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John Haughey

Murphy absence baffling (243)

Belfast - Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made three changes for Friday’s must-win World Cup clash against France but the biggest talking-point may be his decision to leave Geordan Murphy out of the entire 22.

The Ireland team is: Dempsey; Horgan, O'Driscoll, capt, D'Arcy, Trimble; O'Gara, Reddan; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Easterby, D Wallace, Leamy. Replacements: Sheahan, S Best, O'Kelly, N Best, Boss, P Wallace, Duffy.

To put it mildly, Gavin Duffy's inclusion on the bench at Murphy's expense is baffling.

Murphy gets a couple of minutes late in the opener against Namibia, stays on the bench throughout Saturday’s debacle against Georgia and is then left out altogether for the pivotal France game.

O'Sullivan has explained Murphy's absence by pointing out the Leicester player's disappointing displays in his last two Six Nations outings against France but that is unlikely to quell the controversy.

It will be interesting to hear Geordan's thoughts on the subject when we hook up with him later this week for our World Cup Q&A which is appearing on the BBC Sport Website.

That’s providing we can locate him because he must be thoroughly disenchanted with the constant questioning about his sidelining.

Neil Best must be a tad bemused at not being included in the starting line-up.

Ireland have lacked aggression and fire in their opening two matches – qualities that the Ulsterman has in abundance.

Maybe O’Sullivan feels Best can be bettered used as an impact player on Friday. But what about making an impact right at the start of the match and rattling the hosts?

The changes that O’Sullivan has made to the starting team are fair calls.

Scrum-half Peter Stringer had a nightmare against Georgia and while Isaac Boss was next in line, the coach has correctly opted for a new approach in the shape of Eoin Reddan.

To be fair to Denis Hickie, his form has been no worse than the majority of his colleagues in the backs but O’Sullivan had little option but to shake things up so Andrew Trimble comes in.

The injury to Rory Best meant that Jerry Flannery’s inclusion was a certainty.

There is little more to be said.

The Irish performances to date have been dismal and the Emerald Isle’s sports fans are trying to figure out what has gone wrong.

The players look stale and it’s difficult to believe that matters can be turned around for Friday’s game.

John Haughey is a journalist at BBC Sport in Belfast.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Munster Steve wrote:

I think the omission of Murphy is fairly obvious. Time and time again he has failed to deliver for Ireland. Granted, he has played exceptionally well for Leicester (usually against Irish teams) but he cannot deliver at test level. He also went off in a sulk when not selected for Ireland v. England this year and gave away his tickets. What a team player!!!!

  • 2.
  • At 01:11 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • paulm180 wrote:

Oh dear, I was oddly confident about our prospects before i saw this team sheet.. why would you put trimble back in instead of murphy/anyone, the man has no ball handling skills. oh dear.

  • 3.
  • At 01:11 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Dirty Flanker wrote:

Murphy should be on the pitch for the French match.
The French will be in flying form after their last game and will want to keep up the momentum of free flowing French flair (I should be a bloddy poet!).

Murphys attacking qualities are just one of the things that this Irish team is lacking. And also Best is needed to lead by example, given that O'Connell hasn't inspired the forwards in the same way he did back at Croker in March.

  • 4.
  • At 01:13 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

I agree with the changes apart from excluding Murphy, if we are looking for a player to do something Murphy is the one you would look to do that.

I really hope the changes come off and the players step up come Friday.

Best of Luck!!

  • 5.
  • At 01:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

I had a good chuckle at the English performance and was then looking forward to a hearty Irish performance. Imagine my suprise and subsequent hang over when this did not happen.

Why not include Murphy, why sideline best as he may put a bit of fire in our bellys.

Can we contemplate going home early from the World Cup, we are supposed to be the 6th best team in the world, where is our 6 nations and Autumn international form.

I always thought the almighty was an Irishman but now I am not too sure

  • 6.
  • At 01:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

The only reasons that I can think of for Murphy's ommission asr either a spersonality clash with EOS or a row between them in the last week.

Our backs seem to be lacking any real creativity and I thought that Murphy would have been the person to provide this. I can't see Duffy given any game time never mind make an impression against France.

I am really starting to fear the worst for this game.

Eddie has truly lost the plot in my opinion. Being the only manager to not use his entire squad effectively has left him completely exposed to some much deserved criticism. The IRFU, and the entire Irish management team have some serious questions to answer to the entire Irish rugby supporting people. Many of us have spent large sums of money over the past years, supporting what has come into this world cup as 'the most experienced Irish team ever'. We now find ourselves changing those experienced faces for some fresh-faced rookies to try and save the day. O' Sullivan should come out and answer questions, those hard hitting, uncomfortable questions for the benefit of the bemused Irish supporters. Questions along the lines of why was Geordan dropped? Why are we under performing so spectacularly? Why is Eddie saying that we put in a positive performance on Saturday and that it was a marked performance over the Namibia performance? Does he not see the desparate, dire situation facing Irish rugby? We need answers, the world cup is all but over for us, but, we need to find out why, and hold those responsible for this 'performance' accountable!

  • 8.
  • At 01:15 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Marc wrote:

murphy not making the test 15 is unbelievable, EoS can not justify this decision murphy has not been given a clear chance in years to stacke a claim on the 15 jersey. this reminds me of the david wallace situation a few years back.

strings is a big shock with the loyalty he has been shown but its better late than never that reddan gets his chance,

re hickey well he's carrying a knock but trimble ahead of murphy is again bemusing,

what is EoS thinking, i hope this works out otherwise his head is on the chopping block along with his 4 yr contact

EoS Give Geordan Murphy his chance

  • 9.
  • At 01:17 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Derek Molison wrote:

At this stage its gone past a joke, either O'Sullivan has lost the team or else the players are overtrained.

Physically they have been 2nd best to both Namibia and Georgia, with the French and the Argentinians to come it does not look good.

O'Sullivan must be laughing all the way to the bank, four years in his pcoket and this rubbish been produced on the field.

Our world cup finishes on Friday, then the inquest has to begin with no heads been spared.

  • 10.
  • At 01:17 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Don wrote:

I agree totally with your thoughts on Neil Best. However EOS does not have a track record of using "impact Subs". He usually will only make changes late in the game when things are too late.
The Geordan and Isaac decisions are baffling, but come from the EOS school of logic. The same happened Frankie Sheehan last year.

  • 11.
  • At 01:18 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Windy Guts wrote:

Where is EOS' logic? If Reddan's been promoted to starting line (something in my view he should have at least tried a long time ago) then why wasn't he at least on the bench for the last 2 games or even one of the warm up games? Would love to know what Geordan has said to EOS to be so completely out of favour? If he was a Dutch soccer player he'd have gone on strike by now and revealed all in a serialised biography in a Sunday paper - in fact that would make interesting reading!

I am so disappointed. Jonny Giles talked of the FAI letting down a generation of soccer players and fans by keeping Staunton in his job. The IRFU have done that to us by giving One-Eyed Eddie another 4 more years. And I thought Bertie back in for 4 more years was bad...

  • 12.
  • At 01:18 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Everything Ireland do in this world cup so far has been baffling.

EOS does not like Murphy and it has clouded his judgement, not very professional at all. What do the other players have to do to start for their country. Absolutely incredulous that he is not in the 22, he should of started. Using past performances is crazy, where would it leave EOS????

The fact that we have EOS for another 4 years does not bode well for fringe players. Some quarters if not all in that squad must be totally deflated either through under performance or no performance. I for one am not at all optimistic about getting out of this group.

Maybe when all is over we will find out what really happened to this Irish team.

  • 13.
  • At 01:19 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Onlookerman wrote:

Murphy may as well go home. What does EOS have against him? Not to bring him on against Georgia was absurd. To drop him completely is mad. But there we are - no sense, no strategy, no way out of the group stage.

  • 14.
  • At 01:20 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mickiavellian wrote:

I wholeheartedly agree with O'Sullivan's decision to put Reddan in instead of Stringer. In video replays of that interception try against Georgia, you can see, in the top left hand corner of the screen, Brian O'Driscoll remonstrating with Stringer for the loose pass.

The Flannery inclusion was academic but I would have put Carney on the bench instead of Duffy (whom I admittedly know little about) in place of Murphy.

Having said all that...the words deck-chairs, re-arranging and titanic still springs to mind.

  • 15.
  • At 01:21 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • niall wrote:

totally agree cant believe murphy is not in the 22 he should be starting

  • 16.
  • At 01:22 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

EOS has lost touch with reality. the decision to give him another 4 yrs b4 the world cup began woz a gamble and now looks down right stupid!
Murphy offers much more then Dempsey and could have been the spark when so much needed!
France by 30!

  • 17.
  • At 01:28 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • John St.Ledger wrote:

Neil Best should have started instead of Easterby. However that is the only criticism I'd have from this squad.

I'm delighted to see Reddan included. This will hopefully add a whole new dimension to our game.
Trimble deservedly comes in, although Hickie can count himself slightly unlucky with Horgan's physicality keeping him in ahead of him.

Eddie is right in dropping Murphy from the bench. If he feels he can't trust him against France after his unforgiveable missed tackle in the six nations, then why have him even on the bench. Dempsey is solid enough at 15, and this is needed a lot more against a flaky team like the French than Murphy's impulsiveness. Duffy offers some versatility, and is next in line at inside centre. He is also comfortable at wing and full back.

Gordan D'Arcy appears not to be a tournament player. He has too much time thinking about games. As he said in the Indo, he was pumping and ready to play 10 minutes before kick off against Namibia. I think he needs his off time at home. Just the same with the Lions, he can't quite find his game in such an intense climate. I can see Duffy coming in to partner O'Driscoll if D'Arcy doesn't improve substantially.

We're going to beat the French by two points. Yes; yes we are.

  • 18.
  • At 01:29 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Dave Hen wrote:

To Munster Steve: How can you say Murphy has failed to deliver - he hasn't had any game time - the last time he played for ireland he was our best player (v Scotland)

  • 19.
  • At 01:30 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • tom mulligan wrote:

Murphy is being punished because he won't return to play in Ireland. It was strongly rumoured that Ireland would drop him if he continued to play for Leicester. Small minded Irish selectors.

  • 20.
  • At 01:31 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Knackered wrote:

Let's not forget that the last two times Murphy played against the French he nearly cost us the game singlehandedly. He threw the ball around in Paris like confetti - leading to an intercept pass and a try for France and then missed a relatively simple tackle on Ibanez in Dublin to allow France to score.

Don't know a lot about Gavin Duffy but agree with Eddie's other choices

EXCEPT - Neil Best should start this game. You need to rattle the French early and this means getting into them. If the French get settled in this game we can throw our hat at it - a 40 point thrashing would not be out of the question here folks!

  • 21.
  • At 01:32 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Irishtighthead wrote:

What sort of message is Eddie trying to deliver? Granted Reddan is a good player, but why was he not on the bench for the last two games instead of Boss?
As for Murphy, he may as well not have brought him to the world cup. Shameful to move him from the bench when Hickie is dropped and Trimble has moved back in. Looks like Ireland will implode on Friday night. The coach has lost his head as well as the team. Quinlan should be in for O`Callaghan and Best in for Easterby

  • 22.
  • At 01:36 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Thomas wrote:

Unbelievable team selection. We have lost this game before even starting it. The fact that Neil Best is not starting is absurd, what does he have to better or the other back rows worse to get on the pitch?

EOS seems unwilling to concede the fact that certain players aren't on form. D'Arcy, fantastic as he usually is, is playing awfully and I think Trimble should be playing centre with Murphy on the wing.

He is taking a massive risk and hoping these off form players turn it around in 6 days.

I was so looking forward to this world cup but now I just want Friday to come and go.

  • 23.
  • At 01:37 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Liam N wrote:

One thing being said before the world cup - particulary by SH teams was that we were a settled team just like England in 03. But now Reddan - who is no slouch - is thrown into the most important rugby game for ireland for 4 years and for years to come infact it is possibly the most important game ever. Murphy has underperformed against France on the last two occasions. Remember the try fest in paris two years ago? But he should be on the bench at the very least - and I am a connacht supporter. Am sure Gavin will work his socks off but up against Heymans - Dominci et al....

France are not unbeatable - but our strength was in stability. My fear is that something catastrophic has happended in the camp and the morale is rock rock bottom. There is nothing really more we can say.

  • 24.
  • At 01:37 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • IRISHLAD wrote:

I agree 100% with the changes made. The real controversy is not picking Stringer...it should have happened a long time ago...he has been woefully exposed against the weaker nations....You need to be more than the best passer in the world to be a proper No.9.

Would have liked Neil Best to replace Easterby though...

As for Murphy....definitely a personality issue with EOS......I agree he has not performed well in an Irish jersey _ I was in Paris in 06'!!!Question is what has Duffy done to deserve his place? NOUGHT.

  • 25.
  • At 01:39 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

To be honest with you I got a bit of a shock when I read the team for fridays match.I was fully expecting EOS to be his usual conservative self and opt for no change with the exception of Flannery at hooker.
Frankly I am delighted with his desigion.He is true to his word of picking players on form and not by reputation with the exception G. Murphy being left out of the 22.Murphy's performance against Scotland alone should have been enough for a place on the bench at least with Gavin Duffy (a player who could'nt even make his clubs starting 22 last season)not having the same experience or attributes to provide a meaningfull impact from the bench.
In saying this I definately back EOS desigion to use his full squad.After all that's what they're there for.

  • 26.
  • At 01:41 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Shaun wrote:

The only change in the forwards is enforced due to Best's injury. Ireland were atrocious at clearing bodies in the last two games and never commited bodies at the right time however none are dropped. Neil Best should be accomadated for any three of the backrow with Quinlan on the bench. Chabal and co need to have it put up to them early and see what they're really made of (Sale in Thomond Pk anybody). Friday is trench warfare and we need some warriors.

  • 27.
  • At 01:41 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • rpw wrote:

whats going on.. eddy makes one brave call and then bottles it.. again! reddan deserves a start he is the best scrum half we have at the moment adn should have been on the field earlier in the RWC.. Quinlan and Murphy must feel hard done by.. they deserve to be on the bench at least for this game but should be on the pitch! and whats the point of even putting duffy on the panel ia a waste of time not to mind the bench.. if he had any balls about him eddy would have carney on the bench surely he is more of an impact player when we'll be chasing the game against a rampant french team.. they looked awesome last night and will be rubbing their hands with glee with this team announced by eddy.. on saturday we looked tired and lacked any hunger.. usually the only thing we used to bring to a game! was painful to watch the irish team try to ruck.. they didn't know what to do! they should spend the week passing the ball to each other and rucking! basic skills but we dont have them at the moment and much as i hope us being underdogs will change our attitude its looking like friday is going ot be a very bad night! i hope they prove me wrong and play the rugby that they know they can.. come on ireland sort yourselves out for gods sake!!

  • 28.
  • At 01:42 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Big Huw wrote:

Totally agree with Dave Hen and many of the other comments. The Back line is totally clueless and with the amount of caps and talent there is I can not understansd what is happening. The only person who offers flair is Geordon and at the moment this is what the team needs. As for throwing his toys out - he was on the form of his life, playing fullback for Leicester and Eddy did not give him a chance in the 6 nations - what else does he need to do!!!!!Speechless. Good luck - think they will need it!!

  • 29.
  • At 01:43 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Ian A wrote:

I'm a biased Tigers fan but I just don't see O'Sullivan's obvious love for Dempsey. Geordan has had his moments where things don't quite click and when that happens he usually has a bit of a average game.

More often than not though he is a player with such creativity and vision to turn games. He's a match winner along with O'Driscol and O'Gara and they need these players in.

  • 30.
  • At 01:43 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • SeanO13 wrote:

EOS has lost the plot - too clever for his own good. It has been clear since the games v Scotland, Italy and Namibia that the desire and hunger are absent. The lack of intensity coupled with all the unforced errors and the erratic changes before a crunch game (which could have been made on an experimental basis for the game v Georgia) point towards complete disharmony within the camp. I would love to see Carney, Quinnlan and N Best playing - you can never doubt their hunger and intensity. EOS should get in touch with his Munster roots and perhaps he will realise that its not all about irrelevant stat's its about realising players limitations and devising an appropriate game plan. If he managed to do this and also silence BOD (from making idiotic comments to the media), perhaps the players would begin to believe that they were capable of achieving something. There is a glaring disconnect between what the coach seems to want and what the players think they can actually do. If the players arent focused (which explains lack of intensity and the unforced errors), then one has to wonder why. EOS should have dropped himself.

  • 31.
  • At 01:43 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Jim O'Kane wrote:

I’m staggered that there have only been two non-enforced changes. The only change to a pack destroyed by Namibia and Georgia was forced by injury. What a joke. We are going to get destroyed up front by the French. As for the Murphy controversy, his defence is suspect but he was surely worth a place on the bench (impact substitution!). There must be something going on behind the scenes with him and EOS. The axing of Stringer should send a message to the rest of the team that they can’t afford to rest on the laurels.

  • 32.
  • At 01:45 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Brendan wrote:

I wouldnt have been all too annoyed that Murphy didnt make the team but for Duffy to be selected ahead of him on the bench is quite frankly ridiculous! I would have been concerned about Murphy's defensive qualities against a powerful French back line but it is him who we might need if we are chasing the game; his creative talent, someone who thrives in an open game.

Im a big fan of Hickie but cant really argue against his replacement, although tough call between Trimble and Carney, who would have brought a bit more steel to the back line. Disappointed that such a great servant to Irish rugby will not even be on the bench for one of Ireland's biggest games!

Surprised that the raw aggression and strength of Best wasnt selected at blindside as Easterby hasn't set the world alight since his performances on the Lions tour.

However I am pleased to see that Reddan is in for Stringer although I would rather have kept Stringer on the bench as his experience is key. Boss can be erratic at the best of times.

Overall, I fear for us on Friday night. France have the bit between their teeth and if we dont at least match them for will and desire then we have no chance. Come on Ireland!!!

  • 33.
  • At 01:46 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • John St.Ledger wrote:

I heard that Eddie O'Sullivan hasn't spoken to Geordan Murphy in three years. If this is the case, is it really a shock that he's not involved. The only way he'll bring Murphy in is if Dempsey gets injured, and is out for the Argentina game. He'll only play him if he's forced to. So far this World Cup, Dempsey hasn't done an awful lot wrong, and so O'Sullivan doesn't have to cross that bridge just yet.

Also, is Brian O'Driscoll picking the team? I saw an interview with him post Georgia, and he said something along the lines of "we'll sit down, and pick the team....there'll be a lot of guys worrying about their places".
Add this to the uncharacteristic rollicking he gave Stringer and it's not impossible. Also, all this smirking he makes towards Eddie O'Sullivan when asked about his availability for selection, where he looks over and comments tongue-in-cheek "I'm available to play if picked".

Finally, does the fact that we have no team anthem that gets either community pumped up before games, a team who is cut off from the supporters, and wearing a jersey that looks nothing like any Ireland team has ever worn before. Have we lost our pride, and identity? It definitely feels that way.

I still think that after all the criticism this team has recieved there is a kick there which will be seen in Paris.

  • 34.
  • At 01:47 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Tostao wrote:

Parachuting Reddan in at this stage having not given him any game or bench time defies logic and smells a bit of panic. Eddie obviously has a big problem with Geordan Murphy. To pick a very average player like Gavin Duffy over Murphy smacks of being vindictive for whatever reason. Other players based in England such as Bob Casey and Peter Bracken have also been very badly treated by O'Sullivan in the past. Whether these players could have been assets to the current squad has never been explored by O'Sullivan and this stands as an indictment of his spell as national coach. The pack has so badly misfired for several matches now that to leave it intact bar the enforced change at hooker is another almost incredible decision from Eddie. If we lose by more than 7 points next Friday we are effectively out of the World Cup. It surely isn't likely that the IRFU will honour the new contract in such circumstances.

  • 35.
  • At 01:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Aido wrote:

Can understand EOS's decision to leave Murphy out of the 22 - he can be blamed for costing Ireland to slams at the hands of Les Blues.

That said, can't understand why EOS isn't shaking things up more. Trimble will provide nothing, why not stick in the unknown quantity of Carney on the wing instead, surely his strength and unknown quantity will provide some food for thought for the French.

Also, Best should start ahead of Easterby, we need someone who will at least take some steam out of the rampant 'Sea Bass' and I don't Easterby is the man for the job. Even Quinlan would add an extra edge.

While the changes are welcome I don't think they go far enough. All said even if we manage to string a performance together and beat the French, Argentina will turn us over - no way we're going to win both games.

The fat lady has bellowed before her time, she hasn't even taken to the stage yet.

  • 36.
  • At 01:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Lee wrote:

Oh dear. Ireland are on their way home. The chance of beating France even if the performance goes up 5 gears is slim.
Best should be playing, Murphy should have taken Hickie's place and the entire squad should be sent on a team building day.
If the petty arguements and acts of crass stupidity creep in this week, it is au revoir le France and bonjour Magners League.

  • 37.
  • At 01:51 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

O'Sullivan doesnt have a clue what he is doing. PLease have Bradley or Kidney as coach after World Cup. Quinlan should be at least on the bench. Neil Best should be starting. Brian Carney should be on the wing.

  • 38.
  • At 01:52 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • LoTH wrote:

Murphy lacks pace at international level and has never really shown anything against the big southern hemisphere nations. Easterby's organistion of the defence is obviously why he is included over Best who can count himself unlucky. I think Reddan is a good wee player and Stringer has been shocking recently!

  • 39.
  • At 01:56 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • chris wrote:

Stringer droppped because the forwards were standing on him as they collapsed in both games.
Hickey dropped because he never got a pass except the two while he was concussed and should have been subbed.
Murphy dropped because he didnt get gametime and he is a class act and doesnt suit the bore's (non) gameplan. If EOS comments as to why he didnt pick him are true, why the hell did he bring him?
Forwards who failed turnover after turnover, dropped ball forward every time they were tackled. A captain who couldnt motivate a tailor's dummy, they are all ok - compare this with Laporte, what did he do - 12 changes, 70 odd point win.
Nigel Best not only should be playing instead of Easterby, he should be captain, now! Marcus Horan doesnt look fit either. I'm from Munster by the way.

  • 40.
  • At 01:56 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

What's most worrying is that he has only made one change, in a pivotal position. Hickie and Best were both injured, so Trimble and Flannery were the default call ups.

I think that what Eddie O'Sullivan is doing is he is trying to repay the commitment of this team with loyalty and belief, which is laudable. That he made any non-injury related change is a little surprising, actually.

But one wonders where loyalty needs to end, and where pragmatism requires a new direction. But after preparing for four years, changing course after two bad days out is really, really tough. Throughout the last four years, we have seen continuous improvement. The occasional step back, like in the autumn of 2005, but year on year a general improvement throughout the squad.

It's bad luck. Damn bad luck. With limited resources, we've had a crack at it using a first fifteen (elite/dirt-tracker) policy. And unless our form dramatically returns on Friday night, our world cup is over.

  • 41.
  • At 02:02 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • JOHNMCERMOTT. wrote:


Who is more ikely to knock back Chabal & Co., Neil Best or Easterby ?. Who is more likely to
find a way through a tight Frencjh defence, Dempsey or Murphy ?.
Wrong call twice EOS.
I have supported Ireland for over 40 years and this most talented group are being hampered by poor selections.

Still, it could have been worse as Andy Farrell could have volunteered for Ireland !.
One last big cheer for our folorn hopes on Friday.
If we do not get out of the group, then wake up IRFU and get rid of EOS.

JOHNMCD.

  • 42.
  • At 02:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • D. Carter wrote:

I don't know if i have being naive or supportive in my beliefs that Ireland can turn their form around and put in a massive performance in Paris this Friday. Whatever it is alas is being diminished by EOS's omission of Murphy from the squad and to a lesser extent the decision to keep Best on the bench. What EOS is thinking when he is leaving our most skillful and possibly most attacking minded player out of the squad? BOD has called him the most skillful player he has ever played with in the past which is no small compliment!!! There most definately must be something rotten in the state of the Irish camp to cause this omission, otherwise this appears to be a signal that EOS is seriousy clueless and lost!!!! It quite simply doesnt make sense, GM should be starting ahead of Trimble!!(With no disrespect to Duffy or Trimble) Most importantly, Murphy was the only back to truely prove his form before the competition in Edinburgh and has not been given a chance since!!! To Mr. Munster, Murphy has done more than his usual good form against Irish sides.....still hurting from Thomand are we? (Sorry cheap shot!) and your comment about his 6nations performance is part of our problem, why was the September team picked in March? Still though, come Friday i will be supporting the team as if it was Croke Park (even though EOS, it seems is trying his hardest to annoy supporters) hoping along with most of the island that we can win again in Paris! Allez les Verts!!!

  • 43.
  • At 02:04 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Noel wrote:

It's truly shocking to think Murphy can't even get in the squad.

I agree with # 7 (Darragh) Eddie needs to answer the difficult questions - Why Reddan wasn't good enough for bench in last 2 games and now he's good enough to start? It's unfair on Reddan who has been given no game time in the last 12 months to be suddenly expected to fit right in. Why has this been allowed to happen Eddie? What's the real reason behind Murphy's omission? These are the questions that Irish supporters deserve answers to. EOS has abused his position to the detriment of Irish rugby. It's sickening to think he's going to be at the helm for another 4 years...

  • 44.
  • At 02:05 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Graham N wrote:

The omission of Murphy from the team is quite extraordinary. It is hard to believe that only a matter of weeks ago against Scotland he played one of his best matches in the green jersey. Either EOS is suffering from memory loss or there has been a rift between player and coach given the amount of time Murphy has actually spent on the pitch during the WC(about 1 minute?). Unless Ireland pick themselves up by their bootstraps for the clash against France they will be catching an early plane home. I hope for the best but fear the worst!

  • 45.
  • At 02:06 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • sicktodeathofEOS wrote:

!!

  • 46.
  • At 02:09 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • lowercasemark wrote:

Murphy's ability to claim the ball under intense pressure is second to none. At a time when most of the squad cant seem to hold the thing under limited pressure, surely Murphy can be the only choice at full-back (never mind inclusion in the 22). Poor selection. I am happy with the other changes tho, particularly at scrum-half!

  • 47.
  • At 02:10 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • tony griffin wrote:

It is now a fact. EOS has lost the plot. Goodbye Eddie and welcome Mike Ruddock with Andy Robinson as assistant.The combination of Ruddock's ability to create a fast moving style (remember Wales v Ireland Grand Slam) and Robinson's attention to planning and detail a la England 2003 would make us world beaters.

The three changes were forced on him - why has Murphy been cast into the wilderness and what does Neil Best have to do to get a game with Ireland short of signing up for one of our celtic cousins?
For EOS read EASTERBY ONLY SELECTED.

  • 48.
  • At 02:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Roy wrote:

You need to look at Ireland's last game in Paris, in 2006 to find the reason for Murphy's exclusion. He had a personal disaster as part of a team nightmare as France piled 40 something points before they eased off and several tries got us almost back in it. (Final score 43-31)Ever since then, EOS has been reluctant to use him. With this being a return to St Denis, you can understand why.

  • 49.
  • At 02:18 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I think something is clearly up with EOS and Murphy,I dont know a great deal about rugby but have really enjoyed watching Ireland over the last few years and Murphy is the type of player who seems to have that little extra!! If EOS excludes Murphy over personality issues its just like Saipan all over again.

  • 50.
  • At 02:19 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Brian Moss wrote:

I think something is clearly up with EOS and Murphy,I dont know a great deal about rugby but have really enjoyed watching Ireland over the last few years and Murphy is the type of player who seems to have that little extra!! If EOS excludes Murphy over personality issues its just like Saipan all over again.

Brian

  • 51.
  • At 02:20 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Kevin wrote:

Harlequins were happy for Duffy to return to Ireland. He was not considered good enough for their first team. However he gained favour by being the prodigal son whereas Murphy opted to stay with Leicester. For the same reason Bob Casey of London Irish has been ignored despite being regarded as one on the top four locks playing in England

  • 52.
  • At 02:21 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • arthur mulligan wrote:

no changes of note in the forwards who have not gone forward or given quick ball all tournament? If they dont perform whoever plays in the backs will have no chance .
hERES HOPING FOR A BIG PERFORMANCE ON fRIDAY .GOOD LUCK LADS.
Whatever happens EOS to go at end of tournament . we need a new & fresh start.

  • 53.
  • At 02:21 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

There are reports on the blogs (and an obscure Welsh newspaper) of a bust-up in the camp involving Murphy. He spent most of the second-half on Saturday on his own behind the Georgian posts (10 metres from me). That can be the only explanation for his GUBU omission. Otherwise, I agree that both Best and Quinlan should have been brought in and that the Reddan decision was a good call. The fear is that O'Sullivan only brought Reddan in to try and divert some of the criticism he will get for his shambolic handling of Murphy. No infighting could win against the French in Paris with the wind behind their tails.

  • 54.
  • At 02:23 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

I can’t believe that EOS has dropped Stringer from the 22 player squad. As can clearly be seen from EOS actions to date, he has totally lost the plot and the support of the players. BOD reaction to the intercepted pass by Stringer was completely unprofessional. I don’t recall any Irish player reacting the same way to BOD after his failed attempt to drop out the ball against Namibia, which lead to their second try of the Match. I really can’t believe how Murphy was dropped from the subs bench. It is time that the captaincy of the Ireland team be removed from BOD and given to Paul O Connell.
Whilst the pack has under preformed to their ability during the last few matches, Ireland's world beating backline has not preformed to their ability for the last few years and has yet to make their mark. BOD and Gordon D'Arcy should take a long look at the performance levels. Maybe less advertisement jobs and more pitch time is necessary after all, it was clearly seen the Irish backline could not pass the ball during the Italian warm up match.

  • 55.
  • At 02:28 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Munster Steve wrote:

Maybe now the pressure is on, the boys will pull a big performance out of the bag. The French had a good result yesterday but they are still under massive pressure and expectation from the home fans. When was the last time Ireland played so badly 5 times on the trot?

  • 56.
  • At 02:30 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • monsieurbarry wrote:

what are you all talking about players being dropped....

sure this is EOS' squad rotation policy...................

  • 57.
  • At 02:30 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • davey wrote:

RE: The Adoration of Geordan???

Finally O'Sullivan makes the necessary changes. Surely the most exciting of which is the inclusion of Reddan at scrumhalf. Reddan is just the man to inject the unpredictability and creativity back into the Irish backline and get the opposition thinking. Stringer has been an absolute liability.

One thing I seem to have missed, particularly since the world cup has kicked off, has been the apparent metamorphosis of the fairly solid Geordan Murphy from creative fullback/winger to... “The Chosen One”. A little adoration is acceptable – we need something to latch onto given our current form – but the Geordan Murphy fan-club is growing in size by the day with their generic proclamations such as “Murphy’s a match-winner”, “Murphy gives us that something extra”, etc, etc.

Has it occurred to any of the fan-club that maybe Murphy is proving to be a divisive figure in the camp? He has already come out publicly over his frustration at not getting enough game time. Now I know the fan-club are going to say “well he should be frustrated” and I agree, but I also think any player frustrated should keep their mouths shut for the duration of the tournament for the good of their team. I hope he’s left out altogether after such a selfish act.

Also, without flogging the ‘Scotland up-and-under’ horse, could somebody please tell me when he put in a big performance at national level? I would welcome any posters to try and persuade me otherwise.

We Irish are the best in the World for making martyrs of our few isolated and misunderstood geniuses, a.k.a. the fringe players. Take the Irish football Team; in the time between the Slovakia and Czech Rep Euro-Cup Qualifying games Stephen Hunt went from being a hardworking left winger to a Midfield Impresario a la Maradona. I’m not saying it's a terrible thing, but let's save the deifying for the last bus on a Friday night.

  • 58.
  • At 02:32 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mauled wrote:

That Trimble instead of Murphy should be chosen to replace Hickey is incredible. That Duffy sits on the bench as the utility back, instead of Murphy, is EOS lunacy. Murphy did not have a good outing against France last year, but making decisions on that basis should disqualify most of the Irish team!!

The captaincy still resides with BOD who used be an inspirational player. He is not and has never been a leader or motivator. Despite all the text books he's read on the subject he has never been able to EARN any respect.

  • 59.
  • At 02:35 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • richard power wrote:

EOS lack of management skills so far has been exposed and not starting with Geordan Murphy on the wing instead of Trimble at the very least is a mistake, not in the 22 sparks warnings their is serious rift in the camp.
I can understand Stringer being dropped but how can O'Gara keep his place, smacks of being a fall guy for the overall performance, and very concerned how O'Driscoll remonstrated with Stringer after the imfamous pass instead of chasing the runner down.
The time for that was during the conversion which he may of prevented.

Saying all that, I still think Ireland can win as they have the talent and with a more pragmatic game plan, and trying the passing game closer to the French line will pay dividends.

  • 60.
  • At 02:40 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • emolaois wrote:

Clearly all is not right in the Irish camp. Giving EOS a further 4 years means players that are not happy cannot air their views as they are likely to be ommitted in future.
EOS should have picked Best and Quinlan in the back row as this is the area in which we have been most exposed due to physical shortcomings.
The games against the French and Argies are likely to be tight and very physical.
Starting backline is fine but Duffy on the bench rather than Carney or Murphy is an absolute shocker. EOS lack of use of bench is further evidence that he is too set in his ways. NZ and AUS in recent years always freshen team with 20mins to go by bringing on 3-4 substitutions. Why o why do we not do the same?

  • 61.
  • At 02:41 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • davey wrote:

chris at 40:

"niGel best should be playing instead of easterby"

this is exactly what i'm talkin about.

  • 62.
  • At 02:44 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • overbeforeitsbegun wrote:

Couldn't help but notice the smirk on Murphy's face as he waved to the crowd leaving the pitch after the Georgia game. Regardless of whether he was playing or not, he should still have been hurting.

  • 63.
  • At 02:44 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Ronan wrote:

I am excited to see Reddan against France. I think I would have kept Stringer on the bench over Boss. Would have loved to see Best come in for Easterby just to stir the pot. Why Duffy is the Utility back over Geordan is baffling being that Murphy has proved himself in both positions. I think he still has a lot to offer Irish Rugby but am pretty sure he will hang up his international boots after the worldcup considering the treatment he is currently receiving.

  • 64.
  • At 02:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • DennisL wrote:

EOS should be fired, whatever the expense if we lose to France. No GM? Why? Because EOS has a personal dislike for him, that's why. He maybe gave one or two of our "superstars" a reality check, and EOS couldn't stand for that.

Trimble should be in for D'arcy (on the bench), Murphy on the wing, Best in for Easterby.

Agree with Stringer getting the boot. He was very poor, and one dimensional.

  • 65.
  • At 02:51 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • staffski wrote:

So davey - journeyman back duffy deserves his spot ahead of Geordan?? Come off it lads. Look, thankfully EOS has made some necessary change for the French match - and sent a message out that the team is not untouchable. However 2 things -one, has not gone far enough: Neil Best or Quinlan should start we need the feral agression they bring to the No6 shirt from the start against France - its been our poor starts for the last 6/7 matches against them that have set a poor tone and costed us, mal should be in for Donners who has had a nightmare the rest of changes OK. second - you gotta have Geordan at least on the bench. Noone is saying he is a saviour but he is a class act, brings more to the party then the one-paced duffy and is a true impact sub (even tho i think should be on from start). How can he go from bench to out of 22 based on not even playing in last 2 matches???? Helllooo Eddie explain the logic please!! Anyway, all in all good to see some fresh blood - lets jusrt hope the guys deliver friday night. Cmon ireland.

  • 66.
  • At 02:52 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Oisin C wrote:

I agree with number 48, what does N Best have to do to get into the starting line up? It's crazy!! In the words of older, wiser men then me, " This country's gone to hell!"

  • 67.
  • At 02:54 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Time3200 wrote:

How about a team of best of the rest. Take EOS 15 boys out of the equation - and see what you can put together.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Particularily the English based players, who seem not to exist....

1.Best
2.Sheahan
3.Bracken
4.Cullen
5.Casey (c)
6.Best
7.Quinlan (or - if fit Jennings)
8.Heaslip (Foley is still a safe bet)
9.Boss
10.Humphreys (or P. Burke)
11.Bowe
12.Trimble
13.Lewis
14.Carney
15.Murphy

I have to confess - I was clutching at straws for the centres.....

  • 68.
  • At 02:58 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • John Coakley wrote:

As a nation, we have always been proud of the passion that we have brought to all sporting endeavour. That has been conspicuously absent in the RWC where the weight of expectation seems to have been too much for the players and coaching staff. We often play best when up against it so here's hoping the lads go out on Friday determined to give it a lash. Come on you Irish boys!

  • 69.
  • At 03:04 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • mudinureye wrote:

I can't say any more about the whole debacle than has already been said. I just hope that the team who do play turn up on Friday and give it a go. BOD should stop looking so smug all the time and put in a captain's performance, get the team lifted, make us all proud. Come on Ireland!!

I am far more interested in what is not being said aloud. In Saipan it all hit the fan. But then Rugby is a game played apparently by Gentlemen and they are gaurding the code of hounour by saying nothing. There is something sinister going on in the Ireland camp and we are not hearing about it.

  • 71.
  • At 03:11 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Enda wrote:

I am not at all looking foward to Friday and believe that France will win by at least 20 points. This Irish team has not only brought shame on the standard of Irish Rugby but European Rugby also. I cant help but feel for the past three years we believed we were watching a great standard of six nations rugby, in actual fact we had been watching a poor standard six nations, over hyped. The only clue to the fact was the lions, heavy defeats in New Zealand.
Glad to see Stringer dropped.

  • 72.
  • At 03:12 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Kit Heren wrote:

Geordan Murphy is a quality player who has proved time and again for Leicester, England and the Lions that he is the best under the high ball in the business. His kicking, passing and running skills have also greatly improved, and he should be in the team instead of Trimble.

  • 73.
  • At 03:15 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Hobbs wrote:

A journo on RTE radio at lunchtime claimed EOS hasn't spoken to Geordan Murphy in 2 years.

  • 74.
  • At 03:17 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Noel Slattery wrote:

Its totally clear there is a bad atmosphere in the camp ! Stories don't come form nowhere ! What was in the comment ROG made when he said that he wasn't happy over in France ! What was about the rumour of one player decking another in traing last week !!
What is going on ? I have never experienced anything like this ever in an Irish Rugby camp.
As for the changes in personal on the team sheet, I would agree with making some changes but to leave Stringer out completely in mind boggling, He is one of the most experienced players we have and we will miss his experience against France on Friday,Saying that, yes he had a stinker against Georgia but that doesn't lead to drop him completly from the 22 ! In my books Flannary should have always started in the world cup games, The pack is a lot more steadier with him in and the lineouts are much better, Bests line throws were all over the place. And having Duffy in the 22 instead of Murphy is a complete joke, This man gives us so many options if its either on the wing, Full back or Out Half, Come on Eddie waht have you against Murphy !
Also one more change i would have made is to bring in Quinny at No.6 to change things around and give the pack a little more of what they are lacking at the moment. HEART !!!!
Saying all this though, We need or so called true leaders to stand up to the pedistle too, Ths likes of BOD and O'Connell to start making decisions and play the game the way they always have played,
Sorry for all the giving out but i'm so baffled with the Irish displays so far and now the selection !!!

  • 75.
  • At 03:19 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mickiavellian wrote:

re: message #30 by Jim O'Kane.

I was thinking the same thing about Stringer veing axed (as you put it:"The axing of Stringer should send a message to the rest of the team that they can’t afford to rest on the laurels.").

The lack of real depth in the irish squad, means that there is no real competition for places and as EOS very publicly declared..he was 'putting out his best team' against Namibia last week...which must have had every Irish player who ran onto the pitch for the last 2 games thinking; "Must. Not. Get. Injured."

I tend to disagree with the general trend on here to call for EOS's head. on a platter.

I have a funny feeling that the injury fear factor has meant that the team hasn't really given it all or been as aggressive as they could be in the tackle and rucking. Not just for the Namibia/Georgia games, but, for the warm up matches against Italy and Scotland. It's the last World Cup for a lot of these guys...and they want to be there for the big games.

That's not intended as an excuse, more an explanation and I hope to be suitably surprised on Friday.

  • 76.
  • At 03:24 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • illegal alien wrote:

Firsly I think Reddans start is the correct decision, some reflection time may do Stringer the world of good.

Murphy should be starting on the wing instead of Trimble. Trimble should be on the bench instead of Gavin Duffy.

Those of you who wish to criticize Murphy on the basis of one missed tackle against France in Croker and a loose pass the year before are about as clueless as Eddie. How about the 14 other guys on the pitch in Croker who couldnt impose themselves on the game and left us on the backfoot for the first 20mins when a try was inevitable. Ditto in Paris the year before, granted Murphy threw a wild pass but to blame him for the whole shambolic first half!??

Why not call for O'Gara to be dropped after McAllister steamrolled him to win one of the tests against New Zealand last year!? Geordan Murphy is one of the finest players we have ever produced, how quick ye forget his inspirational games for Leicester and moments of genius in the Irish shirt (a la Cardiff in the 6N).

As a Connacht supporter I'm delighted to see Gavin Duffy get included on the bench, however as I outlined above, this place should go to Trimble with Murphy starting. Duffy was one of the few highlights of the tour to Argentina, playing in a backline which never before saw the light of day behind a pack that was on the backfoot. "But he wasnt even getting his game last year at Harlequins!" Yeah, neither was Reddan at Munster and look where he is now. Ditto David Wallace this time 2yrs ago.

Quinlan should be starting as he offers a better lineout option than Best, but I'd have Best on the bench in case we need some more physicality. Though I think Easterby is the better of the three, he should be dropped as he has lost his form.

All that said, I hope the guys prove us all to be a pack of doubting Thomases!!

C'mon Ireland.

  • 77.
  • At 03:24 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

There are 1 of 2 situations occuring here:
1) EOS is a genius and had planned to lead the French in to a false sense of security by arranging for Ireland to play sh*t!
2) EOS is a complete donkey and has lost control of the squad and his own senses.

Sadly I believe it is situation 2.
Ronan O'Gara has struggled to kick a ball to touch in the world cup (i have heard a number of rumours about him not being in the right frame of mind)and this allowed in particular the Georgians to pin Ireland back in their 22. As much as it pains me I think Wallace should have been picked so as this does not occur again. Dropping Stringer is a good thing as Reddan is a good player with lots to offer and will be an unknown quantity to the French. With the lineout in a mess Flannery's return is timely but O'Kelly surely would have been the final piece needed to solve this problem. Neil Best should also play as we need someone who can carry ball into the tackle like Chabal. I could keep going but whats the point??????

My prediction (I hope I am wrong)
France 48
Ireland 10

Ireland are out of the World Cup!

  • 78.
  • At 03:32 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Feargal wrote:

The IRFU have made an error of John FAI Delaneyesque proportions in giving EO'S a contract extension prior to the World Cup. How much is it going to cost them to buy him out of it afterwards? I have to agree with some of Warren Gatland's comments in today's Times re the lack of leadership, lack of committment and the lack of 'passion' being shown by the 'best prepared' irish team.

The players haven't all become rubbish overnight, but the above problems speak of a staleness and perhaps of a loss of belief in the management and maybe some of the leaders within the team. Frustration is one thing, but to see your captain bawling at a teammate - P Stringer - is no good for team morale. I would usually look for Paul O'Connell to take over, but even he has looked flat. In fact O'Driscoll was resposible for most of the handling errors in the first half while he was trying hopeless passes and offloads.
The one glimpse of light was the split line-out move setting D Wallace on a run. Is it grasping at straws to hope that the team have lots more such surprises up their sleeves?

As for the selection for France....how can players be motivated to get into the team when those playing so badly keep getting 'one more chance'? That said we are seriously limited in how many people we can bring in - the props are our only options, Fla' would (hopefully) have started anyway. Neither of the 2nd rows is on his game, but can't be any worse again. O'Kelly no longer has it. Can't believe he hasn't started Neil Best; not much use being an impact sub if not brought on until the bitter end. If we were to be in touch late in the game, having Easterby to bring on as a cool head to help close out the game is a much better option. I would also have Alan Quinlan on the bench as second row and another back row cover - we're going to need to fight all the way in the next two games.

I'm glad he hasn't started Boss - his 3 second windup to pass is a joke. I feel sorry for Peter, but he would most likely be getting even less protection from his forwards than in the last three games and our 9 will have to kick us out of trouble a lot -PS's only weakness.

Paddy Wallace was never going to start, the centres are our only decent option and Girve the (newly-found) swerve has been our best back this season (never thought I'd be saying that) On the wing, I dunno, Horgan had to start and he's going for Trimble as he's less flaky in defence. If I can just swallow that one, why oh why in hell is Duffy on the bench?????????????? How many more centre options do we need (not 6 in the squad we don't)?? What has Murphy done to the coach/team to deserve this latest ignominy?? If EO'S isn't going to pick him to add some spark to the team even from the bench, why has he brought him at all.

As always I'll be hoping that the team turn it on and beat both France and Argentina, but even typing that they might is difficult.

Does anyone else see the parallels between our flat jaded efforts and those of engerlund?

  • 79.
  • At 03:38 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Eoin G wrote:

It's unbelievable that in the current circumstances, Geordan Murphy and Keith Gleeson will be watching this Friday's match on tv. 'Sven Goran' O'Sullivan' - 4 year contract in hand - has a lot to answer for. He has possibly the best group of players in the history of Irish rugby and he was literally one video ref decision away from going out of the tournament, not against the All Blacks, the Boks or France, but, em, Georgia. He should have been rotating players and combinations after Ireland lost to France in the Six Nations. Now he has been rumbled and there is no Plan B. It's back to 'give it a lash' for the 'best prepared group of players in the history of Irish Rugby'. Who knows, this Friday we might even get to see another one of those 13 man lineouts again. At least it's something different.

I knew there was something wrong when I saw half of the Irish team warming up for the 'Nam' game in designer shades and Ipods. And is there any product that these guys won't endorse? O2, AIB Bank, Samsung, Newbridge Crystal - that's just Ronan O'Gara. Ronan - word of advice - concentrate on the kicking game and the playmaking and let someone else do the voiceovers.


  • 80.
  • At 03:39 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • peter wrote:

I think the dropping on Stringer was long overdue, yes he knows what O'gara wants but that doesnt mean he can deliver, he cannot control a game either, very rare you see a box kick or forward link up. I also think that the handling errors will sort themselves out. We tried to force the pass against the lesser nations instead of taking the contact, our forwards do not have the same ball skills as the all blacks(except wallace) and we should keep it simple up front. Munster rugby will win it for us. Keep it tight, hard yards and then shift it wide if it speeds up. I love expansive rugby but not for the sake of points on the board.

  • 81.
  • At 03:40 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Joe Joe wrote:

Everyone is talking about Murphys omission and rightly so, given he was one of the few who performed in the warm up matches, but another proven performer is Quinlan, who is also in the wilderness these days. At a time when the pack needs an aggressive player with all the experience of big world cup games, he's left sitting on the bus.

  • 82.
  • At 03:45 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • vinny ryan wrote:

Eddie o' sullivan has totally lost the plot...no honestly he has gone to far now with this geordan murphy issue !!......i do honestly believe that mr eddie o' sullivan should be committed A.S.A.P.....ALONG WITH HIS 4 YEAR CONTRACT.

  • 83.
  • At 03:45 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Johny S wrote:

Agree with no.65. EOS should go, 6 years and we're no further forward than we were before he took over. How can Neil Best not start? why does EOS not use his bench? and why has he select preetty much the SAME 15 for the last 4 games?

  • 84.
  • At 03:45 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Niall wrote:

Whatever about the debate as regards dropping Geordan Murphy, one must bear in mind that Gavin Duffy is a quality player. One of only two players to have impressed against Argentina and back playing first team football with Connacht. When with Harlequins was instrumental in winning the Parker Pen Cup.

Look, Eddie O'Sullivan must have some clue about what is going on at training not like the rest of us speculating so who are we to say that the changes are not merited

  • 85.
  • At 03:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

Irelands only chance is if Mr Laporte returns to his argentinan match 15.Hopefully he will pick Pelous,betsen etc who are too old and also a dodgy fullback.

Eos style has been to get the most out of his first 15 choosen ones and not develope a larger squad.Hence we have no real options for Hayes(who I dont fault,but can he go on for ever),Horan ,Darcy or even o Gara.

Not enough agression in the pack.Hopefully Leamy et al will give up the Irish dancing and tackle like when Mr Chabal visited thomond park .

The french will want to beat us up front hence quinlan or n best should be in for easterby.

  • 86.
  • At 03:51 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

EOS is putting his personal dislike for GM over what is best for this team.

I think Murphy has to be at full back against Argentina as we saw how much they liked the up and unders against France, but can EOS pick him after completly leaving him out against France? I don't think so.

  • 87.
  • At 03:57 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • davey wrote:

Staffski,

Thanks for reinforcing my very point. Like many other posters, you reflect on Murphy’s omission from the 22 man squad purely in performance-based terms, completely overlooking the obvious. Could people even humour the notion that maybe, just maybe there has been a fairly large-scale falling-out within the camp with Murphy as a chief antagonist?? He came out publicly criticising the selections, what is he saying within the camp? Perhaps he went whinging to the press before consulting the management. WE DON’T KNOW. That’s the point, there’s reason for this selection that goes beyond recent form.

Is there anyone here who would actually appreciate the presence of a disruptive character in your team? Would you reward him for being publicly disruptive?


Neil Best should be in. Easterby may have shaded this selection before purely for his work-rate and tackle count but we are going to need every ounce of aggression we have out on the pitch this Friday night if we are to impose ourselves on the French.

  • 88.
  • At 03:59 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Bruce Holcombe wrote:

I have been screaming at Irish games for 2 years now - ps I'm English - because I can't believe they stuck with Stringer all that time. He has played shockingly badly, running straight accross the pitch before delivering man and ball to O'Gara, passing all over the shop and taking appalling decisions on blind/open.
There is so much Focus on O'Driscoll because, by the time he gets it, he doesn't have time to pass - he has to cut inside his defender and recycle. That makes an exciting back line into a one dimensional unit. I think standing Stringer down will prove revalationary

I reckon it's France by 50+ points to about 12

  • 90.
  • At 04:02 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Well, it is a change - something EoS has not been a big fan of, but there are some surprises. The pack has been the big problem area over the past few games. Slow ball, lack of numbers supporting the ball carrier at the break-down, and a general lack of urgency against players who put their bodies on the line have been the main issues. The result - no change except an enforced one in the front row - the only reason why Easterby still keeps a spot that I can think of is as a 3rd line-out jumper??
Redden, finally he gets a start, Boss offers nothing - stop all the whinning Ulster, the hair style alone should get him kicked out the squad. The problem is that after only 4 starts in an Irish jersey, and at our time of need in a do-or-die match we give Redden his big chance, and in the usual scheme of things, if Friday is a disaster, we'll never see Eoin in an Irish jersey again - so no pressure mate.
The back 3 - honestly, it is hard to be critical when they've had the ball for all of 40 seconds over 2 games, Girvan is dependable at the back, and dropping him would serve no purpose, although Denis seems to be thinking about retirement already. ringing in Carney in such a big game - I think that would be a step too far.
As for Murphy, well that really is the big question to come out of the RWC for Ireland, what has he done or said to EoS - we may never know, but as a utility back, a bench position surely was needed. As cover for wing/full-back and in dire need an out-half slot for 20mins, nobody else in the squad can cover like him, I'd honestly drop P. Wallace from the bench and have Muprhy as cover in the position - but EoS would never do that.
As for Friday - well I'll be in Paris for the game, but honestly it would take a small mircle or us to salvage a 1/4 final place at this stage, the confidence is rock bottom, and while France is even more backs to the wall then us, after last nights performance, they'll be in a much better frame of mind this week - for Ireland, the daggers are already out.

  • 91.
  • At 04:07 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Swanner wrote:

E O'S is afraid to win. He has wasted the most talented bunch of players we've ever had and should be refused entry when they all slink back home with their tails wedged guess where. BUT it could have all been so gloriously different, N Best causing pain to the French, D'Arcy & BOD motivated, hungry and ENJOYING playing rugby. A scrapping, in your face Irish pack like we are used to -now all neutered by the mellow tones, overtraining and edgeless E O'S. We need a warror leader, EO'S please do a Roy Keane and go, we'll get someone from somewhere... we'll be okay then....we'll manage... we'll win!

  • 92.
  • At 04:12 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • anysparechange wrote:

as a scot who always keeps an eye on the irish progress, I was very disappointed to witness a very weak performance on saturday. however, you still won both your games. all is not lost.

OK the display was poor and things are not looking good as the french game looms but you can still give them a shock. I was very surprised to see Stringer's omission, he's terrorised Scotland on numerous occasions and is highly experienced, the sort you need against France.

perhaps those two recent games are the shock you need. anyway, good luck.

  • 93.
  • At 04:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Johny S wrote:

Agree with no.65. EOS should go, 6 years and we're no further forward than we were before he took over. How can Neil Best not start? why does EOS not use his bench? and why has he select pretty much the SAME 15 for the last 4 games?

  • 94.
  • At 04:16 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Bill S wrote:

Obviously EOS is not reading this. 70 messages telling him that he is wrong! Why is he subordinating Ireland's chances to his own agenda? Put Geordan in the squad and you at least have a chance to use his brilliance if all goes pear-shaped!

  • 95.
  • At 04:22 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Windy Guts wrote:

Agree totally with #75 - I think I've heard those rumours about ROG too. Not good news and if true doesn't look like the situation's being managed very well.

  • 96.
  • At 04:22 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • frustrated wrote:

It defies belief that Geordan Murphy is not even listed among the subs. This has nothing to do with rugby matters but entirely extends from EOS's personality difficulties with Murphy. Where does this inept pocket Napoleon get off? Why does he not come before the press (and the supporting public) and explain his thinking in making these bizarre choices? I am fed up with the veil of secrecy that surrounds the Irish management and the IRFU generally. Why was EOS offered a new contract before the testing ground of the World Cup? What precisely was EOS's role in manipulating the IRFU to fire Warren Gatland and have himself installed? Why was there no plan B when things started to go wrong in the Namibia and Georgia games? We will never know the answers to any of these questions because EOS and the IRFU treats the public with utter distain.

  • 97.
  • At 04:48 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • John Quinlivan wrote:

Davey is correct, all disruptive characters should be ousted.
EDDIE O'SULLIVAN MUST GO!

  • 98.
  • At 04:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Aine wrote:

Murphy not being included just again reinforces what must by now be obvious...O'Sullivan has a serious grudge against this player. Not only did he miss out on the 2003 World Cup through injury he's being forced to watch Ireland's dismal performances from the sidelines. Yes he doesn't always have the greatest of games for Ireland...but when introduced during an otherwise lacklustre performance he never fails to shine. His exclusion from the 22 for Ireland for this oh so important French match poses possibly the biggest question for Irish fans...what the hell is O'Sullivans problem?? As a die hard rugby fan I wish he hadn't got his contract before the world cup!

  • 99.
  • At 04:55 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Skindegoat wrote:

Hi all,
after a weekend driving over a thousand miles to watch that sad effort I could have a good moan but as I heard a fan in Bordeaux saying " Ah but who'l remember this game when we lift the trophy on the 20th ? " I admire his optimism and just wish there was more to admire in the teams performance.
May all who play show show fire and flair and give us some passion to go with our pride !

  • 100.
  • At 04:59 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Irishtighthead wrote:

When a coach loses his ability to look beyond petty favouritism and personal relationships, he should go
It all reminds me of Clive Woodward on the lions tour. After repeated poor performances, he still stood there claiming all would be right, while still picking his favourites from his England days.
Murphy was the best Irish player at Murrayfield and Neil Best won MOTM against Italy. Quinlan and Carney looked hungry and passionate.
Sometimes SLASH AND BURN is what is needed!

p.s at least Neil Bests hair will compete with Chabals, Easterby`s new hair is too Bon Jovi. As for Boss, please take him to a barber

  • 101.
  • At 05:09 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Get rid of O'Sullivan fan club wrote:

Does anyone know what Eddie O'Sullivan's salary is??

  • 102.
  • At 05:16 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Burnshard wrote:

It will be interesting to see if Murphy starts the Argies game. Based on their performance against France with a lot of Garry owens it could be a perfect game for him and may explain EOS not starting him but fails to explain why he has been dropped entirely.

  • 103.
  • At 05:22 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • donner wrote:

Seems to me that EOS has lost all credibility - with public and with squad. He claims to pick on form but has failed to do so for months.

I wouldn't blame Alan Quinlan, Geordan Murphy, Brian Carney and others - players who are probably in, or coming to, the final years of their playing careers - if they retired from international rugby because they're clearly not going to get a fair chance as long as EOS is in charge.

How must the 7 or 8 players who haven't yet made the match-day squad feel? How can you keep giving your all when you know that it's of zero relevance to the coach.

He's wrecking the careers of some very good players and how will the newer squad members feel when they see what goes on? If he's truly picking on form, the players not making the match-day squad must be playing some awful rubbish in training.

As for the failure to use the bench, it smacks of a coach who is unable to assess a game while it's in progress (echoes of the football team here, too?).

There appears to be something fundamentally flawed about this squad. Maybe there are some personal issues between players? I don't know but I think it's not just about rugby. There could be some interesting books coming out around Christmas time.

  • 104.
  • At 05:36 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • jim wrote:

For EOS to exclude the second most talented Irish rugby player shows what a narrow minded coach he is.
Big planks are picked in favour of Geordan. Bang crash wallop it seems rather than guile, skill and vision.

I guess the main beneficiary will be the Leicester Club side.

  • 105.
  • At 05:37 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

I'm scottish but was expecting big things from the Irish, this time round. Well, it hasn't happened yet and to be honest, just like you guys I'm quite bemused by the sudden loss of form by most of the players.
It looks more like a confidence issue than anything else and on the plus side, france have been as bad if not worse, on that front. Even though they hammered Namibia, they still made plenty of mistakes and they were playing 14 men for much of the match.
So, the Irish are due a good game, if all the fans get behind the guys and get them fired up, then I expect them to take it to the French.

  • 106.
  • At 05:40 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Nigrugthug wrote:

I warned Georgie would be difficult.

Ireland have had some lucky calls over the last two years.

Their scrum is weak and their l-o does depend on O'Connell always rising to the occasion.

O'Gara is weak defensively.

Perhaps teams are wising up to what the Irish do at the break-down.

The fact is that decline is now setting in and Ireland do not have the player pool.

  • 107.
  • At 05:50 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • john wrote:

I have been shocked at the way Ireland have played, they look out of shape, lack pace and are too flat. There could be egg on the IRFUs face after giving Eddie O’Sullivan his extrodinary contract before the tournament. So far there has been (and this saddens me to say this because I admire BOD so much) no leadership on the pitch, or off the pitch. When things are going wrong we should be able to change things around, but we seem to lack ideas. As for Geordan Murphy not being on the bench or in the squad, that is an appalling ommission, maybe Geordan would have more confidence if he were given time to settle down in the team and not be under so much scrutiny.

  • 108.
  • At 05:51 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • David Evans wrote:

Never mind about the displays of stringer and Murphy in the past. Am I the only irish supporter concerned about the god given right given to Ronan O'Gara to retain his place. For years in my view we have come up short due to his inept displays in the green jersey. When the going gets tough, Ronan consistently disappears from the game. His kicking is haphazard, and he shows no invention whatsoever. How David Humphries lost his place to Ronan just baffles me.

  • 109.
  • At 05:56 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Get rid of O'Sullivan fan club wrote:

Does anyone know what Eddie O'Sullivan's salary is??

  • 110.
  • At 06:07 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Eugene wrote:

I agree with the majority here. EOS should come out and answer the hard questions. Questions which our paying supporters deserve answers to

Why is reddan being picked now(I agree with this selection)when for the last 2 games he was not good enough for the bench? Answer that Eddie?

He has had limited playing time for Ireland over the past 12 months and is now expected to fit right in in our biggest game in 4 years? How has this been allowed to happen Eddie?

Why is the talented Geordan Murphy not deserving of a place on the bench not to mention the starting 15? Should personal differences not be set aside for the betterment of the team? Does EOS not owe us this much? Is it not EOS's job to pick the best 15 players irrespective of particular grudges? He's paid well enough to do this

Why has EOS refused to develop a SQUAD over the past 4 years?

It's such a pity with the talent we've got at our disposal.

  • 111.
  • At 06:18 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

I'm scottish but was expecting big things from the Irish, this time round. Well, it hasn't happened yet and to be honest, just like you guys I'm quite bemused by the sudden loss of form by most of the players.
It looks more like a confidence issue than anything else and on the plus side, france have been as bad if not worse, on that front. Even though they hammered Namibia, they still made plenty of mistakes and they were playing 14 men for much of the match.
So, the Irish are due a good game, if all the fans get behind the guys and get them fired up, then I expect them to take it to the French.

Eddie has yet again let his prejudices cost Ireland. Taking only 16 forwards was dumb in the first place. Now, he could do with Leo Cullen or Trevor Hogan or Bob Casey against whom he has what? I don't know. Murphy not being on the bench because he didn't play well against France in the past? Get a grip Eddie.

  • 113.
  • At 06:26 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Shane Lynch wrote:

Eoin G wrote earlier "I knew there was something wrong when I saw half of the Irish team warming up for the 'Nam' game in designer shades and Ipods. And is there any product that these guys won't endorse? O2, AIB Bank, Samsung, Newbridge Crystal - that's just Ronan O'Gara."

You have hit the nail on the head. It's time to take the ipods off. We need players in the team who are hungry. BOD looks like a man who believes his own hype, afraid to move at speed in case he messes his hair. O'Gara has been poor and is only in the side because we have no decent back up. The two locks look awful, is it any wonder, I read Paul O'Connell's diary in the Times, no one ever won a World Cup eating slap up meals and sampling the local wines kid, back to pasta and water for you. It reminded me of a few years back, we were playing England at home to win the 6 Nations. The week of the match the Sunday Indo had a big spread on Victor Costello, all about how he liked to dine in the best restaurants, something like "Victor's Dinners", there was nothing he wouldn't eat, and he had all the signs of it when Martin Johnson & Co rang rings around him. Time for what John Major called "Back to Basics" (but without the Curry for O'Connell). I think we are as bad as England, if we played them tomorrow there would be the real possibility of the first nil all draw in a rugby world cup match.

  • 114.
  • At 06:43 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

A seventeen year old memory comes flooding back. Jack Charlton, O'Leary and the Irish team suffering because of his omission. Alas O'Leary was on the subs bench, and came on to win it for us against Romania.

Are there parallels here? Unfortunatley Murphy isn't even on the bench. Lets hope he gets his chance later in the cup.

Got to give it to EoS though, very brave bringing Reddan in, but thoroughly the right thing to do.

  • 115.
  • At 06:49 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • mike dee wrote:

Eddie should get the boot, if we lose and go out, if we rech semis he can stay. Eddie should resign and not take his payment out of respect. Is it true that Geordan has left the squad? I wasn't Geordans greatest fan but the way eddie treated him was dispicale, saying he left him out because ''

  • 116.
  • At 06:53 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Damien Conway wrote:

This Team will forever be known as the "the irish Team that Lost the World Cup" i am quite sure that there will be atleast 3 books written about it but they shall not be large ones as they haven't done enuf to warrent extensive writing. A sad, depressed and dismayed irish fan

  • 117.
  • At 06:59 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • J High wrote:

I have just heard that Geordan Murphy
has walked out of the Irish Squad. Anyone else hear the same

  • 118.
  • At 06:59 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Cristobal wrote:

I think people need to be patient frankly. On Friday we'l find out...

Geordan Murphy's absence to the starting lineup is completely justified. He was severly critical to ireland's downfall in Croke park and the last game in the Stade de France. Trimble has proven himself with Ireland, he been consistant and a great finisher. From the 22, well debaitable. Duffy seems very lightweight and inproven. Hickie should be in the 22 instead of Duffy.

Neil best however should be starting. His presence and hits in the tackle and the rucks deserve a start. He's played well for Ireland every game he's been on.

Ireland have been very poor, O'S could be doing better. But 1 huge effort on Saturday could be Ireland through. Remember France are under even much more pressure!

Time will tell, patience

  • 119.
  • At 07:05 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Fitzroy Morrissey wrote:

Just like to say that I think thar the decision to drop Stringer from both the team and the 22 is a ridiculous, simplistic and short sighted one. He is being made a scapegoat by EOS despite the fact that he received slow ball from the pack throughout the Georgia game, while both Francois Pienaar and Michael Lynagh agreed that it was in fact O'Driscoll who was at fault for the interception try and was looking to offload the blame onto stringer by shouting at him. No doubt he went and told EOS that Stringer should be dropped to ensure that no-one felt he was at fault. It is widely remembered that O'Driscoll missed the France game in the Six Nations, but most people seem to have forgotten that Stringer was also injured, and that this possibly unnerved ROG. Reddan couldn't even get on the munster bench before leaving for wasps-I doubt the French will be petrified at the sight of him and Gavin Duffy running at them while Strings and Geordan Murphy sit in the stands.

  • 120.
  • At 07:24 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • tinkerman wrote:

Changes were needed yes but were the right ones made, not really. If a team is failing to create as a whole then it will be up to individuals to do it. I think either Murphy or Carney should have been brought in, Trimble is not good enough at this level. Flannery shall be a valuable addition, besides his try Rory Best has not done the basics right, namely in the lineout his throw is very suspect. In the backrow it is obvious that more energy, experience and enthusiasm is needed which is why Quinlan should have been called upon, he has never let Ireland down, Neil Best has not cut it at top class rugby. Finally Donnacha just isn't doing it so O'Kelly must be brought in there. However O'Sullivan is a naive coach so I never really expected the correct changes to be made.

  • 121.
  • At 08:01 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Alain Morice wrote:

I'm half french, Half irish, but in maters of rugby have always been as green as they come. For years now a french friend of mine has been saying to me "get rid of EOS and you'll be the best team in the world". I always disagreend. After the Namibia game, he said it again, I still suported EOS. But now after this selection how could anyone suport him, he's gone completly of the reservation.
You still have to believe... and i do, those on the field will walk away winners

  • 122.
  • At 08:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Irishtightheadi wrote:

When a coach loses his ability to look beyond petty favouritism and personal relationships, he should go
It all reminds me of Clive Woodward on the lions tour. After repeated poor performances, he still stood there claiming all would be right, while still picking his favourites from his England days.
Murphy was the best Irish player at Murrayfield and Neil Best won MOTM against Italy. Quinlan and Carney looked hungry and passionate.
Sometimes SLASH AND BURN is what is needed!

p.s at least Neil Bests hair will compete with Chabals, Easterby`s new hair is too Bon Jovi. As for Boss, please take him to a barber

  • 123.
  • At 08:16 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • colin wrote:

i think it's about time they put eoin reddan in. stringer is having a terrible world cup and boss's slow passing is crippling the team

  • 124.
  • At 08:16 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • john donne wrote:

Murphy is creative but a liability defensively. O'Gara looks overweight - not exactly what's needed in RWC.

Go Reddan.

  • 125.
  • At 08:25 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • seamus wrote:


I'm a G.A.A man and only played gealic football all my life, i never played Rugby for fear of loosing my place on the team, so i would not have the knowedge as everyone here about the game, but i have this crazy idea in my mind after watching Ireland play this last year
1. put O'Driscoll to the wing
2. put Carney in his place
3. drop O'Gara for someone that can kick a ball
Even if Ireland get beat on Friday, the one good thing about all the histera that has gone on this year about rugby is that kids all over the country will see an oppertunity to play this game as well as other sports, the country will be better in the future for it.
In 20 years time, ball handling skills, feilding, and kicking ability, should not be an issue, and with more players to choose from we could be the world beaters we all dream of.

  • 126.
  • At 08:34 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Andydoug wrote:

Remember that Humphries retired from international rugby because he was just stuck on the bench, never started and rarely played at all. Geordan Murphy will probably follow for the same reason. Perhaps he kicked up a stink after the Georgia game and has been dropped as a result.

O'Gara is definitely off his game at the moment.

Just hope they can summon some pride, get stuck into the French early, get some confidence and upset a decidedly twitchy rench squad. Revenge for the Croke Park debacle by returning the compliment in Paris is what we need!


  • 127.
  • At 09:01 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mick Casey wrote:

R.I.P. Irish Sport.

IS it a requirment in Irish sport that sporting bodies extend managers contracts before tournaments begin and then defend their incompotent displays to the hilt in the face of reality.

Like everybody else I was really looking forward to this World Cup. Now I'm expecting us to get hammered on Friday.

  • 128.
  • At 09:08 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

Irelands call is to Blame, being an ulsterman even I find it hard to get inspired by Mr Coulters song, more suited to a wake than a rugby match, Play the Soldiers Song ( can't spell it in gaelic) and get the hairs standing on the backs again.Eddie has surprised me by dropping Stringer 2 years to late in my opinion, no Best a surprise again the pack have not functioed at all and the backs I have seen under 10 pass better, GM must really p****d Eddie off, what does he have to do to play, I trhink we should book off early and let the French and Argies through cause to be honest weaker nations like us will only make the RWC a joke if we get to the 1/4 finals

  • 129.
  • At 09:10 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Alaska Dave wrote:

it seems most of the concenus goes to Murphy,and EOS is the real problem,ultimately the book stops at the coach,noone can explain the contract before the games,the changes all that they are are(1), not going to make any difference, lets hope the players have a coup and take thier game to the French,otherwise eddies sending them up sh*ts creek without a paddle

  • 130.
  • At 09:12 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • boyo wrote:

Why change the backline when it was the forwards that were hopeless. Changes should have been made to the back five. But I still live in hope of a stirring Irish victory come Friday evening.

  • 131.
  • At 09:15 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • barry gleeson wrote:

Murphy is a class act, I remember 2 years ago v france when he caught a ball in his own 22 and set off to counter but all of a sudden he stops the shoulders drop and he kicks for touch clearly a coches call.

He has won so much by being himself but one cannot play for ireland unless
1 you do it eddies moronic fear filled way

2 You play in england(reddan frozen out for too long also)

  • 132.
  • At 09:19 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Zoe wrote:

When I bought tickets for this match almost a year ago, I thought it was going to be a fabulous occasion - now I am scared of having to live through the most excrutiating 80 minutes of my life...

Irish Boys, please, please, please, pull something out of the bag and make us believe in you again!

  • 133.
  • At 09:37 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • billy wrote:

bye bye eddie g murphy can win you a game what a mess

  • 134.
  • At 09:56 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

Bring back "the Humpth" - He was a natural born leader and has steered a misfiring Ireland to victory from the bench on several occasions. As for reality
Wallace for O'Gara - who clearly has lost his way recently
O'Kelly into the second row - the 2 O'Cs are not with it anyway
Neil Best should be starting against France, in the Six Nations he tamed Chabal as soon as he got sight of him.
As for the rest of the rest of the backs well I wouldnt even know where to start - things need to be changed, but given O'Sullivans rigid starting 15 for the past 2 years or so no one really has the experience to step into the lights of what is potentially going to be the biggest game for both these teams for the next 4 years. My lack of positve thinking isnt helped by the teams I support
Newcastle United and Northern Ireland in football, Ulster and Ireland in rugby - I unfortunately have to think a long time to remember the last time one of those teams played well.

  • 135.
  • At 10:01 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • 4d wrote:

where did u find out about geordan leaving the irish camp. im a leic fan by the way he has been treated is out of order!! EOS has had it in for murphy for ages, prob one of the most creative backs in world rugby.

  • 136.
  • At 10:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • billy wrote:

bye bye eddie g murphy can win you a game what a mess

  • 137.
  • At 10:05 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • nervous fan wrote:

who are we kidding here? Gavin Duffy as our key impact player off the bench? You must be joking. He is a good solid dependable player but someone you'd bring on Friday night to change a game - not a chance.This is a bizarre decision. Why wouldn't he have gone with Carney on the bench. Trimble and Horgan can cover the centres. How EOS has not changed his pack bar the injury enforced inclusion of Flannery is beyond me. Our pack has been outmuscled and outclassed over the past 2 weeks by chicken farmers and school teachers. Do we really believe the same pack is suddenly going to step up and take on the French pack? How Quinlan and Best are not playing is beyond me. On the Murphy point, I heard from a source that there is camp infighting. Murphy and that muppet EOS have had a blow out. The way EOS has treated the remaining squad members has been disgraceful. Do we genuinely believe that these 15 guys will want to play for him in next year's 6Nations? No chance. Careers hinge on Friday night's game. If we implode the whole structure and composition of this squad will have to change. Massive pressure. fyi - the players are not stupid, they know exactly what is being said on the outside and they know full well of the outrage this is causing at home. Monumental Friday night.As for the flag and Four Proud Povinces....what a load of rubbish. Who are the IRFU to change our national flag and create some ridiculous pop tune as our anthem. Those lads are representing Ireland. That in turn means the tricolour should be held high and OUR national anthem should be belted out. I'd love to know what is going on inside Paul O'Connell's head when that Toys r us flag is up and he's having to endure that Westlife written rubbish. Wait till you see the French anthem on Friday. That immediately gives them an edge. Going to game on Friday and will be supporting the lads.

  • 138.
  • At 10:09 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • nervous fan wrote:

who are we kidding here? Gavin Duffy as our key impact player off the bench? You must be joking. He is a good solid dependable player but someone you'd bring on Friday night to change a game - not a chance.This is a bizarre decision. Why wouldn't he have gone with Carney on the bench. Trimble and Horgan can cover the centres. How EOS has not changed his pack bar the injury enforced inclusion of Flannery is beyond me. Our pack has been outmuscled and outclassed over the past 2 weeks by chicken farmers and school teachers. Do we really believe the same pack is suddenly going to step up and take on the French pack? How Quinlan and Best are not playing is beyond me. On the Murphy point, I heard from a source that there is camp infighting. Murphy and that muppet EOS have had a blow out. The way EOS has treated the remaining squad members has been disgraceful. Do we genuinely believe that these 15 guys will want to play for him in next year's 6Nations? No chance. Careers hinge on Friday night's game. If we implode the whole structure and composition of this squad will have to change. Massive pressure. fyi - the players are not stupid, they know exactly what is being said on the outside and they know full well of the outrage this is causing at home. Monumental Friday night.As for the flag and Four Proud Povinces....what a load of rubbish. Who are the IRFU to change our national flag and create some ridiculous pop tune as our anthem. Those lads are representing Ireland. That in turn means the tricolour should be held high and OUR national anthem should be belted out. I'd love to know what is going on inside Paul O'Connell's head when that Toys r us flag is up and he's having to endure that Westlife written rubbish. Wait till you see the French anthem on Friday. That immediately gives them an edge. Going to game on Friday and will be supporting the lads.

  • 139.
  • At 10:12 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

Bring back "the Humpth" - He was a natural born leader and has steered a misfiring Ireland to victory from the bench on several occasions. As for reality
Wallace for O'Gara - who clearly has lost his way recently
O'Kelly into the second row - the 2 O'Cs are not with it anyway
Neil Best should be starting against France, in the Six Nations he tamed Chabal as soon as he got sight of him.
As for the rest of the rest of the backs well I wouldnt even know where to start - things need to be changed, but given O'Sullivans rigid starting 15 for the past 2 years or so no one really has the experience to step into the lights of what is potentially going to be the biggest game for both these teams for the next 4 years. My lack of positve thinking isnt helped by the teams I support
Newcastle United and Northern Ireland in football, Ulster and Ireland in rugby - I unfortunately have to think a long time to remember the last time one of those teams played well.

  • 140.
  • At 10:24 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Robin wrote:

Bring back "the Humpth" - He was a natural born leader and has steered a misfiring Ireland to victory from the bench on several occasions. As for reality
Wallace for O'Gara - who clearly has lost his way recently
O'Kelly into the second row - the 2 O'Cs are not with it anyway
Neil Best should be starting against France, in the Six Nations he tamed Chabal as soon as he got sight of him.
As for the rest of the rest of the backs well I wouldnt even know where to start - things need to be changed, but given O'Sullivans rigid starting 15 for the past 2 years or so no one really has the experience to step into the lights of what is potentially going to be the biggest game for both these teams for the next 4 years. My lack of positve thinking isnt helped by the teams I support
Newcastle United and Northern Ireland in football, Ulster and Ireland in rugby - I unfortunately have to think a long time to remember the last time one of those teams played well.

  • 141.
  • At 10:29 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • 4d wrote:

where did u find out about geordan leaving the irish camp. im a leic fan by the way he has been treated is out of order!! EOS has had it in for murphy for ages, prob one of the most creative backs in world rugby.

  • 142.
  • At 10:31 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • 4d wrote:

where did u find out about geordan leaving the irish camp. im a leic fan by the way he has been treated is out of order!! EOS has had it in for murphy for ages, prob one of the most creative backs in world rugby.

  • 143.
  • At 10:44 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • australianpaddy wrote:

The shabby treatment of Warren Gatland has its denouement in Paris.
O Sullivan resembles nothing more like a deer caught in the head lights of an oncoming truck.
The players incl our sainted captain play like badly coached schoolboys and apart from a skills deficit lack all of the qualities we Irish truly value incl passion determination desire and pride in the green jersey. How could it have gone so badly.Back to Gatland if we cant get him back and Im sure he would'nt want to come back why not try to entice an upcoming Coach from Australia, Irish born Welsh educated Phil Henneberry.

  • 144.
  • At 11:06 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • boyo wrote:

Irish teams always play better when they have been written off. I expect an Irish victory on Friday. So there.

  • 145.
  • At 11:15 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Louise wrote:

and what about Alan Quinlan??? not even listed in the squad for the game, and should be starting!! Murphy should be starting too, so what if he had bad games against France previously, that was months ago. he had the best season ever at leicster and i dont think eddie o sullivan likes the guy!!
lets hope they can come good and show the form they are capable of!!

  • 146.
  • At 11:20 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • australianpaddy wrote:

The shabby treatment of Warren Gatland has its denouement in Paris.
O Sullivan resembles nothing more like a deer caught in the head lights of an oncoming truck.
The players incl our sainted captain play like badly coached schoolboys and apart from a skills deficit lack all of the qualities we Irish truly value incl paasion determination desire and pride in the green jersey. How could it have gone so badly.Back to Gatland if we cant get him back and Im sure he would'nt want to come back why not try to entice an upcoming Coach from Australia, Irish born Welsh educated Phil Henneberry.

  • 147.
  • At 11:42 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

What is it about Irish teams and World Cups? Why do they wait for the tournament to begin and then implode?
Why does Ireland snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
Is there any sport that won't break my heart?(I am from Dublin so GAA is out of the question!) By the way why did EOS name his side so early? would it not have been better to wait and keep Laporte guessing?
Bring back Jack Charlton and "Put them under pressure"

  • 148.
  • At 11:58 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

Appalled at EOS's choice, apart from Reddan - well overdue.

He has lost all my respect by not choosing Murphy and Neil Best. There has obviously been some bust-up between EOS and Murphy, probably after the Georgia game - how else can Murphy be dropped from the bench without even coming off it v Georgia? If Murphy has been a prima donna and a disruptive influence, as I have heard from some sources, well perhaps the team is better off without him. But is this not one of the duties of the hugely paid EOS, to sort this kind of thing out. Or perhaps it's just childish behaviour by both of them, for which the country and its many fans, many of whom have made good money to support the team in France, have to suffer. Pathetic, and sickening - we fans deserve better than this.

Easterby will play unless he's got a broken leg - what has he contributed of late? It's nonsense to say Best hasn't cut it at international level -what about Australia last year, or more recently Italy? He would really get amongst the French and rough them up.

Where's the passion? Don't agree about playing the Soldiers Song - it is, after all, an all-Ireland team. And I don't think Ireland's Call is bad at all - at least it can be sung by all players, even if some - especially BOD - set a bad example by not even trying. After all, it's not in any way controversial, which the Soldiers Song would be for the Ulster players. BOD, for God's sake set an example and sing the damned thing. Just look at other teams - hand over heart, tears, and pride and passion - worth a few points start straight away. If we can't start with passion, we won't suddenly find it.

We can beat the French, even with their Marseillaise - we are a good team, if EOS will let the players, even without Murphy and Best, have their head and show a bit of flair. COME ON IRELAND!

  • 149.
  • At 12:06 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • leaderless isle wrote:

Can anybody tell me how many balls BOD has lost in the tackle in the last two games with his stupid attempts at off-loads and EOS has the gaul to claim Murphy was poor against France 6 months and 18 months ago! Where is our captain, where is any leader? Paul O'Connell who used to have scare people by lookin at them looks like a granny could knock him over. Our forwards are not functioning at all! They all seem too worried about been injured and its not like Eddie will drop you for not performing! (Unless of course your GM). Does anybody remember 2003 when Quinlan put his body on the line to get the try! Can you see any of our current lads doing this?

I hope and pray that we can lift our game and do what we did to England against the French in their own backyard. These lads are the best group of player Ireland has ever had so lets give them one more chance to show some irish pride and get behing Ireland!

  • 150.
  • At 12:15 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Irishtightheadi wrote:

When a coach loses his ability to look beyond petty favouritism and personal relationships, he should go
It all reminds me of Clive Woodward on the lions tour. After repeated poor performances, he still stood there claiming all would be right, while still picking his favourites from his England days.
Murphy was the best Irish player at Murrayfield and Neil Best won MOTM against Italy. Quinlan and Carney looked hungry and passionate.
Sometimes SLASH AND BURN is what is needed!

p.s at least Neil Bests hair will compete with Chabals, Easterby`s new hair is too Bon Jovi. As for Boss, please take him to a barber

  • 151.
  • At 12:24 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • James Gallagher wrote:

There's an interesting quote from Geordan over on http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/irish/6994783.stm
"Eddie has always said he is trying to pick a home-based team so those of us playing outside Ireland know the risk of not getting picked and I think it is something most of us are all right with."
One does have to ask where the logic in such a policy comes from and if there are issues in the camp then the affair has been handled very poorly ('poor handling' seems to be the defining phrase of this WC campaign).

EOS is a reasonably competent coach but he's certainly not a winner and he's not going to bring wins in any competition to us. I completely agree with #150 - it's time to bring in some new management/coaching talent and set aside the stodge that we're seeing across much of the 6 Nations teams. Time to bring some credibility back to the northern hemisphere because SA, Aus and NZ must be laughing their arses off at us.

  • 152.
  • At 01:01 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Dominic Boyle wrote:

Surely with all the doomsayers around it still comes down to this. If Ireland beat France then they go through to the quarters ? Ireland will have won 3 games, and France will only be able to win 2.

  • 153.
  • At 01:58 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Mike Buckley wrote:

It's as simple as this. Eddie O'Sullivan is staking his reputation on this game on Friday night. Win and all will be forgiven. Lose and there will be pressure on the IRFU and questions asked as how he was given a new 4 year deal on the eve of this World Cup. The absence of O'Kelly and Neil Best in the pack is basically telling us that O'Sullivan has told the rest "You got us into this mess....you get us out of it" and omitting arguably our most gifted running back, Murphy, by telling him effectively "You are scared of the French, you always have been" are two very poor management decisions. If we fail to get to the quarter finals then a new management and coaching structure set up is required. Michael Bradley anyone?

  • 154.
  • At 03:02 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Neil Ferguson wrote:

The big issue here isn't about whether Murphy is up to the job but of the signal the inculsion of Duffy sends out to the rest of the Irish backs.

O'Sullivan has said that one of the reasons for keeping Boss on the bench is his ability to cover, not only scrum-half, but also wing and fullback. Assuming both Horgan and Trimble are above Duffy when it comes to the pecking order of centres, then this decision reads as more than just Duffy in for Murphy - since Boss was second choice scrum-half pre-tournament and hasn't played enough for that to have changed, are we to assume that Duffy is second choice replacement at fullback and wing and third choice replacement in the centre? If so, what signal does this send, not only to Murphy, but to Hickie and Carney, and maybe even Paddy Wallace as well? Duffy's inclusion seems more about making a point than doing what is right for the team, even if Murphy has never quite lived up to reputation, at least in the past four years, in an Irish shirt.

More worringly is the fact that it's been, for the most part, a malfunctioning pack (poor performances from D'Arcy and Hickie aside) that has led to Ireland's poor form. Why have all the unforced changes come in the backs? Is Ferris in for a misfiring Leamy really any more risky than Reddan, with four caps, only one of which we can realistically count and one of which wasn't even in the given position of scrum-half? Surely in a pack that has lacked punch and physicality, Neil Best should be in there? Sadly, it seems that O'Sullivan has become so devoid of ideas when things don't go his way that he simply doesn't know what to change in order to make it better. There's a fine line between changing things around and disrupting the team, but it is illogical to change around the backs when it's been, for large parts, the forwards that have been underperforming.

  • 155.
  • At 04:07 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

It doesn't make sense that Murphy comes on against Namibia for O'Driscoll, and then is dropped from the bench for the France game. Did something happen on the training field to justify such a crazy deceision?
And if we want impact players, why have Redden and not Carney called up?!

  • 156.
  • At 05:49 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • mark flynn wrote:

To win on Friday Ireland must get of to an agressive go forward start against the French. Some hting our forward pack can not do against Nambia and Geogria but the same players will do this against FRANCE?
N. Best should start!
Not sure what the problem with EOS and Murphy but if he does not trust hime to play why did he bring him? Why even be on the bench surely playing an impact player like Carney as a sub for experience in the last 2 games.
Reddan starting is positive but again why has'nt he been given some playing time. Moving from 3rd choice to 1st what happened to 2 nd Boss.
Ireland have not plated well since the 6 nations all our warm up games poor and has got worse. This should have been seen coming. I expect us to be out on Friday but I live in hope! Come on Ireland!

  • 157.
  • At 07:55 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Fitzroy wrote:

Just like to say that I think thar the decision to drop Stringer from both the team and the 22 is a ridiculous and short sighted one. He is being made a scapegoat by EOS despite the fact that he received slow ball from the pack throughout the Georgia game, while both Francois Pienaar and Michael Lynagh agreed that in fact O'Driscoll was partly at fault for the interception try and was looking to offload the blame onto stringer by shouting at him. No doubt he went and told EOS that Stringer should be dropped to ensure that no-one felt he was at fault. It is widely remembered that O'Driscoll missed the France game in the Six Nations, but some people seem to have forgotten that Stringer was also injured, and that this possibly unnerved ROG. Reddan couldn't even get on the munster bench before leaving for wasps-I doubt the French will be petrified at the sight of him and Gavin Duffy running at them while Strings and Geordan Murphy sit in the stands.

  • 158.
  • At 08:20 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Johny S wrote:

Have I written EOS and Ireland off too soon? but as with no.157 I think Eddie should go if we lose to France. I'm not one for making rash decisions, but I find it painful to watch Irelands "golden" generation fail year after year to reach the heights they ought too. We should have won at least TWO 6 nations in the last 6 years, instead we all seem to be happy with the odd win over an understrength southern hemisphere team and the annual trouncing of England. We should all demand more!

  • 159.
  • At 08:40 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Bill Hemsley wrote:

The reason for Murphy's exclusion seems clear - he plays in England! And as a Tigers season ticket holder I'm mighty glad he does.

  • 160.
  • At 08:49 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • 4d wrote:

how have sum people heard that geordan has left the irish squad?? i would not be surprises though, he is a world class player and performs week in week out for leics.

  • 161.
  • At 08:49 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Have all those criticising Geordan Murphys performances in a green jersey such short memories that they cannot remember the Anguish after his leg break against Scotland before the last world cup. That year he was by far and away Irelands best player in the six nations. We were distraught at not having him in the last World Cup and now this time around when he is advailable EOS wont use him.
I am a big Munster fan, have no bias towards him and am not tring to make a Martyr out of him but he is a genuine match winner. EOS for the bullet, Kidney is our answer.

  • 162.
  • At 08:53 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • fergi wrote:

EOS - three years of waiting for you to make some team changes, and finally, in a blind panic you try, but only go half way.
stringer should have been rotated for some time, and has been dining out on his performance in the HCF. ROG hasn't hit a barn door in two matches and could do with a kick up the arse. easterby is a strange one -an underperforming player based outside ireland is a certain starter, but performing players like casey dont make the squad. as for the changes - boss is not an option as 90% of the time he is lying under a pile of forwards. reddan is simply solid, but he's been droped in it behind the underperfoming pack. easterby should be out with best, and possibly quinlan starting. and here's the real problem - you can see you need to change it up - but can't bring yourself to drop your favourites. as for the murphy situation, you must be the only coach in ireland & the uk who rates gavin duffy a better option.

  • 163.
  • At 08:55 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • T High wrote:

I heard that Geordan has pulled a Roy Keane and walked out of the World Cup. Anyone else hear the same?

  • 164.
  • At 09:16 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Paddy wrote:

It's amazing how much nervous passionate rubbish can be spoken, when a trainer drops a player for a big match! For me it seems clear that Murphy has/does not play well against the french style. In rugby, the psychology is super important. Look at the effect of the home advantage for instance... This can make a difference between a record win and a bad loss! I think Murphy is a super player, particularly when he plays against the irish, but I would also agree that he is now in a catch-22 situation, how can he show he can change this bad form against the french without being picked? But he had his chance and we saw what that cost us... I would prefer to think that BOD and co. will somehow stop making these simple handling errors against the french and take our risks there. Afterall... we know what these guys are capable of when they are not fumbling around with the ball like idiots

  • 165.
  • At 10:04 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

T. High, the IRFU "rubbished it" however I don't think there would be a person in Ireland, or rugby circles that would be annoyed or suprised with Murphy if he did walk out, however its seems that he is too much of a professional to rock the boat and the moral of the squad. Everyone seems shocked by EoS tactics, lame excuses for replacements and his blatent display of dislike for GM. Stringer has to be disappointed too, i know he has had a couple of bad moments but he's gone from 1st to 3rd in selection, definately not warranted.

Congrats to the IRFU for the premature 4 year contract extension.

  • 166.
  • At 10:10 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

paddy, eos is clearly scapegoating geordan and makin an exapmple of him whcih goes to show that he is clutching at straws and i'm sorry but the squad as a whole must take responsibility for the loss to france in the 6n and not just one player. and even if it were true that murphy is off form, what does eddie believe bringing in duffy will achieve?

  • 167.
  • At 10:12 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

paddy, eos is clearly scapegoating geordan and making an example of him which goes to show that he is clutching at straws and i'm sorry but the squad as a whole must take responsibility for the loss to france in the 6n and not just one player. and even if it were true that murphy is off form, what does eddie believe bringing in duffy will achieve?

  • 168.
  • At 10:12 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Post 158 is correct. Stringer has been made a scapegoat. BOD was waiting at inside centre for a ROG pass. But ROG was tied up at the ruck and Strin was at out half. Reddan is good but remember we lost to france without Stringer and I remember a lot of criticism of Boss of his tap and go in the closing moments in Croke park. Everyone was saying that Stringer would have held onto the ball calmed evrything down wasted some seconds. Stringer has huge experience.

I am frightened - I used to put a lot of faith in EOS but I think he has lost the plot. We don't know what Murphy has been doing behind the scenes. We don't know what is going on with ROG at home etc etc. All we can do is support out team and our country. And for those of us going on Friday we must make an extra effort to be heard. Which brings me on to my bugbear: anthems. I know the issues surrounding this and appreciate the sensitivies. But how can there be any rousing of passion. Nervousfan at post 138 is dead on - the French will start with a 7 point lead with the marseillaise. The Irish fans maust be the 16th man for our boys. EOS reckons he has had more important matches than this - I doubt it! In my opinion this is the biggest day in irish sport ever.

  • 169.
  • At 10:17 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Why did EOS bring Murphy to the world Cup. He obviously does not want him to play for his team.
Disgraceful treatment of 1 of our most talented players.
Stringers form has been poor, it is unfortunate we do not have a real replacement for O' Gara.
I think best should be on from the start as well as the pack looks timid and will be destroyed by the French. Hickie for Trimble is another defensive decision which may also fail spectacular. Ireland can only possible win with a very tight defensive performance which goes completely against the brand of rugby that EOS has stated he wants to play.

  • 170.
  • At 10:27 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

EOS has lowered himself even further in my estimation after his pathetic explanation for leaving out Murphy. I wonder if Leicester have ever left him out when playing a French club side? Anyway, he was only one of many players who made a mistake in recent French matches - and I seem to remember a fine interception which led to a 'try', wrongly disallowed. Also, if he had no intention of playing Murphy in the key French match, and so far has played him for a couple of minutes, why on earth bring him in the first place? EOS has lost the plot and, barring an Irish win on Friday, should be immediately dismissed.

Nor is it surely the fact that he plays for an English/Welsh club - otherwise how can he persist with Easterby, when just about every Irish supporter - not just those from Ulster - are screaming for the inclusion of Neil Best.

Finally, Duffy? Surely Carney would have been a better bet - or even the experienced Hickie, on the grounds that he couldn't play as badly as he has so far. If he's worried about cover at full back, then Boss has experience there.

But let's keep praying - this has been a good Irish side until recent matches. If they are given their head to show the flare which has so far been extinguished, it could still be a memorable night. COME ON IRELAND!

  • 171.
  • At 10:31 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Pat wrote:

No quality, no flair, no imagination, no hope ...

  • 172.
  • At 10:36 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • John wrote:

I've plenty of thoughts about the selection...but there are plenty on here already. We've griped and moaned about the nam/georgia game, and now this selection, maybe rightfully so. But now let's get behind the team. Someone here said they want Friday to come and go. I hope to goodness that the Irish team does not have the same mentality. I personally can't wait for the match, am going and (illogically admittedly) optimistic. May the unbeaten streak continue ;-) COME ON IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 173.
  • At 10:50 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Just seen the forecast is for rain on Friday night... our forwards will come into play even more now -ahhhhhhh... damp squib...

If it rains surely Neil Best has to play? Is discipline a concern for Eddie?

  • 174.
  • At 10:59 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • cairbre wrote:

he hasnt walked out and i dont think he should, but i guess over a long period of time of disappointment and frustration...it could certainly be argued that he had motive to walk. look at it from murphys point of view (this is to those who dont like him)..he has always declared himself available for ireland, even when the english rfu came looking for him back in 1999, when irish selectors openly admitted that they had never watched him play. He has been overlooked by ireland for years and anytime he has made an error, it has been thoroughly accentuated by the media and other players. I agree that the intercept against france in 06 was bad as was the missed tackle in 07, but who remembers how many tackles dempsey missed in the same game?? i can tell you it was 5...murphy missed one..and yes it lead to a try. i remember in that irish documentary, O'gara saying something like "that just cant betolerated at this level" well if that is the case ronan, what are you doing in the team? why is it every flanker runs at your inside shoulder?? its because they know you cant tackle, so get off your high horse you knob. Geordan also saved a certain try in that game and should have been allowed score himself with that intercept in the second half. would those begrudgers get off his back and look at what he offers...look at this team and how they have deteriorated since last november..we played basically second choice SH teams in terrible weather and won well. the 6 nations were poor, e.g. wales it was murphys moment of genius that got the try before half time, (we were poor otherwise), we beat scotland by one point in another bad display, then we deservedly lost to france (they should have been out of sight at half time), then came a very poor england team whom we passionately beat, and finally italy whom we beat with two first half dodgy tries that should have been given forward...this team and o'sullivan has not gotten bad overnight as everyone keeps saying, they have become bad over the past year

  • 175.
  • At 11:29 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • sean mac wrote:

The issue of Murphy has been bubbling for a while.

To me he should have started the Georgia game at the very least. He should have then be given the opportunity to dispel the bad blood after the last France match.

He is a game breaker and as such should be in the squad. All the rumours are probably wide off the mark. You cannot doubt his committment to Ireland. Within days of Heineken cup final and after a long season he headed off to Argentina to fight for his place. He played outhalf and full back to show his worth while all other first team players had the chance to put their feet up.

He was dropped before the England game as a fall guy for France. Since then he knuckled down with his club and when it counted against Scotland recently he was head and shoulders the best Irish player on the park.

He has 50 plus caps and 17 trys, if he is annoyed then he has every right to be. Passed over by a coach who has never really apprecaited him. Barring a miracle he will not play against Argentina and it is very sad to think that the most naturally gifted footballer I have seen play for Ireland will never get a fair crack of the whip at the World cup.

He is a professional and will get on with things like he has done. Rumouirs of discord and prima donna are bull. Anyone who has watched rugby can appreciate the enjoyment and excitement and buzz that GM brings to a match. We don't possess many players like that. What a waste.

O'Sullivan has his reasons but if they are the reasons he outlined to the press yesterday than he is making a fundamental and foolish mistake.

We will see what the people say come Friday night.

  • 176.
  • At 11:43 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Paul O'Donnell wrote:

EOS has made a bold statement in adjusting the back line.

Peter Stringer's omission will change our attacking options, ROG needs to draw in more defenders & the link up play with Reddan is going to be crucial.

Experience can sometimes hinder decisions rather than helping. Boss recieved criticism for his gung ho approach in Crowe park but this is it; this is the biggest game we have had as a Rugby force since the WC began. We need to enforce a scoring opportunity from every point of advantage.

If we were supposed to be getting 'back to basics' after Namibia, it obviously hasn't had an impact. Let's hope the changes have.

Wish we had a back up to ROG...

  • 177.
  • At 11:46 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Big Huw wrote:

To be honest with all the Selection gaffs that both EOS has made and Brian Ashton, I say they should lead the next Lions team - that will be great laugh. You will have Victor Obogu playing number 3, Mike Catt in the Centres with Scott Hastings on the Wing and I think me (who has not played rugby for 6 years and am 5 stone overweight) stand a very good chance at Fly Half!!!! The Boks will be shaking in their boots!!!

On a serious note I hope Ireland do win on Friday however by the state of the last 2 games, the current selection and Feance seeming to be back on form it is like Red Rum against a Blackpool Donkey!!! Geordon might well be best out of the whole thing and can pick up the pieces when EOS gets put out for pasture at the end of the world cup!!!!

  • 178.
  • At 11:51 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

Can all these people stop asking for Brian Carney to be selected. He's only played a handful of Union games in the last year, vast majority of which in a below par Munster squad in the back end of the Magners League campaign. From what I seen of him in those games he barely touched the ball with the exception of one or two cross field catches / interceptions for tries. He has never been part of the game / team. Against the French we need a settled experienced back line, not a retired rugby league player who should never have been included in the squad in place of R Kearney / L Fitzgerald / B Murphy.

  • 179.
  • At 12:03 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

How can EOS leave out Murphy. Its a complete Joke. Eddie is quickly turning into our Soccer manager Stan. Murphy is our most talented backs. He is being harshly punished still for the missed tackle in Crioke Park. He is a class act. When he came on against Wales this year (as a blood sub) he turned the game and O Driscoll got his try. I wouldnt be surprised if he did a Roy Keane and told Eddie O Sullivan to stuff his World. In my opinion he would be dead right.

  • 180.
  • At 12:15 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

it's amazing how people are turning on rog too! yes it would be good to have an alternative-paddy wallace is brutal but the only reason he hasnt had much of a wc is the same as everybody else and he hasnt been able to rely on support either. also to whoever said he couldnt tackle look at the ireland italy gmae in the 6n and then say rog cant tackle. i agree with cairbre in that geordan has been treated appallingly but attacking other players when it's eos fault is silly. eos is the only one to blame. it's totally hypocritical when hickie and dempsey have struggled all year and they are guaranteed their places. eddie has an agenda and he doesnt like murpgy- who does he think he's fooling, by proclaiming that it's a rugby decision when it's clearly personal

  • 181.
  • At 12:17 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Ronan wrote:

were did you guys hear that geordan murphy walked out?? and while im here, did anyone else notice that brian o driscoll simply refuses to take the ball into the tackle and recycle it?? twice he done it against georgia, once he was lucky because paul o connell just happened to be there and the other time it was another turnover.why, oh why can these guys just play simple rugby, settle into the came AND THEN start the game plan. its worked for us in the past. against england at croke park, england went ahead and had some of the better possession early on, but we kept our heads and ended up giving them a rugby lesson. take your time lads, both with the ball in hand and off the boot, or we are most definately on the early plane...

I have to say when I see that photo of BOD and OS yesterday with Bod sweeping the hair out of his eyes I thought it looked weird. Is there some sort of strange cabal going on in the IRFU national team? I wont be behind a team that can't get it together. That are clearly playing in a clique. Clearly some have personal problems and they are bring them onto the pitch. IF the IRish win on Friday it will be the worse thing for IRish rugby, it will keep EOS in a job for 4 years. This is the only team to play the same 15(barring injuries), how stupid not to use the squad.I would voice up what the soccer crowd are contemplating and wear black armbands for every match EOS is in Charge from now on. It will be a sign of mourning the death of Irish promise and honesty on the playing field. I am sickened by this team, and it's management, unlike the kids representing us in Soccer, these are grown men with experience. It's a shameful week in Irish sport.

  • 183.
  • At 01:01 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Ronan wrote:

Despite all the doom and gloom I think Eddie O'Sullivan's changes are a move in the right direction, Peter Stringer has beena great servant for Ireland but Reddan is by far the best talent at that position we have had for a decade, Flannery is by far an improvement on Rory Best who is not a test level player, my only wish is that Quinlan could have got in for Easterby or even onto the bench instead of O'Kelly as he might be exactly what the Irish team needs to beat France on Friday!

  • 184.
  • At 01:07 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

The more I think about it the more I cannot see us winning and I am currently dreaming of rugby every night. We might perform well but that is scant compensation in fact it may make the defeat even more complex. I really hope those of us going are fired up and create some atmosphere. Friday is must win. I hear you can't take booze into the Stade!
So...
no demi pression to help le depression

All round gutted.

  • 185.
  • At 01:42 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

In relation to comment 17. Duffy is not next in line for inside centre. If anything were to happen BOD or D'Arcy trimble or Horgan would be in the centre with Hickie back on the wing. EOS has not got a clue whats going on lately. Murphy is a brilliant talent and i think offers more than Durex Dempsey (safe as a house but you hate having to use him)

  • 186.
  • At 01:50 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • billb wrote:

Eddie, if changes are required on Friday please do not leave them until the last 2/3 minutes, give the replacements a chance. Also it is not a crime to take Easterby off before the last 10 mins. Let Best loose on the French. I wont even comment on the absense of Quinny

  • 187.
  • At 02:03 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen J wrote:

How can a player be dropped after playing least than 30 seconds of rugby? I have nothing against Gavin Duffy but he couldnt even get on the Quinns squad. Trimble isnt a winger. He is a good centre. I think its unfair on Eoin Reddan that he is been through into this game. (Maybe its that 30 seconds he played against France 2 seasons ago) O'Sullivan is a joke and should stay with women basketball (no offence to women basketball) but its the only game he knows how to coach.

  • 188.
  • At 02:09 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Aido wrote:

Been reading through the whole thread and its seems that each and every man woman and child feels that Quinlan/Best/Carney/O'Kelly should make an appearance. Maybe Eddie knows something we don't???

On the flipside I'm not so sure what the state of French injuries are, Ibanez could be doubtful, but what sad times are these when you are counting on injuries on the opposing side to get you through.

  • 189.
  • At 02:17 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Lenny wrote:

i really hate to say this, but i think unless ireland really change their game plan, we're gonna a see that cricket score we've been craving, only its gonna be against us. I personally would not rate Geordan Murphy as high as some people would, but his omission from even the replacements bench flies in the face of EOS saying that he will make selections "based on form" how can you have any form if the coach wont give you some game-time? something serious has happened behind the scenes and it's scuppering any chance (albiet fancifull anyway) we have to win this world cup. my only hope is that the guys iron out their differences whatever they are (in refference to the aledged punch-up in training)and go out their and leave it all out on the field. Go N-eirigh án botháir leat lads!!

  • 190.
  • At 02:36 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • jack f wrote:

Team(not squad) Ireland is in crisis and Eddie is all over the shop. Chickens coming home to roost time! We have not trusted or developed players in the squad like most other countries due to eddie's "kerr like" fixation with chalking up meaningless friendly wins. Hickie should not have been dropped and Murphy should be on bench.Two Bests should be in for Eaterby and Hayes who is a total passenger and seems to be immune from journalistic and fan criticism.Hayes would not make any other top 12 starting XV and it's a total fabrication that this guy has got more than 70 caps compared to former "great" irish props like Ray McLoughlin, Sean Lynch, Phil Orr, Nick Popplewell, Des FitzGerald and the Claw.When did Hayes last have his hands on the ball, dominate a scrummage or tackle someone in open play....most of his time is spent with a hand up on the fringe of a maul....put him in a bad team like Scotland (or Connacht!)and he would be annonymous. He's been carried by this team for years as we have such a shortage ...to the point of extinction...of props.Everyone talks of Murphy's missed tackle against France...do ye not remember who it was that missed the key tackle in the final minute? No journalist seems to be brave enough to highlight that Hayes was the culprit. If it was Simon or Rory Best instead of Hayes it would be interesting to read the reports and ratings. We need to give Best an extended run and try Bracken on the bench prior to naturalising some Argentinian props through the Magners League. Watch Hayes closely on friday and against the French....himself and Horan are the real problem area on this team....in fairness to Horan he has great hands and makes up for technical deficiencies with his play around the park.Would Hayes make an All Black 10th team....ask Graham Henry.

  • 191.
  • At 02:42 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • cairbre wrote:

must admit i agree with the last guy collie. i am disgusted with how o'sullivan has sold this country short again in a world cup. i was pretty much for him taking over from gatland but now it has been obvious for months how bad o'sullivan really is. i will reiterate what i said, this team has deteriorated over the past year..no lessons were learnt from the lions tour to NZ. surely the main thing people learnt was that in order to open up teams, you must have quick ruck ball..something we have not been able to perfect in the past few years, which begs the question, how can we expect to become good ruckers between saturday and this coming friday. my main frustration is that a golden opportunity to turn the teams fortunes around was lost when o'sullivan picked the same team for georgia..he should have made sweeping changes and told the players that none of them were safe, and compounded that by dropping the players who really played badly...all the great teams in the past did not enjoy the coziness we have found ourselves in

  • 192.
  • At 03:03 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • danny wrote:

there is litte good and a quite a bit bad in this side. eoin reddans selection is a smart one as he is more attacking than the other 2.stringer was poor against georgia while isaac is nothing special. murphy should have been in the 15 nevermind the squad. he is magic at his best. i guess eddies selection is based on defence as murphys tackling is not the best. i also would have had carney a real linebreaker. maybe best should have been in too

  • 193.
  • At 03:04 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Cairbre - it is easy to say that there should have been wholescale changes but in fairness there is no doubt the whole first team needed a good run out and that hadn't happended. Unless that is something catastrophich was happening in the camp in which case a nucelar option would have been necessary.

The biggest error was touring argentina with a second string in June. I know injury risks were high but surely no different to risk of playing Bayonne! We should have played at lease one SH team with a full strength team - like England did prior to 2003. Italy, Scotland and Bayonne were poor choices for warm ups. He should have played three much softer teams - e.g Portugal Japan USA so the first team could get a run out and much needed confidence. Then Namibia and Georgia would have been very different and changes could have been made.

  • 194.
  • At 03:49 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Gerry wrote:

this whole Irish world cup campaign is over bar the shouting.
we cannot turn this around now.
too many bad calls made both on the pitch and in the backroom.
morale is at rock bottom and this 'knee jerk' selection is bound to crash.
Murphy should just leave and not come back, he has been insulted beyond belief and I don't think he needs to put up with that amateurish gombeenman type explanation from EO'S or anybody else for that matter.
4 more years of this is a frightening prospect for Irish Rugby.

  • 195.
  • At 04:00 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • cairbre wrote:

liam i would refer you to my comment number 175. i wholeheartedly agree about giving people a chance to settle but they have been playing together for a couple of years now...how many more chances do we want to give them? i am not saying axe the lot of them but (and i am ashamed to say it, but i was pushed into a corner by some friends, but i put 20quid on ireland not getting out of the group and while obviously i would love to see a passionate team playing to their optimum, there is no evidence to suggest it could possibly happen for them... there is far too much complacency and they dont sem to be taking it seriously. ah sure look, i hope we are all proven wrong, and the players become as enigmatic as the french, and turn their tournament on its head...i will gladly pay up..come on you boys in dark green

  • 196.
  • At 04:04 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • cairbre wrote:

liam i would refer you to my comment number 175. i wholeheartedly agree about giving people a chance to settle but they have been playing together for a couple of years now...how many more chances do we want to give them? i am not saying axe the lot of them but (and i am ashamed to say it, but i was pushed into a corner by some friends,) i put 20quid on ireland not getting out of the group last month and while obviously i would love to see a passionate team playing to their optimum, there is no evidence to suggest it could possibly happen for them... there is far too much complacency and they dont sem to be taking it seriously. ah sure look, i hope we are all proven wrong, and the players become as enigmatic as the french, and turn their tournament on its head...i will gladly pay up..come on you boys in dark green

  • 197.
  • At 04:13 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Liam K wrote:

I am very annoyed about Eddie's treatment of Murphy. It is a disgrace....I have know doubt there is problems with the morale in the squad...they had two awful performances that were meant to be used to build confidence for the big games agains Fra and Arg.

Most of the team have under performed....However, I disagree strongly with strontium dog(193) stating that ronan is off form due to personal problems. Speculation about peoples personal life is wrong and uncalled for on a rugby forum. It is offensive to the player and more importantly his family. I heard rumours of loads of fights in training but they are only rumours and are not worth repeating.

I still think the Irish team can shock France and win......We have always played better when our backs are against the wall.....

Fingers crossed!

  • 198.
  • At 04:39 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • T High wrote:

The entire team has gone stale for some time. They keep referring to a good six nations. Poor versus Wales, Scotland and for the msot part France. Got 2 lucky( and illegal) tries against Italy celebrating their best ever 6 nations. Good against a rubbish England.
It all began after the last World Cuo. EOS brought a full strength team to South Africa with the sole intention of winning both tests. He blooded no new players and still lost the series. Yet he and BOD still come out and say it was a successful series. England in their prime or and SH team would fire the coach for such largesse.
The fact that Paddy Wallace in on his 2nd W.C and Reddan is 3 years in the squad, but has never passed tha Ball to O'Gara in a match is madness.
Our rucking and retention is superslow, yet EOS says the gasme has moved away from a ground hog openside. Mc Caw, Smith, Rees etc beg top differ.
he must go soon or esle Casey, Murphy, Browne will simply retire internationally and held the clubs who respect and adore them

  • 199.
  • At 04:59 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • strontium_dog wrote:

Re: My earlier post.
Yes, I shouldn't have posted any speculative stuff and apologise. However I am still very unhappy with the team's performance and will stand by my statements about their pride (or lack of) in pulling on the jersey.

  • 200.
  • At 05:30 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Dave C wrote:

Im like d rest of ye guys, frightened of wat mite happen on friday nite. EoS selection policy once again beggers belief! im a munster fan but i agree wit reddans inclusion, strings' game just isnt good enough when it comes to the big test matches. Reddan should give d french back row something to worry bout wit his snipping runs and hopefully give room/time to our centres to create something. EoS has always had his favourites but i feel esterby shld ave bn dropped instead of Best and possibly Quinny promoted the bench. All of our back row are lucky to survive for the third game in a row!!

Im a big fan of trimble as wel but murphy shld have got the call and d less said about duffy the better. its not his fault he was selected on the bench but how murphy or at the very least carney was ommitted is baffling. Mal kelly shld get d nod as well and use donnacha as an impact player wit 30 mins left.

Im still gonna get behind d lads on friday nite and hope that their pride and passion can shine

  • 201.
  • At 08:45 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Whacked wrote:

Personally I'm sick of trainers who make decisions because they don't get on with players or that the Irish functionaries are trying to punish a player for doing what he thinks is right! Whether that is Geordan Murphy, Roy Keane or Andy Reid being victimised by some bad trainer who is not doing the best to maximise the teams chances, but is simply doing what he wants or what some association has guided him to do... I really hope this is not the case here with EOS and Murphy, even though I thought they should have retrieved McCarthys passport for ruining our chances... but this of course is my opinion! Am I doing the same as they did?? But I remain the idiot I am by continuing to think.... Cum on Ireland!!... you can defeat your trainers and functionaries by winning!

  • 202.
  • At 09:11 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • conor wrote:

ireland will win their group nd france will come 3rd

  • 203.
  • At 09:32 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

no 208- this is off the subject but only geordan has a genuine reason for walking out if that is indeed what he has done. roy keane lost control of his ego- mccarthy would still have played him if he had stayed in saipan regardless of personal feeling and andy reid is just plain useless and he's a terrible player.geordan has been used and abused by a coach whose only concern is to save his own skin and who is always trying to come up with a cover story as to why his team dont do better. it's just totally petty. rugby is a team sport and the whole team are to blame for the loss to france in the 6n. as for gavin duffy, not his fault he's been selected but no pressure on him or anything. eoin reddan is a surprisingly non conservative approach.

  • 204.
  • At 10:44 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • gozzy the arab wrote:

Having read all the comments above (and it took some time i'll tell you!), I have to say that the whole thing stinks. The facts seem simple, O'Sullivan has at his disposal a number of players who are capable of doin much better than they are currently doing. And not just a little better but lets be honest they should be a real contender for winning the whole thing. admittedly an outside bet but they should actually have a chance. His management style seems nothing more than immature man management and his tactical awareness, well, even little Thomas Cast on ITV was able to sum up in 30secs how to defend against what should be a frightening Irish back line. The summary for me therefore is quite simple, EOS isn't capable of doing the job. He's not up to it and as a result Ireland will fail in an embarassing way. The post match interviews trying to kid the audience that it was a tough game against Georgia says it all. What does this mean for the players? You have genuinely world class players, such as Murphy, who must be sitting on the sidelines wondering why they bother. And then you must have guys on the pitch (or bench) such as dempsey or duffy knowing that they are only half the player of someone not even in the squad absolutely pertified that they are going to do something wrong , knowing that the majority of people don't think they should be there in the first place. Its a farce. Ireland have battled for many years against being the jokers in the pack and finally when they have the players that could do something with the talent, they have a coach unwilling and incapable of giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. Well done Eddie!!!

irish performances to date?

We were never a great team. Our 6 nations performances (2 Triple crowns) must consider the dire nature of English international rugby in that post WC winning period (remember the (Pre WC)GS decider where Martin Johnson Upset the President? - don't want to remember the score). It should also be noted that Wales managed a grand slam in the same period.

It is obvious that most of the team have been afraid of getting injured and have consequently lacked intensity/commitment in all of our warm up matches and also WC group matches to namibia and Georgia. (Note 3 French players were injured in georgia game - not that it matters they have the replacements - Chabal for Pelous????)

This is a sypmtom of the Irish managements inability to establish competitive selection prior to the WC. If players were genuinely likely to lose their place then the warm up games at least would have had a purpose.

The games in Argentina were a joke, Hardly any first team squad, just the IRFU fullfilling contractual obligations with a second string. This had no impact on squad selection unless one of EOS favourite had performed. THank god Mick O'Driscoll had a bad time otherwise he might be on the team. (Remember Kelly in Last WC). Otherwise only Gavin Duffy benifitted but his selection for the squad was still bizarre.

EOS has an established 15 players who have until this week been practically untouchable. Neil Best came into the Team and his agressive style was an instant hit with the fans but as soon as eddie got a sniff of a chance back went easterby. Otherwise the only other selection issue was trimble/Hickey and Rory Best/Gerry Flannery and that seemed to based on fielding an ulster player.

Is there a fundamental issue with the coaches freedom to field players based outside of the IRFU controlled teams.

This is wild speculation but maybe Geordan murphys demotion from the first fifteen is because of Eoin Reddans inclusion (I can't remember any team that included more that 2 not IRFU players in recent years). It must be very hard for Players relying on IRFU employment to voice any opinions on irish setup.

I expect a different performance from the team on Friday. Fear of injury will not be a factor.

  • 206.
  • At 11:49 PM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • Brian Mc wrote:

Big calls from EOS. GM call was always on the cards but ER?? Heineken cup to top international rugby with no real game time down the yrs. EOS has to go if the game is not at least competitive. GM, hickie, quinlan not even being an option is crazy. Southern Hemishere rugby will rule this WC. NZ, Oz, SA and argentina for SF places.

  • 207.
  • At 03:58 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • James Gallagher wrote:

Brian in #206 - great post, I thought it's the most objective summary of the state of our team at the moment. You're right that we'll probably (hopefully?) see a more committed performance against France but one wonders if that's going to be enough. We don't have the experience to flirt with half-arsed efforts in so called 'easy' games to be sure of getting away with that. I still maintain that we need a fundamental change in management going forward. A winners mentality needs to be instilled. I believe that means O'Sullivan either leaving or returning to a more junior position in favour of a higher calibre replacement. Competitive selection must apply across the board i.e. not just for the players .

  • 208.
  • At 04:36 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

In all fairness, Steady Eddie's managed to get the provinces behind Ireland in a way that the English can only dream of. I would be favour of booting him upstairs to a managerial position to oversee logistics and negotiations with the provinces over player access and the like; we need someone with a better appreciation of the game to do the actual coaching, squad/team selection, make in-game decisions regarding substitutes, etc.

(Forwards shouldn't be hanging around in the backline; backs shouldn't be taking the ball flat and statically. Dear god, any eejit can see that... why can't Eddie?)

  • 209.
  • At 08:20 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Barrzo wrote:

My only conclusion to explain is omission is that Murphy must have nailed O'sullivans daughter.

  • 210.
  • At 08:49 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Conor wrote:

I think the whole country is going to have a different opinion on this squad selection which will probably be based on which province you hail from but lets be totally honest here, Murphy has indeed done little to inspire his selection in recent times. There is no doubting his ability at club level but he just cant seem to take it to international level. Having said that, a few good club performances and a few friendly caps does not make Reddan the automatic choice either does it. The shocker of it all is Neil Best's ommission. Surely the French game is tailor made for him but again its EOS's reluctance to upset anyone it seems. There are other examples. D'Arcy has been awful but there is no danger of him ever seeing the bench.Im not the biggest fan of Boss but he must be furious too at the way this has been handled and lets be honest Eddie, you'll never play him anywhere else other than 9. As much as we are all desperate for a win, I can see this game being lost very early. Time to consider that 4 year contract IRFU?

  • 211.
  • At 08:51 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • OllieIsALegend wrote:

Personally as a Leicester fan, Murphy has performed consistently brilliantly for Leicester over the last few seasons, and was a vital component in our near-treble. His omission is a shocking decision as he is one of the most talented players of his generation, and can change a game single-handedly.

  • 212.
  • At 09:54 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Actually Brian at 206 you are wrong about non IRFU players. Easterby is a non IRFU player.

Further Johnny O'Connor used to play in the team when G Murphy was playing. Also France have not played Georgia yet. Sorry to be a pedant.

HOwever you are spot on about the Argentina tour - I have aid above the problems go back to this!

  • 213.
  • At 09:58 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • ryanj wrote:

re #89 Bruce Holcombe. You've hit the nail on the head my man! SO long have i thought that there must be a disadvantag to our 3/4's because of String's one dimensional style - nowhere was it more evident than in the intercept try aganst Georgia. I'm an Ulsterman and have been vying for Boss but any change is welcome and i think Reddan's a great player, BUT he was also a great player 2 years ago when he first came into the Ireland team and wasn't played then. Instead, Stringer was kept in and NOW, on the eve of this 'colossal match' he decided he isn't the one for the job and nor is his 2nd choice! In fairness Reddan's been thrown in at the deep end, but he's done it all with Wasps so i reckon he'll hold it well, it's the pack i'm worried about!

  • 214.
  • At 10:19 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Ross W wrote:

I'm not sure how accurate the murmurings actually are, but if O'Driscoll is involved in selecting the team it all reminds me of Gerrard Houllier's final months in charge of Liverpool. Stevie Gerrard and Michael Owen were rumoured to be picking the team. Houllier didn't last too long after that...

I think EOS has reached the end of the line. Players have become complacent in feeling assured of their selection. The team appear unable to respond tactically as the situation merits it - principally because there doesn't appear to be a plan B!
I believe that the team peaked 2 seasons ago. The comparatively disappointing performance of the provinces in last season's Heineken and Magners cup/league were perhaps an indication of things to come. In this context it is unbelievable that EOS is failing to pick the (Neil)Best side available to him. Still, pride comes before a fall.

Good luck on Friday night lads!

  • 215.
  • At 10:27 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • sean C wrote:

Je suis very worried as it does not take an expert to see that reddin should have cut his teeth with OGara and Darcy long before this game - it smacks of panic that EOS is placing an almost untested partnership into such a big game. I am a reddin fan and feel the French/Argintinians will have to adjust their game plan from the very predictable Stringer style, but, is it EOS and his lack of team rotation that is coming home to roost.

  • 216.
  • At 10:48 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • staffski wrote:

Eoin G (#80) - brilliant - "sven goran o sullivan" - the man who gets massive contract extensions for failure at big tournaments and bizarre selectorial decisions! ...althugh at least EOS has never asked Becks to find an irish granny. Listen to today fm (last word) rugby with neil frnacis and paul wallace. Franno called it right - gavin duffy not fit to lace Murphys boots. Geordan may well say shove it eddie after worl cup = i'll stick with the most successful team in europe and all my heino cups and GP medals where i am appreciated. There was one other excellent point made - players arent stupid - they wont be happy at that decision either - will be totally mystified. solid no pace duffy vs genius murphy. Christ sakes. No wonder the camp is unhappy and racked by fear and indecision and lack of clarity. i just hope some switch from somewhere is flicked friday night to power a croke park-esque performance....or else.

  • 217.
  • At 10:56 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Jimbob wrote:

The biggest talking point is not the omission of Murphy, but the continued selection of Easterby over Neil Best. Ireland have been so poor at the breakdown showing a lack of aggression, and in particular Easterby. Neil Best is all about aggression in the tackle and at the breakdown in clearing the ruck. 39 turnovers against Namibia is a disgrace! I could would never like to envisage Geordan Murphy playing any part in a game against France as he offers NOTHING in defense. His approach has been to either pass to the French or pat them on the back as they run through to score. He is player that has promised so much but rarely delivered in an Ireland shirt. I have too many painful memories of his costly mistakes. The french will hammer us, and we will won't qualify from the group and the RWC 2007 will be a huge flop as far as Irish rugby is concerned. Four more years of EOS!!! Sure theres always the triple crown in the Six Nations to look forward to!

  • 218.
  • At 12:36 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:


Can everybody just lay off the negativity for two minutes. Have Ireland played useless to date? yes but we have won two games out of two and have two mathes to play. Are we favourites for the match on Friday? absolutely not but to be totally honest that is when Ireland seem to perform. We have never carried the favourites tag well and this time has been no exception.

If we go on and lose to France, so be it and it will be crisis!! but if we win everybody will be once again saying how wonderful Ireland are. If we do win I bet we will beat Argentina as well like we did in the last world cup.

I think giving reddan the game is a good choice as he will be so keen to deliver, I think trimble is a good winner and is an underrated tackler as well which we will need against France. I think we will have a superior line out to them as Chabal and co. are quite weak in the lineout, pelous and harinordoquay wil not be playing which will weaken them considerably.

Behind the poor general play against Georgia, the scrum held up well against a powerful pack. Its not all doom and gloom yet so lets bring some positivity! If France win on Friday so be it, but the match is still to come so when we need it and it matters most, lets see how Ireland perform!! Although it seems nobody else thinks it, I have a strange feeling Ireland are going to win against the odds on Friday. I appear to be very much on my own with this.

Go on Ireland!!!

  • 219.
  • At 12:47 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

look peter stringer was dropped once before when warren gatland was in charge and look what happened. critiscism of the team is perfectly valid and deserved but unreasonable comments and ridiculous sentiments like certain players are all of a sudden crap now is the height of hypocricy. stringer is not gone bad.he's off form, there is a difference. boss is good but hasnt as much experience and reddan deserves his chance and I would rate gim over boss. no offence to ulster fans, flannery is definitely better than best, come on, best's line out throws are always dodgy and flannery is definitely more capable of performing under pressure. a system of picking players because of a quota from northern ireland should not happen and even ulster fans should admit as i presume ye would want to see players picked on merit and talent and not on a political situation. as for rog, well i still have great faith in him. geordan has been apallingly treated, duffy is under alot of pressure now, good one eddie and the leinster lads as usual havent been criticised at all.

  • 220.
  • At 12:52 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • barker wrote:

Murphy - we simply dont have any bench or squad players with his handling skills or vision so his omission could cost us dearly.France will win comfortably if not by a record on Friday meaning we will need a bonus point win against Argentina to qualify - i just hope Murphy will still be available for that.

Upfront we need Neil Best and Quinlan on from the start with Leamy as an impact sub. We also need Hayes to get his finger out but suspect he'll do just that now Flannery is back to gee him up.

I think we can give it a real go against Argentina but whatever happens EOS must go - we need a head coach from the southern hemisphere who can bring our game forward again and cut through the politics involved in selection.

My view is that we should select from Europe as a whole - i dont see any sense in getting hung up about players from English or French leagues - just look at how Georgia and Argentina have benefited from having so many players based in France.

  • 221.
  • At 12:59 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Bravo to you mark, i read this post the other day and just thought ohh my god, what a load of rubbish. You have summarised the way I see things very well. I put 20 quid on Ireland to beat france, at 4 to 1, which I feel are very accurate odds. If I were having an operation on friday and was given a 1 in 4 chance there would be complications, I would be very nervious. Just like the french squad are right now!

Ireland can do it, and any one player being included or not is hardly a good reason for a detailed article to attack a coach, even if Murphy does have his own column in the BBC and hence there is a vested interest in seeing him do well!

Go on Ireland, and before the competition is out, get up there Murphy!!!

  • 222.
  • At 01:24 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • eddie wrote:

EOS decisions did not go far enough on changes. It is not the backs that have been the worst ,despite the dropped passes and mistimed changes in direction. It is the forwards that have been desperate. Connaught's forwards put up a better fight against SA. There is no fire in the forwards,whether this is complacency,over-trained,or just seasons weariness they are supposed to be professionals. Best deserves a start in the back-row,and maybe O'Kelly to replace O'Connell who has been really a huge dis-appointment.
O'Gara has been poor since the end of August. His kicking is mostly bad and can anyone explain to me why we are the only team to drop out deep and give possession away automatically rather than contest the high drop-out and possibly win going forward ball when teams are less organised defensively

  • 223.
  • At 02:02 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Adam Holt wrote:

what do you have to do to get a post published here? my last post was accurate, observant, well intentioned and humorous - but it never appeared. It was better than the majority of these ...

  • 224.
  • At 02:12 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

If Eddie O Sullivan was concerned with form in recent matches, then his selection would of been based on world cup matches of late. Murphy had a great end of season in provinical rugby and huge test game for Ireland pre world cup so it's STUPID to omit him from the starting line up against France.. He could only bring an additional experienced mind to the game and he is one of the few Irish players to show that he is on form!

  • 225.
  • At 02:29 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • dazzlingirishchamp wrote:

Thank goodness someone has been positive on this page!! well done #218.
Its so refreshing to see a bit of change in the Ireland team...granted when i first saw reddans name i wasnt entirely convinced but he is a steady operator and performed magnificently for the Euro champs Wasps this season...Boss would have been too much of a gamble in such a high pressure match..as much as I love his style of play, we have to keep to the controlled regime that nearly brought us a grand slam in the 6Ns

There has been a lot of Trimble bashing on this thread also...ive never understood why he gets in the neck so much. He is an exciting, explosive runner who can beat players with speed and power (cast your memories back to the Autumn test vs South Africa)...both now necessary for modern winger and he has proven he can finish and can be a devastating defender. Trimble heavily outweighs Murphy in the fist 2 aspects...Murphy beats Trimble handling wise but do you need a ball player on the wing??
Anyways the debate could run on forever!

Without tryin to be negative i really would have loved to see neil best start and ruffle a few french feathers in the opening exchanges...i feel ireland need his fiery aggression and never say die attitude. i feel bests play would give impetus to the oddly flat paul o'connel and o'callaghan, and when they get going, ireland do also!
not our call i suppose!

Anyhow we have a chance of beating the French. so we looked on edge against the 2 'minnows.' this is the game when the players need to take the finger out..ive every confidence they will. France are without their talisman Pelous and their golden boy Harinordoquay...lets hope we take it to them, put the pressure on early and dump the hosts out early!

COME ON IRELAND!!!!!

  • 226.
  • At 02:33 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Adam Holt wrote:

A number of questions and observations:

1. How do you get dropped from the bench without actually playing?
Hint – Ask Geordo
Answer – inside news suggests that EOS didn’t like the cut of Murphy’s jibe – apparently he wasn’t cheering the lads on heartily enough
2. Have you ever seen Simon Easterby break an opponent in half? Have you ever seen him single-handedly destroy an opposition attacking ruck or maul?
Hint – the answer is no.
3. Have you ever seen Neil Best play where he didn’t break at least one opponent in half and or destroy rucks on his own?
Hint – ask the big south sea islander that Italy fielded at Ravenhill – he’s still in traction. Oh yeah ‘the thug’ was MotM in that game too… but never mind that eddie.
4. Who is Gavin Duffy?
Hint – I have no idea either – but he may be that guy who sometimes keeps the bench warm at Thomond park in the magners.
5. How does Isaac Boss look in the mirror and think “yeah, that’s a great look”??
Hint – its probably linked to how ‘well’ he picks out his receivers
6. Why would you extend a coaches contract prior to the most important competition of all, and the only one which actually provides a genuine benchmark of where we are in real world rugby?
Hint – the IRFU are as stupid as EOS?
7. Would you be inspired by some wee Dublin posh-boy? Should the captaincy (obviously) not sit with the engine room O’Connell?
Hint – a). not a chance, b). sure haven’t we been saying that for years!?
8. Why would you use the summer tours and AI’s to test out the fringe players competing for the final places in the squad and then …. Not play them at the competition?
Hint – ask the muppet EOS
9. following on from # 8, would it not have made sense for the actual team to play games and “get used to winning” and “carry momentum” into the competition – not doubts and worries
Hint – see last hint
10. following on again from 8, how much time was spent talking about Carney pre world cup, and now he isn’t even going to have had a game!?!?!?!?
Hint – see last hint.
11. Stringer has never been a world class scrum half – however he has been the best we’ve had for years and he’s done his best and you really can’t knock him much. I’m not surprised to see a change at 9, but to do it in this game? And for him not even to be on the bench is just extraordinary. If we were to upset things on Friday night – it would be very close coming into the last ten, and that is when experience counts over almost anything. Strings has that in abundance and would be the safe man for that period to see us home – remember, we would have won the GS this year if Boss had been less exuberant and more experienced = he kept taking quick taps where string would have stopped and given the ball to ROG for posts … then game over and thanks for coming. To drop him is outrageous.
12. Finally and back to point 4. Duffy. How how how how how??? How ahead of Hickster, Carney, Murphy? On what grounds and evidence could you do that!? Then there’s the other Murphy, the other young Leinster lads …. Bla bla

I’m flying over for the game on Friday and the following weekend against Argentina and I’m going to cheer them on 150% but EOS has ripped my heart out.

Get eddie out – get eddie out – get eddie out …..

  • 227.
  • At 02:39 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • emeraldstar24 wrote:

seriously the backs havent exactly set the world on fire though either have they? sorry but o driscoll and darcy as well as hickie and horgan havent exactly lived upto the hype now have they? soemtimes it seems as if the munster boys are taking all the flak and it is unwarranted at times. granted o gara has been a bit off but no worse than the rest of the team. horgan is the most over rated player.

  • 228.
  • At 02:48 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • honest tim wrote:

as the more intelligent amongst us told you a while ago - ireland will do very well just to crawl out of their group in second place for immediate destruction by the all blacks in cardiff. a more likely outcome is a failure to qualify from the group. the latter seems far more likely.

  • 229.
  • At 03:51 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • ulsterboy wrote:

Emerald Star...let go of the quota rubbish. If there was a quota why leave out the most effective of the Ulster players in Neil Best.

As an ulster fan I am all for merit...I don't think EOS is though.

  • 230.
  • At 03:56 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • staffski wrote:

adam 226 - your accurate, observant humorous and humble post duly acknowledged.

especially the easterbunny best issue. We have given the initiative in the physical and momentum stakes at the beginning of every match vs France the past 5-6 times played em. Neil best could have been one answer to this - when has SE ever split someone in 2 with a tackle?

For all the evidence you need take out the ireland england game at croker and about 65 mins in after Best has come on, there is a ruck near the touchline Ireland 15-20 meters out from english line. Bit of a fight for the pill. Enter Neil best from stage left like an exocet missile LITERALLY blows into the ruck through 4 irish men and the whole english pack - wins clean ball and finishes the argument. awesome stuff. find the clip. watch it.

  • 231.
  • At 04:04 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Pat Mc L wrote:

There has been a loss of confidence throughout the entire team that goes beyond tinkering with a few players. As reported in the Irish Times yesterday, during the tour of the SH last year (2NZ and 1Aus tests) the Irish team did not turn over ball once, a remarkable feat considering the opposition. Unbelievable now considering how the Irish forwards were bullied by both Namibia and Georgia. Going backwards in the scrum to NZ is one thing but to a bunch of part time Georgians is beyond a joke. The backs have not been much better, Stringer too slow and the base of a ruck had to go, but a few of the bigger names can count themselves lucky that EoS shows loyalty to the point of recklessness. Finally, whatever idiots decided to give a coach a 4 year extension before a ball had been kicked should be given their P45's

  • 232.
  • At 04:10 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Pat Mc L wrote:

There has been a loss of confidence throughout the entire team that goes beyond tinkering with a few players. As reported in the Irish Times yesterday, during the tour of the SH last year (2NZ and 1Aus tests) the Irish team did not turn over ball once, a remarkable feat considering the opposition. Unbelievable now considering how the Irish forwards were bullied by both Namibia and Georgia. Going backwards in the scrum to NZ is one thing but to a bunch of part time Georgians is beyond a joke. The backs have not been much better, Stringer, too slow at the base of a ruck, had to go. But a few of the bigger names can count themselves lucky that EoS shows loyalty to the point of recklessness. Finally, whatever idiots decided to give a coach a 4 year extension before a ball had been kicked should be given their P45's

  • 233.
  • At 04:12 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Pat Mc L wrote:

There has been a loss of confidence throughout the entire team that goes beyond tinkering with a few players. As reported in the Irish Times yesterday, during the tour of the SH last year (2NZ and 1Aus tests) the Irish team did not turn over ball once, a remarkable feat considering the opposition. Unbelievable now considering how the Irish forwards were bullied by both Namibia and Georgia. Going backwards in the scrum to NZ is one thing but to a bunch of part time Georgians is beyond a joke. The backs have not been much better, Stringer, too slow at the base of a ruck, had to go. But a few of the bigger names can count themselves lucky that EoS shows loyalty to the point of recklessness. Finally, whatever idiots decided to give a coach a 4 year extension before a ball had been kicked should be given their P45's

  • 234.
  • At 04:33 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

"we have to keep to the controlled regime that nearly brought us a grand slam in the 6Ns"

At the expense of stifling traditional blood 'n guts forward play, as well as the most explosive Irish backline in the last few decades?

Eddie, like Laporte, is trying to be Woodward on the basis that it worked for England in 2003, so it must work in 2007. Look back to how France played prior to the Namibia match - structured, crash ball, completely devoid of their natural game. Granted, Namibia weren't exactly as much of a challenge as Argentina and they had a man sent off (deservedly so), but the main difference was that the French backs rediscovered the flair that is the essence of French rugby.

Irish rugby used to be about ripping into opponents from the off. At one point we had the right balance between passion and structured play, but with the slow starts this 6N (if not before) we're no longer imposing ourselves on the opposition.

After we got spanked by England prior to RWC2003, Woodward told O'Sullivan that Ireland were two years behind England. I thought he meant we were going to follow them up (which we did); I just didn't realise he also meant we were going to follow them down into this over-structured mess, too.

  • 235.
  • At 04:54 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Adam Holt wrote:

staffski,

I apologise most humbly ... I fear I may have hit the wrong button on my original attempt to post ... and I would like to commend you on the web's most amazingly well managed and presented rugby forum ...

I'm glad to see we agree on the thug! how could you possibly not play him!? that's like SA dropping Schalk Bacondouble, or NZ dropping Ritchie McMuffin ... utter BL**DY nonsense!

I had a dream last night ... Ireland were leading 18-0 at half time and Chabal was being treated like a bi*ch!!

...I don't know how it ended ...

  • 236.
  • At 05:19 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

"...I don't know how it ended ..."

It ended with your waking up and realising it was only a dream, alas :(

  • 237.
  • At 05:44 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • sinclair wrote:

Mark (comment 218) - thank God someone has broken the negative diatribe which has been produced - is it any wonder we have been the world's underdogs for so long, when we are so quickly prepared to take on the mantle. Unlike many, I have been at both of the matches in Bordeaux - and yes,they were painful, at times most of the Irish fans there felt like running on to the pitch and geeing them up - but, at the end of the day we did win, and whatever all of us armchair specialists might say about Georgia, it is about time we gave them credit for one of the most fantastic, gutsy performances in sporting history, which was as much down to the sheer effort they put into the match as any failings in the Irish performance, we are two matches in, and one point less well off than we had hoped for. And the fact is, we always did need to win the match against France and the match against Argentina, if we were to make a success of this World Cup, and that is exactly were we are now. Having waded through all of the negatives, the fact that we didn't capitulate during the last 5 minutes in the chaldron against Bordeaux says a lot about our character (accepted the fact that we were ever in that position says a lot about the level of game were playing), and that will stand us well over the next two matches.
The ethos of rugby is that it is a team sport - no individual is greater than the team - we all know, those of us who have played, that there are times when the individual has to make way for the benefit of the team, and that is the case this time around. The references back to Gatland's days as manager are meaningless in the extreme - back then we would not even have been considered as serious contenders to get past the quarters. Going into this world cup, we always knew we were playing high stakes rugby. When it works, we shine, when it goes wrong, we fail. What is needed ion Friday is everyone on the team, and all of the supporters, going full out to make it work - that means, for the men on the pitch, getting to the ball before the French, chasing up every kick, challenging every lineout, contesting every play, driving their partners through the French defense. For the supporters, it means getting behind the team al the way, and whatever your opinion on the anthem, singing it loud and clear, in the way the French sing their national anthem. As a Northern Ulsterman, when I am in Dublin, I sing the Soldiers Song as loud as I can, as well as Ireland's Call, at the Stade de France we need to make our voice heard.
I know there are many who will think this entry hopelessly optimistic, but unless you believe you never achieve anything. This team is worth believing in - 80 minutes on Friday will decide whether they are one of rugby's greats, or a footnote in history. Let's stop the negativism now, and get on with the business of winning this World Cup.

  • 238.
  • At 07:45 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Adam Holt wrote:

Sinc 237 - I'm feeling a lot of love for you brother - I'm thinking I'm going to have the other half of my dream tonight and it's all going to work out right for us, and that will be all down to you! Are you going on Friday? I'll buy you a pint or ten..... just look out for me - I'll be the one in the Irish shirt.

COME ON THE BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 239.
  • At 08:00 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Patrick S wrote:

Sinclair post 237 - well said I fully agree with you. We either need to beat a top ranked team in the group stages and show we are a real power or go back to the past where we hope to scrape through in second place. This is the time to stand up and be counted. France has already lost a game we have not. They have dropped their star centre and put in the caveman as a lock who is overated. I will be standing behind the lads win or lose. And if we do lose and I will not be saying told you so. I will be shattered. You do not hedge yourself agianst a bad performance by slagging off the team. We can do it. We have not gone from heros to zeros. I hope the team have more confidence than most people have expressed so far and I hope to God they do not read this Blog and think the fans have deserted them. We have not.

  • 240.
  • At 09:46 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • sinclair wrote:

Adam/Patrick, and anyone else who are prepared to stand behind us. The bar is the Troiseme mi-temps, just outside the entrances to the Stade de France - I'll be there with mates and my wife - she is the fanatical one - and we will be decked in green. Here's looking forward to a memorable night in Paris on Friday, and a run straight through to the finals on the 20th October. I've even printed off The Fields of Athenry in French so that our French friends can join in the celebration at the finish.

  • 241.
  • At 11:08 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Graham N wrote:

Have just watched the Irish team arriving by train in Paris from their Bordeaux base and was not impressed with the body language of the players. No one exuded a sense of confidence and optimism, rather there seemed to be a cloud of unhappiness and unease hanging over the party. Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions in the light of comments elsewhere on this blog. On the other hand, the message sent out by the players trooping in a disconsolate fashion along the platform appears to confirm that all is not well with team Ireland. Let us hope that personal differences are set aside when thay take the field against the French, leave behind their poor form and remember the rallying cry of the Three Musketeers: one for all and all for one!

  • 242.
  • At 11:15 AM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Sing loud and proud. Great post Sinc.

heading out tonight to paint the town green.

Anyone know how many Irish fans will be there tmw?

  • 243.
  • At 12:52 PM on 20 Sep 2007,
  • Johnnymc wrote:

Well said mr sinclair. We're still in this and hopefully we can catch fire on Friday night and start the dream. Let's wait til after the WC before we start the moaning. I always knew we would have to win this group outright to progress and I knew we wouldn't crush the 'weaker' nations either. We never do. But we (nearly) always put up a fight against the top nations. I still think we'll do it and can't wait til tomorrow night. All my French mates here are already talking about a walkover for les bleus but I'm quietly confident in the boys in green coming good. And I think we'll beat Argentina regardless.

Here's to a happy Friday night
Allez les verts!

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