scottish, typing from St Etienne but am very happy to support our fellow celts. Come on Ireland why not produce a miracle. Get O'Gara playing less deep which will bring BOD and Darcy into the game !!!! Win the game first and worry about the bonus later.

One thing I've noticed in other games is that when teams are chasing the 4 try bonus their players still take an eternity to convert the try. If you are winning forget the conversion or take a drop and get the ball back in play immediately to go for the try.

  • 53.
  • At 01:02 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Al wrote:

OK I'm scottish, typing from St Etienne but am very happy to support our fellow celts. Come on Ireland why not produce a miracle. Get O'Gara playing less deep which will bring BOD and Darcy into the game !!!! Win the game first and worry about the bonus later.

One thing I've noticed in other games is that when teams are chasing the 4 try bonus their players still take an eternity to convert the try. If you are winning forget the conversion or take a drop and get the ball back in play immediately to go for the try.

  • 54.
  • At 01:02 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Al wrote:

OK I'm scottish, typing from St Etienne but am very happy to support our fellow celts. Come on Ireland why not produce a miracle. Get O'Gara playing less deep which will bring BOD and Darcy into the game !!!! Win the game first and worry about the bonus later.

One thing I've noticed in other games is that when teams are chasing the 4 try bonus their players still take an eternity to convert the try. If you are winning forget the conversion or take a drop and get the ball back in play immediately to go for the try.

  • 55.
  • At 01:25 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Alex Schuster wrote:

To the Irish 'supporter' who says he/she wants Argentina to win on Sunday, I have nothing to say. Except that he could not possibly be an Irish supporter.

There's a superb piece by Keith Duggan about the match in today's Irish Times. The concluding two paragraphs are worth quoting:

"It is easy to support a winning team. There is nothing admirable about being part of an afternoon of confused pathos in Croke Park (when Ireland trounced England in February 2007) and getting all patriotic watching the boys in green looking sharp and glittering and winning. Any fool can feel for a team in that kind of theatre. The question is: where are you now ? Shoulder to shoulder and all that.

What a cheap, hard nation we have become ! Tomorrow against Argentina, watch those players and dare to tell yourself they aren't putting their souls into what is probably a lost cause. There has never been a doubt that this collection of sportsmen give it all in the name of Ireland. But they could be forgiven now for wondering if Ireland - as represented by the vanished February crowd of 'supporters' - is worth the bother."

This team has given me immense watching pleasure over the past four years. Ronan O'Gara has given us some sublime moments of his kicking skill, as well as a few off days. But I'm proud of all of our players, even if some my fellow countrymen see fit to ridicule them at this point in time. I know that Ireland will win tomorrow, but probably not by four tries. Which is why I'm putting my money where my mouth is and backing several hundred euro on a Irish victory.

  • 56.
  • At 01:56 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • sinclair wrote:

Well said Alex - whatever else can be said about the show so far, the team have not shirked putting their bodies on the line. As you say, when you've stood thrpugh many a rain sodden match where the ball hasn't gone our way, or we have simply been outplayed, and are still prepared to turn up and shout and sing until you have no voice left, that is when you know what it feels like to be an Irish rugby supporter. These past few years have brought us more success than the previous couple of decades. I only hope that we can pull it off on Sunday. This team deserve it for all the joy they have brought us over the past couple of years.

  • 57.
  • At 02:56 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • tonyd wrote:

I feel the Argies are loosing humility. I wouldn't be surprised if they learn their lesson in Parc des Princes.
We need two NH in the semi.
Beeing from Paris, living 500m away from the stadium which is also very closed to Stade Français where the best Argies play, I appreciate very much their pace and their game. Specially Hernandez.
The big difficulty to the Irish is they will have to create some game from the beginning and the Argies will be waiting for them in defence.
But who knows if Ireland scores 2 tries in the first half, they'll have their chance.
I really hope we will enjoy a true beautiful game.
My predictions
Ireland 27 (including 4 tries) ARG 18
Good luck to you guys and give us a magnificent fight!

  • 58.
  • At 03:50 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Gus Frraga wrote:

Dream on...
Let put this way... Argentina has one of the best Irish players.. Felipe plus Corleto and Pichot to name a few.
Do you really think that these players will be scare by Ireland?
Be real!
Regards

  • 59.
  • At 04:07 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • collie wrote:

I wonder what some of you are drinking. We are going to get mauled. We will be lucky to score 3 points. O garas kicking is crap. The whole tournament has been a farce, BOD is no God...none of the so called golden generation have performed and the manager is worse. Come home now before yis hurt yourselves would yis.

  • 60.
  • At 04:55 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • what ever happened to? wrote:

what it say about the "home nations" when scotland, ireland and wales are going to struggle in the last set of pool games to get to knock out stages. It is time to change the method used to seed teams for this competition. Do away with home nation bias. Why are the 4th 5th and 6th ranking teams in the one group?

  • 61.
  • At 05:15 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • munstergirl wrote:

ya the argentinians are getting quite carried away! it's not written in stone that they will win. the french result was fantastic for them but it also was a double edged sword. i'm loving all the argentinian presumptions on here that ireland will get well beaten. ireland are also hurting badly and when a wounded animal is hurt it attacks! all im saying is ireland could well win the match and could also get the 4 tries! argentinians don't asume anything just yet as pride comes before a fall. look at les bleus!

  • 62.
  • At 06:02 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Eoin B wrote:

to the brave and the faithful nothing is impossible!
Allez les verts!
A wish list for sunday.....
Stand up and fight in the pack, give us some go forward ball from the set pieces, Rog take it flatter, chip over the top on blitz defences, ignore Eddies game plan with the flankers out on the wing, compete compete compete on the ground for the ball.
Bring on the subs with 25minutes to go, and rip into these argies.
Paul and Donncha, deliver a great performance, ye are the engine of the pack, Paul, lead and they will follow. Secure the ball at 2 or 4 rather than a hail mary to 6 in the lineouts. Try a few variants, what happened to a 2 man lineout?
Abandon the predictable colour by numbers patterned play that we have been enforced into over the last few years. It doesnt work at this level anymore.
Geordan, play out of your skin. More than ever we are relying on you to dig us out of the hole eddie has us in. rest of the team, ensure the lines of support runners are good and the ball is protected rather than overran
Believe! and show the Argies every respect off the field but none on it for 80+ minutes.

COme on Ireland! eddie has to go even if we get through, your time is up thanks for the good times.
Irish fans at the match, roar like there is no tomorrow! I will!

  • 63.
  • At 06:22 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Mpwpapwaman wrote:

EOS needs to understand the art of substitution. The IRFU also need to do the same.

  • 64.
  • At 06:41 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • ColPlugwellington wrote:

Just back from a stint of bandit-spotting. Pointed the telescope at the old sky and damned if I saw an entire squadron of pigs coming over the horizon at twelve o'clock. Just the sign we need to give Argie a bloody nose!

  • 65.
  • At 07:14 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

hey gee this thingy hard to get on to,,ok ok iam in new zealand,,now rem this all you lovely irish boys an girls,,,today Italy do the scots,,yep the time has come,,,tomorrow Georgia will lose but i doubt whether France will get or want 4 tries.Also poor Ireland will lose,,and and aussie will play Argentina in final,,no ABS,,no France,,no Boks,,but hopefully Aussie will win final,,then then i might be getting some bucks off the bookies,,,,enjoy your breaky and the games ahead,,,byeee David

  • 66.
  • At 07:35 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • leigh wrote:

i hate to admit it but i think the lads have left it too late to redeem themselves

  • 67.
  • At 08:38 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • I'm a PUMA....You're NOT! wrote:

Honor and pride to every argentinean and irish rugby fellows whom will crash on Sunday evening.
Stop crying frenchys! This is ARG vs IRE time. Focus on your own match... or you'll get embarrased with GEO as you did on RWC day one.
Nevertheless, GO PUMAS GO!!!!!

Pablo

  • 68.
  • At 08:50 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Villoon wrote:

Let's ask our power-sharing Chief Minister Dr Paisley to light a candle for them!

  • 69.
  • At 09:52 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • Larry wrote:

What will have to happen for Ireland to go through:
1) The forwards will have to put their bodies on the line and fight like they've never done before.
2) Ireland will also have to win their line-outs, even though they will have fewer throw-ins than they are accuctomed to.
3) The two O'Secondrows will have to dominate.
4) Wallace needs to get going and have some impact. Easterby needs to maintain his good form.
5) Reddan will have to vary the game with some bursts and quick and accurate passing.
6)O'Gara will have to get his best game going. Deep accurate kicking, variation of passing, quick handling and some novel moves.
7) The backs will have to take up deeper running positions and vary their lines. They have been almost stationary or standing when taking passes.
8) Darcy will have to wake up and have some influence on the match. We all know he has been asleep by his own high standards, and O'Driscoll will need to lead by example.
9) Hickie and Horgan will have to be more influencial than heretofore.
10) Murphy will have to prove once more why he should be ever present.
11) The whole team will have to play with passion, pride, total committment, discipline and concentration.

Pie in the sky?
Probably!

  • 70.
  • At 10:04 PM on 29 Sep 2007,
  • al wrote:

Are you serious about citing "South American Jitters" as evidence of why Ireland can beat Argentina a Rugby Game on Sunday???
Probably your comments are as deranged and neurotic as the journalist’s who try to bring down a whole continent and its people by his own bad experiences. And I incredulously thought that BBC commentators were good and objective...
By the way, what all this rubbish has to do with Rugby and with the character of the teams?

  • 71.
  • At 12:03 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Seb wrote:

To hinza,

Yeah, what criteria do you use to say that the 4th-ranked team in the world still belong to the 'minnows'? Argentina have been playing consistent over the last three or four years and I think they deserve better than be labeled minnows.

I like the Irish team but they will fail to go through because 1) They will not score 4 tries against us, 2) France will not lose against Georgia, 3) They are not even going to win the match. Most of the Pumas hate them and are hell bent on revenge for the elimination in 2003. And they are a determined bunch.

I think if we beat the Irish and then Scotland (which both seem likely at the moment), Argentina will fancy their chances of getting to the final. Probably then, people will stop calling us minnows.

Aguante Pumas!!! Vamos Argentina Carajo!!!

  • 72.
  • At 12:43 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • pumas or cats? wrote:

It will be hard for the pumas to be out of the cup after having impressed so much. But tomorrow is your last day.
kitty kitty kitty

  • 73.
  • At 01:25 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Oncle Bob wrote:

This tournament has been the long overdue exposé of an Irish rugby team and set-up that has been inconsistent and flattered to deceive in recent years. Victims of their own publicity and yet somehow they contrive now to blame the media, in part, for their predicament.

The pack has ground to a halt with a creaking front row, a petulant second row, and a back row with no bite. Very poor half backs, especially O'Gara who looks like he needs therapy the poor lad, and a back line without pace or invention.

Singing soldiers songs won't save this bunch of non-combatants. They might as well throw their green jerseys on the blazing fire and go home.

Argentina's pace, power, invention and belief will crush any weak challenge from this Irish rugby team, and will similarly unmask the Scots the following week and send them homeward to think again.

Pumas for the semi-final no question.

Cheerio to the Ireland rugby team, the dullest side in this tournament and no great loss!

  • 74.
  • At 02:00 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

hey,,seems i missed the boat with italy,,near but not near enough,,,,sooo am i correct in saying that the pumas have the best scrum in the game at mo,,,i pretty sure sir mr henry would even admit that,,so maybe that means that the abs might just feel wee bit iffy on hopefully the future

Argentina will win by 30 points. Actually Pumas are much better. Have a nice return to Dublin green team.

  • 76.
  • At 03:11 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

Ireland's world cup is finished no rabbits out of the hat not played well since last summers tour down under.Big game temperment sadly lacking lack of competetion for places means lack of effort

  • 77.
  • At 03:34 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Roscommon in Dallas wrote:

Irelahd aren't wounded animals. They're spoiled men. Argentina could make this a laugher.

  • 78.
  • At 06:26 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Huinca wrote:

Ireland won't score a single try against Argentina.

  • 79.
  • At 07:38 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • paul mccullough wrote:

I just hope Ireland don't rush things too much.Sure they need at least 4 tries,but they shouldn't try to run everything they get.If they get a penalty in front of the sticks,take the 3 points.They need to win the game first and foremost.If they play helter skelter rugby,the Pumas will feed on their mistakes.They need to throw a lot at Argentina,but they need to be patient also.Expect the Pumas to kick a lot to try and force Ireland to attack from well inside their own half.Best thing Ireland can do is not panic.Good luck IRELAND.

  • 80.
  • At 07:40 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • me, myself and the weird shaped ball wrote:

well first I wanna say, the best team will win. for most of us the match will be 80 minutes of pure adrenaline and then back to our lives and "wives". No hard feelings should be kept.
Argentina is in a good moment of their game and Ireland not, but not because of that Ireland is less dangerous. Do not forget that Ireland is one of the best teams in the world. Argentina is trying to show the world what they can do, so because of that I'm sorry for the Irish team that have to face the sheer determination and thirst of revenge of the Argentineans. I think both teams are in for the match of their lives and I'm very eager to see it!! as I said before, hope the best team win!!

PS: to the frenchs, If you do not manage to qualify by your own means you should not even consider on winning the RWC. No way you'll beat the abs. good luck on the next RWC

  • 81.
  • At 09:00 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Rav wrote:

Im lost, if Ireland win they get 4 points and if they score more than 4 tries they get 1 bonus point. So at best they end up with 14 points (same as Argentina) and probably same as france after their win.

So how exactly can Ireland go through?

Thanks

  • 82.
  • At 09:16 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Mickyjoe wrote:

There's no point whatsoever in any Irish fan crowing doom and gloom unless of course it's a pretext to sickening everyone later on with the old, 'I told you' declaration. Being labelled as pre-tournament contenders was a nice, novel tag while it lasted but I really think, as tags go, the underdog is Ireland's old and trusted friend. Come on greens; we're not dead yet.

  • 83.
  • At 09:27 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Peter LAwther wrote:

As an Irishman I hate to have to say it but I hope Ireland lose.
If they win but do not get the necessary bonus point then erveryone will be saying they weren't that bad in the World Cup.
The fact is the whole team have underperformed and are all happy o take the money but not play with any pride!
I'm heading up Slemish while the game is on!

  • 84.
  • At 09:47 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • MickyMc wrote:

If the Irish team needed any more encouragement for today here are two reasons -
1. An inept England team got trounced by South Africa and still managed to get thro;
2. A Scotland team "hid" from the All Blacks and still got thro;
Personally I'm fed up with English and Scottish commentators talking about Argentina in the Quarters even before the coin has been tossed ... if Ireland want to hold their heads up high next 6 Nations, they MUST start by proving the critics wrong today ... simple! (Isn't it?!)

  • 85.
  • At 10:19 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • munstergirl wrote:

i'm extremely pissed off that all the commentators assume argentina will win. look at scotland v italy player blog and they all talk about scotland v argentina! what the hell! well that's the kind of thing the team need to get the 4 tries! come on ireland! sorrty one bad wc does not a bad team make. the players are still world class, it's just life isnt it! england getting through doesnt mean, they're suddenly back to where they were, and scotland getting through, doesnt mean they're good, just lucky!

  • 86.
  • At 11:02 AM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Alex, Tunbridge Wells wrote:

This Ireland team has a similarity with the England team 4 years ago. They peaked six months before the World Cup.

England were still just good enough to win, but right now Argentina are a better side and should win today. I can't see Ireland repeating the performance they gave against England at Croke Park for a long time.

As England have discovered, replacing a world class team is not easy.

  • 87.
  • At 12:06 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Ian Smyth wrote:

To all irishmen out there who want this irish team to lose - shame on you. Sure they haven't performed but they are giving their all. We're not out of the tournament. Lets show some pride in the flag and jersey and get behind this team one more time.

  • 88.
  • At 12:23 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Seba wrote:

I see thousands of heartbroken Irish fans wandering around Paris this afternoon. Hey don't take it too badly, at least you'll have a Guinness to make it less painful. Come on Pumas, come on Argentina. Let's gets our revenge for WRC03 and send the Irish packing. Argentina 28 - Ireland 22. That'll make my day. Vamos Vamos Argentina!!!

  • 89.
  • At 12:46 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Craig Hailstones wrote:

Im a scotland fan and still recovering from last night! i expect the Irish to fire today with BOD showing us he is still the best 13 in the world! O'Connell will play his munster best and with O'Gara returning to his kicking best the lineout will dominate and the aformentioned 13 will run riot!! Bod back to his Lions 2001 best!

  • 90.
  • At 12:50 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

Any So-called Irish Man that wishes the team to lose is a complete idiot. Go away you platics and continue supporting your Celtic, Arsenal or some other foreign team proudly...

  • 91.
  • At 12:51 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Alex Schuster wrote:

No game ever unfolds in the manner we expect. Fiji's victory over Wales yesterday is a case in point. No one expected Fiji to score three tries in ten minutes, or to have the cojones and courage necessary to come back from the dead with a superb try in the closing minutes of the game.

So I'm wary of all the people out there, mostly from Argentina, who predict a clear victory against Ireland. The reality is that no one knows. Rugby is as much a psychological game as a physical one. Anything could happen at 4.00 (B.S.T.) today.

As an Irish supporter, I have a certain degree of confidence that Ireland will win. But I'm not certain. Brian O'Driscoll has said in today's Sunday Independent that a bonus win is 'unlikely' Which strikes me as a little unwise. After all, why bother to go to the Parc de Princes unless we really believe we can win and procure the bonus point by scoring four tries ? But, hey, let's wait and see what happens and stop trying to predict the future before before it has hatched.

Argentina and its rugby team have a mantra which says: "Todavia no logramos nada". Roughly translated this means "We have done nothing yet." So to the shrill voices from Argentina on this blog predicting an easy victory over Ireland, I would say, remember the mantra "Todavia no logramos nada" and wait until you make it to the semi-finals before praising yourselves. Self praise is indeed the worst form of praise.

  • 92.
  • At 01:00 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Duffin wrote:

Whats all this talk of Argentina being virtually through to the semi`s if they get through.

Scotland have inproved vastly in the past year, they have the best kicker in the world, arguably one of the strongest back row`s in world rugby - White, Hogg, Taylor and back-up of Brown, Callum - they have a backline that has gelled well in the tournament and has enough pace to trouble many.

Okay so Scotland dont have any true World class running backs BUT they have players that if they are given any space they can exploit it (Webster the Lamonts, Paterson and Dewey)

I look forward to Scotland beating Argentina in the Quarters.

Good luck to everyone irish, let the celtic spirit spur you on

  • 93.
  • At 01:02 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Juan wrote:

Hi there, today I believe it is going to be a very good match. Ireland will be the one that used to be few months ago, but Argentina has the best ever squad.

I think Argentina today will beat the paddys by over 20 points!! Just few hours to the match

Cheers
Juan

  • 94.
  • At 01:08 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

Even if Ireland score 4 tries and win by over 7, it's been overlooked they could still go out for 2 other reasons. Look at the table... 1). If France win but don't get 4 tries (so a bonus point) against Georgia, (remember Georgia have only conceded 40 odd so far) it's down to points diff between 3 teams with 14 points each. As each of the 3 teams HAS BEATEN one of the other two, Ireland would be beaten by miles on points diff. 2). Argentina get 4 tries in losing themselves so get 15 points. If France win but don't get 4 tries it's then down to France's (14 pts)head to head against Ireland (14 pts) and Ireland go out!!

  • 95.
  • At 01:21 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Muttley.1 wrote:

Alastair, even I, as an enthusiastic Irishman, cannot see Ireland going through. Ireland's shocking displays are as a result of the shortcomings of Eddie O'Sullivan as a coach. This man cannot take us to the next level. The most talented Irish team to grace the shores of Ireland have not won a Grand Slam at time when less talented English, Welsh and French teams have done so. The IRFU must stand up and be counted and do the decent thing (like the Welsh) and replace the coach. That will put us out of our misery instead of another 4 years of tearing our hair out.

  • 96.
  • At 01:30 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • misoramen wrote:

No way Jose! At best we will give it a good go but let`s be realistic, the damage has been done. Hopefully Eddie O`Sullivan will resign or be sacked straight after the game.

  • 97.
  • At 01:41 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

Ireland could be vitually OUT before they even kick off if France win but don't score 4 tries. There's no way they'll beat Argentina by approx 50 pts, but if this happens...what a party!

  • 98.
  • At 02:05 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

The Reason Ireland will fail is the same as the reasons given in this Blog. A traditional Irish Problem..... All Talk no Action. Ireland need to talk less and do more.

  • 99.
  • At 02:09 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • petaJ wrote:

As a rugby fan first and an England supporter second (I'm English, but this hasn't been a comfortable tournament for us either!) the best I am hoping for is a good game and for Ireland to give a good account of themselves. I don't think they will win, and even if they do, it won't be by enough to take them through, but I would like to see them go home with at least some pride and honour restored.

  • 100.
  • At 02:14 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • juan wrote:

Honestly I would prefer Argentina and Ireland in the quarter final and have the frenchies about in the group stage, but to be realistic Ireland will be back home today.

I believe and hope we will see a great match today!!!

  • 101.
  • At 02:18 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • John McAuliffe wrote:

Four games into this World Cup and we are still waiting for this Irish team to spark. It's difficult to find anything in Ireland’s favour. What scares me most about Argentina, apart from their obvious talent, is team spirit they have fostered. They play with a pride that Irish people recognise and respect. Argentina is bringing a powerful momentum to this game and we would need so many things to go right… our pack to give us a decent platform, our lineout to finally function, our scrum to last more than 60 minutes, O'Driscoll to create space instead of playing as a flanker, O'Gara to sort his head out ...only a fool would expect Ireland to progress now.

But sport has a cruel way of letting hope linger..
If Ireland can go out and give us a performance to be proud of, then maybe they will have salvaged something out of this sorry mess. Come on Ireland. We can do this.


  • 102.
  • At 02:23 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Alex Schuster wrote:

If Ireland win by four tries and eight points or more, then they will go through.

Why ? Because it is extremely unlikely for both the winning and losing team in a World Cup Match between high-ranked countries to score four tries or more each in a single game. If Ireland score four or more, then they will be in the ascendancy and Argentina are most probably not going to score four (note that the Fiji-Wales match was between two lower ranking teams and was the exception rather than the rule).

Secondly, if Ireland get four tries, then there is a high likelihood that the winning margin will equal or exceed eight points.

And, finally, in response to the poster who said that this will still leave Ireland level on fourteen points with Argentina, the rules would then stipulate that Ireland go through on account of head-to-head victory against Argentina.

That said, however, who knows what will happen today ? Unlike my friends from Argentina, I'm not poredicting victory margins of twenty points or more for my team. I simply do not know how the afternoon will pan out. But my fingers are firmly crossed for Ireland. Todavia no logramos nada.

  • 103.
  • At 02:28 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • ulsterfan wrote:

#85 - one bad WC does not a bad team make, but surely it must reveal the weaknesses of that team. The RWC is what every team aims and build for for four years. The so-called minnows knew this and came to play. The Irish squad seems to have lost the passion (and no little skill)that the minnows brought.

I will be cheering for Ireland today, but I fear that the loyal support of thousands of fans will not be enough. If we lose, I wish Argentina all the best in the rest of the tournament because they will have gotten there through hard work, self-belief and perseverence.

Finally, if we do lose, the IRFU should take a hint from the Welsh and fire that coach.

  • 104.
  • At 02:51 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Roscommon in Dallas wrote:

I hate to say it, but I don't think Ireland have a chance today. Even if Ireland plays it's best, and don't see that happening with ROG in the squad, Argentina are to formidable to lay down and lose. ROG has been horrible and he will continue to be so today. The worst flyhalf in the tournament.

  • 105.
  • At 03:44 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Villoon wrote:

It is all but over bar the formalities.

Will Eddie O'Sullivan still be coach this time tomorrow?

I don't think so.

If he is the wrath of Irish Rugby Fans will fall on those who extended his contract by four years before a ball was kicked.

  • 106.
  • At 03:46 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Mambo123 wrote:

Looks like once again its the English who are the true saviours of British Rugby. The rest are taking an early bus ride home like usual so the balance is set. (And Footie Too)

  • 107.
  • At 03:54 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • McKudoh wrote:

I think it is too early to give up against Argentine. Key player will be Reddan since Pichot makes mistakes if he get some pressure for ball-out. Leamy /Reddan know what to do. O'gara has to be in best form and neat kicking game would save Irish.

  • 108.
  • At 03:59 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Paolo wrote:

Ireland will go out today. I am so fed up with fake Irish flag wavers. Ireland are always supposed to be everyones second team, but I couldn't care less about them. Come on Argentina! Shut them up once and for all!

  • 109.
  • At 04:45 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Oncle Bob wrote:

HA HA HA!
Half time and pathetic Ireland look like amateurs against Argentina.
GOODBYE!
Ireland and Wales - you are the past, live on your memories.
Arentina and Fiji - you are the future!
Southern Hemisphere and Pacific rugby wins, the old British Isles order fades away.

  • 110.
  • At 05:18 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • listel wrote:

So much for the theory.... I wish Ireland did win but everyone has under-estimated the Pumas, oncluding me and i am French...

  • 111.
  • At 05:23 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • listel wrote:

7 minutes to go! come on Ireland, only 42 points to score....Surely the Irish luck is having a day off...

  • 112.
  • At 05:36 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • depressed Irish fan wrote:

The best performance of the RWC for Ireland, but too little, too late!!!!

Let the inquest begin...EOS must go.

  • 113.
  • At 05:40 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Oncle Bob wrote:

We’ll sing a song, a loser’s song,
With bleating moaning chorus,
As round our blazing hangovers we throng,
The Argentinians o’er us,
Impatient for the semi final,
And as we wait the morning’s flight,
Here in the silence of the airport,
We’ll chant a losers song,
Losers are we
whose lives are pledged to failure,
Some have come
just to head back home again,
Sworn to be beaten,
As always our ancient sire land,
Shall shelter the useless or the craven,
Tonight we man the whiskey bottle,
In drunken pause, come another defeat,
Mid Argentina’s roar and Irish tears,
We’ll chant a loser’s song!

Au revior Irish rugby team and supporters, take your rightful place among the minnows and stop whinging! Beaten by a true top four side, that's how you play rugby. Watch and learn!

  • 114.
  • At 05:45 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • depressed Irish fan wrote:

#110 - sour grapes!!!!

Have you ever been to Argentina? Save your comments and show some grace in defeat!

  • 115.
  • At 05:57 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • David HURST wrote:

Doesn't this article look silly now (after the match) ?

  • 116.
  • At 06:03 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Well done Argentina - you deserve to go all the way. We were poor and if this was our best game then we have dropped our standrads a lot. I hope the old farts that run the IRB will stand up and get the likes of Argentina, Fiji, Georgia, Tonga etc inot the Tri & 6 nations tournement Rugby has now gone global and having played rugby in one of the very small emerging nations its time to listen to the small guys!!

  • 117.
  • At 06:10 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • seamus wrote:

Argentina can win this world cup.
O'Gara should never play for Ireland again.
The last 15 min proved that the 4 men that came on should have started.
O'Sullivan must resign.

  • 118.
  • At 06:11 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Chris A wrote:

So we finally have it confirmed, none of the northern hemisphere teams can compete. 5 SH versus 3 NH in the QF. No NH won a group, what does this say about the cause of NH rugby. England fail to even meet expectations, Scotland squeezed luckily through, Wales got stuffed by the one of minnions in their group and Ireland were lucky not to be on the next plane home before the Argentina match.

  • 119.
  • At 06:14 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • NilDesparendum wrote:

Ireland did not deserve to go through. They were simply not good enough. Why given they were 6 months ago? The consistent collective failure suggests a systemic problem and the responsibility for this rests with EOS. He should resign. He has served Ireland well but he and the IRFU (4 year contract!) were complacent.Its time to go.Oncle Bob ..you are a truly sad and bitter individual.

  • 120.
  • At 06:33 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I think what this says is that Northern Hemisphere rugby is a joke. Perhaps the entire NH should have a special qualifying round to even get in the world cup next time. :-)

  • 121.
  • At 08:00 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Oncle Bob wrote:

I'm not sad or bitter at all NilDesparendum, I'm very happy today that rugby is the winner and those who swagger on reputation alone and who feel that, due to their 'history', they deserve a seat at rugby's top table have been sent packing. You won't be missed, and you can sing your songs to yourselves while no one else is listening.

And by the way, in your haste to sack O'Sullivan, you should ask O'Gara to go hand in hand with him if you want to try and become a good rugby team.

  • 122.
  • At 08:44 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Roscommon in Dallas wrote:

O'Sullivan? Was he the one who couldn't find touch? Was he the one kicking it directly to the Argies? Did he knock forward at one of the most crucial points of the match. I submit O'Gara was the worst #10 in the tournament. If O'Sullivan is ousted it should be because O'Gara wasn't replaced by someone, anyone!

  • 123.
  • At 09:31 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • disappointed wrote:

why is rog suddenly been assassinated! hello. he had a great year up till the wc. why did everyone get mad about the scapegoating og geordan murphy but not rog? all the team let us down not just him! come on. shane horgan ahsnt been catigated at all. leamy had to mark 2 players today! darcy keep giving the ball away and knocking on. hickie is useless, dempsey too. get real.

  • 124.
  • At 10:01 PM on 30 Sep 2007,
  • Juan wrote:

Everybody thought that France and Ireland would pass the pool just walking, but at the end they both lost.

I am sorry for the irish, I think Ireland has a great rygby and even today you play very well. I wish you would have played like this against the frenchies, and you may have beaten them.

Anyway, the All Black's are now waiting for the French, I imagine no final will be waiting for them!!!

  • 125.
  • At 12:30 AM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • A.N. Other wrote:

Disappointed #123 - ROG had a good 6 months...how? Ireland has been struggling for months.

It is true that ROG has been playing behind a beaten pack, but if he was as good as the hype suggested (some were saying he was as good as Carter 6 months ago) then he would have risen to the occassion...instead he crumpled like a house of cards.

He was, and is, a one dimensional player...perfect for his one dimensional coach. This WC has demonstrated this again and again.

That is why he is getting slagged.

  • 126.
  • At 10:25 AM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • disappointed wrote:

all im saying is rog should not be used as a scapegoat! he is not a one dimensional player- he had a bad world cup true and he'd be the first to admit but i think turning on him now and slagging him off is ridiculous and hypocritical. when he starts to perform again, which he will, people will be praising him to the heavens because we irish are a fickle bunch. no one can argue with that! ireland were abysmal this year,true but ill keep on supporting them time and time again and not suddenly jump off the bandwagon which alot of people seem to have done. at least the english still believe in their team and the scottish while their teams have gone through bad patches!

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites