BBC Sport Rugby

Ireland player ratings (170)

By Richard Hookham

Ireland lurched to an opening 32-17 victory over supposed tournament whipping boys Namibia in Bordeaux on Sunday.

Coach Eddie O'Sullivan's men at least top the pool after winning a bonus point for scoring four tries but there will be far greater tests to come and the battle is well and truly on with France and Argentina to escape the "group of death".

Let us know what you make of the ratings, and your views in general of the Ireland performance.

Girvan Dempsey Rarely able to come into the line and was outsprinted in a chase for a kick-ahead by centre Piet van Zyl for Namibia’s second try - 5

Andrew Trimble Calmly collected O’Gara’s cross-field kick to touch down for Ireland’s second try on the right wing. Tried to come inside and look for work after the break, but was partially at fault for Namibia’s second score in the second half - 6

Brian O'Driscoll (capt) The Ireland captain showed his intentions with a brilliant opening try when following up his own kick-ahead from Peter Stringer’s pass. Solid midfield defence and break created Flannery's try but was starved of enough quality good ball in the second half to really dictate proceedings - 7

Gordon D'Arcy Patchy performance. Made some typically willing midfield bursts but was let down by poor final delivery and some worrying handling, including one shocking drop from O’Gara’s simple pass, deep in his own half after the break - 4

Denis Hickie Took a huge early hit from Ryna Vitbooi and still looked groggy 10 minutes later when he dropped a simple catch on an overlap. Made some incisive runs on the left wing, but fluffed another take from O’Driscoll just after the restart and looked decidedly rattled - 4

Ronan O'Gara Took a while to settle, but his tap penalty and long kick to the right wing set up Andrew Trimble for Ireland’s second. Showed some inconsistent distribution but to be honest, he was on the back-foot for much of the second half as Namibia had the bit between their teeth - 5

Peter Stringer Winning his 78th cap, the little scrum-half produced a typically tenacious performance, although he suffered from receiving slow ball as his forwards became embroiled in a gruelling battle. One wild pass in the second half was nearly intercepted for a Namibian breakaway - 6

Denis Leamy The big number eight set out his stall with a rampaging early run, but there wasn’t enough of it later on . Forced into more defensive work than he would have wanted but still looked Ireland’s most potent weapon in the loose - 6

David Wallace Quiet first half and forced into making plenty of important tackles. Needed to assert himself around the fringes but was matched by a well-drilled Namibian back-row - 5

Simon Easterby The Llanelli flanker piled over for Ireland’s third try from a ruck on the half hour. Made some important tackles around the fringes but drifted out the game and could have offered better running support off the ball to give Ireland more variation - 6

Paul O'Connell Plenty of hard graft in the loose, although his hands let him down at times. Lost out too often in a normally rock-solid line-out giving Namibia a platform to attack. Certainly not at his rampaging best - 5

Donncha O'Callaghan Offered himself for plenty of little pops off the side of the ruck and looked hungry for some of the dirty work around the fringes, but struggled to dictate in the line-out where it mattered - 5

John Hayes Canny scummaging work against a fearsome Namibian front-row, forcing his opposite number to collapse the scrum more than once. Battled well, but not enough impact in the loose - 5

Rory Best His hit-and-miss throwing meant Ireland’s line-out wasn’t as solid as it should have been. Worked hard in the loose but was replaced late in the second half - 4

Marcus Horan Penalised for not releasing in the ruck which gave Namibia their chance to slot a penalty right on half-time. Faced a real battle in the scrum and did well to carry on after straining his back in the second half - 6


Jerry Flannery Came on at hooker for Rory Best and almost immediately got himself on the scoresheet with a controversial try on the left touchline, as Ireland made a rare foray into the Namibian 22 - 6

Simon Best Came on for Marcus Horan on 62 minutes. Little to distinguish himself from the rest - 5

Neil Best Little time to impose himself, coming on with just a few minutes remaining - 5

Paddy Wallace and Geordan Murphy came on too late to be assessed.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:46 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

hmmma couple of things i have to say...

At least our defense got a good work out.

Our opposition will have learned nothing from this display!

I think the fixture list will save our bacon and get us to the next round, even if it is in 2nd place. France and Ireland both rusty, we still get full points from the game because we have two warm up games before we "get it on".
This is not the first time Ireland take a while to get the performances in. We do it every 6n. Strangely enough im not overly worried.

  • 2.
  • At 09:49 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

You're far too generous with your scoring there!

Take one point of each players rating and you'd be about right.

Ireland were woeful. How can we expect to compete with the Pumas and Les Bleus performing (or not, in this case) like that?

Everyone of that Irish team were first choice players and they couldn't pull together as a team.

Very worrying. Let's hope it's first night nerves and that we see a better outing next time!

Together Standing Tall !

  • 3.
  • At 09:50 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

A terrible performance!!! Not sure what is happening in the Irish camp but it has me worried. Does not look like a team who know each other. Cannot afford more performaces like this. I cannot fathom what is happening, have we peaked too early? I think the ratings are a fair reflection. Well done Namibia too.

O'Connell was not on form again. Hickie should of been replaced after that tackle. Best has to give way for Flannery for the remainder of the tournament.

I think the confidence is ebbing away from this team and will require something special to get something from this world cup. I hope what ever is wrong sorts itself out soon or we may be home sooner than we think.

I still am perplexed as to why O'Sullivan got a 4 year contract before this world cup, that decision should of been made after.

On a total random note. Don't know about anyone else, but watching this world cup on ITV is torture, just awful. And that plank Mexted tonight making racist comments about the Irish, the rugby was bad but unbareable on that cr@p network

  • 4.
  • At 09:51 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Alaska Dave wrote:

terrible result,Ireland can only move up from here ,not anything like the team that played the All Blacks last year ...what happened? They should have been faster and fitter than the gusty Namibians,cant see them beating France or Argentina at this rate :(

  • 5.
  • At 09:53 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • John Dowling wrote:

Very poor display!! I would not consider giving any Irish player any rating on that display.
A good side in the recent past, Ireland have not developed, are too soft, have no plan B and are poorly managed.
Never having won anything will haunt these players when they hang up their boots.


that was just awful. no imagination no class, nothing left to even hope for.. We just looked tired and not interested. whats worse is we just gave this coach an extension on his contract. shocking!

  • 7.
  • At 10:04 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Sedated_irish_supporter wrote:

No offense but were you watching the same game?

  • 8.
  • At 10:05 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Aidan wrote:

I agree with most of these rating with the exception of Stringer. He had an awful game. Aside from, a usually solid, Hicky he was our worst player.

He offered, and offers, Ireland nothing except a quick pass. Of which about 2 out of every 10 are inaccurate. He cannot snipe or box kick and frequently ducks out of making a tackle. All things we saw on the field tonight.

Stringer seems to be above criticism in the media and I'm baffled as to why! He is 1 dimensional and needs to be moved aside for Redden or Boss!

  • 9.
  • At 10:09 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • richard wrote:

Ireland, second?

As an england fan I know we are going to struggle, but after seeing all the British teams struggle I just think we are all behind the game on preparation.

What was most revealing about Ireland and England is that neither of them could step it up when required...very disappointing.

Stringer looked good though ;)

I think those ratings are more or less right. Hickie is very lucky to be given a 4 though. As an Irish rugby fan I'm extremely concerned that age may have caught up with him inside 80 minutes.

After that big hit, which he didn't seem to see coming, he constantly fluffed his lines - whenever he was involved in a move, it went wrong.

My biggest axe to grind tonight is with Eddie O'Sullivan.

The backs just were not firing, for whatever reason. The first changes made to the backs were with 30 seconds of the alloted 80 minutes to go. If I was Geordan Murphy I'd be wondering what exactly the point of me coming on the trip was. Murphy can play wing and had a decent game against the Scots in warm up, Hickie needed hauling off, not only for the team, but for his own confidence (which must now be in little tiny pieces over the Bordeaux pitch).

It simply was not good enough from the Irish coach. I also think Isaac Boss should have been given a say. Stringer was one of Ireland's better backs, however a new line of attack from Boss may have penentrated a Namibian defence who grew in confidence as the game went on.

As I say though, Stringer was not the worst. The reality was he did not get quick ball for most of the night, which is how South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have decimated lesser opposition.

I have big fears Ireland will lose out on the rugby equivalent of a cricketing run chase. I am confident we will have what it takes to beat Argentina, when we play well, but France won't be so bad again. When it comes down to points difference, I have a feeling we could look back and say we went out of the tournament tonight.

  • 11.
  • At 10:15 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • John Toher wrote:

very dissappointing performance from us, we will be going home early if we dont improve massively

  • 12.
  • At 10:16 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

comment "1" is mine btw :D

David, Rotterdam. (Dublin, ex-pat)

  • 13.
  • At 10:16 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Kia Rose wrote:

That was awful - have they been infiltrated by some of the England coaching staff!!!

  • 14.
  • At 10:17 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Sedated_irish_supporter wrote:

Were you watching the same game mate?

  • 15.
  • At 10:21 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Michael Duncan wrote:

Against Namibia the key obectives were all achieved, them being winning, obtaining a bonus point and avoiding injuries. However, this is not the Ireland side that played in Croke Park. The competition are up to speed but we are not and it's the 'last chance saloon' in our next game to get things right before the knockout matches. Ireland have 1 more chance at a rehearsal before it's do or die and we look frail/friable/vulnerable - take your pick. A betting man might say there is a deep rooted problem in the Irish camp and it's too late to hide or fix it. Please prove me wrong. Suddenly last years win against the Bok's in Dublin looks irrelevant. It is the Tri nations sides and not us that are in the driving seat.

  • 16.
  • At 10:22 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Graham Nelson wrote:

One of the worst performances I have seen from an Irish team for some time, even worse than the very sluggish display against Italy in the last warm-up match. IMO, not one player distinguished himself. Indeed, they got steadily worse as the game progressed. Unless there is a radical improvement, I think there is little chance of them beating France or Argentina and making it to the next stage of the competition.

  • 17.
  • At 10:22 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

...And I thought England were in trouble, Argentina must be quietly confident, Georgia even. I'm sure Ireland will rise to the occasion.

It's good to see the smaller rugby nations competing well today. I have no idea why people want to exclude them other than to save face when they don't just roll over and take it.

I think Leamy deserved more than a 6. BOD a 7? Seems a bit inconsistent. Then again, the ratings for a lot of the Welsh, Scottish and English players were far too generous.

  • 18.
  • At 10:30 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

I'd knock three off all their ratings.
If this is the performance of a team with aspirations of winning the cup they should be ashamed. Ireland knew that this match and the next was all about racking up points, now its about not losing to anyone, and the matches will only get tougher.

  • 19.
  • At 10:33 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • I. wrote:

I've said it on the england ratings, and a similar thread is due here. NO Irish player can be given anything above a 6, due to the nature of the opposition, and following that performance, the best any of them could hope for should be a 5. Namibia are a 3rd tier nation, humiliating a nation who continually call themselves the best in Europe, and the best challenge that europe has to offer in this world cup. A woefully inept performance from the men in green, outshining england and wales in the race to have the worst opening match from the home nations. Realistically they only won by 10 points, because the TMO replay showed that the ball was not grounded for the final try, and that in itself is pretty poor, against a team who rarely play top tier nations or first class rugby. Lets hope france get their act together, or Europe is going to be a laughing stock by the knockout stages.

  • 20.
  • At 10:33 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Very disappointing, Namibia were excellent but I bet you that Argentina and France destroy them and we may live to regret not posting a cricket score. We will be luck to get a bonus point against Georgia - in fact we will be lucky to win let alone salvage some additional scores
I think that Rory Best was terrible and am not sure Flannery is that much better but we should be winning every line out - this is akey area to exploit against Arg. We used to have the best line out in the world. Gordon D'arcy, Dempsey and Hickie look at best rusty at worst it seems the dynamism has gone? We hardly turned over any ball and that is with Wallace, Leamy and Easterby there?

It was a more testing run out than I think Eddie and the rest thought. Trimble played well but unfort am not sure he will play when Horgan is back even with Hickie playing so badly today. The scrum worked but Georgia will give us a better idea of whether it will work against the big teams.

My biggest worry is that France are going to come out all guns and we will be played off the pitch leaving us to win against Argentina and deprive them of a bonus point.

That was not a performance of world cupr quarter finalists let alone winners

  • 21.
  • At 10:34 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

We were shocking, partly because people didn't want to ship an injury.

Dempsey deserves to be dropped for being out run by a bloody farmer,Murphy needs to be brought in.

Darcy is a flake and should be dropped. He's believing his own press.

I don't know who'll replace him, but worst comes to worst I'm here if Eddie needs me.

Ps I know we never play well against crap teams, but on the basis of our warm up games we won't beat argentina. So now we need to knock france out of the world cup to progress.

  • 22.
  • At 10:37 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Wee Man wrote:

So much for the best prepared irish team for a world cup. Also the most under performing irish team. I blame the new shirts, ha ha! Nothing like making it as hard as possible for ourselves. We have probably just scuppered our chances of getting out of the group. Why not simple rugby?
Either up it to slaughter Georgia by triple figures, beat France and Argies or don't consider the team to be World Cup contenders.
Look on the bright side, the sooner our players are back home the better we'll do in our domestic leagues.

  • 23.
  • At 10:39 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • spike wrote:

to be fair, there's not a lot O'Sullivan could have done about a lot of the mistakes. I mean, Hickie, come on... it's international rugby

  • 24.
  • At 10:40 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Paul Fitzsimons wrote:

We gave this coach (Eddie O'Sullivan) a new contract, based on his, and the teams performance over the past five or so years, which is excellent. Don't read too much into this result. It was a poor effort, but it might be a good wake up call!

Your the only one shocked about the contract mate

  • 25.
  • At 10:51 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • ledzep21 wrote:

it was an awful display with a side having expectations of winning the whole thing. i think its too late to sort out what problems we have. Theres too many players that havnt played competitive rugby in months and I think
even that shouldn't be an excuse against part timers. We are guaranteed to lose to Argentina with our front five being over run like that. As for France they have their own problems. Looking at the wc so far south africa and nz look a class apart from the rest.

  • 26.
  • At 10:52 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Pupmiester wrote:

Painful viewing yet again! There is nothing wrong with the coach, its clearly the fault of the guys on the pitch. Can understand Hickie not not knowing where he was for part of the game but every Ireland player seemed to be the same i.e. just been hit by a steam train. Lack of passion, lack of fight, zero continuity....sounds like my club team last Saturday!
I'm just praying its a tactic to lure France and Argentina into thinking we're easy meat!

  • 27.
  • At 10:57 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • geoff mitchell wrote:

Poor. Poor performance by Ireland. Where was the passion to match that of Namibia?
We need to really get it going in the next one otherwise we are going for a hasty exit in the competition. France and Argentina must be smiling now.
Maybe they should have held off on that Contract extension they gave to the Coach

  • 28.
  • At 11:00 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • danny nash wrote:

I agree also with Steve, I thought the match itself was frustrating but some of the commentary on ITV was a total disgrace.

  • 29.
  • At 11:05 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

This was a very depressing display by Ireland. Badly led and motivated. Few answers. The passion has been analysed out of them. Namibia deserved a better result.

The Irish half-backs were woeful. There is no credible alternative to O'Gara, but surely after this performance from Stringer, coming on top of his dreadful display in Belfast, it must be obvious that more options are needed in attack. D'Arcy was not good, but he seems to be the only attacking option we've got. Hickie had a second shocker. Why was he not replaced? I don't agree about Rory Best. Did you notice the change in the scrum when he was replaced? But the most damning thing of all is the contuation of O'Sullivan's contract. It makes it clear that Ireland is a country of losers. Who in their right mind could be satisfied with this man's performance over the past few years? We have the best set of players we've ever had and he has done nothing to blend their skills!

  • 31.
  • At 11:30 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

It has to be said too that the pressures on the Irish team are horrendous. Press conferences, constant interviews with not just Irish TV but with TV and Radio from all over the rugby world.We hear them answering the same inane and predictable questions. They (and of course, Eddie) respond with the same tired old cliches. They write newspaper columns, sponsor products etc etc etc. Has it all just got too professional for this wee country of ours?

  • 32.
  • At 11:32 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Cillian's Dad wrote:

Groggy display, how can we present a serious challenge with so many mis-tackles, forward passes, dropped passes etc? Perhaps this was a good warm up, saving the real stuff for Paris. I hope so or we will be beaten all over the pitch. Well done Namibia.

  • 33.
  • At 11:38 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

I still can't believe we watched Ireland tonight. The rhetoric has to stop! "all credit to Namibia" Go back to basics and for Gods sake, stop panicking with ball in hand! Quick ball is very good but if it's constantly being knocked on it isn't worth tuppence. I hope they all take a long look in the mirror tonight. Naturally strong, well coached amatuers showed our very well paid "professionals" a thing or two

  • 34.
  • At 11:50 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Very dissapointing!Although I do think we'll see a completely different team for next week.The players seemed out of synk with one another,far too much confusion and over running the pass etc.Hopfully the Georgian game will enable us to iron out those mistakes,if not we're in big trouble come France.
For me Eddie O'Sullivan is too biast towards his first choice 15.How he can continue to ignore G. Murphy is beond me,our best attacking player and he gives him 2 mins??He along with Flannery and possibly Quinlan at 6 shoould start next week.

  • 35.
  • At 11:56 PM on 09 Sep 2007,
  • Tattyhoker wrote:

ok lads...

1. do enough to win the game and get your bonus points

2. Don't anyone get hurt

3. Don't show your new lineouts and other set pieces. Time enough when we need them later.

4. If you don't win well you're crap - if you win well it is expected - just win and get your bonus points

That would have been my team talk. Looks like it was Eddie's too. Come on guys, get over it... we are not as bad as we looked against namibia, but it just might suit us for the other teams to think we are..

  • 36.
  • At 12:05 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

The marking is far too generous, especially BOD's, his try was fantastic, but that's it - he did nothing more for the rest of the game - awful! ROG is so rusty, just like BOD, and Hickie could fumble for Ireland, we were shocking!
It's so obvious that northern hemisphere sides are still in pre season mode and we haven't got up to speed yet - the question is, can we?
The only way Ireland will get out of the group is by winning ALL our games - dream on...

  • 37.
  • At 12:08 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Conor wrote:

I thought the game against Italy, which Ireland lost, btw, was supposed to be the wake-up call. England were worse, which is always fun to see, but dear me....

  • 38.
  • At 12:10 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • steve wrote:

why do I get the feeling that you all are enjoying in some masochistic way being down on the team??? sure a lot of handling problems but there are no 'minows' any more and the namibians were very well prpared. if the miss passes had gone to hand would have been a diff story. what is wrong with win points and a bonus ant way?

  • 39.
  • At 12:20 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Globetrotter7 wrote:

What a shocking performance by Ireland!
Clearly, looking at these high ratings, the standards in the NH must have dropped considerably.
I'd knock 3 off every player's rating.

Ireland played against an amateur side, where half the players in the team are teachers and plumbers who get together twice a week for rugby practice and a sandwich.

South Africa put 105 points on this same Namibian side only a few weeks ago. Enough said.

  • 40.
  • At 12:22 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • andy from ath cliath wrote:

Ireland are only poxed it was Namibia first up, France or Argentina first and we could nearly book our return tickets now. You must give Ireland credit for being consistent though, we have been poor for the whole year now. Everyone remembers the 6 Nations cos we knocked the lard out of (a very limited) England but forget how bad we were against Scotland and Wales and only so-so against Italy. Then we had the wonderful build-up which included highlights like the Argies giving us a proper lesson (twice), getting hockeyed by the Scots and barely beating an Italian side that deserved a result. Oh, the IRFU must be over the moon about giving O'Sullivan a new 4 year contract before the competition started.

I blame it all on them singing that woeful 'Irelands Call' rubbish!

  • 41.
  • At 12:28 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • I. wrote:

Ed Boland, I don't think you can blame the press etc for Ireland's woes. The situation is easily as bad, if not worse, in NZ, Wales, Australia and SA, and seems to have very little effect on their performances, whether good or bad. It is down to the players and coaching staff to get it right.

  • 42.
  • At 12:29 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Tim Gallwey wrote:

Pathetic display. To think I drove 500+ km and wasted my afternoon and evening to watch that rubbish. Agree the ratings are too lenient. They lost the ball in the tackle so many times, O'Gara missed touch too many times, no imagination or creativity at all. To think they had ambitions of winning the thing! It was so appalling I left early and doubt I will use my tickets for any other games. They just get worse with every game. They are also too slow. In contrast, what a wonderful tonic the All Blacks were yesterday after all the Northern rubbish we have seen.

  • 43.
  • At 12:35 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • jim reeder wrote:

the home nations are rubbish , i am scottish and think that they shouldnt be there.ab v aussies final.

  • 44.
  • At 12:47 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • De Dev wrote:

Tattyhoker I agree.
Job done and lesson learnt.
We sent a 2nd/3rd team to Argentina, our second team to Scotland, and then started warming up our first team for the world cup.
We have the opportunity for this team to gell and grow over two "easy" matches before the group deciders.
They were expresive and adventurous this evening but rusty hands dropped or misplaced passes.
It is too early too panic. If the preformance is as bad againstGeorgia, then I will worry.

  • 45.
  • At 12:49 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Alaska Dave wrote:

comment #34,is spot on ,First off, has ANYONE ever thought that Ireland could win the cup ? come on ,,it was never on ,semi finals very best,The team can play better and still may,Ireland does not play lower teams well,this Irish team are able to step up .I am taking all this in ,in the bush interior Alaska,Why is 5live internet broadcast only UK users....anyone ??

  • 46.
  • At 01:03 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • butch wrote:

I agree that it is too early to panic because it is too late to panic.
We will just have to go out and beat Georgia with a bonus point, no more than that. Then we need to have a blinder against France and win by a single point if necessary. After that a 15 all draw with Argentina will see us into the quarter final with Scotland when they beat the all blacks and top their group???

  • 47.
  • At 01:09 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • John Fox wrote:

Absolutely terrible performance tonight. We were at 6's and 7's for the majority of the match. O'Gara just didn't get momentum with his kicks, D'arcy was lacklustre and Hickey, one of my favourite players, was downright awful with so many handling errors. Are we becoming too much like the English - heaping too much pressure and hype on our players and ending up disappointed? The Aussie and Kiwis would have destroyed us tonight. Food for thought.

  • 48.
  • At 02:17 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Haha, great to see fans of a side supposedly capable of winning a WC going, "well at least we aren't playing as **** as the English", so you can't be doing well at all then (to compare yourselves to us in our state is not the sign of a world beater)? It's all a little too negative. The Irish should give themselves more credit. Unless of course the prejudice fills a gaping hole in the belief of your own national side.

  • 49.
  • At 02:22 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

I agree with the majority of the posts here. We were lousy can make all the excuses you like about the boys being rusty...but they are pros and are paid to get it right...simply put they didn't. Hickie dropped passes and missed tackles...but he was not alone.
You can blame the players, but ultimately it comes down to the coach and his team...IMHO O'Sullivan does not have the nous to coach at this level...he was outcoached today...and has been on numerous occasions in the last 12 months.
I fear for the rest of the tournament...based on teh last couple of months we will be lucky to come third in the pool...god willing I will be proved wrong!!!

  • 50.
  • At 05:54 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Chicago Mike wrote:

I agree with Ed Boland, and while it is great for fans to read Player Journals etc. I think they should concentrate on sport, not celebrity writing and product endorsements. I will not be buying any player endorsed flat screen tvs after this performance. More rugby and less publicity for the next few weeks.

  • 51.
  • At 05:56 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • fionn wrote:

win 2nd & 3rd phase possion, suck in the oppision, and be poised to release the backs when the right oppertuinty arrises is our game plan. Not once was this achived, or attempted tonight. WHY?.
O'Driocall as caption had poor porformance tonight, bad handling, and bad passing, other when passing to himself.
It looked bad for Hickey but he was not the worst.

  • 52.
  • At 07:47 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Starie1975 wrote:

Bob Peru, your a muppet! Sure us boys in the west could say the same. We've no one. I bet you Connacht would have put in a better preformance last night.

  • 53.
  • At 08:19 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Fi Dublin/Manchester wrote:

For Fe*k sake! What is about our National teams and letting nerves get the better of them. Also why did our team coat their hands in butter before the game! Poor show chaps and no reserves to dig deep. O'Driscoll we need you to be a GIANT and motivate the team!! O'Sullivan - when things are not working - CHANGE THEM!! When they've worked out our weaknesses.....jeez.

ITV it was pure annoyance and downright insulting that poorly informed double act - had to turn the sound off after a while. We have ability in bucketfuls we need a confidence guru or hypnosis on a team scale. Nice Kit though!

  • 54.
  • At 08:29 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • spooner wrote:

Agree with the ITV criticism.
"Welcome to today's game - let's have a break which also includes brainless, self-aggrandising graphics....welcome back, the teams coming out onto the field, here's the anthems, after a break".
On a rugby note, all the 6N teams looked rusty and more importantly, PREDICTABLE.
Let's give the so-called minnows some credit here, they are improving and employ good coaches, who all seem to have done their homework.
However, after the first couple of games, fatigue and weak squads will expose them, so it may not have been too much of an advantage for those who have played them in their first games.
Shows the gulf between the hemispheres though?

Complete misfire from Ireland there, a shameful performance. The ratings are generous, probably being diplomatic. EOS has kept Ireland ticking over but stagnant in recent times, a 'champions' vision seems to be lacking. He's certainly competent but I don't see how he's going to bring any big wins for Ireland, content with second place in the Six Nations it would seem. Denis Hickie didn't perform at all after the knock and surely shouldn't have stayed on the pitch. It's EOS's job to see that and resolve it. I would think it much better to get Hickie off and avoid compounding the problem with having the player frustrated and off-form as the tournament progresses. As the captain O'Driscoll should have stepped up in that regard as well.

Overall, incredibly poor show on rugby fundamentals across the board. How can that have escaped them in their preparation. Let's hope that this is just a faltering start and the team buckle down to some solid performances.

Anyway I'll throw in my version of the ratings and some snide comments.

Girvan Dempsey - 4. Didn't bring anything to the line, flat and lacklustre in all departments.
Andrew Trimble - 6. Didn't alter the original rating, he made fewer mistakes than most and showed some signs of determination in a game where no one else did.
Brian O'Driscoll - 5. No leadership from him today when it was in dire need. Little in the way of creativity. Worst of all, his ball skills were off.
Gordon D'Arcy - 4. Flat and mediocre. I hope he has some Rugby 101 DVDs to watch before the next game.
Denis Hickie - 4. The knock ended his contribution to the game, hard to say much else. If he didn't let people know he wasn't right and should've come off then he needs to share the burden of fault with EOS and O'Driscoll.
Ronan O'Gara - 3. Ok, I don't like O'Gara so a 3 might be spiteful. I don't understand how commentators rate him so highly as a kicker. He's inconsistent finding touch on a good day and really didn't help today. Poor misses on most of the conversion failures.
Peter Stringer - 4. Limited scrum-half who gave very poor ball and put us in trouble.
Denis Leamy - 6. Don't disagree much with the original assessment.
David Wallace - 5. Should've had much more presence given the opposition.
Simon Easterby - 5. Disappointing performance, you expect a lot more from a player of his calibre.
Paul O'Connell - 4. Sloppy. Unacceptable performance at any level.
Donncha O'Callaghan - 4. Didn't seem to bother when it mattered.
John Hayes - 5. Can't disagree with original rating.
Rory Best - 3. Line out is fundamental. He's better than this and should be ashamed.
Marcus Horan - 6. Not changing the rating only because he did grit it out with the shoulder problems.

  • 56.
  • At 09:05 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

I think what Ireland missed most last night were FOCUS, PASSION and LEADERSHIP. All the players are highly accomplished and have proved their skills in the 6 nations etc.

And I continue to think that the pandering to the Media is a factor. This too is what destroyed the England team after the last World Cup (English team members pausing to wave to the cameras/crowd before touching down, constantly watching themselves on the pitch big screen, doing ear tugs and other self-centred gestures during the anthems etc)The media does have a role but contact before big games should be limited to the pre and post-match Press Conference. Individual interviews along the lines "do you think we'll win?" are not going to elicit anything other than the usual bla bla. Also if team members are writing newspaper or web columns, how objective are they going to be. They are not going to criticise their team-mates.

All the Irish team need to get focussed on the rugby, let the passion show and lets see some professional leadership from BOD!

  • 57.
  • At 09:06 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

We're paying the price for wrapping players in "Cotton Wool" after the 6 nations. Very few of them played for thier provincal teams in the Heinken or even Magners and it was an even bigger mistake not to send the first team to Argentina. They look like they've never played together, not a team that has been together for 3-5 years.

They felt the pressure to put in a big score (to match NZ) and bottled it. I fear that the 6N games against England and Italy will be the best I'll see Ireland play for a long time...

  • 58.
  • At 09:31 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • rpw wrote:

awful isn;t the word.. the worst Irish display I've ever seen I think.. the forwards were barely interested.. they need to learn how to hit rucks at speed and clear the men out fast or else we will never be able to play.. stringer has heart but we need more than that his passing was so slow! the back were awful how many times can they knock on and just run nowhere against what was an amatuer team! it was embarassing to watch! forget all this talk abotu winning teh world cup after watching it this week there are only 3 teams who can win and they are all from down south! and that guy murray mexted what a plonker! he is the worst commentatr i have ever heard, but overall the ITV coverage is shocking anyway, think i'll have to turn off volume for next irish match and find george hook on the internet radio stations.. he was meant to be raging! eddy is a disaster and has been found out but he doesn't care as he already has his 4 year contract in teh back pocket.. classic irfu move.. eoin redden, geordan murphy, maybe even brian carney should get a chance against georgia.. and flannery has to start from now on.. we've all had enough of mr best... he couldn't hit a barn door!

  • 59.
  • At 09:38 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Pico34 wrote:

I agree with Bob Peru. EOS has favourites, there can be no dispute about this. Easterby was a passenger and should have been replaced. The back row tackled like the Girl Guides and although Easterby scored a try he was totally anonymous. If EOS doesn't play a backrower who is capable of stopping rampaging French/Argentinians in their tracks, it will be a travesty.
O'Gara and Stringer are so one-dimensional it is unbelievable. O'Gara is famed for his kicking which last evening was laughable and Stringer's passing (all he EVER does) was atrocious. Boss didn't get a second and Paddy Wallace was brought on with 30 seconds left. The players who participated will have had their confidence shattered last night but those on the bench who were given either no or very limited time to impress must feel very low too. Wise up Eddie!!! Break the habit of a lifetime and pick the best players the country has to offer!

  • 60.
  • At 09:44 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • hankeyj84 wrote:

Hmm I say France and Argentina will say ireland will be for the taken.

Worrying it was a dreadful performance, the passing was dreadful, slow ball, not enough hunger and drive to put away Namibia. To be fair Namibia played well, i give them credit plus they scored more points in the second as us.

  • 61.
  • At 09:52 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Ireland were rubbish, Namibia are the lowest ranked team in the WC much worse than USA and a hell of a lot worse than Canada! Even England weren't that bad! lol

  • 62.
  • At 09:58 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Noel Slattery wrote:

I sence a lot of negativity here between fans or maybe in some cases 'So Called Fans '
Ireland went out last night against a very physical Namibian team that were out to prove to the world that they want and are able to play rugby. Last nights game was never going to be easy as the media were saying all week because in the sence that we had several players just coming back from bad injuries and were very rusty.
Right i do agree a couple of the bigger names from the squad didn't pick themselves up when they were counted on, But look at it this way Ireland won the game and they won it with a bonus point ! Wasn't that what they set out to get in the first place, Right a few more tries scored would have been good but its not the end of the world.
A few changes i would make for Saturdays game would be bringing in Flannary for Best ( Lineouts were very poor and his handling was not good )Quinlan in for Easterby ( a change is needed in the back row and, With wally and Leamy playng very well i would drop Easterby for Quinlan ) Maybe try Carney on the right wing to see how well he stands up in the big stage.
Other than that i have no real fears for Ireland at the moment. Ireland will have another bruising encounter with Georgia but another bonus point win for the Irish.

Have faith in the players and they will produce.

  • 63.
  • At 10:09 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Beamishman wrote:

Flannery on the bench? That explains a lot. O'Sullivan relegates a rock-hard, superfit, intelligent, courageous, accurate and totally committed player to the bench, and promotes the second-stringer. Flannery inspires by example - who else on the present Irish team does that? Sadly, no-one. Flannery knows the value of that jersey - put him on!

  • 64.
  • At 10:13 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Christopher wrote:

I think that the ratings here were somewhat generous. And let's be clear here, Namibia were not good. Ireland were awful and allowed an amateur set-up look good. Our forwards were terrible and if they struggle to dominate and destroy a pack of the standing of Namibia we are in very serious trouble. We have had the same problem for years now, a soft, in terms of international rugby, pack. Yes, we are very good at being mobile, quick to the breakdown, etc, but we are not able to out-muscle other packs. Look at Scotland, they have gone away and come back huge. I am not talking about them beating us as we put out a completely under strength team. We simply look smaller than other packs and I do question how we have prepared. Ireland are in a very lucky position that our coach has ultimate power over player time, but yet we look under-cooked physically. It doesn't matter how good our backs are, if they cannot get good, clean, fast ball. Am I worried? Yes, very. We are in the position to win the group and avoid the All Blacks and must take it.

Finally, there seem to be some in here missing the point. Yes we got the bonus point, but so will France and Argentina. This group will most likely come down to points difference, so every point we score in matches is crucial. A fifteen point winning margin against Namibia will simply not be good enough.

  • 65.
  • At 10:15 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Martin O wrote:

Lets face it Ireland were rubbish. The following palyers had their worst ever game for ireland.

In addition whilst our back row (Easterby, Lemy and O'Connell) tackeled well they failed to drive the ball forward to any extent leaving our back line with virtually no space. Time to look at options here.

Neill Best, Quinnlan, G Murphy, Redden, and Flannery are entitled to expect a start against Georgia on merit. We need a bit of serious competition for places within the squad.

  • 66.
  • At 10:17 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • dave wrote:

Agree with first comment on this post – a slow start, but not that worried. We are THE perennial slow starters. We also seem incapable of approaching games against the minnows in the right frame of mind, we always have.

The fundamental problem was that we failed to impose a structure early on. With no patterns of play, we allowed the Namibians to drag the game down to a brawl and then we fell apart as they gained some parity at the scrum and lineouts. They also mauled better than us and committed more men to the rooks, enabling them to turnover our ball on a few occasions.

That is when players like O’Connell, O’Gara and O’Driscoll needed to steady things but they were missing in that respect. The moment that I feel summed up our second half performance was when, after a period of sustained pressure, Namibia grubbered the ball over the try-line and we touched down for a 22. O’Driscoll then demanded the ball and drilled it into a Namibian’s legs some 10ft away, what was he thinking?!?

Here’s hoping this result, and more importantly the performance, will frighten the team. Players like Hickie, D’Arcy and O’Gara are professionals; they won’t wilt after a bad performance like that.

And finally…Bob Peru at 50, on not picking Best because he’s from the north, what an absolutely worthless point.

  • 67.
  • At 10:18 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Derek Fallon wrote:

Bad display. My team for Georgia would be:


That five changes and one positinal change from last night and I dont think it would weaken the team. These 15 should be told they will start against France if they put in a performance. Two many players are getting in by reputation. Last night was unacceptable.

  • 68.
  • At 10:19 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Brett wrote:

I hate blaming a coach/manager for a teams bad performance (as is so often done in football)but in this case EOS has to take the brunt of the blame for Irelands worst performance in 3 years.

The players are far from ready ito of match fitness, concetration and confidence to compete in a wc pool as demanding as this one. He also reflected the teams inability to soak up the pressure by refusing to make any significant changes in the team even though a number of players had been mentally outplayed early on in the game.

I personally think that EOS has taken this team as far as his abilities will permit and our wc campaign will be very deppressing as a consiquence.

It is truely upsetting as I beleive this is the best team Ireland has ever produced but without a tactically led coach they have underperformed for three years.

  • 69.
  • At 10:32 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Raycoz wrote:

Ireland second???
What an insult to Argentina. Ireland's game & performance against Namibia has been coming since the 6 Nations. When you look at all Ireland's games since last November you'll see a downward curve from the heights of the Autumn international, with a slight blip against England in Croker. I reckon EOS has been too good a study of Clive Woodward & has managed to destroy a good team by too much emphasis on preparation & not enough on playing matches. Ireland to come 3rd, but not to worry at least EOS has 4 more years!!

  • 70.
  • At 10:33 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Big C. wrote:

You can't play quick ball unless you're sure there's someone there to catch it. The players aren't confident that someone is and it's resulting in delayed release, awkward catching and spillage. The top teams don't have that problem, passing wide without thinking.

It's a confidence thing but this squad is too good (if you believe the rugby world over the last 3 or 4 years) and has been together too long now to be making this sort of basic error.

I'm sure it'll be fixed by the France game. It had better be. If not then I agree that the extended contract for O'Sullivan may have been another Irish error.

  • 71.
  • At 10:42 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Noel Sheehan wrote:

I've never seen this Ireland team drop and fumble the ball so much. Hickey had a shocker, possibly down to that early hit he took. Don't write him off yet though but it might be better to bring him on as an "impact" player later in a game.

This Ireland team have bags of experience and it's quite likely that some of the key players were trying to be careful so as not to pick up injuries in this "warm-up" match so as not to miss the more important ones later. Despite playing poorly they still outscored Namibia five tries to two, won and got the bonus point - job done.

Keep the faith - things can only get better.

  • 72.
  • At 10:42 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Jim Slip wrote:

Somethings have emerged from the first round matches in the pool stages of RWC 2007.Nothing has been spared in the preparation of the top tier teams and only the All Blacks,Australia,and S.Africa show any signs of benefiting from the experience.Secondly,Namibia,Canada and to a lesser extent,Japan have shown us what sheer passion and desire can do with limited resources.Argentina need special mention in this regard having been largely ignored by the rugby establishment.It was a privilege to watch the fire and commitment, let alone skill they brought to their victory over France.I am an Irish supporter so although this comment applies to several other pampered nations it is to them that I say lets stop bleating about why the team has been under preforming,gather some pride in your green shirt and stop embarrasing yourselves and a proud Irish rugby heritage

  • 73.
  • At 10:43 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Gerry wrote:

It wasn't good was it, and it promised to be a lot better in the first ten minutes. I'm interested in the view that Stringer dodges tackes - what ever else may be said about him that's one area I would always support him in.

Two other things. Firstly O'Sullivan's after match comments showed he was under no illusions about this performance. They were fairly brutal as these things go. I can only imagine what's been transmitted through to the players. Secondly Ireland always have a rubbish game somewhere in a tournament and lets hope this was it. Its the World Cup and France and Argentina have to be beaten so lets give it some lash and go through in spectacular fashion and not on some bloody "away goals" principle.

  • 74.
  • At 10:51 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • hellasbob wrote:

It seems that the problem for Ireland as for England was how to move up a gear in the second half. For both teams the job was done early on but, unlike Australia, South Africa and even Wales (although they were rubbish overall) they could not capitalise on the start and rack up a decent score. Very worrying and no obvious solution for either team. Expect both to make early and ingnominious exits from tournament as will the other Home Nations. Argentina for the Cup!

  • 75.
  • At 10:55 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Graeme wrote:

i agree with noel all the so called minnows have pulled out all the stops in their first games and namibia did just that. i have no doubt we will quaqlify for the second round and it starts with another bonus point win against a similarly tough georgia. i think we just struggle against weaker teams being no good at being favourites and now we will definitely be underdogs against france and that suits me fine.
also agree with steve itv is rubbish missing 30 seconds of the start of the england game cos of adverts not good management guys sort it out!

  • 76.
  • At 11:00 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Seamus, Dublin wrote:

I'd drop most of the scores by a point.
Three basic problems:
1. No Commitment. Seeing 2 or three people committed to a maul, the rest standing next to it with their hand in the air as the Namibians piled in and turn it over. Looks like they were scared of getting injured.
2. Basic handling and passing from people that normally have brilliant hands; stand up Stringer, O’Gara, Hickey, D’Arcy, O’Connell..actually most of the team.
3. No pride. Get Fitzgerald back out there so he can ask the question again of this team…Where’s your pride, lads? Where’s your effing pride?

  • 77.
  • At 11:04 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Enda wrote:

Woeful. Eddie o Sullivan has had the best irish team ever at his disposal and has gradually made them worse. He is out of his depth and has ruined irish hopes of grand slams and now a world cup with his inability to understand rugby. How can he not realise that the irish backrow are terrible at securing quick ball and that rory best is rubbish.

Now I have mor reason to worry. Not only that Ireland is coming our way but also Namibia looks dangerous as well

  • 79.
  • At 11:07 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • robert wrote:

They were awful shockin!! We havent a hope of even winnin our group!

  • 80.
  • At 11:13 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Concerned, Pourquoi? wrote:

What are these ratings about? I thought Ireland put in an immense performance. The Irish fans need to have a sense of perspective. Recall that until yesterday the formidable Namibians (who England, amongst others, have refused to play throughout history) had recorded twice as many victories against us, and yesterday was a proud day for Irish rugby as we drew level with the Welwitschias. I for one was not expecting the bonus point and was pleasantly surprised when the penalty try was awarded; especially since the scrum was an area of concern entering the match. Now that the scrum has been sorted out I see few other potential weakness to our game - Well done Eddie, a credit to Eddie for the high level of fitness clearly shown as the boys held Namibia out defiantly in the second half preventing the late comeback they're renowned for. Finally I would like to acknowledge my man of the match Dennis Hickie for his fine performance and his ability not to crack under pressure and restore the backline composure; as they say carpe diem, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Congratulations to all involved, particularly the backroom staff so often forgotten. Surely the World Cup is ours.

  • 81.
  • At 11:16 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Eddie wrote:

Well it was written on the wall after what i saw in the Italy and Scotland match. One word lads Passion, there was none. Time to get your heads out of yer buts and start playing with a bit of passion and heart. Remember Croke Park against England thats what we need.

  • 82.
  • At 11:17 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Paul O'Donnell wrote:

Another case of the Irish not living up to the 'favourite' tag.

In possesion, we looked nervous and made silly mistakes. Gordon (Bennet) D'Arcy made 2 or three really bad handling errors from perfectly sound passes.

As a previous message pointed out; our future opponents will not have figured out any patterns of play as we simply didn't have any.

There were a few flashes of brilliance from O'Gara and BOD but the whole team needs to get on top of their game very very soon...

5 out of ten:
Can do so much better

  • 83.
  • At 11:29 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • simon wrote:

Man alive that was by far the worst performance i can remember since elwood used to kick a penalty behind himself. Osullivan needs to shake it up a bit. I have always thought of hickie as one of the most reliable players on the team and maybe it was that knock he took, but he was shocking, i dont think he even deserves 1 point. Easterby and wallace were non existant, i think they need to get Best in there to provide a bit of aggression at the breakdown.

  • 84.
  • At 11:32 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • steve wrote:

so bad I went and washed the dishes.

  • 85.
  • At 11:45 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • tom wrote:

hi i can only say this was nothing new from our last 4or 5 games can see us going to far in this world cup pack just not good to many miss passes and tackels

  • 86.
  • At 11:46 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Larry wrote:

My main issue last night other than the handling was the lack of penalties kicked.
Namibia gave away countless penalties and were not punished for them. This led to more infringements at the ruck and slow slow ball.
If Ireland were patient and took the three points on offer they would have been far ahead at half time and the pressure to rack up alot of points would start easing.
From there we just play your natural game in the second half and Namibia would be less inclined to infringe.
We seemd to be too desperate to get a high score and it back fired.
Patience was the key.

  • 87.
  • At 11:47 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • DennisL wrote:

I don't think the doom and gloom is justified just yet.

There were three things that stopped Ireland last night.

1) The Namibians: Give credit where due. They played fantastically, competing for everything. VERY dodgy that not one of them got sent off for constantly coming into the ruck off their feet, from the side, not rolling etc... but they managed tio get away with it so more power to them.

2) 'Unforced' Errors: I never believe errors are unforced (pressure) but aside from that, those types of errors should not happen. My guess is that the Irish lads are thinking too far ahead of the ball, worrying about plays and lines, when they should be thinking about catching and running.

3) Eddie: Sorry I'm not usually an EOS bashed, but there was no excuse for not bringing on Best, Boss and (especially)MURPHY far sooner. Trimble, Hickie and D'arcy were all playing like donkeys on ice last night but there was no sign of the cavalry. This is the type of time when showing "confidence" in your starters is going too far.

  • 88.
  • At 11:52 AM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

Interesting point by ex Leinster coach Matt Williams on Setanta prior to the game, 'the team reflects the country's abilities and outlook' - he went on to talk up our chances based on the celtic tiger sucesses.

Looking at this comment after the game, he had it spot on. They did reflect the current theme and outlook, a bunch of overpaid, hyped up and, in their own minds, hugely capable megaplayers were systematically outmuscled and out thought by a largely amateur team who played with pride, a simple game plan and consistency.

We have the potential but the house is built on sand in that our consistency and 'fire' is gone. The team of 15 and management appear, as evidenced in the contracts recently renewed, totally unaware and on that performance incapable of understanding that they need to work hard to achieve what they obviously are capable of. They strolled in to that stadium to pick up the 5 points and a tryfest and they got done. It reminds me of the 22 year old nurse on the picket line last year who complained on TV how they weren't paid enough to have the car/house/holidays and social life immediately they qualified! She reflected modern Irelands cubs (which this team is drawn from) who expect it all first and consider how they will achieve this second.

Ireland, do the basics, work for the results and get the video of the All Blacks out to see how having to work for your place sharpens the performance up!!

  • 89.
  • At 12:07 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Tom O'Keeffe wrote:

I like tattyhoker No 35 premise. We won, so take it. Dont forget all those Southern Hemisphere Teams - SA, Aust, NZ, Argy - all have been playing real competitive Rugby comps and tests right up to now whilst all the Northerners have had a lay off except for a few show games for the second team. I think the cotton-balling has affected their play and sharpness. We got a result, 5 point and with 16 points likely to win the group, its all to play for. Would you all prefer to be French supporters today!! I am leaving on Fri to travel the 12,000 kms to support them, so buck up boys, its show time!@!

  • 90.
  • At 12:18 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ciaran Mc Quillan wrote:

Firstly, fair play the Namibians. Forget all the technical jargon about body position and body fat indexs, a big farmer who eats rump steaks like they're peanuts is gonna hit you just as hard as the gym-jockey pros. They played with the heart and passion that was (and is still occasionally) associated with the Irish.

Rory Best adds alot of beef to the pack but if he starts getting the yips on his throws then he becomes a liability. One more chance to prove he can hit his man.

I think the Irish were too worried about injuries. O' Callaghan seemed like the only willing ball carrier on the park. Even hard man O' Connell didn't seem too keen.

The O' Sullivan contract thing is a red herring. He cant be faulted for what he has done with this side over the last few years. They were one missed tackle away from the Grand Slam this year. Although it does seem to be a feature of this team that they only perform when the chips are down, which is a good problem to have I suppose.

He should have made more changes in this game though. Stringer was spraying it around and Boss should be given the opportunity to push his claim. Murphy may have been a safe pair of hands on a day of spills and few thrills. Hickie was clearly seeing double.

They need to go out and give a performance up front in the next game though. No time to think about injuries. If they cant perfrom in the pack they wont get any ball off the pumas and the French. hayes and Horan aren't world class so there is alot of pressure on the locks and back row. They need to step up. No point crowing about your backline if they are defending all day.

  • 91.
  • At 12:20 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Jobar wrote:

Far too generous with the points... I'd take two points of every one of them and I don't know what match you were watching but Paul O'Connell was pure distilled crap and Donnacha was no better. Trimble is not an international, Best was one of the worst and Wallace was a shadow. Although, the blame must rest with Eddie as he has pursued a policy of the 'chosen ones' and as a result there is no competition for places. There is no Irish squad just a team of 'Eddie's Boys' and the rest are there to hold the tackle bags.

  • 92.
  • At 12:24 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Trevor Whiteside wrote:

The timing of the world cup event is always an issue for discussion. Is it better to come into it at the end of your season when your well tuned or is it better to come in fresh at the start of your season? I reckon the former if the season for the players involved in the world cup is well managed. I think it is in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern there are too many top line competitions and too much is asked of the players. Coming in fresh to the world cup is also a problem as it takes time to get up to speed. Between the devil and the dark blue sea then!!!! Got to reduce the number of games the top players play in the N. Hemisphere and manage their season better. Will be interesting to see how it all turns out but the S. Hemisphere teams are well ahead at the moment.

  • 93.
  • At 12:24 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • james wrote:

Passionless and inane. Feel very let down by players capable of so much more than the hesitant and fractured display of last night. So many basic errors, at times so bad I laughed mirthlessly!

Simply put, Ireland lacked any intelligence, guile and innovation against a team who were always going to get stuck in.

Whatever about the 'British' team's (e.g. ENG, SCO. WAL, not us, get it right, thank you) opening performances, Ireland need to take a long look at this display, remove the hype, ego and arrogance that has emerged in recent years and inject a heavy dose of reality fast! RO'G requires a kick i the arse. PO'C likewise. Stringer played like Boss - three seconds too slow. Hickie, normally solid was cumbersome and flaccid.

Simply put, on the basis on this performance we are on a hiding at the Stade. Georgia will certainly fancy a go.

I agree with Neil Francis, the group of deaths main fatality will be the team in green.

On another point, the anthem issue is again top of my mind, Ireland's Call is cringe inducing. With respect to our Northern friends, the vast majority of the team is from the Republic and they need all the motivation we can give them.
Suffice to say most of the team haven't played top level rugby since Leinster and Munster were dumped out of ERC.

  • 94.
  • At 12:26 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • R Browne wrote:

In the last World Cup England were almost beaten, and totally out played by, Samoa. Equally, they really struggled against Wales in the Q/F. Ireland made 18 handling errors last night. They did not become a bad team since last March!

  • 95.
  • At 12:35 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Steve Blair wrote:

I really don't know where to start with this performance, it was a farce.

Never seen Hickie play so bad, but I feel that it was a one-off, following the big hit he took. He can only improve.

Watching O'Gara makes me angry. He is a nightmare. Many of the points scored by Namibia, and certainly most of their substantial attacking was the result of poor kicking from O'Gara. He does nothing other than kick and he does that badly. EOS needs to put Paddy Wallace in every match to let him gain experience and he will prove to be much better that ROG.

We have some of the best running backs in the world, but that is only productive when they have the ball in hand - ball coming out of the scrum is painfully slow, passing is woeful so they all have to take the ball from a standing start - they never take the ball on the run - this has been a background problem for a couple of years, but it was exemplified last night.

The forwards seem to be incredibly unfit - even when Ireland won a line-out it took them an age to walk up the park - Namibia were there and ready in a flash. Their lack of fitness was a big factor, they were heavier than the Namibian pack but had no strength to mount a push and were hammered all over the park.

People are complaining about the negativity of comments here, but really, they are justified - it's one thing being optimistic, but you've got to temper that with some reality - and that is, that Ireland will not get out of their group. They have been embarrassed and seem too far behind to improve enough to beat France and Argentina.

EOS's new contract is a joke.

As for the ITV commentary, I liked it - the lack of Brian Moore is wonderful and BBC should take note.

  • 96.
  • At 12:36 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • declan wrote:

Hopefully that's the wake up call we needed. Think there was an element of believing the press hype and not playing our own game. Where was the passion we saw in Pairc an Chrocaigh? Another display even remotely like that and Georgia will put us to the sword. We'll face a confident Argentina eager to top the group and a French team fighting for pride at home. What chance now for an Irish revival? If that team plays to the best of it's abilities (and O'Sullivan opens his eyes and uses that subs bench) then we can still top the group.

  • 97.
  • At 12:37 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • John wrote:

At the start of the game everyone would have said that was our strongest team and so it was.

With regards to Best his throwing wasn't great but the scrum was an awful lot better with him there.

Re the lineout the main reason the lineout used to be good was MOK jumping at 4 and POC at 2. Put MOK back for 50 mins and replace with DOC then.

Tell POC/Horan/Easterby/Wallace/Leamy to smash into rucks to free up the ball and to counter ruck the opposition...

Tell ROG to practice little chip/grubber kicks to stop rush defences...

Darcy/Dempsey/ unlikely to be as bad again so retain them for the next day with Horgan coming on for Trimble..and Murphy for Hickie

Put Quinlan on bench ahead of DOC, Carney also on the the game up front and give Carney, Boss, Wallace, Quinlan, Flannery, Best and Best 30 mins the next day.

  • 98.
  • At 12:52 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

Ireland were to say the least embarrassing! I have never looked forward to a world cup or any tournament so much! I picked up a few beers and munchies and settled down to watch the game only to be greeted firstly by a team that didnt sing the so called 'anthem' with any gusto and from there proceeded to be bullied around the park by 5 pro rugby players and 10 amateurs!
I read reports about ireland being primed to peak for France and Argentina! Since when does a team who progressively play worse manage to peak?
Best and Easterby should be dropped for Flannery and Neil Best, bring quinlan to the bench and advise PO'C that if he doesnt play a stormer against Georgia then Mal O'Kelly will take his place!
As for the backs, Horgan will waltz back in to the team at the expense of Trimble! Hickie should go as well and bring in Geordan Murphy or Brian Carney!

Eddie O'Sullivan better start proving he is worth a new contract because at this moment I like many other supporters am no longer looking forward to the outcome of this group!

  • 99.
  • At 01:12 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Time3200 wrote:

Wondered if Bob Casey and David Humphreys may be having a wry smile?

This team may well yet prove most people wrong, and I hope they do.
The hunger and fire, which Ireland used to play with is missing, probably because there is no competition for places.

Is it also possible that the team is soft, because the 1st XV have been wrapped in cotton wool since March? They don't look to be up for confrontation. The Namibians did an "Ireland" on them.

I don't recall Irelands back line ever really firing with O'Gara. and what about that retsart? Shambles.

EOS is a very astute man - but he does run the entire selection process based on stats - probably learned that in America. I have seen his stuff (he speaks on the corporate circuit), and nowhere does it account for spark. Just yardages, tackles, passes etc. Replace EOS with a laptop....

  • 100.
  • At 01:12 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • enda wrote:

Soul destroying game, the world cup has come two years late for Ireland.
Dont know why o driscoll got a seven, he was well bellow par. Main problem of note Ireland are lightweights in the ruck and scrum and have displayed lack of form in the line out. I fear an early exit, the only saving grace of the weekend is Argentinas failure to gain the bonus point win against France, they had a God given right to do so put missed two short range frees, this failure could come back to haunt them. I am shocked to see how good the four southern Hemi team are. They heads and shoulders better than any of the six nations teams.

  • 101.
  • At 01:13 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Eimear wrote:

I would give them all a big fat ZERO. It was embarrassing. They seemed to think they should start as showmen and then had to struggle with the basics when it was abundantly clear Namibia were no walk over and grew in confidence particularly with the entire stadium behind them. I was cheering for Namibia for a finsish. Hickey should have come off 60 minutes before he did, O'Connell looked as though he was asleep, Drico looked confused and Darcy seemed to be wondering what game they were playing. I felt O'Sullivan insulted Geordy who should have gone on for either Hickey or Dempsey as both were crap. And I seem to be the only person apart from my Dad who thinks Stringer is completely overrated and is a liability. Boss for the French and Argentinian games.

  • 102.
  • At 01:58 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Mark McCutcheon wrote: has sound clips of Eddie O' Sullivan and B O' Driscoll speaking about the Ire V Namibia performance. However, when one clicks on it a message saying only available to UK residents appears. Now that it is stupid given that Irish people are most likely to listen.

  • 103.
  • At 02:02 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • fergi wrote:

let's be under no illusion. the all blacks destroyed a progressive 6 nations side in under 20 minutes. namibia should have been dispatched in 1/2 that time. the irish players looked physically weak in the 6 nations and seem to have gone backwards. o' sullivan's weakness has always been his
complete unwillingness to make changes before or during a match. the starting 15 vs georgia will be the same depending only on horgan.

  • 104.
  • At 02:03 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Mark Hurley wrote:

Dropped passes, numerous knock ons, a non functioning line out, and a total lack of aggression. We were lucky to win in the end. Why? We appeared to believe that we could win by playing in third gear and that the Namibians would tire in the final quarter and we would wrack up a big score. Sport is not like that - you should never give the minnow/underdog a sniff. You play controlled solid Rugby with minimal errors and then the minnow tires just like the Aussies and the All Blacks did. We were also minding ourselves as we have very little quality cover on the bench

  • 105.
  • At 02:11 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

I agree with poster 2. You are far too generous. That was the worst ever performance from this team. I am a massive Hickie fan but he was shocking. O'Sullivan should have brought Murphy on after 50 minutes and that he didn't is worrying. O'Gara's touch-kicking was very poor, which is often the case these days. Time and hope are running out.

  • 106.
  • At 02:15 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

I agree that the IRFU were "misguided" in extending the EOS contract. The EOS achievement is putting together what is generally acknowledged as the best group of Irish rugby players ever. The problem continues to be to get them to play consistently as a TEAM fired up with a passion to win. Added to that seems to be an unwillingness to replace quickly when underperforming.

  • 107.
  • At 02:31 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ger D wrote:

Very disappointing performance but not the end of the World by any means. We have our win, a bonus point which is the most we could have achieved. Yes we have the ability to rack up a massive score against opposition like Namibia, but what purpose would a 40 or 50 point defeat serve us? In the event of a 3 way tie the first option of decision is how we faired out against the team we tied with and not Points difference.

I wouldn't have any faults with the selection, though I feel Flannery is the better option at 2, and was very much involved when he was brought on. Stringer for me was OK, but Boss might have posed a different attacking option for the last 15-20 minutes. O'Gara appeared very on edge, wasn't finding touch as much as usual, and kicked for the corners very little. Dempsey looked very sluggish as did Wallace, D'Arcy's handling was poor, and Hickey & Trimble had little effect on the wings. Hopefully Shane Horgan will return to give us the preffered option at 14.

What disappointed me most was that we lacked any dynamism in our gameplan. We didn't try to change our approach. Namibia slowed the ball and Committing 1 or 2 to the rucks wasn't working and the Namibians forced a concerning number of turnovers. Had we committed more to the rucks, gone through the phases and exhibited some patience we'd have got more tries, tired the opposition and ultimately delivered the performance that this Irish team needs to deliver. Had 2 or 3 balls gone to hand, we'd be having a totally different conversation today.

Not game over by any means. Argentina shocked a very badly selected French team, and had plenty of tactics which could have been exploited. Hernandez incessant use of the Garryowen is one which wasn't exploited to the hilt by France. Argentina's try came off a very good running move and Laporte's subborness to change things killed any chance. France will be better against Georgia tomorrow evening as will we against Georgia.

I still see us qualifying. We owe the French one after Croke Park earlier this year. Both them and Argentina will be test of mental resolve. If we're to do it we've got to be able to turn negatives like last night in positives. Get the concentration right, be patient. We're 5th in the World, we've beaten some of the best sides in the World in recent months and we've a great opportunity to turn things round in 6 days time. Teams have struggled to get started previously and gone on to great things, why not us. Roll on Saturday.

  • 108.
  • At 02:37 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Sé - Inchicore wrote:

I'd have to say that we're up against it now. France played better than we did and were still beaten by Argentina. I think Croker against England was the last time Ireland actually played to expectation - that day now seems an awfully long time ago.

On the coverage - TV3 with Newstalk commentary is not bad apart from Hook's epic statements every five minutes.

  • 109.
  • At 02:38 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • neil wrote:

Thought in general ratings were ok. But thought Stringer should have been changed in second half as her was not providing any alternatives and Boss is a much better all round footballer.
Personally thought that Rory Best's throwing was not all that bad considering the wind on the day as indicated by the Touch judges flags. certainly did not see a vast improvement with Flannery.
I thought that the ITV commentary was very poor as Maxted did not seem to be able to distinguish between the various Irish players, I do not know what he was like with Zambia but suspect equally bad. Also thought that Logan on UTV made "our Jackie " Fullerton a real Rugby expert.
To sum up a very poor performance especially from the magic centre pairing and once again doubts raised about O'sullivan's ability to manage his bench. Thought he should have freshened up the side much earlier than he did and Hickey seemed very suspect after his clattering.

I agree with most of the above comments. Last night Ireland were extremely poor. Have we built ourselves up too much? We beat South Africa and Australia in the Autumn internationals last year but they were on pre season at that stage. We put in a poor performance against France, Wales and indifferent one against Scotland in the six nations. Are we truely contenders or do we just like to think we are.
I hope we put in a good performance against Georgia otherwise I fear for us against the pumas and France.

  • 111.
  • At 02:54 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Speranza wrote:

O'Connell and O'Callaghan play for about 10 minutes of every match. They looked puffed after 10 minutes.

The back row are too old now - they seem to take the hits badly and nearly always spill the ball in tackles. Stringer and O'Gara are wooden, slow, predictable and can't even get the basics right. O'Gara's rushed 22 drop out last night which led to the Namibian second try was embarrassing.

Dempsey and Hickie are nowhere strong of fast enough now. Hickie's head has gone.

Added to O'Sullivan's bias and lack of rugby intelligence there is no hope other than re-birth. The players need to take this into their own hands, not listen to O'Sullivan and play for pride and to the best of their ability. This is clearly not a happy Ireland side and O'Sullivan has to take the blame and then he has to go. And O'Driscoll needs to do something fast about his plummeting reputation. Worse still, neither he nor D'Arcy look fit or fast enough.

  • 112.
  • At 03:03 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

Actaully points scored/conceded is going to have very little difference to the outcome of the group. I think the only way that points diff will matter is if we draw to either France/Arg and lose to Argentina/Fr with a bonus point.

Otherwise a tie is determined by head to head. So if we beat one of France or Argentina with a losing bonus in the other match we will be through. If Contepomi had got that last penalty France would have had to beat us with a bonus point and hope we beat and deprive Arg of a BP.

Also can someone tell me if you can get a 4 try bonus point and a losing bonus point? It is not clear from RWC site.

  • 113.
  • At 03:05 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • yednnek wrote:

The only saving grace is that we played a weak team first.
If we had opened against France or Argentina with such an inept performance we would be in real trouble.
Bonus points will decide this group more than points difference I think, and Contepomi's missed penalty at the end could be crucial.

  • 114.
  • At 03:10 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

Flannery for Best at hooker. Best for Wallace at flanker. Malcolm O'Kelly for O'Callaghan at lock. Murphy for HIckie, Horgan (please God!) for Trimble. And Boss - or Reddan - for Stringer.

Problem with this team is that everyone except Andrew Trimble knew they'd be picked. Nothing to fight for, nothing to excel for. Eddie needs to burn a few sacred cows, and tell every single player that their place is NOT secure. I suspect that even though they played like a Junior B side the morning after the full back's wedding to a likely lass from Connemara, none of them think their place is under threat. And that, simply, is wrong.

  • 115.
  • At 03:13 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • joe wrote:

i think that weve got the team.
now we need to work on how were gonna play against france and argentina cause there going after all the points against namibia and georgia now we have to beat both of them we need to pull up our socks now and we may have the chance of the semis but unless we do that we dont have much chance

  • 116.
  • At 03:17 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Jonathan wrote:

Ok so it was'nt good, but Ireland have a habit of mixing their performances between good, the odd very good, and awfull. This was awfull, so next time we should get a better performance. They tend to up it a bit against better teams, and we should appraise them as such before we completely write them off.

Of all our performances, I thought Trimble and O'Driscoll were the better backs, and Leamy the best forward.

  • 117.
  • At 03:25 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • ryan wrote:

Regarding post 92 and 99 - Brian and Jobar. I am just wondering as to why, on the basis of that match you think Horgan will 'waltz' in ahead of Trimble? Silly, silly point to make and i can only assume it's because you are a long term fan of Hickie (of which i am also) but he spurned a few at Ravenhill and last night he was a rabbit in the headlights. As far as i could see he was one of the few who did not disgrace himself. Any thoughts would be brillian fellas.

  • 118.
  • At 03:36 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Jeni Jones wrote:

I didn't get to see the match.Having bought a TV licence specifically to watch the rugby world cup, we realised that we needed a freeview box as most of them are on ITV 4! Thief's! O.k to show England's match though!! Having got a freeview box yesterday, we realised that our area can't use freeview!!Doh!!Agree re.the commentry though, having watched a couple of games on ITV.It's less than enjoyable.

About Ireland...Lads. don't be rippin Eddie O' Sullivan. He has done a superb job since he came into the picture for Irish rugby. Fair enough, they OBVIOUSLY had an atrocious game, judging from above!!But, what about some positive and encouraging remarks? Yes, they are all pro's - doesn't always go according to plan. Obviously, not having seen it, I'm not going to argue, but I'm proud of my country and our rugby team and , as we have seen loadsa times before, they can go out and perform when they need to! Put a bit of faith in them! No smart comments either just coz' I'm a girlie!!!

  • 119.
  • At 04:09 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • croc wrote:

Apart from maybe japan ireland are one of the weakest (physically) teams in the tournament.

What i cant believe is that people say we have arguably the best backline in the world- better than springboks, all-blacks, france etc.

we're the only team lacking passion , what an embarassment!

  • 120.
  • At 04:11 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Vic wrote:

Not sure many will agree, but we played a team, all be it semi-professional, with many under 21 South African players who out performed themselves. I believe we can only improve and yes Dennis looked startled in the headlights or was this the after effects of concussion? Lets see how we fair against Georgia and panic thereafter!

  • 121.
  • At 04:20 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

I agree with the comments about Trimble's inadequacy. He is a superb athlete and few can match that great speed of his. However he lacks the ruthlessness, hard work and full-blooded passion thats needed at international level. But yet EOS continues to prefer him whether on the wing or in the centre. Wallace or Boss are, maybe,better options. Ireland had the same problem a couple of years ago when the inexperienced ROG was preferred to Humphries.

Re match coverage - I refuse to watch ITV since seeing the wolverine Rosenthal surface with the orally challenged Martin Johnson and Greenwood and their constant "analysis" of Engerland only - no matter who was playing. On TV3 we have the robotic, deadpan Matt Cooper presenting in what looks like a mobile home for all of 3 minutes before breaking for yet a further 15 minutes of adverts. The panels are all the same. "Ireland will win if they play their best"! Any dissent is rapidly sat on as happened with Victor Costello last night. Actual match commentary isn't as bad as ITV

  • 122.
  • At 04:38 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ciaran Mc Quillan wrote:

I agree that Trimble didn't do alot wrong. I'm not saying he's a world beater, but he's a deavstating finisher given the opportunity and solid defensively. He's also young and with aging wings and full backs he should be given his head when they can.

The Stringer debate:

I was a scrum half in my day (yes a cr*p one, but at least I understand the position). He sprayed a couple of passes, but then he always has, all the way through his seventy odd caps. He is the number one choice because he has that experience, he makes the right choices. Now am sure someones gona say 'what about that time in blah blah blah when he didnt spot the blindside etc.' but all scrum halves make those mistakes and if you watched any club rugby and not just 10 games a year that ireland are on terrestial you'd realise Stringer is head and shoulders above all his colleagues on this Island.

Also playing behind the pack you could Gareth Edwards at scrum half and he'd have had a bad game. I've never seen an Irish side so slow to secure the breakdowns.

  • 123.
  • At 05:01 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

In response to Ryan 114, I have no doubt Horgan will waltz back in to the team, unfortunately for Trimble.
1) Trimble is a centre and I thought when he got his chance there against Italy he was the best player on the Irish side.
2) EOS wont drop the centres.
3) HE wont switch Trimble to the other wing
4) Horgan is one of the best wingers Ireland have had over the past couple of years and judging by EOS selection policy to stick with the so called dependables then Horgan is a shoe in!

Nothing against Trimble, just being logical!

Hope this clears things up.

By the way Reddan should get a run against Georgia over Stringer.

  • 124.
  • At 05:21 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Will C wrote:

Three games in a row and the Irish have been as effective as a teabag without holes in it and against the weakest of oppositions that they could find to make things worse. I bet the rest of the world are shaking, not in there boots but with laughter. If they dont put it together for the next match and show a bit of conviction for once, were out, its as simple as that !!

  • 125.
  • At 05:25 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Eimear wrote:

Reply to 119 being a girl is no excuse. I s one too. EOS hopped on the wagon just as Gatland was turning the team around. Typical Irish strategy when team doing well stick an Irish lad at the helm and make out it is a pure Irish result. No way should his contract have been extended until after the world cup was over. All us bloggers are proud of our country and will give credit when due. Perhaps if you saw the game you would share our disgust. It was car crash TV. Mini rugby kids i coach wouldn't have fumbled the ball as much

Blogger 120 Stringer has the caps and experience caus Eddie doesn't have the balls to drop him. Both he and ROG have had it too good for too long without EOS making any effort to blood new players for those positions. Boss and Reddan are just as good. And it was insulting putting on Geordy and Wallace for one minute, particularly a player of Geordys caliber

  • 126.
  • At 05:56 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • irish till I die wrote:

Ratings way too generous. No one in the pack deserved more than 4. Ireland's worst preformance in O'sullivan's era. It casts serious doubts to their title cresdentials. If they don't improve on that preformance they haven't a hope of getting out of the group.
Terribly disappointing start to the group. This Irish team finally needs to bring back some silverware to justify the hype

  • 127.
  • At 05:57 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Well, I have had a bit of time to digest the many posts here.

I think those who comment on the absolute lack of passion are spot on. They are also right when they comment that the starting 15 are way too comfy in their positions...however, there is a lack of experience and depth after that 15...largely because EOS chooses not to blood yopung players.

I would prefer to stay away from the North-South selection debate but I feel drawn into it because it seems that several of the Ulster players are being criticized when they don't have the luxury of playing time or being played in their preferred positions, particularly young Trimble. I agree Rory Best is inconsistent and that position should be open to competition. Neil Best deserves a run out, let's ee what he can do against Georgia, and if he proves to be a dud...then back to the bench.

Also, with regard to Boss and Wallace...they are not ready. O'Gara(who is not my fave) had a bad game, but to put Wallace in would be throwing lambs to the wolves. His day will come.

I saw the reference to the anthem...can we please leave that to rest. It was flogged to death during the 6N's.

Despite all the negativity, we are still in the hunt and there is still time for EOS and the boys to prove that they deserve their world ranking, otherwise it'll be another pool of death in 4 years time.

  • 128.
  • At 06:50 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • john mcnamara wrote:

That performance was a grave disappointment. This irish team is a yard off the pace but more importantly they are not focussed. i think they need to forget about flogging mobile phones, sports drinks and all the other distracting rubbish. That traditional pride of pulling on a green jersey and playing over and above the sum of their part (like 1991)is the hallmark of irish rugby. they need to stop talking about winning it and remember the expectation of a nation that is an irishman gives it his all EVERY single time he puts on that jersey, takes responsibility for his personal performance, and plays for his country and not his pocket.PRIDE!

  • 129.
  • At 06:56 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ed Boland wrote:

Totally agree with all the points made by john mcnamara and mtncelt.

Really sums up what the rest of us have been saying. PASSION, FOCUS, PRIDE plus better replacement decisions and LEADERSHIP.

  • 130.
  • At 08:25 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Frank wrote:

Ireland have shown over a number of recent performances that they are not the formidable team they were a year ago.
Their best team ever is on the wane.
They will not make the quarter finals.
Southern hemisphere looking good!!!
France could still come good!

  • 131.
  • At 08:26 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Ryan wrote:

Brian - a brillint response i have to say! I think Trim CAN be a centre but his handlng maybe isn't quite there yet and that's why i see him, internationally at least, as a winger. there's no hiding the fact that Hickie had a stinker and maybe you're right that EOS will just revert to Hickie and Horgan (who i agree with as being both a brilliant winger and a level head - something Ireland were distinctly lacking last night!) I just wish it wasn't so clear cut, you know? On form Trimble should probably start ahead of Hickie (though he is, and has been, a brilliant player and is more than capable of turning a game IF he plays well. But he hasn't). Cheers fella

  • 132.
  • At 09:12 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • richard garland wrote:


  • 133.
  • At 09:23 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • jeff goss wrote:

Hi Another disappointing performance. This level of rugby requires total commitment.the Irish team haven't performed since the six nations game against England at Croke Park and that was there only real performance in the six nations. The notion that O'Discolls return to the squad would bring a significant change has proved to be inaccurate. in the last 2 outings the ref has proved very generous to the boys in green by awarding trys that should never have been awarded.What happened to the pride ,passion & commitment they showed against england?

  • 134.
  • At 09:23 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Tez wrote:

Not a great start to be sure, but we know they will do better.

There are now over 1400 messages of support for the team on the Irish Rugby WC site message board.

  • 135.
  • At 10:52 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • JIm from Croydon wrote:

Hey 132 finally got it right - for all that this is meant to be "new" Irish Rugby it is in fact "old" Irish Rugby. Not as bad a recalling Tony O'Reilly maybe but symptomatic of looking to the past when under pressure - a bit like getting out your old teddy bear - comforting but not actually that useful.

By playing around with the younger players he is probably destroying their confidence and this over-reliance on the oldies is going to mess the whole team up - whoops - has messed the whole team up.

Let's hope we are all wrong - and it's a pity we don't have a running No 10 to go with the running backs.

And why is there not a bit more beef around in the forwards ? They are beginning to look like a bunch of doctors lawyers and dentists on a corporate trip that has got a bit out of hand. Either that or they are saving themselves for some big effort sometime ..........

you remember those autumn matches last year - all those new guys that played - what did they do wrong ?

  • 136.
  • At 10:53 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

Can I just remind everyone- Ireland is not a Home Nation and it is very insulting and ignorant of anyone to suggest we are a Home Nation.

Home Nations are the British Teams and Ireland if you learn your politics is not British.

This term is so often thrown around - even the Irish are staring to catch on. Shocking.

Just because there are a couple if players from the North, this does not make it a British or Home Nation Team.

  • 137.
  • At 11:24 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Aubrey king wrote:

Technically inadequate and lacking any fire.
The Irish temperament was sorely lacking in that display yet it is a key element in their style of play. The players have the ability and the experience, maybe even too much by now, but not one person lit the fire. A lack of leadership both on and off the field is clearly the problem from my perception.Perhaps an earlier bed time might also help!

  • 138.
  • At 11:46 PM on 10 Sep 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

Hi i am mainley english however i was born in Namibia, so i support Namibia in any sport that i can, and to see namibia come so close to Ireland, with a population about the sive of devon is awsome. I feel that there isn't enough bigging up to the Namibia performance.

  • 139.
  • At 12:04 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Hugo Lamont wrote:

Very, very poor. I don't think that it's unfair that Irish players are shipping criticism: it was an exceptionally poor performance, something that came as a surprise even given the previous performaces against Scotland and Italy.

Players of the calibre of D'Arcy and Wallace (both of whom I would consider to be world class) played far below their potential, and - mystifyingly - other players seemed to lack hunger.

I will add that I'm unconvinced by criticisms of Eddie O' Sullivan's selection, particularly regarding 'blooding' secong string players. While it is uncontestable (in my opinion, at least), that some squad members - noticeably Murphy and Reddan - should have been given more game time, playing lesser talented players merely to give them more international game time is a false economy.

New Zealand under Henry were [and are] well positioned to field wildly varying teams because there is such competition for places, whereas Ireland's recent eminence in the rugby world is due to i) a crop of talented (O'Driscoll, O'Connell, O'Gara, D'Arcy, Horgan, Walace and Leamy pre-eminent amongst them) players and ii) a favourable playing season and preparatory background.

Genuinely no offence meant to Andrew Trimble, but he could play fifty games in a row and not produce the performances that Shane Horgan has done over the previous 18 months: Horgan is a superior player. I firmly believe that whatever stance we held in the world game in the recent past is due to the efforts of a talented group of players rather than a system of management/coaching/selection (not that the latter is irrelevant). To be trite, being picked in the number 13 jersey doesn't make you a phenomenal centre: being Brian O'Driscoll makes you a phenomenal centre.

I know it sounds obvious, but the only reason that people were considering us as contenders for the World Cup is because we have players of the calibre of those mentioned above - it's not because of our system (despite it being reasonably well-run) - producing a conveyor belt of world-beating talent.

We have a group of exceptional players who are currently playing below their capability, despite being given every opportunity to excel ... I'm afraid I have no answers as to why, but i do believe that a large responsibility lies with the players rather than the manager, especially given the nature of the performance and the mistakes in evidence.

Obviously that's just an opinion, and it would cerrtainly be interesting to get some more insight into the camp. Neverthless, I still hold out some hope for the group ...

  • 140.
  • At 12:59 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Barney Mcseoin wrote:

Pride is an interesting word...It is something which happens,before ,during and after an event.It is something you either have or have not.It can not be faked!We have 15 fakes out there....A sad day for Irishmen.Soft thats all I can say....soft men..Let me rustle up 15 Real Irishmen from the building sites around Europe and we would batter the All Blacks whatever about the result they or the world would never forget..Ashamed to be Irish....

  • 141.
  • At 02:22 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:


I agree with much of what you have to say. The current team is a group of exceptional players and they are underachieving. Like you, I am at a loss as to why.

It is my hope that they figure things out in the next week or so or it will be a short tournament.

It is easy to criticize Trimble and others as second string, but I fear that is all they will remain if the national programme does not put some effort into developing the next crop of players...whether they be from Ulster, Munster, Leinster or Connacht is unimportant. I do not see this as a false economy, but rather an investment in the future. If we had looked at keeping David Humphries at 10, then O'Gara might never have developed into the player he is...for better or for worse.

In the meantime, let's hope that our current generation have a few more good games in them.

  • 142.
  • At 07:29 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

as an irishman i think we must move on from this performance, it will probably hunt the players for the rest of their international career but the team i think we should play againest georgi would be

1 best/young
2 flannery
3 hayes
4 o'kelly
5 o'connel
6 quinlan
7 wallace
8 ferris
9 boss
10 o'gara
11 carney
12 d'arcy
13 o'driscoll
14 horgan
15 murphy

eddie needs to give players a go, horan needs a rest so give best a go, flannery is world class when on form so he could play well, hayes needed to find form, o'kelly could regain form and his presence in the lineout will help at 6'8, o'connel needs game time, quinlan made adifference when came on againest bayonne so should be given ago, wallace needs game time, ferris also needs game time, boss needs given a go, rog/d'arcy/bo'd/shaggy needs game time and carney should be agiven ago along with murphy at fullback, if dempsey and hickie put that performance in again they should never play fopr ireland again, put neil best on the bench along with horan, best, neil best, doc or easterby, wallace, redden, trimble

  • 143.
  • At 09:27 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Generous ratings to say the least.

detract 7 points for a try that should have gone to the video ref (and not been awarded), and you only have 10 points in it... remember that this team lost by 100 points to the springboks a month ago...

Now i know that there are circumstances, but ireland are POOR at the moment. They have slid abour 50% since last year, and are little better than Scotland or Italy at the moment.

  • 144.
  • At 10:16 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Ned wrote:

Ireland approached the match with all the discipline and composure of a bunch of five year olds let loose in a pick n mix factory!
It was a joke and the management are to blame.
Who came up with the tactics of running everything up our own backsides in the first 5 minutes?
Every pundit said some version of the following; Ireland will play it tight for the first 30 mins, kick to the corners, put the opposition under pressure, wear them down and then go for the kill in the second half.
That is what Aus, NZ and the Boks did.
What did we do? Harlem Globetrotters from the off.
Who decided to approach the game this way? Eddie O'Sulivan
Here endeth the lesson

  • 145.
  • At 11:28 AM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Albert wrote:

I thought Nam did extremely well. They only have 6 professional players and the rest are part timers. The country only have about 300 registered senior rugby players, so well done Nam. The Irish is still a class outfit and their performance against Nam could prove a nice wake up call. They will come through in the latter stages of the bet of the home unions.

  • 146.
  • At 12:18 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

I have to agree with Steve of comment 142 - we need to move on as we cannot change the namibia result.
I was one of those who was disappointed and posted negative comments but I am now looking forward to tonights game between Georgia and Argentina and then our game against the Georgians at the weekend.

I hope the boys will have got the kick in the a**e they needed and things will start to improve.

If ROG can start hitting touch, the ruck and maul gets more aggressive and the line outs improve then we should put 50 points on the Georgians.

My team would be

n best
o kelly

murphy trimble stringer young okelly quinlan best

Come on Ireland!

  • 147.
  • At 12:43 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Nigrugthug wrote:

Ireland are slowly imploding.

Very lucky with refereeing decisions since 2004.

They'll lose to France and will struggle against Argentina's forwards.

They played poorly against Namib.

Georgia will not be easy.

Then Ireland have to play France followed by Argentina - really really tough ask.

  • 148.
  • At 12:48 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Mick wrote:

What a knee jerk reaction.

Stop panicking. That game and the Georgia game are just warm ups for the team, who are clearly rusty.

They will go on and beat Georgia and when the real World Cup starts they will be ready against the French and the Argies.

Those games can go either way, it all depends on the day.

  • 149.
  • At 12:54 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

I will be at the Argentina game which will probably decides Irelands fate, I have a premonition that it will be he usual scurry to the pub afterwards with another bag of broken dreams, never mind Paris is a fine place to be depressed in.

  • 150.
  • At 01:13 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Sean Burns wrote:

Bring on Georgia, I cant wait, why oh why did I waste my £10 at 20 -1?

Typical disply of ours all mouth and no trousers.

Give me Tony Ward and his jinky runs any day!

  • 152.
  • At 01:58 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Liam wrote:

lets wait to see what Georgia are like tonight before we say we will put 50 on them. Almost all their squad play in the French leagues and are a far cry from Namibian part timers.

Whilst SA put a cricket score on Namibia remember the almost very same team struggled to get a decent score on Connacht a week later. There is no point comparing results. We beat England and Italy by more than Namibia does that mean Namibia can beat England...oops

  • 153.
  • At 03:30 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

Eddie has done it again! After that awful display against Namibia, he has kept virtually the same team. He has shown himself to be lacking in adventure, and there are certain players whom it is obvious he will choose unless they have a broken leg.

How can he keep Dempsey in instead of Murphy? Hickie - what a dreadful display - and he can't have been that dazed otherwise he would have been taken off - or maybe not! Ok so Trimble has a broken finger - but why not give Carney a run on the wing, or if he's so devoted to Dempsey, put Murphy on the wing.

Stringer? He just has to turn up to be selected. And Easterby too. What a raw deal Neil Best has had since his amazing match against Australia.

Eddie is right - this is not a bad side, but a good side which played badly. But this was a golden opportunity to give some 'fringe' players like Murphy, Best and Boss a chance - then, if they don't deliver, ok, back to his favourites for the French match. But at the very least, they might have got a kick up the backside by being dropped.

Eddie, you have let your favouritism and prejudices (re Murphy) take over from your job as Ireland manager. As a loyal fan, you have let us and your country down.


  • 154.
  • At 03:34 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

Eddie has done it again! After that awful display against Namibia, he has kept virtually the same team. He has shown himself to be lacking in adventure, and there are certain players whom it is obvious he will choose unless they have a broken leg.

How can he keep Dempsey in instead of Murphy? Hickie - what a dreadful display - and he can't have been that dazed otherwise he would have been taken off - or maybe not! Ok so Trimble has a broken finger - but why not give Carney a run on the wing, or if he's so devoted to Dempsey, put Murphy on the wing.

Stringer? He just has to turn up to be selected. And Easterby too. What a raw deal Neil Best has had since his amazing match against Australia.

Eddie is right - this is not a bad side, but a good side which played badly. But this was a golden opportunity to give some 'fringe' players like Murphy, Best and Boss a chance - then, if they don't deliver, ok, back to his favourites for the French match. But at the very least, they might have got a kick up the backside by being dropped.

Eddie, you have let your favouritism and prejudices (re Murphy) take over from your job as Ireland manager. As a loyal fan, you have let us and your country down.


Well I figured the could win the World Cup yes. Heck look at the current champions. However given there is team that picks itself time and time again, perhaps the boys have got too lax and take it all for granted? Yes O Sullivan bloody well can take some responsibility for bad subsitutions. I tell you want. Put him in Charge for the soccer tomorrow and let Stan have a go at the weekend. It can't get any worse really can it ?

  • 156.
  • At 04:25 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Ted wrote:

EOS is an absolute disgrace, always has been. 3 triple crowns against the worst English team in recent history and he's lauded as some genius. Our record against the french is still shocking, we haven't won a game in southern hemisphere under him, and his constant refusal to use the bench in a game all outline what a sham he is. Murphy comes on in the 81st min against Namibia. What was the logic behind that? and his persistence with the solid but predictable Dempsey is a complete farce. Don't think Trimble can cut it at this level either.

How frustrating must it be for Reddan, Quinlan, Carney, Ferris and Murphy knowing that they're just over there to hold tackle bags for the next few weeks. Eddie has made a spectacular mess of such potential.

  • 157.
  • At 04:40 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

Ready steady Eddie.... Lets hope Horgan has some drive left in him or EOS will be making a SOS

  • 158.
  • At 05:05 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • John wrote:

Typical over reaction from fans based on 1/2 bad performances at effectively the start of the season..

Dempsey was one of the better players on Sun, defensively sound and took the ball up well...

Easterby wasn't the best but Best did nothing when he came on and was poor against Italy also..

Hickie has one poor game and people demand he is dropped...why not demand POC/DOC/Darcy all be dropped also???

Boss/Wallace/Ferris/Best/Young/Carney have done nothing to prove they would be any better yet...

We need players battle hardened for playing France/Arg and dropping everyone isn't going to do that...

As for the record in France most French teams beat Irish teams in HC in France...and our Irish team is nearly only split over 2 teams..

As for not giving players a chance - Best, Young, Best, MOD, Ferris, Best, Trimble, Bowe, Boss, Wallace, Carney etc have all got gametime and haven't proved they are worldbeaters either...

  • 159.
  • At 11:02 PM on 11 Sep 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

Just watched Georgia come within sixty seconds of doing us a favour. I thought these so called "whipping boys" were supposed to tire in the second half and concede lots of points. Both Namibia and Georgia haven't read the script. If Georgia play like this on Saturday and Ireland play like the last match God help us. I only hope that Ireland play with the pride that both Georgia and Namibia have shown.
I am getting used to watching the rugby on Setanta who are providing the better coverage so far.

  • 160.
  • At 09:10 AM on 12 Sep 2007,
  • supie wrote:

Having had some time to reflect on the debacle that was Sunday evening, and having also read the numerous comments on here, I too feel compelled to voice my concerns particularly with regard to how this team seems to have been prepared!

I'd like to touch on the coaching/managerial question as I think most of our ills stem from there. This performance and the way this team has evolved since last November is from a managerial/coaching perspective an absoloute disgrace! In any other walk of life where leaders and managers, are tasked with being responsible for coaching or grooming a team for success, then achieving success will depend greatly on the ability of that leader/manager to work with the team and develop them and their skills so as to be successful!

EOS has failed miserably in this regard and it can be seen from; his inability to build on the successes of previous years(triple crowns but no championship or gran slams to talk about event though players, fans and media have been expecting it), to his ineptitude when it comes to identifying, nuturing or developing talent then his reign has clearly been an unsuccessful one!(4 years on from the last world cup and we can only muster 3 recognised locks in our squad one of whom is probably past his best and yet we have Casey playing out of his skin all year for London Irish and he's watching it at home on the couch! - I am no expert and I do not get a huge salary to identify talent, however Bob Casey has been streets ahead of POC, DOC or MOK all year)

How can any organisation ratify a coach one week prior to the WC who has managed to generate two decent performances from the last eight games played and fail to offer any real alternatives to the 15 players who have been there or there abouts for the last three years?

I supose I could disect the playing staff in a similar way, however, I truly believe the quality is there to pull this thing together, however if pashion is not instilled into the mix then forget it. They need to take a recording of the England game 6N from before the anthems and compare it with Sunday's game and they'll see what I mean. And before people say, that's a read herring based on who we were playing and the motivation needed to play England is different to the motivation needed to play namibia check out the AB's haka and demeanour prior to the Italian game...less passionate than when they meet the Wallabies in the 3N??? No bloody way...Its all about pashion

  • 161.
  • At 10:41 AM on 12 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

Well said Supie

Passion is so important. How many players have we seen so far this tournament with tears in their eyes during their anthem. Look at Ireland -some of our players don't even know the words! Even BOD - and I don't often criticise him - doesn't even sing!

Ok, perhaps it was Namibia - but as Supie says, you didn't see any less fervour amongst the ABs before they walloped Italy. And look at the Aussies v Japan - passion, fervour and ruthlessness. We don't seem to have these.

The Georgia game is as big as the French - another poor display and we'll be thrashed by Les Bleus. But if we deliver against Georgia, then we'll be in the right frame of mind for the french game - and yes, then I still think we can do it.

But please, BOD, set an example - whatever you might think of our rugby anthem, for God's sake sing it!

  • 162.
  • At 10:54 AM on 12 Sep 2007,
  • Liam O' Connell wrote:

Ted at 156, talk about over-reaction. You are in dreamland sir. Dreamland. No doubt you were probably one of those who rated us as genuine contenders before battle. Now one shoddy show and we are doomed. This Irish team hasn't turned into a bad one on the back of the Namibia game. Yes, massive improvements are needed. But it was primarily silly stupid handling errors, the likes of which wouldnt be made in a month of Sundays. To blame Eddie O' Sullivan for these is totally wrong. Credit where credit is due, the guy has done more for Irish rugby than any other before. Ok, England havent been at the races since WC 2003 but they are no slouches. Ok we have more gifted players than ever before but they have been gelled together as a great unit. Save a temporary lapse of concentration on the players part against France we would be six nations holders. Eddie cannot be blamed for that. People talk about the pre WC Italy game we nearly lost. We NEARLY lost it. We did to them exactly what the French did to us. What angers me most is you wanting wholesale changes. Reddan - not a chance. Carney, done nothing to get in the team. Quinlan, good player. Wouldnt bench him ahead of Best. You sir are in dreamland. Come on Ted, get behind your country like we all should. We don't need to lower ourselves to the kind of lambasting the players we see so often in the British press. We are not out of this yet.

  • 163.
  • At 04:47 PM on 12 Sep 2007,
  • supie wrote:

Firstly, appologies for the spelling mistakes in my previous post - trying to do too many things and type quickly at the same time!

For Liam 162 - and some of the others who have mentioned it - I don't think we lost the six nations because of a lack of concentration or as I have heard it referred to somewhere else; "the bounce of a ball", we lost I feel because France were better than us for at least 60% of the game!

As I have tried to say in other forums, the likes of POC, O'Gara and others have been talking about the squad having a winning mentality and the fact that they themselves believe they are contenders for the top honours in international rugby. I would therefore hope that rather than lament things and feel unfairly treated by press after such a performance, the players would be the first ones themselves to lambast their own performance and demand more than what, not only we got last Sunday, but what we have gotten consistently (England Croke Park and Italy Rome apart) for the last 1o months! Is that not what being professional is all about? Wanting to do the best you can always and perform to your capabilities! There's sadly something very Irish in how we label people as being unpatriotic as soon as people voice concerns or criticise a national icon or a national symbol!

Quite frankly if neither the players or the management team are willing to re-visit things, and stop taking things as a given, then our tag as potential semi-finalists or the most unlucky team in the 6N is a joke! The sad fact is; you have a coach who knows no matter what he does he has a job to go to after the tournament ends, and you have 15-17 guys who know, or who have known for 2 years, that, no matter what kind of a performance they put in, it doesn't really matter, because what matters is they are on Eddie's list and they are loyal, and at the moment that seems to be what counts!

The nagging doubt we all have is how can the vast majority from a group of players who in Nov 06 looked like world beaters, gradually over a period of 10 months become lathergic, uninterested, in some instances weaker, and worse of all, and judging from Sunday's performance, be devoid of our life blood - passion?

It's the content of this blog that should be sent to the players hotel not the best wishes from the IRFU website! The cry of "Give it a lash lads" somehow doesn't wash anymore...

Having said all of the above I would like nothing greater than for the team and EOS to prove me wrong and make me eat humble pie, and somehow and from somewhere deep down recapture the spirit of England in Croke Park, Fingers crossed...

  • 164.
  • At 09:45 PM on 12 Sep 2007,
  • SeanL wrote:

Liam(162) is correct. A bit of proportion is required here. Firstly all the so called minnows have demonstrated that after 4 years of professional drill,discipline and passion they can hold all the usual suspects to a decent score. Ireland were not the only team to fall victim to this. The difference was that Irelands fall from grace was compounded by unusual handling errors and poor kicking from ROG. To overcome these I expect them to play the first half of the Georgia match in a more conventional style (3-5 phases followed by ROG diagonal kicks to touch)until such time as they develop their handling confidence and then to break loose in the second half with backline moves.

  • 165.
  • At 10:51 AM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • tony griffin wrote:

What a shame EOS will never bother to read these words of wisdom.Probably too busy booking the flights home for 1st October.

  • 166.
  • At 12:07 PM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • tony griffin wrote:



  • 167.
  • At 01:58 PM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • lucky8 wrote:

Liam, Just a few things..

1 shoddy performance? This has been allowed to manifest itself over the last 4 months, and criticism of our current plight is by no way knee jerk.

Reddan not a chance? the form scrum half in europe over the last year and has the medal to prove it, this doesn't merit a place on the bench?

30 seconds for Murphy against Namibia when clearly our back 3 were under performing?

How can there be a competitive attitude within the camp when irrespective of how bad Eddie's favorite 15 perform they will retain their starting place? Surely this is not an approach that can nurture a competitive team spirit?

Finally, where does one lay blame? Squarely at the feet of Mr. O'Sullivan I'm afraid

  • 168.
  • At 03:35 PM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't scene much of Reddan (I don't have sky sports) but from what I've read, he played well for wasps (won the heineken cup)
What I don't know, was his performances good because he was playing behind a good set of forwards or because he is a good scrum half?

But when you mention to anyone about dropping one of the untouchables, all you get is "but stringer can...." "O'Connell can...." "Hickie can....." problem is that since they beat SA and the Aussies they haven't performed. Lets face it, England were bad, very bad and we only just beat Wales and Scotland.

We cannot keep picking players on reputation and past glories. We have a bunch of players who don't have to fight for thier place in the Ireland team or thier place for thier province and we wonder why they have lost thier drive?

Then we have another bunch that are completly ignored all year, only brought to carry the bags of the "Eddies Special Chosen Bestest Friends Club" and we wonder why they aren't making the step up to international level?

I have no doubt that the first IX are great players and will beat Georgia by at least 30 (bonus point aswell) but they have to play up to thier best to deserve thier place and know the consquences if they don't.

  • 169.
  • At 03:42 PM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • Liam O' Driscoll wrote:

This is all a sad state of affairs. I can only take it that the players and eddie O' Sullivan have become victims of their own success with all this bashing. Why cant we get behind them? Before the last few years we were accustomed to scrapping to avoid the wooden spoon every year. Thumped almost annually by France & England. Walloped by the Southern Hemisphere sides. Think of the moments of joy this team has brought us in the last few seasons. I was nearly jumping through my TV set as Ireland battered Englands goal line two seasons ago, til Shane Horgan stuck out that great big paw and plonked it in the corner. I screamed in ecstacy. I marvelled at the display at Croke Park against same this season. I watched as we run the Italians ragged in the 6 nations. Last winters defeats of Australia & South Africa. Results we dreamed of for years. The rugby team were well behind our soccer team in the nations hearts. Now they and Eddie are household names, even in Gaelic Games strongholds such as where I am originally from. Yet here we are, cribbing because of "the last four months". What about the last four months? Second string defeats to Argentina & the Scots. Big deal. The same people would be moaning if our second string had no game time. If there is any flaw it is not giving our first 15 more game time, which is the reason for the obvious rust in the last two games. Of course I am as worried as the next man regarding if we shake this off in time for the French game or not. I too want to see Geordan Murphy get more game time and am disappointed he didnt see much in the last game. My original comment regarding Reddan was regarding him getting in the team. I would bench him ahead of Boss who passes far too slowly. Calling Reddan the form scrum half in Europe is way O.T.T. however. Yes he won a Heineken Cup Medal. So did Anthony Horgan of my local side Munster. The guy played on the wing. He can run about as fast as my mother. And I will have it noted she is well past her prime. Reddan wouldnt get in any top tier national side. So the crux of this is Eddie is to blame for the slow start??? No doubt he won't get any praise if as I hope, this all gets turned around.

  • 170.
  • At 04:30 PM on 13 Sep 2007,
  • tony griffin wrote:

168 Liam.

I note all your commendations are in the past tense - relating to former glories.This is the same malaise that EOS is suffering. He is living on past glories and fails to see the here and now.

His timing, if that is the correct term,for substitutions, is ineffectual to say the least and his choice of players is more of a mindset than a selection process.

Sadly we all have "Georgia on our minds".

I for one hope that this will not be his swansong but the vultures are hovering.

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