“We have to hope the team have some Harry Houdini thing up their sleeve”

On Morning Ireland Conor O’Shea hit the nail on the head, when he noted (after 6.15 mins) the most perplexing aspect of Saturday’s defeat, “the biggest worry is that nobody seems to know why”. Indeed it is hard to find the words to describe where last Saturday’s game now leaves Ireland. Eddie O’Sullivan’s predecessor is questioning whether the IRFU’s decision to hand the coach another four year contract before the tournament started might not explain the strange lack of motivation:

…when I look back on my situation in 2001 I was deeply disappointed not to have my contract renewed but the success Ireland have enjoyed since then brooks no argument and I was fortunate to go on and enhance my coaching education with Wasps.

However, I have to question the IRFU’s decision in giving Eddie O’Sullivan a four-year extension at this point and wonder if the timing of that agreement has been counterproductive for Ireland in terms of the World Cup.

Eddie O’Sullivan has been in charge for six years and it takes a special person to keep developing a team, generating new ideas, fostering new challenges. I think it has given the team a false sense of security. Any extension of the coach’s contract should have been done after the World Cup following a debriefing on the performances and the results achieved. And the performances.

There’s been a lack of edge to the Ireland displays and the team need to be shaken from that torpor. Staleness has crept in and the enthusiasm and drive that have underpinned recent Ireland successes isn’t apparent. The environment has become too cosy and there’s a sense that one of the essentials in any Ireland team is missing: it’s a team that’s not playing for each other and that’s evident in some of the body language.

  • An Lochlannach

    ‘…the most perplexing aspect of Saturday’s defeat…’

    Come on now. Awful it may have been, but it wasn’t a defeat.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    I think that is kop out by Conor – presumably the reason pundits are on the air is to explain to those less expert than themselves what is going on. Now we cant expect Eddie or the boys to say so and so was crap or we are just too old but we can expect Conor to say something like Stringer should go or bring in Murphy

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    well done eddie – better late than never. Reddan in for stringer, trimble in for hickie. Mysteriously murphy disappears from bench – must be a personality issue

  • Skintown Lad

    eddie will instantly drop a player who makes such a devastating intercepted pass

    recklessness a la murphy and stringer cannot be tolerated

    would have given boss a run though, his pace would be useful round the scrum

  • ulsterfan

    France to win by 40 points.
    Come home lads all is forgiven——-you were simply not good enough and too many fools at home over rated your ability.

  • Mick Fealty

    AL:

    My fault for over egging the pudding, but it did feel like a defeat.

    uf:

    There is something in what you say. Although this WC may have implications for all of Irish rugby.

    This side have been the best we’ve seen in a lifetime. But: 1, they also the first settled team of the professional era, and the provincial set up gave us a jump start against the home nations that we’ve had our best performances of recent years against; 2, we’re no closer to stopping the southern juggernauts than we ever were; and 3, most ominously, even the second stringers of Georgia have improved sufficiently to have taken our measure.

    I just hope I am wrong.

  • Donnacha

    The only thing I can say is that they’ve got to fire sometime and we just have to hope that Friday is the day.

  • Dewi

    Ireland won’t go home without having one good game…….

  • Donnacha

    Yes, Dewi. However, what worries me is that I believe they had a fantastic game of whist at the hotel on Monday night…

  • Michael Robinson

    Back from Bordeaux… great atmosphere prior to the game which had all the fascination of a slow motion car crash… you could see that everything was going pear-shaped … it was only a question how bad it could get.

    I confess I was half hoping that Georgia would sneak a try at the end just so I could say “I was there” at the worst defeat in Irish rugby history (until next weekend or the weekend after, that is….)

    Rumours abound… a high profile player with personal problems, squad bust-ups with province vs. province, the untouchable 1st XV vs. the rest… Players and coach may be presenting a unified face to the media but when things go this badly wrong, it generally means than there are a lot of issues behind the scenes.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Re. the high profile player, EOS has known for a long time and why didn’t he make the obvious phone call?

    To add to that, there seems to have been a full and frank discussion between GM & EOS at the weekend.

    Which provinces are fighting? I thought the Leinster / Munster thing had quietened a bit in recent times. I hope they’re not all ganging up on Gavin Duffy.

  • Michael Robinson

    Which provinces are fighting? I thought the Leinster / Munster thing had quietened a bit in recent times. I hope they’re not all ganging up on Gavin Duffy.

    I’ve heard Leinster v Munster and Ulster v Munster but nothing about the Connacht man yet…

    : )

    Training ground bust-ups are pretty common… we may need to wait until after the RWC (which could be soon in Ireland’s case…) if it has been more than that and the full story behind Geordan Murphy’s ommission.