The Irish rugby team currently touring New Zealand has been creating more news off the pitch than on after they refused to speak to Irish Independent journalist David Kelly (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/author/story.cfm?a_id=23&ObjectID=10386455) after his [url=http://www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/stories.php3?ca=15&si=1633325]”Harsh Reality” article critiquing the Irish team performance[/url] after its [url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/international/5061412.stm] 34-23 loss to New Zealand[/url].
The rest of the accompanying Irish journalists walked out in solidarity with Kelly. The media and team [url=http://www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/stories.php3?ca=15&si=1633683]now appear to be back on speaking terms[/url] however as you would expect, the hacks are on the attack against the [url=http://www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/stories.php3?ca=15&si=1633652]”pampered pros”[/url] and their [url=http://www.unison.ie/sportsdesk/stories.php3?ca=15&si=1633652]”shameful silence”[/url].
Fans’ comments have been generally negative towards the players’ actions as Kelly’s article was seen as fairly innocuous and reflected what many others were saying after the NZ game. “Pathetic, counterproductive, childish and petulant” from [url=http://www.munsterfans.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=18521&PN=1]Munster fans[/url], “disgrace by the players” from [url=http://www.uafc.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2893]Ulster fans[/url] but some dissenting views from [url=http://forum.leinsterfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=1539]Leinster fans[/url] given some of Kelly’s critical articles about that province in the past.
Fans have been speculating about the role of Ireland’s coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, in this boycott given O’Sullivan was widely criticised for the failure to use his bench effectively in the final 20 minutes of the game when Ireland lost the lead to New Zealand.
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