James Standley

Ireland player ratings (194)

London - Ireland kept their World Cup campaign on track by the skin of their teeth as they edged past Georgia 14-10 on Saturday night.

The Georgians are ranked just 17th in the world but they produced the performance of a lifetime to push the Irish - who won the Triple Crown in the 2007 Six Nations remember - right to the final whistle

These are my ratings - do you agree?

Girvan Dempsey - Solid in defence but had offered nothing in attack before slipping his man and cruising over for the try which got Ireland’s show back on the road 5

Shane Horgan - A couple of powerful surging runs and good offloads but he was waging a one-man campaign 6

Brian O'Driscoll (capt) - There were glimpses of his undoubted class and he made a couple of good breaks, but was otherwise largely well shackled 5

Gordon D'Arcy - Anonymous until he sliced through the middle to set up Dempsey’s try 5

Denis Hickie - He worked hard but posed little threat with the ball in hand and a late missed tackle put Ireland through more torture 3

Ronan O'Gara - He could not get his backs going and failed to impose any real structure on the game, while a missed penalty did not help the Irish cause 5

Peter Stringer - He was not helped by a poor display by the Irish pack but he started with a shocking pass, took too many wrong options and then offered up a gift for the interception try 4

David Wallace - Sin binned for cynically halting a surging Georgian counter-attack but partially redeemed himself with a couple of pacy breaks in the second half 5

Denis Leamy - A litany of errors including a dropped restart, an ill-disciplined stamp which saw a penalty reversed deep in Georgian half, a forced pass to end a good move and finally lost the ball deep in his own 22 as he drove from a scrum - criminal 3

Simon Easterby - He grafted in defence but was otherwise anonymous. Was part of an Irish back row that was easily matched by the Georgians as they claimed a massive moral victory 5

Paul O'Connell - Put in a terrible early tackle on the airborne Georgian full-back and his normally superb line-out work was well below par until he took a vital Georgian throw late on 5

Donncha O'Callaghan - Some nice touches in the loose but was lightweight in the tight, showed little control in the line-out and gave away a silly penalty at a vital time as Ireland pressed 4

John Hayes - Scrummaged superbly and gave his opposite number a torrid time, as well as hitting rucks with his usual vigour, but that was it 6

Rory Best - Scored Ireland’s first try from a line-out drive and couldn’t be blamed for Ireland’s troubles at the line-out before being replaced with half an hour to go 5

Marcus Horan - Part of a good effort by the front row and had his moments in open play, including one superb long pass to spark a counter-attack 6


Jerry Flannery - No doubt about his endeavour, but less certainty about his end product 5

Simon Best - On for John Hayes and scrummaged well enough 5

Isaac Boss - Replaced Stringer but was soon turned over to put Ireland in deep trouble before responding with a good break to ease the pressure 5

James Standley is a BBC Sport journalist based in London.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:19 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • DC wrote:

Big hand to Georgia great performance.
Ireland created too many unforced errors.
they are capable of a lot more.
o connell made a great line out steal late on.

  • 2.
  • At 10:22 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Ireland were rubbish and Georgia should have won, it is lucky they don't have SA or Aus in their group.

  • 3.
  • At 10:23 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Care to rate the mighty Georgians (who were unlucky not to win)? Minnows my a***. Is it true that there are only 8 rugby pitches in Georgia, only 300 registered players, and the wage for the Georgian rugby player is £40 a week? We need to expand the 6N to 8, add Argentina and Georgia to help us raise our game. If it weren't for Ireland actually winning that would have made England's troubles pale in comparison. Add Portugal as well. Unlike England they actually managed to score against a SH team, another "minnow".

The IRFU must be kicking themselves for extending EOS contract for 4 years BEFORE the WC had even started!

  • 4.
  • At 10:23 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Mike Douglas wrote:

Thats the easy games out of the way. Bring on the French!

But seriously. Were we poor or were they just very good, or both? At least we hung on for the win and we are still in the competition.

  • 5.
  • At 10:25 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

Some fair scores there...main problem had to be kicking away possession all the time...especially during the second half...and very bad kicking as well....but bring on the french and the argies...must be some kind of performance in those guys

  • 6.
  • At 10:26 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Heart Attack wrote:

I was thoroughly impressed by the Georgian display. They had great structure, were dynamic at rucks, had a pretty solid lineout and had some very fast backs. Let's give them their credit here. I think that they would have pushed Australia, France and SA with that performance. With respect to Ireland, calm down, keep your heads on and start being a bit quicker into rucks and giving Stringer the quick ball that he craves. I hope that this gives the IRU cause to reassess its re-appointment of O'Sullivan. The man is appalling. If Warren Gatland were still the Irish Coach, after all the hard work that he put into making the Irish a solid team, they would have been absolute animals out there tonight regardless of who they were playing. Eddie must go otherwise Ireland will disappear back into the ether.

p.s What's the bet some of those Georgian backs are picked up by Premiership teams. They were absolutely rapid!!!!! That intercept try was very, very quick running.

  • 7.
  • At 10:27 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

There should be ratings for Georgia, they put such an incredible performance it doesn't make sense that the average Ireland side gets the ratings alone.

  • 8.
  • At 10:27 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Tom Maher wrote:

It was one of the worst performances ever....the team seem to be headless and lack apetite for the battle.

It reflects badly on O' Sullivan and he should go. It was absurd to give him a further 4 years before the RWC.

  • 9.
  • At 10:27 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • pogmotghoin wrote:

Well I told you so. O'Sullivan must go. We are now even worse than teams like Absurdistan and England.

Admittedly we suffered slightly from the decisions of the inept British referee but that is no excuse.

The players are the same as those that routed England and Italy, beat Scotland, hammered Wales and fell asleep in the dying minute against France earlier this year. How come we managed to put ourselves into reverse gear in such a short period of time and at great financial expense?

One answer: O'Sullivan.

Warren Gatland if you are reading this all is forgiven. Come back, we need you.

  • 10.
  • At 10:28 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • richard pollock wrote:

I'm an Irish supporter but incredibly found myself rooting for Georgia in the end.

Ireland were utterly dismal and deserved to lose - a team with more experience (and more finesse at drop goals) would have taken us tonight.

What has happened to the backs? Not so long ago we were outstanding even against quality opposition.

Paul Wallace was right on ITV4 tonight - changes are required or at the very least Eddie needs to trust and use his bench. The squad needs to know that there is genuine competition for places (otherwise why would Hickie have played tonight after Namibia).

Georgia on the other hand are pioneers and deserve every respect - there was hunger there that all the home nations can only envy.


  • 11.
  • At 10:29 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • SFM wrote:

My good man you are being far too generous to an awful lot of those players, John Hayes, Demspsy and Rory Best apart I think far too kind.

  • 12.
  • At 10:29 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Shane wrote:


I'm Irish and not one player out there deserved more than a 3, and several deserved 2's.

Georgia were magnificent and by miles the better team, they thoroughly deserved to win.

Ireland's worst performance in living memory. We're out.

  • 13.
  • At 10:31 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Peter McElwee wrote:

You are far too kind to BOD and harsh to Denis Leamy. BOD was a 3 in my book - cost Ireland 2 tries in the first half when he refused to use the extra men in 2 over lapps. As for Leamy, he was the only ball carrier on the Irish side, time and time he hit the Georgians, something John Hayes, Simon Easterby and Donnica never did all night.

  • 14.
  • At 10:33 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Theodogdinho wrote:

Jerry Flannery's end product was some beautiful handiwork that put the ball through for Dempsey's try in lightening quick time. Dempsey still had a lot to do, but you don't often see that from a hooker!

I wanted Boss on much earlier to bring his dynamism where Stringer looked pedestrian, but when he came on it was a litany of errors and one good half break from a tap penalty. That kick-through along means he should only get a 4 too.

I thought Eddie O'Sullivan was being obtuse by leaving Stringer on for so long given his poor game, but perhaps the risks with Boss really do outweigh the ondoubted extra dynamism he brings.

By if Ireland are going to play like that it may be a risk EOS just has to take!

  • 15.
  • At 10:35 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • keith wrote:

Ireland maybe didn't do themselves many favours, but it was an outstanding performance by Georgia that created the pressure. Any of the home nations would have struggled against the Georgians and Ireland were very lucky to have hung on: 3 missed drop goals - how different it could so easily have been!

  • 16.
  • At 10:37 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Gaelic Laird wrote:

I heard the great Jim Williams talking on a Cork radio station last weekend about the "cricket scores" Ireland could put in against Naminia and Georgia. Sure big Jim's revised his opinion of those two temas now. Ireland need to get their house in order before Friday next. They can beat France but only if they are more coherant up front and quick to get the ball out to Hickey, Horgan etc. They must domintae from the off and get under france's skin. Roll on Friday.

  • 17.
  • At 10:37 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • lizzie wrote:

What has gone wrong with the team? I just don't understand it as the same team played out of their skins just a few months ago.

  • 18.
  • At 10:37 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Pathetic Ireland. Once again on the back foot. Irish rugby like Irish sport in general suffers from a lack of self confidence not seen in other smaller nations. Until Irish sportspeople learn to adopt the mental traits of winners, they will always struggle in the position of favorites. Backs to the wall against France and we could get an upset as the Irish team is frankly littered with top class players who are just not performing. Watch as we raise our game and revel in the position of underdogs. Same old story i'm afraid....

  • 19.
  • At 10:37 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Tom Maher wrote:

It was one of the worst performances ever....the team seem to be headless and lack apetite for the battle.

It reflects badly on O' Sullivan and he should go. It was absurd to give him a further 4 years before the RWC.

  • 20.
  • At 10:40 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • DK wrote:

Who's worse Ireland or England? God knows.

  • 21.
  • At 10:45 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Donnyballgame wrote:

Your ratings are pretty reflective, but much too high for Stringer and O'Gara, who were atrocious and had absolutely no clue.

On the other hand, impossible to to root for the lads from Georgia.

I really think all the olde guard Northern Hemisphere teams are in big trouble. They all look olde and slow. Time to stop gloating about England because everyone is in the same kettle. Shame. Looks like a complete South Hemisphere Semifinals.

  • 22.
  • At 10:52 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • jules wrote:

We were out muscled up front and couldn't string enough passes together to break down their back line.

We hadn't enough urgency. When was the last time you saw Ireland taking a quick throw in?? Everything has to go by the book. They're like robots.

I'm still in shock. France will be licking their lips.

I'm going to the Argentina match but at this stage a trip to the dentist looks more appealing.

  • 23.
  • At 10:53 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • AW wrote:

we created overlaps and scoring chances in the 1st half and then never got any ball in the 2nd half, right now are biggest problem would be our handling, we showed signs of improvement but neil best needs to start againest france

  • 24.
  • At 10:59 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • jules wrote:

We were out muscled up front and couldn't string enough passes together to break down their back line.

We hadn't enough urgency. When was the last time you saw Ireland taking a quick throw in?? Everything has to go by the book. They're like robots.

I'm still in shock. France will be licking their lips.

I'm going to the Argentina match but at this stage a trip to the dentist looks more appealing.

I said last week after the game that EOS should have made wholesale changes during the match and that Murphy must be wondering why he was brought to the World Cup if the team can play that poorly and he still can't get more than 30 seconds game time.

This week I am positively screaming at the television.

Boss was introduced for Stringer, which was obvious, but other than that, in the backs, nada. Hickie really has had his day now, a great servant to Irish rugby, but either Trimble or Murphy must play in the final two games or else we will be targeted down his side.

Up front we got pushed around by a pack who should not be in the physical condition our boys are in. There was a lack of discipline in stages and the basics were not as clear as they should be. The back row had somewhat of a mare with the ball carrying and look completely alien to each other at times. I appreciate Rory Best scored a try and was not the worst, so it will be harsh to drop him, but I rate Flannery as the best hooker we have.

I am struggling to see how we will get out of the pool. I'm beside myself with disappointment.

As for EOS, if we lose to both France and Argentina - which isn't just a possibility but a likelihood - I would expect his resignation. His position would surely become untenable.


  • 26.
  • At 11:05 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Ciaran wrote:

I agree with #9 richard pollock, by the last ten minutes I was rooting for Georgia. They deserved to win after our appalling rugby.

O'Sullivan had no imagination and this result has confirmed his stupid decision not to mix up the starting 15.

  • 27.
  • At 11:05 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • CY wrote:

Shocking display of rugby from Ireland - But even more shocking is EoS comment after the game it was a better performance than last week - no wonder Ireland lacked any ambition if management can have the bare face cheek to say that... what hope do we have next week unless EoS wakes up and pulls his weight?

  • 28.
  • At 11:06 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

I didn't see Irish forwards securing the ball at many of the rucks; instead, Stringer had to dig it out himself, slowing down his already snail-paced service an extra notch... and who was he passing it to? A backline consisting of forwards.

The backs lined up flat, took the ball statically, and didn't bother to use support runners or look for space. It took Flannery to utilise width that led to the try.

Eddie really has no concept that modern high-level rugby has become a 22-man squad game, has he?

At least England ditched *their* coach when he was dragging the team down.....

  • 29.
  • At 11:06 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • sean lake wrote:

We were a brutal, no two ways about it.Irish rugby officals and players
should hang their heads in shame. Rank 6 in the world and play 2 games like that. On another day we should have lost. The Pumas must think they have a great chance to beat who only 6 months ago were the top 2 six nations sides.
IRFU, if we fail (when we fail) to make the QF, have some b@@@* and sack O'Sullivan otherwise you are wasting you money re-building Landsdowne Road cos no one will want to see an Irish team with him in charge.

  • 30.
  • At 11:10 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • James p wrote:

My God. What is going on? Before the game started it looked bad. The only one singing that stupid Ireland’s Call with any gusto was O'Sullivan. Then downhill very fast. Think you're too generous to a lot of the players. Stringer - crying to the ref. Horgan - turn over ball. Hickie? Hickie? O'Driscoll - deer in the headlights. Easy for me on a couch and all that but these guys are professionals, are good players, some the best in the world and yet they play without conviction - without cause - leadership or any semblance of confidence. What gives? Are the two O's really at odds? Whatever is wrong, this is a team heading for a French and Argentinean hiding.

  • 31.
  • At 11:18 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Your ratings were generous.. Maybe its all part of a cunning plan though to get the French to underestimate us so we can sneak up and do a job on them .. or maybe it has something to do with O'Sullivan being offered a contract the week before the competition started... He does give a flying monkeys if we win anymore. Who knows.. All will be revealed next weekend..

It's shameful again and I certainly wouldn't be awarding any player more than 3 for their performance out there today. Basic, fundamental rugby skills were completely absent from our game today and must leave all of us with a sinking feeling thinking about the upcoming games against some 'proper sides' instead of these 'minnows'. Again I'm going to single out O'Gara for poor, poor kicking that gave neither position nor respite. BOD doesn't seem to be leading and Stringer was a lost cause today. Georgia made great use of their bench while EOS made no effort to inject fresh tactics or talent to the fray. Discipline was poor as well - unacceptable at this level.

Maybe going into France now as no hopers will give the team some drive - who knows what it takes for them to fire?

  • 33.
  • At 11:25 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

EOS thinks Ireland played better today than against Namibia? What a joke haha. Ireland are in serious trouble. Look at what happened to England when they foolishly blinded themselves through the media. France and Argentina will be quietly confident, and Ireland look to be going home early unfortunately (along with England who will lose to Samoa). The difference between Ireland and England is that Ireland have had the continuity with an extremely talented group of players that England haven't had in the last 4 years. It's shocking. France I expect to perform at some stage considering they are hosting the RWC... if not it'll be an all SH semi (Argentina winning the reward of being admitted to the Tri-Nations finally!).

The IRB definitely needs to help develop nations like Georgia further over the next few years. And in 4 years time, they might find themselves on the right side of the scoreline. Otherwise it's just the usual suspects being arrogant and wanting to save face in these circumstances.

  • 34.
  • At 11:26 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • richie wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly with Keith that any of the home nations would have struggled against the physicality and no little skill of the Georgians, but Ireland have been bench marking themselves higher than that - misguidedly it seems on the past two performances.

The trouble is wholesale changes now against a possibly resurgent French side will only lead to problems. My big problem with coach Eddie to date is that he clearly only believes in a narrow nucleus of players and has not over the past couple of years blooded the squad. If squad players are now introduced and hammered by France is that fair on them?

On a more positive and less parochial note I am so impressed with the "minnow nations" - I loved Portugal's peformance against Scotland and earlier today. Aside from Argentina turning over the hosts, the joy and passion of teams like Georgia, Portugal and (against Fiji) Japan has been terrific and goes some way towards addressing the inherent weakness of the Rugby World Cups where to date giant killing shocks have not really been on the cards.

  • 35.
  • At 11:29 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • dave r wrote:

Makes the English score a little less embarrassing, sad to say.

I met the Georgian Oldies team at the Golden Oldies in Toulouse a few years ago and their manager said they would have a decent side by 2011 because of the strength of their youth efforts. Looks like they may be on schedule.

  • 36.
  • At 11:32 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • richie wrote:

I agree wholeheartedly with Keith that any of the home nations would have struggled against the physicality and no little skill of the Georgians, but Ireland have been bench marking themselves higher than that - misguidedly it seems on the past two performances.

The trouble is wholesale changes now against a possibly resurgent French side will only lead to problems. My big problem with coach Eddie to date is that he clearly only believes in a narrow nucleus of players and has not over the past couple of years blooded the squad. If squad players are now introduced and hammered by France is that fair on them?

On a more positive and less parochial note I am so impressed with the "minnow nations" - I loved Portugal's peformance against Scotland and earlier today. Aside from Argentina turning over the hosts, the joy and passion of teams like Georgia, Portugal and (against Fiji) Japan has been terrific and goes some way towards addressing the inherent weakness of the Rugby World Cups where to date giant killing shocks have not really been on the cards.

  • 37.
  • At 11:32 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • geoffrey wrote:

Unbelievable that the IRU would give a vote of confidence to the Irish coach for 4 more years...EOS should hang his head in shame for such a pathetic performance..
Bring on France and lets get it over with,an early exit from WRC 2007

  • 38.
  • At 11:35 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Tony Kennedy wrote:

Performance was as expected from a group of forwards who have not performed since Muster won the Heineken cup.. Confidence is at an all time low. It is obvious that changes have to be made but we do not have any options... Denis Hickie will probably go for Geordan Murphy.. but thats it. Jerry Flannery and Neil Best should start as they both have fire in their bellies that is needed against the French but EOS will not make changes like that because it might give the impression that his original selections were wrong. Going in as underdogs will help us but unless the forwards perform forget about it. Even if they do perform the French will not allow themselves to loose. God help us..

  • 39.
  • At 11:37 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Frank Sherwood wrote:

Georgia would have beat England, Wales and Scotland with their performance tonight. The problem the Irish team have is that expectations are much higher than they should be. I think Ireland still has a pretty good chance against France, and if Ireland wins it will definitely qualify - what's the big deal?

  • 40.
  • At 11:44 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

O'Sullivan taking a lot of blame and rightly so but what about the captain? He looked stunned, speechless. Is it not his job to rally the troops on the field? And back to the Namibia game, did anyone else notice O'Gara laughing after he missed an early conversion? These guy need to get their heads together and very soon!

  • 41.
  • At 11:52 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Big Ed wrote:

I was at the game (and Namibia last week) and it was dire - far worse than last week. No commitment, no desire - what you will not have seen is Irish palyers walking back into the defensive line - even right at the end when Georgia were pressing for the win - are they kanckered, overtarining? or just don't give a damn. Lets not forget who Georgia are - amateurs from a country with no Rugby tradition - then you will realise how dire we were.

The forwards were outlayed in the loose - a disgrace. France and Argnetina will not even need to break into a sweat unless Ireland really our game.

  • 42.
  • At 12:01 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Aidan wrote:

After I realised that this Irish team do not have the hunger to make the quarter finals, I was almost disappointed that Georgia didn't cap the best performance in their history with a win. Let's get them into the 6-Nations, it's a no-brainer.

  • 43.
  • At 12:01 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Pat Cunningham wrote:

Ireland were shocking. All talk and no substance.
This was a Georgian side that Argentina beat by 30 points. Its ball burst as far as I'm concerned. EOS has lost the plot and his post match interview was complete waffle. I feel sorry for those gullible Irish fans who had to sit through that drivel!

  • 44.
  • At 12:03 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • fionn wrote:

Neil Best and Carney must start for Ireland. Watching this in a bar in Chicago with every other Nationalty chering on Georiga and laughing at Ireland was embarssing to say the least.

  • 45.
  • At 12:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • wgk wrote:

OK, lets put this whole thing into some perspective! Here we have two underdogs, and Ireland have carried that tag for quiet a while, who have very little to loose. They are coming to the tournament with one objective in mind - take one or maybe even two big scalps. The likes of Ireland are planning a longer stay in the tournament and subsequently have to work on a longer term strategy. Just remember when Cameroon nearly reached the soccer world cup finals - what have they done since? Remember the Irish soccer team under Charlton - very little in talent but a lot of heart and team spirit. This is what Georgia had tonight - they had the intent of taking a big scalp at the outset. They won't come that close again. The lesser teams will always be fired up at the outset of a tournament. Ireland showed great character in soaking up the pressure. Playing underdogs at the outset of a tournament is more of a disadvantage than playing the big guns! The bigger guns are planning for the final and not just taking one or two big scalps. Sir Woodword once commented that the most important thing was to win regardless of the perceived performance. The objective was to win and thats what Ireland did. Conclusion - group winners.

  • 46.
  • At 12:09 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Manuc wrote:

Somme years gho (as time goes by) we could only marvel at the Irish defence. Has it vanished or what ? Granted everything comes and goes as the team with the rose on their team shirt must kmnow, but the Ireland match against Georgia was dismal !

  • 47.
  • At 12:11 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Finn McCool wrote:

Deeply scary - the really sobering thing is that EOS and BOD seem to buy into the 'Georgia were great' argument. BOD, to be fair, we can hear you grinding your teeth at this BS....
Possession is a very precious thing in rugby especially when you are so easily turned over - count the number of times we kicked aimlessly directly back to Georgia - would any SH team do that? Ever? Watch SA against England - if they kicked, it was into space or into a position where they could realistically apply pressure on the taker.
It shows an astonishing lack of any confidence or any composure in taking decisions...
Turnovers - utterly inevitable after the 3rd Irish phase, against Georgia A!!! Back row seem to be completely absent. Denis Leamy's moment of thuggery but otherwise utter lack of menace tells an interesting story
Lineout - Georgia A stealing on our throw?
On the plus side, can we please wake up to the bounty that all our new immigrants offer to rugby in the future - IRFU, if you are ever want to broaden the talent pool beyond south Dublin, posh Ulster, Limerick and merchant prince Cork, think it might be worth a pitch? The GAA already seem to be wise to this...

  • 48.
  • At 12:15 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:


wake up and smell the coffee: this Irish team may not be too old yet, but they're no spring chickens either! Looking at them in these last two games, they have nowhere near the zeal and freshness the exhibited in the last two triple-crown winning campaigns. In fact, I think that's part of the problem: they are a little worn-out going into this WC -- perhaps not physically but _certainly_ mentally.

It seems to me the problems with the current team result from major mental fatigue [ROG, BOD, POC and the like of D'arcy just don't look like they're _enjoying_ playing the game, the strategy, the challenges, anything really!], as well as the fact that several players have been rushed back from injuries...

Bottom line: they're perhaps on the verge of not being quite as good as they used to be [and even a minor dip in performance is ruthlessly punished in this sport, and this competition in particular], and suffering from major mental fatigue.

  • 49.
  • At 12:17 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Brian wrote:

Still in shock, could they have gotten worse in a week....yes,

Ok Georgia played out of their skins but..........this is Ireland here, Triple Crown, MUNSTER (gods), Leinster and er Ulster. What are realistic expectations?? progression to the second round, and all going well maybe onwards, give the All Blacks a game at least.

Is this the same team that beat England in Croker?
Does anyone know what has happened in the mean time, it HAS to be something, team division, breakdown between the team and manager, please let it be something (fixable) rather than the obvious, they were just terrible.I was watching this in a pub in Paris and we were all embarrassed. I'd rather we lost and played with feeling and pride than scrape these "victories". Thinking back to Ireland's last few matches and the provinces games there has been a degree of consistency, each game is getting progressively worse, new tactics, use the bench, what ever but something, i can't believe Eddie was upbeat after it, okay you don't savage your team publicly but call it what it was a, yet again,terrible performance. Perhaps we should keep it simple and do the simple things well, scrums, line outs, holding the ball, passing the ball, kicking it where we want it to go (please ROG watch a few Munster games, remember that 50m+ penalty kick to win a HC match?)

I think the scores are generous, i can't think of any outstanding Irish player, a few functional, the Bull and Horan and a lot disappointing, ROG and in fact most of the team, can anyone point out the Irish Man of the Match....for either game, anyone.
I've friends coming to go to the game on Friday, I might go to cinema instead, any good movies out, no disaster movies please.

  • 50.
  • At 12:19 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Sam wrote:

Full credit to Georgia, they played out of their skins, and certainly played better than any team the Irish have had to face this year.

What worries me is that the Irish have a habit of playing badly under pressure. They had everything to lose tonight and they came very close to losing everything. Am hoping that playing against opposition with whom they're more familiar will boost their confidence.

  • 51.
  • At 12:24 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Nick Johnson wrote:

As a neutral fan whose team is vying with Ireland for worst performance of the World Cup so far, I think this has turned the Group games coming up between Ireland, France and Argentina into "must watch" events. France lose one and they're done, Ireland not quite but perilously close. Argentina meanwhile must fancy their chances to top the Group! Who'd a thunk it?

  • 52.
  • At 12:27 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Pat wrote:

This Irish team and the coach too are such an embarrassment, I feel like not watching them again. Imagine living in NZ and haveing to watch that crap. Tomorrow when I go to work, one word to describe Ireland Sh**.

The IRU do me a favour, drop the coach and send the team home and start rebuilding for the next world cup

P.S. EOS (RIP) the next Lions coach, give me a break

  • 53.
  • At 12:31 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Globetrotter wrote:

I think the ratings are quite generous. This was an apalling performance by Ireland. Georgia should have won this match, they certainly would have deserved it.

I find it amusing to see comments that these minnows are suddenly not minnows anymore. The bottom line is that NZ, SA and Australia still put cricket scores against these minnow sides with absolute ease. It's just the NH countries that struggle against them. The standard of rugby has simply fallen away for the home unions.
SA beat Samoa comfortably but I think Samoa can beat England. In fact, the South Africans were pushed more by Samoa than they were by England. Enough said.

Georgia were confident but their mauling was extremely predictable. The Irish forwards simply didn't have the aggression to tackle them back, the way the South Africans would have done for example. There's no speed to the breakdown from the Irish backrow and the tactical kicking was woeful.

I think NZ, SA, Aus and Arg will be in the semi-finals, making it a complete whitewash for Southern Hemisphere countries.

  • 54.
  • At 12:31 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Donnyballgame wrote:

OK, Eddie needs to fall on his sword. But let's wait unitl the end of the month before we take his scalp - maybe we get lucky. OK doubtful, but maybe.

Also seems some key players aren't as good as we keep telling ourselves they are. Stringer is slower than marmite, the front row is tough as bread dough and the backs seem to have no ideas. And O'Gara has been exposed. I am sick of the media telling us how great he is when other 10s can pick up their teams when they need a lift and in the same spot he off in the ozone.


  • 55.
  • At 12:34 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Pat wrote:

This Irish team and the coach too are such an embarrassment, I feel like not watching them again. Imagine living in NZ and haveing to watch that crap. Tomorrow when I go to work, one word to describe Ireland Sh**.

The IRU do me a favour, drop the coach and send the team home and start rebuilding for the next world cup

P.S. EOS (RIP) the next Lions coach, give me a break

Ireland have won all their games so far - I don't care about who they played - they still have not lost a game. That's the way you win a World Cup. C'mon Ireland

Ireland have won all their games so far - I don't care about who they played - they still have not lost a game. That's the way you win a World Cup. C'mon Ireland

  • 58.
  • At 12:42 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • iantoh wrote:

Jeehny mac! This was Georgia or did I miss something? Wales lost to Australia, but not by much. Ireland just beat, by a few hard won points, that great and well-known rugby nation called Georgia or was it Namibia, can't remember. Good luck with the Pumas and les Bleus.

  • 59.
  • At 12:46 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Wasn't able to see the game here in Ecuador, but followed the BBC reports. From what I read it sounds like more of the same.

EOS, to his credit, seems calm in the face of this poor play and results. Either he knows something we don't or he is delusional. I hope it is the first.

The next two games will truly tell a tale of the state of the Irish game. If they don't improve, something has to give...

  • 60.
  • At 12:48 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Gav wrote:

I agree with most of the comments already posted by fellow Irishmen. However, in your ratings every player should be a point lower that the scores you have given them!!!


All credit to Georgia!! What a display from a team who before the match were being talked about as feeling the 'wrath' of an Irish backlash after the shambles against Namibia!! The majority of the blame lies at the feet of EOS. How can any coach in International Rugby watch that terrrible display last week against supposed 'rugby minnows' and not drop several players and let them get their heasd together. At the vary least, it would expose some of the younger guys to the pressures of RWC game. What happens if some of this 'supposed' first team get injured in the QF's (being optimistic!!!) SOme have played a total of 5 mins so far!!! Can we expect them to perform???

I really fear what the score could be against the FRENCH next week. If you look at the last 4 matches the IRISH have played, it is plainly obvious, that we are going backwards, fast!!! ITLAY, SCTOLAND, NIMABIA and GEORGIA are all supposed teams well below our standing in the world, but every single game has proved to be more and more of a struggle to win...

On a plus side, at least we are scoring some points!!!!

  • 61.
  • At 12:51 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Lindsay Davison wrote:

What a crowd of boring predictable blow with the wind whingers - EOS from hero to zero in 6 months - I think not! Do we really want to peak against Namibia and Georgia? - I think not! Have all the group games been completed - Has the final been played? - I refer to previous answers. Talk about kicking a dog when its down - Tonight wasn't great but how about a bit of support

  • 62.
  • At 12:51 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • alaska dave wrote:

its a great pity Ireland DIDNT lose tonight,enough with the excuses and philosophy,this was the game that they were suppose to get it together,this team is going backwards and EOS should be kicked out on his a**e.I beat France cant wait :(

  • 63.
  • At 12:57 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Disappointed wrote:

Agree with most of the ratings bar Hayes. Can no one else see that the only people that seem to be poorer than him at scrummaging are the other Irish props? Why do we not have a single decent one on the whole island?

  • 64.
  • At 12:58 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • alaska dave wrote:

its a great pity Ireland DIDNT lose tonight,enough with the excuses and philosophy,this was the game that they were suppose to get it together,this team is going backwards and EOS should be kicked out on his a**e.I bet France cant wait :(

  • 65.
  • At 01:02 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • A wrote:

Bravo, Georgia!

  • 66.
  • At 01:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • A wrote:

Bravo, Georgia!

  • 67.
  • At 01:12 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

Re: Brendan, comment #51:

Unfortunately, I don't think scraping wins over two of the lowest-ranked sides in the competition is the way to win a World Cup. Can't see any of the 3N sides doing that.

Hate to say it, but it's looking like we peaked last autumn. If we're honest, the Six Nations performances were pretty dire apart from the demolition of England.

  • 68.
  • At 01:15 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Sorry Frank Sherwood, but that's the sort of talk that has got Ireland stitched up in the first place. It's no no excuse.

  • 69.
  • At 01:16 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • tony wrote:

Those players (Georgians) deserved every penny of their £40 per week ..
They played with their hearts on their sleeves .. Ireland were poor and are living in the past. I only hope they got open ended tickets for their early flight home as they won't be progressing into the qtrs.

  • 70.
  • At 01:19 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Come in EOS, your time is up, notwithstanding that he's been given a 4 year extension before the torunament even started to which this team was supposedly leading. Speaks volumes for the self-satisfied complacency of all involved. All the dulness of his thinking is being ruthlessly shown up in this tournament. It doesn't seem to matter how anyone plays, just how they fit into his pre-ordained plans.

  • 71.
  • At 01:21 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Post 57...

there is a difference between playing within one's self to not peak too soon and playing like Ireland have played in the last 6 months.

I am not sure our successes in the last 6-12 months have had much to do with the genius of EOS as to the relative weakness of the opposition...even the Australian and SA teams we played last Autumn were in a state of disarray...based on what we have seen in the last week both those teams will take us apart should we meet them in the next month.

Like all fans I live in hope, but the threads by which that hope hangs are weakening...

I agree, let us support our country and the men who represent it...but let's also hold them accountable the way you and I are when we fail to deliver at our jobs.

  • 72.
  • At 01:30 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Anthony wrote:

What a shambles. Ireland were an embassement tonight. I cannot believe that the same team that played well in the six nation's and the team that beat Australia and South Africa last year and were ranked 3rd in the world at that same time can play so poorly in the world cup warm up matches and again in the world cup. If we play like that against the French and Argentina? We can expect the same score that England got against South Africa. Fair play to Georgia. They showed more grit and heart and they should of won tonight!!

  • 73.
  • At 01:58 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

To the poster who refers to kicking a dog when its down, welcome to the world of top flight international rugby. Thats where we want to be isnt it? We proclaim to be one of the top nations in the world dont we? You think New Zealand would put up with these performances? Support? For too long Irish sport has supported mediocrity. We need more of the Roy Keane mentality and less of the "ah sure didnt we do our best" rubbish.

  • 74.
  • At 02:05 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • liam meighan wrote:

While I would like to agree with the positive postings in that the group is not finished and we have won both our matches, I feel that will be the only positive I will have. Ireland were sloppy and rarely found touch and just about won. How much skin is left on their teeth?
I hope Geordan Murphy is getting a good tan because that is all I can see him getting in this world Cup. EOS will pick the same 15 as "They have things to prove" or whatever his excuse was for picking this team after the Namibia game.
If we aspire to win the World Cup we should play like champions. At the moment we couldn't win an egg cup.
Lens 1999 might not be the huge disaster we thought it was, there might be worse around the corner.
Thank God we didn't play Georgia's first 15!

  • 75.
  • At 02:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Boyd wrote:

Thankfully some of you are agreeing with what I've said for years...Warren Gatland builds a team and we sack him, EOS gets the credit for his hard work because we (in N.Hemisphere) don't understand that it takes a few years to build a team. Same story with Wales and Mike Ruddock's (read Graham Henry's) grand slam.
I was also appalled with EOS selection policy and use of bench. O'Gara's decision making and kicking were awful, Stringer also. Great players on their day, but you don't pick 'out of form players' or do you? Paddy Wallace had to come on, also Murphy (who should have been there from the start as sorry Dennis, but you look like you've already retired). Surely after the battering the pack took in the first half you would have considered Ferris (for his muscle), Neil Best (for shear savagery, Georgians might have thought twice about picking up the ball), and O'Kelly (DOC and POC were both looking tired). But apparently substitutions 8 minutes from the end of the game are the order of the day!!!!! Notice that if someone from S.Hemisphere is having a bad day at the office (which happens afterall!! EOS, take note) they don't leave the changing room at half time.... As for the Lions job, where are we touring, North America?

  • 76.
  • At 02:12 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • martin mullen wrote:

England players get more combined points for a 0-36 loss to S.Africa than we do for a win against Georgia??

  • 77.
  • At 02:29 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • griffman2 wrote:

EOS had the guts to give certain players another chance who did not deserve it.Now he must have the guts to drop these players (from the 22 if needs be, do Carney and Quinlan not deserve a chance? We need wild cards now more than ever)and go for broke aginst France wi 15 players who will put their bodies on the line for the badge.Flannery for Best, N.Best for Eastabury, Trimble for Hickey and possibly Murphy for Dempsey.

People often joke about the irish teams of the late 80's and early 90's, but i would love to see the passion that players like Gary Halpin and Willie Anderson used to put into wearing the emerald green.

If the lads can reignite the fire that stokes this team all is not lost.

  • 78.
  • At 02:40 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ciaran Duffy wrote:

Agree with the ratings but don't think they were worse than the sham of a team that played against South Africa last night - so why do they get lower ratings??!! Typical BBC bias perhaps?!

  • 79.
  • At 02:51 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

PLease stop calling Ireland a Home Nation - it's not.

Home Nations are part of Britain . I.E Wales England & Scotland.

Even Irish people are saying it now.Shocking!!!!

It insulting and ignorant.......

  • 80.
  • At 02:56 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Mads wrote:

How about a rating for Eddie O'Sullivan. He's taken a good team over from Warren Gatland and in 4 years brought them to this. His refusal to use the squad and play the same players week in week out, has meant Ireland have a limited squad,with no competition for places. No wonder theres descent in the camp. Bravo Eddie. Another forward thinking move by the IRFU to give him a 4 year extension to his contract before he sat the exam. Bravo IRFU.

  • 81.
  • At 03:36 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Nickpains wrote:

Why were England not given Ireland in our group? We could of done with playing a side that have looked worse than us at the World Cup, may of even scored a few tries. Sorry but an inept an England was yesterday, your lot nearly lost to bloody Georgia!

  • 82.
  • At 03:49 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • David wrote:

Ireland were appalling tonight.It must be remembered that this second string Georgian side were playing their second match in 5 days,have only eight pitches in the entire country and have nothing like the financial resources of ireland (spala etc.) and look how the match played out.Why weren't Geordan Murphy,Alan Quinlan,Eoin reddan and a host of others put on from the start? bring on the big guns if needed a la Wales against Canada.No pride,no passion and no direction.

  • 83.
  • At 04:20 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • supie wrote:

Lindsay 61. & wgk 45.

I think you are both deluding yourselves from the reality here! This team has gone from a favourable position in terms of performance and self belief to a position where there is no confidence anymore, and the performance levels from the majority of the big name players has been dipping gradually but noticeably over the past 9 months.

All Irish teams were knocked out of the HC last year without too much bother, with Munster´s demise particularly alarming! Our 6 N campaign was a combination of the very good (England & Italy)and the downright poor (Scotland & Wales) and both our warm up games and these first to RWC games have only served to show up this decline even more!

Does anyone think this situation can be fixed before next Friday? Unfortunately I don´t think so, although I think the fact that we will now go into the last two games as underdogs may in some perverse way suit our Irish mentality and allow us to play without the obvious inhibitions we have gained from carrying the favouties tag! (If that´s the case then that is pretty pathetic!)

The way the squad has been arranged is an absoloute disgrace and the options are simply not there to make the necessary changes! Leamy to name but one is having a nightmare but who do you replace him with? Likewise O´Callaghan & O´Connell but again it´s Mal O kelly or Mal O Kelly???

The frustrating thing for me is the current crop of players we have are the best we have ever had, yet the person charged with leading them is 3rd rate at best. If you have a formula one car with great potential you still need a good driver and unfortunately we haven´t had that - What a terrible shame

  • 84.
  • At 04:36 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Marko wrote:

Hayes scrummaged superbly? You are kidding, yes? Hayes has been fortunate to benefit from the recent law changes but he hardly locked down the Irish scrum tonight, did he? Do you know the first thing about tight-head play?

  • 85.
  • At 06:32 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Alan Q. wrote:

Calm down everyone,this is the greatest ploy in rugby world cup history.O'Sullivan has the whole team playing crap so as to lull the French and Argentines into a false sence of security.Its amazing to think of how well this Irish team played in the six nations and to see them now struggling to hold on to any sort of possession rugby against teams they should be beating at a canter.
But rest assured come the French and Argentines, Ireland will be back to their best,or at least I hope so.
Anyone watching this in the states got any views on the Setanta package,they tell you months in advance they've got all games live and exclusive only for you to fork out the $15 a month fee and then they don't show the big games live.You got to go to a designated pub to watch them,bloody rediculus. comments welcome.

  • 86.
  • At 06:52 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • millie wrote:

omg what is happening a great squad was very disappointed in the 2 games played they have got to get their act together they a capable of winning the workd cup

come on get a grip boys

  • 87.
  • At 07:04 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ted wrote:

Once again I pose the same question I did on the Welsh thread

If the Boks or NZ played like the Irish would your ratings be the same as those you gave Ireland. I doubt it.
To improve the N Hemisphere game we need to compare and judge ourselves by the best sides - which would give Ireland ratings no higher than 3 for their best player. Whoever he may be

  • 88.
  • At 07:24 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • spooner wrote:

76 - it's because England's TEAM were soundly beaten by a much better one, as expected, and not much blame can really be heaped on the individuals, everyone knows that few England players would even get on the SA bench.
Whereas the Irish have a better team than Georgia and supposedly, in each position, a better player than the opposition. Yesterday, they did not show it.
Hence the low scores, some of which were generous.

  • 89.
  • At 07:28 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Tez wrote:

Woke with a start, was it a dream, had we really played that badly and nearly got turned over by Georgia? A nightmarish display that makes even more painful reviewing in the cold light of day this morning. What's wrong, is it a confidence or mental issue? Not sure if it is right to blame the coach for everything but I fear he and others may be deluding themselves as suggested by Paddy Wallace on tv. The players need to front up and show some passion and desire. The pack is seriously underperforming. With more control and go forward, I think the backs could have made some greater inroads into Georgia, but we simply couldn't obtain and hold onto enough decent ball to get through some phases and get any momentum going! And when we did get some turnover ball or possession, it was kicked away poorly to allow Georgia to build again. Roll on Friday it should be fun to watch.

  • 90.
  • At 07:38 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

After the dust settles on this RWC - the matches people will remember most are the ones with the little nations like Georgia vs Ireland, USA vs England. These are types of nations who hold the future of rugby in their hands and we need to support these countries. I really hope we can keep the teams at 20 for the next rwc. I got more of a kick seeing Portugal fighting for everything against NZ than i did watching Wales vs Australia.

  • 91.
  • At 07:46 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Kevin Morrow wrote:

Last night was a fatal blow to the Irish rugby world cup cause. I agree with most of the earlier postings, ratings in my mind would be lower for certain individuals. O'Gara (3)as an outside half has clearly forgotten how to play the position. His kicking from hand is attrocious. Look at the Georgian kicking from hand as a comparison. YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR TOUCH. Spot on on the pick up from Denis Leamy (2) in his own 22 of a scrum after sustained peressure from the Georgians and droping the ball - criminal! These are basics. I would imagine most posters here were taught not to make these mistakes at school level. Ireland have lost their structure and shape and are lost on how to return to basic rugby to build a platform to work of from. This has got to be in part due to bad coaching. Argintena and France will have studied those matches and realize any sort of pressure on the Irish team early in the match will most likely cause another meltdown. I am not even sure changes are the answer. Flannery should most certainly get a run, if not impact player with at least 30 mins on the field and Neil Best also should be used more in the match if not only for fresh legs in tough forward battles which we will have against Argentina. There is little to call between him and Easterby so why not get the best from both. Dempsey and Murphy are in the same boat. More game time from the non starter is needed to freshen things up. EOS it is time to bite the biscuit and make the hard decisions. The players are not coming forward and so it is up to you to take control of the situation and rotate the squad. There is too much at stake to be looking back in two weeks wondering what if???

a few points.
firsly can we take it the eos thinks the reserves are so bad that not one will bring a single postive to this first fifteen.
secondly why bring carney to the world cup.he wont give him game time and he ll be too old for the next one?? surely a development player would have been a better option.
thirdly will he make changes? i doubt it someone make a point of saying that he will find a way of putting out the same starting team with maybe hickey aside.. but be warned this is the same eos who only ever picked anthony horgan once during his prime for ireland against the best team in the world of the day.. austraila and after the predicted loss never picked him again.. he might just change the whole team and lose and then use that as justification to pick the regulars again.
lastly i think all the nh teams are pretty much in the same boat.. we are all playing badly except wales who seem to have the nerves to put it up the sh teams.
fire eddie now and change the team. or next years wooden spoon beckons.

  • 93.
  • At 07:59 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • george graham wrote:

What looks glaringly obvious is that this group of players has peaked and are now on the way down and sadly did not win anything significant when they had the talent to at least win a Grand Slam. I can't agree that other Countries would have struggled last night, Georgia were made to look much better by Ireland's complete ineptness, Ireland seemed to lack any form of game plan or idea.I can't see anything but a defeat against France who performed miles above Ireland even though losing to Argentina and will be desparate to win.

  • 94.
  • At 08:07 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Brendan wrote:

A Zombie like performance by the Irish. They really lacked focus, concentration and any semblance of passion. Stringer was caught sleeping on too many occassions and the Irish in general just didnt rise to the occassion.
DÁrcy - was he on the field? I Heard his name mentioned 3/4 times throughout the whole match. Was he 1st centre - should be.
O Driscol made some impressive moves but lack of support ensured limiting damage.
Well done Georgia - Gutsey match winning (should have been) performance. Georgia and Argentina - both sides in this group want to win. Ireland - well are they getting a huge bonb]us for crappy performances. Very sad to see the worlds number 6 playing like an Arabian Gulf scratch side.
Too many handling errors.

  • 95.
  • At 08:07 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jim from Croydon wrote:

It is the same old comment - having successfully some blooded some new players last autumn we seemed to be going in the right direction - but where are they now? - or maybe EOS is fooling us and this is actually Ireland's second string squad ? - ha ha... EOS says he has back-row players in abundance so how come it's the same old players on the pitch - under pressure the Ulster back-row as a unit is very solid and will get decent ball to the half backs (not as glamorous going forward maybe but not shambolic going backwards). Or in fact anything for a tactical change when one is required. There are not too many generals on the pitch for Ireland so maybe the manager should change the options by changing the personnel - like the New Zealanders perhaps?

As for the ratings - the Irish front row bizarrely has the best (deserved) ratings - & that is EOS' acknowledged weak-point he says?

Anyway, I am sure we will now pick our first team (hehe) and all will be well?

Too many of this one look tired and stale. Otherwise, why have the rest of the squad made the trip?

  • 96.
  • At 08:10 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • O'shean wrote:

Ireland should be doing alot better than they have been, they have a great team, real potential, but i think they are going to pick up against France, and deafeat France, then go on to win the World Cup

  • 97.
  • At 08:13 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jim from Croydon wrote:

Ref 79 about Ireland being a Home nation. I was at Gatwick once when asked by a couple of lost and confused Americans where the Gate to Dublin was - I pointed to the Domestic sign - "but we thought Ireland was a foreign country" they said" - ??

  • 98.
  • At 08:22 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • embarassed wrote:

If anything your ratings are maybe too generous.

  • 99.
  • At 09:00 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Brent wrote:

Given the Georgia team wear the same colours as England, do you think anybody would notice if they replaced the England players in their next match against Samoa!?. Georgia showed the commitment and enthusiasm that has been sadly lacking in in both the Irish and England displays in this tournament. Some skill shortages, but surely that will come with continuing exposure to rugby at this level?.

  • 100.
  • At 09:05 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Eric O Connor wrote:

Its true that the irish display of rugby in last nights game against Georgia was very very poor. However true to form the Irish stuggle with the so called weaker teams, this is true in every competition. I predict that we shall see a much improved performance when we meet France next weekend, at least I hope we do as I have tickets for the game!

  • 101.
  • At 09:14 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

I was thoroughly impressed with Georgia yesterday. Ok so Ireland weren't great but they weren't terrible either. Based on that performance Georgia could have scared a lot of the teams in the competition, definitely all of the home nations

  • 102.
  • At 09:17 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andrea fuccilio wrote:

Well done georgia ,but what are ireland doing do they relise argentina and france are waiting at the end f the group matchs , eddie o sullivan is a good coach, but denis hickie was so poor he looked retired ,stringer no adventure,ogra stop moaning at the ref,
poor very very poor

  • 103.
  • At 09:36 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Stuart wrote:

What a humiliating result. For Georgia - being beaten by Ireland!

  • 104.
  • At 09:37 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • fordy wrote:

surely he must play g.murphy who is a world class player and is probably just as creative as o'driscoll

  • 105.
  • At 09:39 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Darragh in Manchester wrote:

O'Shean your dreaming, they are going to get mullered. I've found that it is handy to actually have the ball if your looking to win a game of Rugby. Fair play to the Georgians on that score. O'Connell hasn't played to international standard since the England game in 6N surely O'Kelly could have been brought on? They Played like individuals (poor ones). I was cheering the georgians on at the end.
Again no hope, Argentina will top the group France second, We're on the plane.

  • 106.
  • At 09:41 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Stringer, is one dimensional, offers no attacking option and our backline suffers terribly from his predictibility. Where is Reddan- scrum half for the "best club in Europe this year". Honestly Eddie makes bizarre decisions.

And where was our most creative, attacking-minded player, Geordan Murphy. Our back three were all having a poor game, surely Eddie could have brought him on (of course he should start at fullback every game).

Ireland can win the next two matches, we need the pack to raise themeselves, and more flare at scrumhalf and in the back three.


  • 107.
  • At 09:42 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Martin O´Hara wrote:

I have to go to our club match here in valencia, Spain this morning and take it on the chin from my Argentinian, NZ and Spanish team mates after last night´s embarrassing perfomance.It´s the same old story in Irish sport,when they need to stand up and be compared against the best in the world, they crumble,even when we have the talent to compete.But this team carried credible hopes of not only Ireland´s rugby followers but the nation as a whole of perhaps reaching a world cup final.Alas I can´t see this happening.What has happened? Has politics crept into the dressing room? Note the singing of the national "anthem"(Ireland´s call?) by some players and not others(both north and south)and compare with that of Argentina which was sung from the heart,and also the "national" flag!.The body language was not right from the start.As for the game, no confidence no pssion,no pride,no apparent game plan when things were going wrong,no leadership,some players didn´t seem to know what to do,especially when attacking.I don´t completely blame EOS, these players have competed at the highest level and should have enough experience to turn a game around especially against "inferior" opposition.Their confidence is shot(why? we don´t know) and nobody plays well without it.Can it be remedied? we hope so.Let´s get behind the team for one more game.if France hammer us(and on current form they should)then it will be to hold up our hands and begin again

  • 108.
  • At 10:01 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • arthur mulligan wrote:

Well, irl were rubbish .The demeanour/ attitude of the team is wrong . none of them seem relaxed or up for it . wHY ?? .The game plan if their is one is sterile .
It is shamefull to see the best all round irish rugby team of a generation perform like this .

  • 109.
  • At 10:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Justin wrote:

A great, edge-of-the-seat game that Georgia thoroughly deserved to win! Ireland were awful but full respect has to be given to the Georgians.

The "minnows" have been playimg great this WC, so surely a European Championship every 4 years should be thought about? It could be held like the football one, every two years after the WC, and could have say 12 teams; the normal 6 nations, plus for instance Georgia, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Russia and (maybe) Argentina. It would be a great chance to develop the smaller nations and give the larger ones more experience in major championships (that it seems all the Northern Hemisphere teams need!) Discuss!

  • 110.
  • At 10:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Steve Hurley wrote:

St. Jude* was working overtime yesterday.
That last near-try by Georgia at the end should give Ireland a case of the willies.
They were rubbish (and as an Irishman I'm PC allowed to say that).
Georgia now have their blood up, so who knows...

* the patron saint of hopeless cases.

  • 111.
  • At 10:07 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • dangerous dave wrote:

hickie,stringer,o'gara,o'connell,wallace,easterby,,brian, should all be dropped !!! and let the likes of p.wallace,carney,quinlan,redden and others have a go because the team who played last night dont have a hope of beating france anyway !!
o'sulliven needs a wake up call !!!

  • 112.
  • At 10:12 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • maryk wrote:

i am amazed how much the irish performance has depressed me.I don't think that they have played well for a long time, but i had hoped they could raise it on the big stage.these are good players but not playing as a team, mentally all wrong;don't they have sports psychologists to counter theyips?

  • 113.
  • At 10:24 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Bring in Brian Cody quick to replace EOS. Pitiful.

  • 114.
  • At 10:28 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

Geordan come home now, at least Tigers love you.

  • 115.
  • At 10:32 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

One of the most sickening sights in a nightmare filled evening was the look of putrid smugness on Neil Francis' face on the TV3 panel. He is delighted with what is going on.
This might motivate the Munster boys in the team:.......
Now everyone knows what it is like to be a Leinster supporter.

I am still rooting for them, I crave a win against the French, but having sat through the QF in Melbourne I am fearful.

  • 116.
  • At 10:36 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ryan wrote:

Excuse me but how can this happen. We go from nearly being able to beat NZ in their own backyard when they were arguably in their pomp two years ago to this! The only consolation is that we still won and the fact that Georgia were only 6-3 down to Argentina at half-time.

  • 117.
  • At 10:49 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Darren wrote:

I haven't seen all the matches involving northern hemisphere sides so I don't know if Portugal or Romania have done better, but last night's was by some distance the best performance I've seen from a northern hemisphere side.

  • 118.
  • At 10:57 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • theleicesterkiwi wrote:

Any team who picks Girvan Dempsey above Geordan Murphy deserves everything coming to them. Period.

  • 119.
  • At 11:00 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

It was always going to be tough for Ireland to come through this group. Remember what Argentina did to us in '99. Anyone who thought other wise was deluded!

  • 120.
  • At 11:06 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Maestro wrote:

A truly inept and embarrassing performance. The post-match comments by BOD and EOS, suggesting there was some credit to scaring a fortuitous win over a side we habitually beat by 50+ points, were alarming

Whilst selectorial consistency has its advantages, when taken to myopic extremes such as EOS has done:

(a) The 1st XV do not have the incentive of competition, as they know that they will keep their places no matter how badly they play.

(b) Their potential replacements are unlikely to be able to do much better as they have been given insuffficient big match game time to become comfortable and accomplished at test level.

We are thus in a vicious circle of our own (or, more precisely, EOS's) making.

As a an Ulsterman living in England with a French girlfriend, I am looking towards Friday evening as a turkey must look towards Christmas.

PS. Memo to EOS:

If I sleep with whoever Girvan Dempsey's sleeping with, can I play for the Ireland first team too?

  • 121.
  • At 11:12 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Maurice Johnson wrote:

The biggest mistake did was to give EOS a 4 year contract just before the World Cup. It haas put him and his favourites in a comfort zone. His conservative selection policy means that the squad players know that they'll never get a chance under his tenure. Players like Murphy, Flannery and Quinlan must be wandering what they're doing in France, being away from friends and family. For what?

  • 122.
  • At 11:44 AM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ger wrote:

EOS getting a lot of criticism here. While I'm not saying he's blameless, exactly what could he have done against Namibia and Georgia? The players let us down, he can't go out there himself. Let's see what happens against France. We as a nation have a habit of playing at the opposition's level, this is true in all sports and why we never rout opponents. So maybe we'll raise our game to meet the French.
Two calls to make for that match, Stringer v Boss and Best v Flannery? Stringer too slow in playing out of the ruck and I think Flannery's ball-playing ability makes up for a concession of weight to Best. Finally, I think ROG needs a cold shower before the match to wake him up, he look unconcentrated and makes some appalling decisions, like kicking through when we were feet from the Georgian line and need to keep the ball in hand.

  • 123.
  • At 12:01 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • jamie wrote:

I was dissappointed as anyone with the Irish....tought it would be better.Your ratings are fair....but am I the only one who thinks that the Irish done a fairly fab DEFENSIVE job!!!!Come on like we all know that A team can have a one off great performance on the world stage and thats what the Georgains had last night.Who knows ....the Irish might have their day against France.Give EOS a break we should be supporting them when they are down not kicking them in the guts...EOS has done more for IRISH rugby than anyone and that is why the IRFU backed him before the tournament.He does need to use his bench pleeeeaase bring on Jordan Murphy,Brian Carney and Andrew Trimble....give Hickey,Dempsey and D'Arcey a break.Come ON people please think positive we are a good team playing bad but WINNING is that a positive thing!!!!!!!!!

  • 124.
  • At 12:04 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jason Campbell wrote:

All I can say is, why did I spend so much cash on a trip to Paris next weekend.......... Based on this performance it will be a 50 point mauling by France. The kicking was horrible, the defence strong, the georgians much better then anticipated, the tactics questionable, the coach, well, eddie is still probably the best man for the job at the moment, who else would be prepared to take this on?

Or maybe we just don't like bordeaux?

Come on Drico, remeber your 3 tries against the French? We need you now....... Jason

  • 125.
  • At 12:08 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • michael wrote:

Get rid of O'Sullivan. Buy Kidney from Munster. Then we will see an Irish Team. Drop O'Gara and put in Geordan Murphy.

And by the way, time the IRFU did something about rugby in a large number of "Maintained Schools" in N.Ireland. There are 1000 boys at St Malachy's in Belfast. I don't believe one has ever touched a rugby ball.

  • 126.
  • At 12:21 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Tony Lawrence wrote:

How about rating the Georgian players,you don't have to stop at ten, you could go as high as you like. I thought Georgia were magnificent, as did the capacity crowd. Perhaps England should send for a couple of barrels of water from the river Kura, seemed to have worked for those Georgian lads.

  • 127.
  • At 12:24 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Yednnek wrote:

Eddie O'Sullivan needs to trust his bench is correct. In particular Flannery and Murphy would be better options at Hooker and FB respectively.
He has not however become a bad coach overnight. The players should be ashamed of their performances. No coach can make a player not drop the ball. No coach can stop a player on the pitch from making a bad decision.
Were all of you calling for his head during the 2006 Autumn Internationals or this years 6N? I think not.
As for scrum half. Why is no one talking aout Eoin Reddan, a Heineken cup winner this year. Boss was very poor and predictable when he came on. Certainly no better than Stringer.

  • 128.
  • At 12:29 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • jeff goss wrote:

looking at the general form of Ireland, the georgia game was irelands best peformance since the six nations. This raises the question,'Has six nation rugby fallen so far behind the rest of the world'We have minnows playing like sharks, and so called sharks playing like minnows.Do we need to completely reassess our approach to the game? I think so.After match comments from the Irish squad complaining that they couldn't get the ball. for christ sake we were playing a bunch of amateurs, What chance will we have against the ABs, The Ausies,SA, or The pumas,Boys in green prepair for humiliation, it will come during this tournament,and may be that's what needed to remind us that international rugby is a game of committment pride passion & proffessionalism. WE have the skill
can O'Sullivan & and the squad reinstall the other eliments O'Sullivan should show the squad a video of the England game at Croke park to remind them that it was the passion & commitment that won the day

  • 129.
  • At 12:35 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Aodh O' Duinn wrote:

The question was asked above, who is worse, Ireland or England? Ireland are bad but thats because we expect more from Ireland now. England lost with a record defeat and failed to score. Ireland won playing as bad as they ever have. If Ireland win there next game they are through. The game after that will decide if they are top or second. I believe Ireland can beat France. I ask people not to make a final evaluation of Irelands WC untill they are on the plane home. they have not lost yet. A positive from the game was the fact that the defence was brilliant, apart from the try which was bad attacking play by Ireland rather than defence they were good. D o'cal was brilliant in defence, he gets no praise for his efforts, he was far and away with the tackle count, check it it out around 17 tackles.

  • 130.
  • At 12:45 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • JCS wrote:

Eddie O'Sullivan has never been any good. He has ridden on the back of the best players we've ever had for the last five years. Just think what Warren Gatland could have done with their skills, guts and determination during that time. We would be chomping at the bit to get at the All Blacks instead of faffing around with Namibia and Georgia. The sacking of Gatland in '01, just when he was getting our team into shape, was disgraceful. Shame on the IRFU then and shame on them now.

  • 131.
  • At 12:48 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

I agree with Ger, and will go a bit further out on a limb by saying perhaps EOS may be playing a better hand than you think. Ireland's focus has to be the game against France. This isn't just about those two teams, it's about EOS vs 'The Professor' Laporte. Remember 2003? Or this year's 6 Nations and the few before that? With teams he faces regularly, Laporte's genius lies in his ability to predict their game plan - in 2003 particularly, he knew how Ireland would play and he took them to pieces. So what EOS cannot afford to do against Namibia or Georgia is reveal his cards:- his players can't run the lines or the moves they will use against the French, his forwards will be tentative; preserving themselves for the one that matters. So the game will seem two dimensional, his team uncomfortable that they're not playing the shapes they're using in training and everything looks pedestrian. The low scores are reflective of the team failure to adapt. But they're not the All Blacks and they can't hit you from anywhere, they're a well drilled side with a method. In the days of old, Ireland loved the minnows game - a chance to flex before losing heroically. Now, it's almost a case of fearing the minnows as spoilers to the overall plan. What it's all about now is cutting loose against the big boys. As Keith Wood said after the Argentina game in 2003, "the shackles are off". And you'll remember that game against Australia. It's a hell of a gamble and a huge ask for any team to hold back and only produce the goods on the day, but no other team in this tournament know each other as well as these guys, and perhaps no coach knows his players quite as well. So maybe, just maybe, EOS is holding better cards than you think.

  • 132.
  • At 12:57 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

Geordan Murphy for Ireland?!?!? Would this be the same Geordan Murphy that was bulldozed so feebly by Ibanez at Croke Park, when he left a flailing arm as the "lightenin fast" IBanez ran through him for the French try. MMMM! A lot of justified criticism of Ireland, but I think a little too harshly, with people typically jumping on the band wagon of sack the manager - all the criticism really serves to do is undermine what was a very proud and vigourous display by Georgia. Ireland did not play well, and I would agree that they look flat, but credit has to be given to the Georgian pack for playing (albeit a very one dimensional game) so well in retaining the ball and not giving the opposition a whiff.

One comment made earlier was that throeretically Ireland were in for the long haul and Georgia were up for the one-off matches which is fair enough. Also Ireland were substantially better than the match against Namibia - still a lot of handling errors and thankfully we had not played Georgia in the first match. One thing that has been very evident in this RWC, is that the SH countries(and some other countries like Georgia) are much bigger and stronger physically and all the cryogenic and body building in the world will never make us 6 nations as strong.

Unlike some others I do hold out some hope for Ireland against France...we are much better as underdogs, but it needs pride in the jersey and clearing out rucks with a passion and energy not seen to date. I ma not an EOS fan due to his conservatism but due to poor development he now has few options! It also needs Quinlan/N.Best for Easterby and Flannery for Best to make that difference. Stringer did not play well but he is still streets ahead of Boss!! Reddan might be an option. Other than that there are not a lot of options....even the whingeing rhetric has not been able to deliver an others as the 2nd team are another level belwo this again.

Support your country and stop hoping that they lose to France....the same begrudgers will be the first to celebrate a win.

  • 133.
  • At 01:08 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • expatpaddy wrote:

Disgraceful, I would not score anything over 2 for the lot. Two abysmal performances in the 'group of death'. No flair, confidence, heart. BOD is a very poor captain, wonderful player. EOS must go, he is insipid - please god not a further four years of this. What has happened to ROG's kicking and why is Murphy on the bench. What has EOS got against Murphy, where was O Kelly? We need a motivating Southern Hemisphere coach and not a home grown poor example. This team shot their bolt during the last 6 Nations. France and the Argies will tear them apart. Frankly, they are a disgrace to their colours and their nation.

  • 134.
  • At 01:20 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • JFE wrote:

We did not deserve to win that game last night! I don't think I can remember such a dismal Irish performance, absolutely crap! Fair play to Namibia and Georgia for their performances against Ireland. I hope O' Sullivan is going to make some changes but he probably won't as per the headline on RTE Sport "O'Sullivan defiant despite display", defiant should read embarrassed!

  • 135.
  • At 01:32 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ger wrote:

Yednnek, I agree with you that Reddan is a better player than Boss, but it might be just too much of a risk to introduce him on his stage. Ireland's next first-choice scrum half without a doubt though. Interesting theory by Chris, certainly 2003 France knew our every play, so could we be saving our real plan A for them? I guess Friday will tell. I'm still holding hopes, based on the past, whenever we underestimate them they come good. Stringer will probably hold his place based on his experience and familiarity with ROG, but Dempsey needs a break and I'm sure Murphy is just bursting to get a chance to make up for his blunder against France in Six Nations 2006. Also a fit Trimble should replace Hickie, who is tiring.

  • 136.
  • At 01:33 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Conor wrote:

I turned from an ex-pat Dubliner into a nostalgic Tbilisian after about 30 minutes.

There is a sort of wisdom of crowds, and I wish we could all band together and force EOS to read and OBEY the advice given here.

Also, deduct 2 points from all the rankings above.

I won't say anything about Stringer save that I never liked him.It's his pointy leprechaun ears - well, them and his bloody awful playing.

  • 137.
  • At 01:36 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • mirollw wrote:

Ireland won, though they didn't deserve to. Let's hope that they can raise their game for the French. What's happened to the passion guys?

PS I would like to know the scores James Standley would have given to the English players. Now THEY were over-rated!!

  • 138.
  • At 01:52 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Andy S wrote:

Oh dear. Right, first of all Georgia did indeed play well above themselves and put Ireland under a lot of pressure for the whole match - they were impressive in many ways. But I'm an Ireland fan so that's where my comments must lead to.
Having become a team that didn't have to rely on heart/pride to win matches over the last 3/4 years, it is now the one thing that the Irish sqaud truly lack. There isn't a flicker of guts and determination from any of them. Management has been far too conservative and the players have no worry about their place in the squad - that's a very risky thing as complacency sets in all too easily and I think has been rather apparent in the last two matches.
Stringer MUST be replaced by Boss for the France game - his passing was abysmal and while the forwards did little to ensure quick ball he dithers like a granny crossing the road as he decides which player to miss, sorry, pass to. Surely it's also about time Geordan Murphy was set loose to give the backs a bit more attacking options.
Also, ROG's kicking has gone seriously downhill over the last year or so - he doesn't find touch with at least 50% of his kicks nowadays. To think he aims to be right behind Carter in terms of reputation and quality!
The two O'C's were also shocking over the last two matches - very dissappointing in that their presence was slight at best. Whatever happened to the lion hearted displays we've come to expect?
Mathematically, I think Ireland can still progress even if they lose to France (but only if they get a losing bonus point against them and deny Argentina a losing bonus point and get the four tries against them).
It's not all over but it's unlikely and I for one am heartbroken. I think I must be too sensitive a soul to follow a team like Ireland. Sigh!
Good luck against France though boys - I'll still be cheering/crying you on!

  • 139.
  • At 02:00 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • lhawk28988 wrote:

Am i the only one who doesnt understand why ROG took the long kick fron the pentalty instaed of kicking into the corner seconds after ireland had just driven over from from a lineout with ease. 12 or 14 nill up then you can relax a bit.
Are the Irish players trying to conserve themselves for France and Argentina
Also worrying is that BOD seems to think they have to Win both games
If they beat France, France are out of it
Forget The argentina game because ireland didnt get the bonus point and even if they beat Argentina i doubt they will do it with 4 tries so just go for it in the France game and forget the rest

  • 140.
  • At 02:09 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jim Slip wrote:

Decided to take up fishing, instead of losing any more of the years left, I have allocated watching this unspeakable, expensively prepared rubbish!!

  • 141.
  • At 02:36 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Roscommon in Dallas wrote:

Too much panic here! Two sub-par performances against two inspired opponents. Ireland have always played to their competition and don't know how to crush exhuberent "minnows" like the AB's or even England do, because they've never been consistently good enough to develop that mindset or the universal reputation that tends to facilitate such crushing victories.

Namibia would have caved after the first two trys conceded if they had been playing the AB's. And Georgia would have wilted upon seeing the AB's administer that 176-3 slaghter. Unfortunately, Ireland don't have that luxury and have to fight like hell against every team they face.

Forget the scores. What if Ireland had won both games by 50 but lost nail biters to France and Arg.?

Ireland have been popped in the mouth, tasted their own blood and, as I've thought since the draw, will scrape by the French and pummel Argentina.

See you in Paris

  • 142.
  • At 02:38 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Martin Kehoe wrote:

Regarding No 85...Alan Q's Setanta comments........ I also live in the U.S. and the on-line Broadband Service from Setanta is very disappointing. I paid $150 fee with the understanding that the games would be shown live on the internet.

Regarding Ireland's prospects.........the French will pick up their game and we will get stuffed if we do not! The French on home turf will come out with all guns blazing. If we can contain them for the first 30 minutes we are in with a chance. It just looks like the Irish players hit their peak in 2006 to March 2007 and are now burnt out,lack intensity and the hunger/passion we associate with Irish/Munster rugby. EOS AND BOD must accept responsibilty for this......EOS should make some changes. Like many other comments i question WHY would the IRFU give EOS a new contract BEFORE the WC ? This and other actions raises the question as to the competency of the IRFU management........Now that is a subject that is worth discussing !!

  • 143.
  • At 03:13 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • conor wrote:

are you from ulster by any chance

  • 144.
  • At 03:17 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • annon wrote:

Leave them alone! its hard enough that they are all having to deal with this pressure! what they need is our support not our criticism!!!!!!! there is a lot to work out and at the end of the day its not the managers fault, they can only do so much! its the players that need to get themselves together and sort out the issues! of course the games have not been as expected and im not pating them on the back - but there is still a long way to go and we and they know how good they can be. We just need to support them and keep faith that they can bring it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 145.
  • At 03:18 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Couple of points...

1. As others have said, EOS did not develop this team, Gatland did. In fact the current dependence on 15 key players might be indicative of EOS inability to develop players.

2. So, a coach can't teach or re-infprce ball-handling skills...sorry, I thought one of there jobs was to improve players individual abilities and get the best out of them...if they are dropping the ball and making poor tactical decisions, the coach has to shoulder some of the blame.

3. Both the Argentines and the French know they can beat us as our record against them in recent years has been abyssmal.

4. In a pool were point difference could very well be a deciding factor, Ireland needed to rack up points against Namibia and Georgia. they failed to do so. If this was indeed part of a "cunning plan" by EOS to lure the French and Argentines into a false sense of security as some of you (jokingly) suggest, I hope we don't get eliminated on point difference.

5. To those harking back to the "wonderful" 6N's display..we played lousy against Wales and Scotland...and were rampant against two weaker of which would probably beat us if we played today.

The first two games are in the books, we do have wins, not as emphatic as they should have been, but we won. the real tournament for Ireland starts now...let's see if they can pick themselves up for the big games.

  • 146.
  • At 03:25 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Conor (#143)

to whom are you referring..I am sure there are many Ulster fans on this blog.

  • 147.
  • At 03:26 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Ronan wrote:

Dreadful performance but disgusted to see fellow "fans" throwing their support behind Georgia in the last few minutes. Sure, Georgia deserved to win but if you can't support your own team in their time of need because they are not slaughtering a supposed minnow then we don't need that type of support. In addition, giving EOS a contract ahead of the WC was a little amateurish but he is, after all, the most successful manager in the history of Irish rugby. "EOS has never been good." Drivel. The players are the ones on the field - it's time they started getting their acts together.

  • 148.
  • At 03:34 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • gordon wrote:

O`sullivan one deserved more than a two.Dissapointed and extremely confused paddy fan.

  • 149.
  • At 03:39 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • dublin scot wrote:

"Like many other comments i question WHY would the IRFU give EOS a new contract BEFORE the WC ? "

I totally agree on this one it seems nonsensical to tie him in for what will surely be a big pay off!

As for the on field antics, severe lack of leadership, direction and plan B. Paul O' Connell not anywhere near what he should be, O'Callaghan a nonentity last night,what happened to the spirit and passion that swept England aside at Croke Park?

Ronan O'Gara not pinning the Georgians to the corners. In fact he looked a bit red or almost purple at the end... don't tell me the Phantom Strangler of Old Murrayfield park got him again!! Oh sorry thats Eddies private nightmare!!

  • 150.
  • At 03:44 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Anglo Con wrote:

I guess it's all been said, but a few further comments to make me feel better. EOS has been a joke for a long time, no rugby blood and thinks he can turn his hand to any sport by analysing everything. The team has been poor for a long time and not just in the world cup. Scotland and Italy in the warm ups and awful in the 6 nats apart from the England game. Beating Scotland and Wales is frankly like 3 bald men fighting over a comb.

EOS has had the best crop of players since I've been watching - early 70's - and he's completely cocked it up. We all know Gatland was shafted and the chickens are coming home to roost. By the way, after Wasps beat Munster the players gave out a rousing rendition of 'there's only one Warren Gatland ' so everyone could hear. Quite right as well, the IRFU should be ashamed but of course they wont be.

  • 151.
  • At 03:49 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Martin Kehoe wrote:

No....not from Ulster.

  • 152.
  • At 03:58 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Jules wrote:

By and large the ratings were OK, if you'd have given the Irish players 2s and 3s it would take too much away from the Georgian's who in truth were absolutely magnificent. They deserve more respect than to be told their opposition were COMPLETE muppets on the day.

  • 153.
  • At 04:09 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • AB wrote:

Dempsey 5 (scored)
Horgan 4 (solid)
BOD 2 (headless)
Darcy 3 (invisible)
Hickie 1 (handless)
ROG 3 (flairless)
Stringer 3 (skilless)
Hayes 6 (tough)
Best 6 (scored/tough/solid)
Horan 6 (solid/courageous)
POC 4 (couldn't impose himself)
DOC 4 (as above)
Easterby 4 (tough but invisible)
Wallace 5 (combative)
Leamy 2 (erroneous)

Boss 3 (headless)
Best S 5 (solid)
Best N * (no chance to play)
Flannery 5 (solid)

Where's the dynamism that this team showed for most of the 6nat? Who decided it was time for everyone to start making the sort of errors for which a 6 yr old mini-rugby player would be dropped?
For both Namibia and last night the pack were shabby, Leamy's control was appaling, apart from the front row there was no stability or energy up front and especially at the breakdown. Hickie has lost his hands and his confidence and must go. BOD doesn't trust his team-mates and tries too hard. ROG has never offered a threat as a running fly-half but keeps trying to play that kind of game and can't...then late last night put boot to ball and realised he left his kicking game in Cork. EOS doesn't trust his bench and with the exception of Neil Best and Murphy why would he?!
If we are to avoid a cricket score against both France and Argentina we need to stop panicking, play the composed game of the 6nat and my oh my oh my stop making the nation watch a mistake fest!

  • 154.
  • At 04:27 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Don wrote:

You rated everyone except Eddie O Sullivan, the ridiculous decision to award him a 4 year contract before the tournament is looking really bad now. I never really like Eddie decisions, the team have done quite well under him, but with the players he had they haven't won a 6 Nations yet, he has made very questionable decisions throughout his time as coach, and I have felt the team would benefit from a new man in charge. He has had enough time, and it was crazy to offer a reward before the tournament. The team are playing shockingly bad, they looked shockingly bad in the warm up games. Eddie is being found out big-time and offering him an extended contract was premature. I woud like to see a different man lead the team after the tournament, it is time for a change, and this isn't a kneejerk reaction. It is time for a fresh approach.

  • 155.
  • At 04:27 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Stephen wrote:

we need to get some more ulster boys in from the start and get rid of stringer, o'callaghan, leamy and easterby once and for all

  • 156.
  • At 04:30 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Get rid of the unlikeable and incompetent Eddie O Sullivan, the guy has made far too many questionable decisions, he isn't getting anywhere near the best out of the good players he has at his disposal and it is time for a new man. I never liked him, but giving him that 4 year extension BEFORE the tournament started was ridiculous. GET RID OF EDDIE. Having Eddie involved with the team is putting me off supporting them.

  • 157.
  • At 04:33 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • alsaka dave wrote:

in reply to #79,the term"home nations" refers to the home of the sport(rugby) which is these islands,its time you types got over the past,anyway theres N.Ireland players on the team too,and the bbc is reporting for THAT part of ireland and NOT the republic

  • 158.
  • At 05:06 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Shaun Cooper wrote:

Why don't they put the players position numbers on these ratings. I'm not ashamed to admit I don't know the names and postions of all the players in all of the UK and Ireland's squads. It'd make it easier to identify them . . .

  • 159.
  • At 05:18 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

give murphy a run out

  • 160.
  • At 05:26 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • collie wrote:

Frankly utter rubbish. One dimensional team. Ireland should have kicked for touch a lot more or at least tried for drop goals to rack up points. All this stupid talk about the bonus point has made them actually loose it...Won't be any better against any other team. I hate to say it but the Irish lads will be coming home early.

  • 161.
  • At 05:28 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • John Walsh wrote:

Lots of people seem to have forgotten how well this team and coach have performed over the past number of seasons. It's more than disappointing to see how terrible they are are doing in this tournament, but some people posting here need a bit of reality check.
This is the time for fans to stand up and support our team; too easy to be shouting 'from the ditch'.

  • 162.
  • At 05:57 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • lhawk28988 wrote:

totally agree with comment 161
what were you people saying when they were producing the best rugby i've ever seem Ireland play this time last year, Can Ireland play as bad as they did in the last 2 games again ? i doubt it
I think most of that 15 were trying to save themselves for the last 2 games... never seen such a lack of passion from an Irish side
France arnt exactly sh*t hot at the moment are they
at least Ireland has actually beaten some southern hemisphere teams in the last year unlike the rest of the 6 NATIONS

  • 163.
  • At 07:32 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Roscommon in Dallas wrote:

Everyone needs to calm down. The tournament starts Friday. Ireland don't have, nor have they ever had the luxury of knowing how to destroy inferior competition. First, they haven't been dominating for a consistent, lengthy stretch of time to develop the knowledge of how to demolish an inferior side through patience and relaxation like the ABs, SA, Aus or, at times, even the French and English. Second, they don't have the reputation that facilitates the inferior competition "laying down" after conceding a couple of trys like they would against the ABs, etc.

Stringer and ROG need to take the brunt of any criticism given for poor play to this point. Do you think the results would have been remotely similar if the pundits were saying, "While the rest of the team have been sub-par, Ireland's scrum half and fly half have been the best at their positions in the competition."? Instead, they've been the worst. The fact is that Stringer has made terrible running and kicking decisions and either watched the ball sit for 3-5 seconds before passing it out or turned to the ref to complain while the ball sits in the ruck. When he does get it out it goes to ROG who either launches an awful kick or doesn't make the right decision on the pass. We don't know what the rest of the team can do because offensively, these two are ruining possession.
If they don't get it together w/n 15 minutes of the French start, Reddan and Wallace need to come in. I think they'll get it together.

Ireland 23 France 18

Ireland 36 Argentina 12

  • 164.
  • At 08:14 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Comment 163. I have never heard more claptrap in all my life!

"Ireland don't have, nor have they ever had the luxury of knowing how to destroy inferior competition".

Any good team knows how to destroy inferior competition it's just that Ireland are a very poor team.

  • 165.
  • At 08:34 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Patrick wrote:

I was as disappointed as anyone and felt fairly down, but still think we can come good when it matters. These results will be irrelevelant if we can step up to the mark and finally take the key win against France -First big win in a World cup and then against Argentina. Keep the Faith. The lads have not gone form hereos to zeros. The have my full faith and support. Stand up and be counted lads.

  • 166.
  • At 08:49 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • eoin o nuallain wrote:

ronan o'gara was useless. even paddy wallace cud do betterr. he found touch like once in the whole match.

  • 167.
  • At 08:55 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Comment 164. You are completely wrong. Ireland in fact have a very good team with very talented players but as Post 163 pointed out, and in fact I did earlier, we dont know how to crush small teams. As I write this the arrogant French are dominating and destroying Namibia. This type of play is completely alien to us and our problems are 100% mental, nothing else. All we know is how to struggle, thats what we do best. Watch as we raise our game against the French, backs to the wall, underdogs, we'll show them, oh how we love that position!

  • 168.
  • At 09:16 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • lhawk28988 wrote:

Why are commentators saying Ireland have to Win both games... just heard again tonight
If they were to beat France , France would be out, they wouldnt have to beat Argentina so whats all this rubbish about having to win both games
Ireland rubbish side... loss of form isnt the same as being crap to start with....mentioning no team in particular.....

  • 169.
  • At 09:42 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

Comment 167. You clearly no nothing about rugby and that will be proven when France and Argentina comfortably beat Ireland who are a poor team.

  • 170.
  • At 10:24 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

I thought the forwards fronted up well against a good georgian pack.

The backs just need to relax a little. We are pushing it at the moment, not enough confidence and no soft hands. Its high risk but we need to play this week to score against the top class defences, let's hope it happens on Friday.

The pluses from Saturday is that Horgan and Wallace got some game time.

  • 171.
  • At 10:46 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Mark Davidson wrote:

Eh, stuttering lineout? Ireland only lost one lineout on their own throw, and meanwhile Georgia only kept about 75% of there's (17/23). Although the throws were so poor, I felt Ireland on a better day would have stolen more.

The reason for Ireland's poor performance?
Firstly Georgia's tactics: if they had the ball in their own half they simply passed the ball to one player who rode the tackle and set it up for the next guy: Making at most 1 yard.
Ireland missed one tackle all game (Hickie), because of Georgia's lack of imagination. However, it also starved Ireland of possession: Georgia gaining around 65-70%, making it difficult for them to get in their grove.

Secondly Ireland's inability to put away chances: the normal speed of Hickie and Horgan was lacking, and the number of times Ireland would make a break only to be tackled five metres from the line was inexcusable. They also missed chances from lineouts and scrums in the Georgian 22 that should have been converted.

Finally, O'Gara's 'mare of a game: poor decision making and kicking meant Ireland were constantly under pressure. When your team's playing badly, you need your fly-half to get the field position necessary to put pressure on the opposition: O'Gara's kicking out of hand was atrocious.

The only positives to take from the game were the lineouts which were much better than against Namibia and Ireland's defence: were it not for a loose pass by Stringer I don't think Georgia would have scored any tries.

  • 172.
  • At 01:15 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • mtncelt wrote:

Post 164 and is not a question of knowing how to crush smal tams, it is having the skills to outplay would be interesting to see how the All Blacks would fare against either Georgia or Namibia. I suspect superior talent, vision, flair and passion would tell a tale.

Right now the Irish players may have talent (although it seems to be for dropping the ball), but they are short on vision, flair and passion...things that many of the minnows remembered to include in their kitbag when they left for France. Sadly, despite playing out of their skins I doubt any of them will make the 1/4's.

  • 173.
  • At 05:50 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Hugh wrote:

Ireland seemed to have forgotten some basic rugby principals ... forwards fight for the ball, backs score with it. On countless occassions Ireland under committed to rucks, slowing up our own ball and allowing Georgia good continuity when they had it. We kicked aimless balls away without finding touch. Out inability to figure out how to play a fairly one-dimensional team on our feet was very concerning ... especially given the Argies will play a very similar game.

  • 174.
  • At 09:13 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Paul Landers wrote:

What is the story with Geordan Murphy. In the last two games against weaker nations where we need his spark of creativity he was used for about 30 seconds. Is Eddie to stubborn to give him his chance. Sure he missed that tackle on Raphael Ibanez but everybody makes mistakes and deserves another chance. After all it may have been a much more different year in the six nations were it not for is cameo role against Wales in the opening tie. Girvan Dempsey has been solid and put his try away well against Georgia. But my God he is boring I lost count of the amount of times he called for a mark and just kicked the ball back to the Georgians. C'mon Eddie spare us the boredom give us Geordan it may mean the odd missed tackle but he might just give us that little spark that revives this world cup for us.

  • 175.
  • At 09:24 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Aido wrote:

That was our 2 'easy' matches. We're gone, over and out, the fat lady has bellowed before her time, she hasn't even taken to the stage yet. O'Sullivan needs to reconsider his selection, keeping faith with his 15 isn't being repaid.

Best (injured)

Quinlan/N. Best

Maybe these 3 new players will add a spark, some energy, some ideas ... something

  • 176.
  • At 09:36 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • mcxd wrote:

After seeing all of this years 6 nations, which i thought Ireland were very unlucky to loose (if they only played 80 minute rugby instead of 79 mins), here i am as an Aussie back in OZ saying dont you worry about those French (as the media did worry about before WC commenced), im telling anyone who'll listen to worry about the Irish. Hmm.. how wrong they made me look.

  • 177.
  • At 10:33 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

coment 169
Where did you get your knowledge of Rugby then....
loss of form isnt the same and having now decent players
if they didnt have good players they wouldnt be rated as high based on their results over the past few years
where does your logic come from then

  • 178.
  • At 11:26 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • donner wrote:

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

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

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

He's wrecking the careers of some very good players and how will the newer squad members feel when they see what goes on? What did Roy Keane say about the fine line between loyalty and stupidity?

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

The ratings are fair but could have been used to describe any of the past half dozen performances. The guys not getting on the field must be playing some awful rubbish in training.

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

  • 179.
  • At 11:29 AM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • RJ wrote:

I was sick watching the game on Saturday as I was the week before. The last few minutes were a nightmare to watch. We just hung on, a sick felling in the gut. I was just happy to see it end. An extra couple of minutes and we would not have been so lucky.
What’s going on? Why can’t they just get back to basics and keep a cool head instead of what we are seeing, panic kicking, stupid passing and no focus.
They have made this very hard on them self’s and the fans with the last 2 performances and now the pressure is really on. I know we have the players that can get us out of this mess I just hope as a team they can get focused on the task ahead because if we are relaying on one or two individuals to get us out of this fix well its just not going to happen for us.

  • 180.
  • At 12:03 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Speranza wrote:

O'Driscoll - no leadership, no thinking, no honesty. What is a captain for?

O'Gara and Stringer - together they contrived to put Ireland under so much pressure with almost every decision, fumble and inept kick. Drop them both immediately

Leamy - can't hold on to the ball
O'Callaghan - lightweight in the loose

Wallace and Easterby past it.

O'Sullivan - what has he ever done for Irish Rugby? Conservative, dim, mentally fragile and insecure in himself.He has squandered the resource Gatland built and has got nothing in the pipeline coming through. He should be sacked since he can neither prepare a team physically nor mentally for competition. Ireland look like they don't have a clue. Despite many of the predictable narcissistic Irish comments about it going to be ok on the night - when can we ever be honest?? -- the writing has been on the wall about O'Sullivan and this Ireland team for at least two seasons now. They've been lucky - and O'Sullivan has taken the credit.

  • 181.
  • At 12:11 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • supie wrote:

Just heard the team for Friday...Amazing EOS has made some changes!!!!

Reddan for Stringer
Trimble for Hickie
Flannery for Best

What about Leamy - anyone know if he will miss out?

As I suspected though these clearly shows that EOS hasn´t got a clue and is making this up as he is going along! Takes Stringer off and replaces him with Boss and then in the most important game of the tournament he brings in Reddan (I agree by the way) who hasn´t had any game time! Could replace Hickie with a recognised winger (Carney) and yet he replaces him with a centre!!!! It sticks of someone clutching at straws and the actions of a desperate man!!!! We'll still get thumped cause we haven´t got the where with all up front...

  • 182.
  • At 12:14 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • yednnek wrote:

All this nostagia for Warren Gatland. Exactly what did he do for the team???
EOS has made Ireland play a brand of rugby that we all wanted to see for years. Gatland's team were still only capable of keeping it tight in the forwards and trying to push over for the odd try while relying on penalties for scoring.
Team just announced for Friday. Reddan in (as I hoped in post 127) Trimbel for the hapless Hickie and Flannery for the injured Best.
I can't understand why Murphy is dropped from the 22 though.

  • 183.
  • At 12:23 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • James wrote:

177. I consider Wales to be a poor team now, yet it is basically the same players who swept to the Grand Slam. Ireland have been poor in their last 4 or 5 games none of which was against top class opposition, that currently makes them a POOR team.

They will be easily beaten by France and Argentina.

  • 184.
  • At 12:31 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I don't understand what's happened to Ireland, they've got a world class team and should be reaching the semi finals. I hope they turn it on against France and Argentina. I've just seen that Geordan Murphy hasn't even made the match 22. That's ridiculous, he is better than Dempsey, who just looks good because he gets on the end of D'arcy and O'Driscoll's breaks. Geordan can create something from nothing. Duffy, I ask you!!!

  • 185.
  • At 12:45 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • ulsterandy wrote:

Against Namibia BOD played like a schoolboy, against Georgia he was the 2nd worst back on the field, did anyone keep a count of the number of times he spilled the ball or threw back stupid passes in a contact situation. The worst was Stringer, for years he has spent valuable time behind rucks and mauls complaining to the ref about people being off-side instead of providing quick ball, on Saturday when he did this the Georgians just drove over the ball, time for him and EOS to go.

  • 186.
  • At 03:07 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Alastair Gillies wrote:

Appalled by omission of Murphy - though if you consider he never even came off the bench against Georgia, perhaps not surprising. If EOS has got this private squabble with him, and cannot see his way to playing him, why take him in the first place? Otherwise he should act in he interests of his country and not himself and play the guy.

And how on earth can he persist with Easterby? Neil Best would have really got amongst the French and roughed them up. Another appalling mistake from a coach who seems to have lost the plot.

He can't even instil the passion in the team that was certainly there at Croke Park. You watch other teams during the anthems, singing it with pride and passion - but some of our players, BOD included, can't even be bothered to sing it. The anthem isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be, it was written for a purpose, to bring all players together, and while Ulster players could be excused for not singing the Soldiers Song, I think it's a disgrace that they don't all sing Irelands Call. Hayes and Flannery were certainly moved by at Croke Park.

At least EOS has seen sense by dropping Stringer and replacing him, not with Boss, but with Reddan. Come on Eddie, do something else right, and get that passion back amongst the lads. They can win on Friday, but a lot of it is down to you - rekindle the passion, and stop overcomplicating and stereotyping the play - give the lads their head and they'll deliver. COME ON IRELAND!

  • 187.
  • At 04:02 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Sam Magee wrote:

I never fail to be astounded at the ineptness of the IRFU with Eddie O'Sullivan at the sharp end of the helm. Firstly the absurdity of offering the man who has failed to produce anything more than triple crowns from the finest band of players to come out of Ireland for many years in circumstances where the rest of the home nations have nothing by way of talent in comparison; great sporting and commercial nouse boys. Secondly, his habitual selection of his favourites in spite of form....Eddie, there is talent outside of Munster and Leinster. If you ask me, it's time for Eddie to go.

  • 188.
  • At 04:20 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Enda wrote:

RE: 113 Andrew,

While I dont know what Brian Cody knows about Rugby, his attitude and managing style would get the absolute best from these players. Its a pretty simple one. "You play every game like its a final, and if you play badly you lose your place". Cody doesnt hesitate to drop quality players who have an off day.

Its very similar to the All-Blacks you'd imagine. They might have been playing "minnows" but they didnt let up or worry about peaking too soon. Portugal were all fired up just like Georgia and Namibia, but NZ destroyed them. The differnce being Ireland are not the quality side many believe they are.

This Ireland team as I said after the France and Italy games in the last 6 Nations are glorious failures. This was Ireland at thier best and they couldnt win a regional tournament, yet we've seen Wales, Scotland, England and France all do it at a canter in recent years.

To put it simply, if Ireland cant win the 6 nations at their level best what can we expect from them in the World Cup?

  • 189.
  • At 07:40 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • KMS wrote:

1. In the 6N match against France I was shouting at Geordan Murphy at the time but, upon watching the replay, saw he was covering the man outside Ibanez, which was correct. The cover defence should have nailed the not-exactly speedy hooker instead of letting him run 20-odd metres to score.

2. Has everyone forgotten how badly Ireland had become under Warren Gatland? His last act of desperation was to blood ~5 moreorless new players when there was nothing left to lose, with the result that we beat Scotland for the first time in over a decade and went on to give the French a bloody nose. That they went on to form the core of a (until this season) good Irish side doesn't change the fact that up until then, he'd been awful for Ireland; for once the IRFU made a good call in not keeping him.

3. Unfortunately, Steady Eddie isn't doing the same when there's nothing else to lose because... he has nothing to lose. His job doesn't depend on how well he does.

  • 190.
  • At 08:41 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Declan O'Doherty wrote:

Is it the players or the tactics? It seemed to me that no attempt was made to win the ball at the breakdown. The aim seemed to be to simply put the tackle in and then step back and spread out to wait for the next tackle. This is completely at odds with how the irish have played over the last 2 years. The net result was lack of possession and increasing confidence in the opposition.

  • 191.
  • At 10:07 AM on 18 Sep 2007,
  • thomasamurphy wrote:

Is this side anything more than Cheka's backs and Kidney's forwards anyway? Ireland should be playing too their strengths ie. Up the jumper Munster rugby, kicking for touch for the 1st 50 minutes and then unleash the Leinster backs for the last half an hour to rack up the scores.

France are going to trounce us by 20 to 30 points. I'd still hold hope for beating Argentina but I think at that stage it'll be too little too late, what with the points difference.

Such a pity though. This competition comes around once in every 4 years and for the first time we have a team that have the ability to do something and they're on the brink of being knocked out.

Finally someone mentioned above that there could be a rift in the squad, not beyond the realms of possibility in my mind.

  • 192.
  • At 09:23 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Porter wrote:

Eddie O'S needs to pull his head out of his A** an sort the team out! he keeps sayin that ther confident but so far has delivered nothin! I feel ashamed to support ireland! the only gratifying thing is that england are also playin bad so we wont here english commentators ranting in glory! lol

  • 193.
  • At 11:57 AM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • OutsideRanter wrote:

While some tenuous justification can be concocted for the inclusion of Reddan/exclusion of Stringer in such a high-pressure game, the omission of Murphy from the bench confirms that the panic has spread from the players to the coach. Imagine your confidence at seeing Duffy or Boss coming on after ten minutes to replace an injured Dempsy at full back. In the absence of Hickey there is little alternative among the starting XV. The decision is almost insane, particularly given that Murphy delivered, arguably, the best individual Irish performance in the warm-ups at full back in the Scottish game.

If the selection is due to a personality clash/row Eddie should go-Now! The national cause should never be subordinate to individual ego.

Selection aside we have to get behind the team and they have to get it together now. They have to, somehow, survive the French scrum, be competitive at the opppostion lineouts, implement flawlessly the-no doubt ingenious-calls they've been holding up their sleeve, get numbers to the breakdown quickly, deliver quick ball, have no fear in spreading it wide (and let's see some challenging lines of attack), and support runners must get into position for the offload on time.

They must get the basics right without entrenching themselves there. Let's see some kicks for touch actually finding their mark. The game must be more structured. They have to impose their will on the French and for the first time in a while control the game.

They need to put the shits up the French early and relentlessly. They must hassle and harry a la Argentina-remeber the two tap tackles on the French inside their own twenty-two and the numerous blockdowns. They need to find a controlled yet primal ferocity that will not yield.

Above all, they do not go into their shell, their self-belief needs to be stronger now than ever. They must be creative and alert individually and as a unit, always ready to execute the unexpected without indulging the foolhardy.

Ah well, we live in hope.

  • 194.
  • At 04:57 PM on 19 Sep 2007,
  • Brassman wrote:

What worries me most about Friday's match is that France must win to stay in. For them, in their mental preparation, it's clear and simple.

By contrast Camp Ireland are more than capable of being distracted. If Ireland lose we will still have a very improbable route to the QF through a win against Argentina. Made even more improbable if we have to rely on points. Ireland teams have consistently underachieved when the target is not clearly and unequivocally painted. No distraction of a backdoor route - we must beat France. No dream vision of our roadmap to the quarters and beyond - just beat France.

I also worry that some seem to be talking about winning the next two matches. Whatever happened to winning the only match that matters - the next match? It was obvious that the mental preparation for last 2 matches was appalling. For me this was our greatest preparation error, from which almost all other problems arose. I hope that the players forget the press, forget the selection decisions, forget dubious coaching direction, forget getting out of the group and focus on beating France as I believe they can. If EOS wants to prove his value, he will do everything to get the mental preparation of each and every player, and the squad as a whole, right. Let's hope the boys in green will be back on their pedestal come Saturday morning. A week is a long time in rugby....Bring on Friday night!

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