And so it begins..

As Mick said earlier, “L’Instant de la vérité arrive…” Fingers, and everything else, crossed then. Have to say, though, the French team win the pre-match singing contest.. Allez les verts! Le crunch game begins. Half-time France 12 – 3 Ireland, four penalties for France and a drop goal by O’Gara. Tense isn’t the word, and mistakes on both sides, but the ill-disciplined play by Ireland has been the main difference so far. Full-Time France 25 – 3 Ireland. Really, what is there to say. A touch of brilliance from Michalak brought the first French try in the 59th minute and the sin-binning of O’Connell, deservedly so, in the 62nd sealed it. In truth, France deserved the win. Only the Argentinians to go.. and Ireland need to get a bonus point there, and hold out the Pumas, for a game in the next round.. against New Zealand. I’m going outside.. I may be some time..


  • Twelve Monkeys


  • ulsterfan

    Kicking by ROG was poor.
    His days at no 10 must be numbered.
    New players needed and a change of coach would do no harm.
    The have failed.
    Too many Munster men?

  • Spotted

    Didnt our Regional Development Minister Connor Murphy look well sitting in front of Bernerd Laporte? And his friend Seanna Walsh sitting beside him?

  • Just for having Murphy there, the defeat was well deserved.

  • Result.
    Three cheers for the blue, white and red!

  • graduate

    Shockin’ bad wasn’t it? ROG looking sloppy and too many penalties given. Think I’ll join Pete outside for a while. South Africa to win

  • moochin photoman

    The first try was a gift from Trimble
    No sniping at the base of the scrum or maul from Reddan who didn’t have the best of games, O’Gara was off form(understatement) and i think D’Arcy’s nickname should be the invisible man.
    BOD was in the mix as you would expect but the unforced errors would be my biggest worry. Stranger things have happened but thats us done methinks

  • paul

    It is boring, very boring, watching us knock the ball forward EVERY time we get the ball in an attacking position.

    Our line-out was poor, our scrum was ok in the first half, abysmal in the second half, even though we had a considerable weight advantage against the French.

    Quite frankly, we don’t deserve to be in this competition. I sense we’ve returned to the bad pre-Geoghegan days of the late 80’s/early 90’s.

  • Dr Strangelove

    David Vance – “Just for having Murphy there, the defeat was well deserved.”

    Did the IRFU invite Mr Murphy to the match ?

  • Dewi

    Something wrong – big effort but didn’t quite click

  • john

    very poor performance. EOS has to go. Why wasn’t Neil Best on from the off. At least Redden was better than Stringer, but ROG was poor, again!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Great start – played well for first 15 mins – went for a garryowen from indide the 22 for some reason. Start of 2nd half 15 yards out at 12-3 and forwards making progress instead of keeping it tight spread it wide and Horan knocked on. A penalty at that point would have brought us to within 1 score and put France under pressure. Should have kept it simple. France the better team by some distance but a little bit of commonsense at crucial times and we could at least have worried them going into last quarter. ITV line out stats not shown but we must have lost 6 – France lost none.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Given the decision of the IRFU to declare games in Belfast as ‘away games’ (only Ireland’s Call, no GSTQ, no Union flag), the ‘Ireland’ team is now effectively a Republic of Ireland team which plays a few British citizens now and again. Therefore while many of us in Northern Ireland no longer have any passion for the now Republic of Ireland rugby team, in the spirit of good neighbours we wish them a good recovery from this thrashing!

  • manichaeism


    That’s very nice of you! Thanks you so much.

    I just wish that they would become a Republic of Ireland team. Probably wouldn’t play any better but at least we wouldn’t have people who have no loyalty to Ireland on the team.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    The IRFU are far from perfect – ie offering a 4 year contract to O’Sullivan before the world cup but to try and suggest they are not iclusive aint going to wash. Ireland’s call is sung as an anthem for all on the island of ireland and there is never a hint of any anti ulster sentiment from fans. The reason there are not more ulster players selected is becuase they are not good enough – but I suspect that will soon change with Ulster probably having the best crop of young players coming through. Luckily your opinions are in the minority and the despite tonights score line Irish rugby is something to be proud of irrespective of your political background.

  • manichaeism

    Oh yea, one more point from me!!!

    Hope we beat Argentina and beat them well but not by enough points to actually go through to what would undoubtedly be a total humiliation at the hands of New Zealand. Let’s beat the Argentinians and then go home having lost only one game to the hosts.

  • PeaceandJustice

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it – “Irish rugby is something to be proud of irrespective of your political background.”

    You can’t force people to be proud of a setup which refuses to acknowledge one of the nations on the island of Ireland!

    The big test will be when the next game is played in the Republic of Ireland. If the Solider’s Song is played and the flag of the Republic of Ireland flown, then this will just confirm their status after the Belfast game.

  • manichaeism


    Has Northern Ireland become a nation! I thought it was a province!!! When are you going to join the UN and take your seat at the table as a NATION???

  • Donnacha

    P&J could you climb down off your high horse for a minute? It’s looking tired. This thread is about the dire performance of the Irish rugby team against France. There are plenty of other threads for you to haunt with the political sloganeering. As for the match, at least I have been spared the conflict of interest inherent in a NZ/Ireland final. And yes, at one stage, some months ago, I was idly contermplating that very scenario. What foolish dreams they were….

  • Intelligence Insider

    As a Unionist and a life-long rugby fan I was also against the decision by the IRFU not to play GSTQ or fly the Union flag at Ravenhill. However for people to come on here masquerading as rugby fans to try and score political points is inexcusable.
    Ireland had a piss poor performance tonight, it wasn’t their first in this tournament , though I hope it’s their last. A massive win against the Pumas is needed and although I never want to hear Amhrán na bhFiann ever sung again at an Irish rugby game I hope to still hear Ireland’s Call at the quarter finals at least.
    I wonder if any of the so called supporters above have ever been to an Ireland match though?

  • trev

    ‘Just for having Murphy there, the defeat was well deserved.’

    Sure if its ok for the entire uff leadership to run about in northern ireland track suits, whats wrong with Murphy going to watch a rugby match?

    ‘Three cheers for the blue, white and red’

    And this from the supporter of a team who’s fans spent a whole weekend in Latvia singing sectarian songs a fortnight ago!

  • Intelligence Insider

    Hopefully there aren’t too many of your obviously sectarian types either. If you mean to imply that a picture of one person who is accused of being a leader in the uda/uff wearing a Northern Ireland T-Shirt means that they are a sectarian team it doesn’t bode well for celtic or any gaa team at all.
    Murphy could rightly be accused of being a leading member of the provos dont forget. And I do mean Conor, not Slab, the provo chief of staff. Didn’t Scap say that it was Slab and Tommy Keenan that give the go ahead for all operations on the UK mainland? You know, such as the murder of a couple of children in Warrington and such. I’m sure Conor didn’t know anything about those sort of things though.

  • abucs

    3 games 3 dissappointments unfortunately.

    Too many simple errors and silly penalties.
    They needed more discipline me thinks, but would still not have been good enough on the day.

  • Henry94

    It was like watching Irish Rugby from the amateur days. Too many mistakes and not enough imagination.

    But we have had some great days with this team and they are entitled to have us all behind them for the Argentina match.

    After that we need to look to the future and a lot of them won’t be part of it. The IRFU appeared to have made a good decision tying players into contracts and having most of them play for the provinces. But it might be better to let the best players off to the top French and English clubs to broaden their experience while using the provinces to bring on new talent.

  • DavidD

    I blame this poor performance on the pathetically weak nature of the personal attacks in the French press on members of the Irish squad. Apparently, according to EOS and BOD, even these tame, lacklustre remarks served to fire up the team – clearly not enough though. What we really needed was an in-depth analysis by Le Figaro of the heroic drinking habits of the half-backs followed up by a lead article in Le Monde questioning the sexuality of the entire Irish front row. By God we would have seen a different game then.

  • agh@hot

    Ireland have been on a downward spiral for 10 months. We had tremendous wins last Autumn over Oz and SA and we really believed we had a special team. But since then, it has all been downhill. One good performance against an awful english side at home and the Irish media went wild!! IN reality the 6 nations was thrown away – losing at home against, at best, a mediocre French side.
    Performances against Wales and Scotland were wowful.
    We followed the 6 nations with a disasterous tour to Argentina were our 2nd string lost both tests. Our RWC warm-up games were also a disaster – losing to Scotland and performing poorly against Italy at ‘home’.

    We entered the RWC with no confidence, momentum and I would question the match fitness of many of our key players. In addition, Eddie has made no attempt to develope a squad – he relies on about 18 key players and crosses his fingers that they all stay fit. As a result, there is little competition for places and no-one ready to come – the likes of Reddin, Boss, Ferris and Murphy are cracking players and all have something to offer, yet how many times have they played in the past year?

    The performances agaist Namibia and Georgia were nothing short of unbelievable – never seen anything like it from a professional rugby team. The performance against Georgia alone, should be enough to give EOS the boot!!

    Next up is the Argies – these guys have a pack that will make the french look like Teddy Bears – they will tear our front 5 apart no question. We should have enough out wide to win the game – but I imagine it will be a close and cagey affair.

    This is the best Irish side ever – players, such as POC, ROG and BOD are truely world class – this has been a disasterous tour, and in my opinion EOS must take responsibility. Of course the IRFU hand him a 4 year extension prior to the RWC!!

  • Given Peace and Justice’s constant and ignorant refusal to recognise the rights of a minority in his ‘nation’, perhaps he shouldn’t be surprised if he and what he represents gets the same treatment. After all if majority rules….?

    But I do feel some sympathy for his position. There needs to be a recognition of the unionist position within Ireland, on a cultural basis, to precede the political assimilation. That doesn’t mean to stop singing Amhran na bhFiann or to ditch the tricolour or to stop speaking Iris or renaming GAA grounds/clubs, it means respeecting their culture, if that’s marching down O’Connell Street or whatever.

    I don’t expect this cultural respect to be reciprocated by Peace and Justice but I do hope that reasonable unionists who appreciate that Ireland isn’t a conspiracy against them will take that idea on board.

    As far as Ireland’s performance goes, it went. It’s not the end of the world. As a Corkman who was at Croke Park last Sunday, I know how rugby supporters feel and I watched the match last night, I felt that there simply wasn’t a plan that Ireland had that could match the French passion. I think, perhaps, that it would have been better for Ireland had they played France and Argentina in the first two games, they might have been more focused and then used the two games against Namibia and Georgia to try out new players before either advancing to the second phase or going home.

    Winning against Argentina is very doable – if they bring the form of Croke Park V England to bear – I’m not sure is it possible to beat Argentina by more than seven points and scoring at least four tries. But let’s wait and see. Allez les verts, Eire abú!

  • IJP

    If Ireland were playing this autumn as it did last autumn, you wouldn’t have any issue about whether or not Unionists supported it, believe me! Really some people need to realize there’s more to sport than picking the best team and “supporting” it!

    It’s easy with hindsight but I agree entirely that the media went way overboard with the win over a very, very poor English side. This Irish team probably still is better than England. But that’s not saying much.

    Otherwise the alarm bells were there – a single-point victory over Scotland, conceding regularly against Italy, and then playing the same two teams and doing even worse in the autumn. I couldn’t understand at all why all these “second string” XVs kept appearing, it’s a team game and you need the team practising together as often as possible (Sven made the same mistake with the England football team). There’s been some baffling team selection in the tournament too.

    Really disappointing to say the least – but as noted above, Ireland’s far from the only Northern Hemisphere side shown up in this competition.

  • ulsterfan

    What of the six nations.
    We are looking at the wooden spoon although it is too early to be certain.
    Scotland and Wales have gone past us and after the WC our standing will drop to 9 or 10.
    England at home will beat us easily and that only leaves Italy.
    I would not put any money on a win.
    We are a poor team made worse by so many fools in Ireland who thought we might win WC What stupidity.
    Rebuild the moment we get home and for goodness sake get rid of OGara.
    There are too many Munster men. Lets give real talent a chance.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I agree about some of our 6 nations games being very poor -particualry Scotland. The idea that ROG and POC are world class I’m afraid is not borne out by their performances for some time. Boss spills the ball far to often and cant pass as well as Stringer and Ferris looks to have a great future but WC probably a year too early for him. Eddie brought Reddan into too late. France are a very good team and we defended very well. Problem is they have better players and more of them than us. We may beat Argentina but not by enough. The world cup this year is between 3 teams and none of them are from the northern hemisphere.

    Ireland have Stotland and Wales at home and only England away – we will be bookies favourites for triple crown and probably win it again. Thats as good as its going to get and personally being realistic about things we should be content with that.

  • Dewi

    Come on Samoa !

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    The idea of supporting anbody and everybody but our near neigbours, with whom you have the pleasuse of sharing a border, is I have to admit
    fairly prevalent amongst many Irish. I am however a bit uneasy about discussing this when there are those from the other tradition to me on the island of ireland listening in. So before joining you in your support for Samoa I will have to wait until a good solid and obvious unionist pitches in first.

  • Dewi

    Nothing sinister in it Sammy – got an Auntie from Apia…..

  • darth rumsfeld

    Sammy – as a true blue loyal son of Ulster, may I be the first to say…Come on Samoa!

    (Well I am an Ulster Scot)

    Back on thread, has anyone else noted that O’Sullivan is the spit of the late Ally McCleod, Scottish supremo in Argentina- the same haggard pallor, the same blinking close to tears stare, the same pursed lips and dry mouth- just less of a combover.

    Which surely means glorious victory in the last group stage but not scoring enough points to get out of the group, and a wondertry scored by aging baldie Archie Hickie

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    of course how could I forget – the oft spoken of Welsh/Samoan ties thsat stretch back centuries and were sufficiently strong to withstand the Western part of Samoa (only) eliminating Wales from the 1991 world cup.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – you know I was on about the lost Welsh lands a few months ago………We have actually lost twice to Samoa in World Cups. (It’s still just the Western part but with a new name !!!)

  • Whatever about Ulsterfan’s oft repeated refrain about too many Munster men on the Irish team, my own feeling is that it’s time to give Declan Kidney the reins of the Irish team and send Eddie off with a sizable compensation package. No doubt this is the nightmare scenario of some in the rugby establishment but Declan Kidney has more tactical guile and big occasion experience than O’Sullivan.

    I wouldn’t like to bring it up but it has to be whispered in Ulster Fan’s ear that it was a combination of Michelak’s brilliance and Andrew Trimble’s mistaken position which led to France’s first try. And the only score was from a Munster boot!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    thanks for that. C’Mon the Sams.

    OILibhear Chromaill,
    if we are into inter-provincial infighting then how about some intra-provincial rivalry – those 2 cork feckers at half back should have been replaced long ago.

  • TOT

    Just to defend trimble for a second, the post match analysis clearly picked up that trimble had moved off his wing to defend for the first try in a pre-planned defensive move – and had tapped easterby (who acknowledged) to let him know to keep his head up to cover the wing.

    horrendous performance all round, basis errors, nothing in the front five and if ROG isnt kicking well he has no spark of creativity elsewhere to make up the shortfall.

    with hindsight its easy to look at the munster fwds/half backs as not performing – indeed Irelands ascendancy in the past two years was due to these same players playing well, the downturn in form of munster over the past 12-18mths is the root cause.

    EOS has to take his share of the blame, no plan B, 70 mins before any real changes, playing pretty much first choice team in every game?

  • agh@hot

    cromwell – please go on a coaching course before blaming players – Trimble clearly moved position to cover the 10 channel – presumably because O’Gara is poor defensively – he made it crystal clear to the backrow with regards to what he was doing. COnsequently, it was down to the easterbunny at 6 and the coaching staff for not covering the left wing sufficiently. As usual, Ulster players tend to be the scapegoats – but in this case it was the likes of Flannery, O’Connell, O’Gara and Horgan that let their country down. At the moment Ireland and England are the laughing stocks of this world cup – but at least we have something in common now!! lol

    A decent french side would have hit us for 50.

  • Rubicon

    This capacity for bad feeling among Ulster supporters needs checked against the facts. As a Munster man who has often complained about the IRFU bias towards Leinster I have some sympathy with some of them comments. But – this World Cup is being used by fair weather ‘supporters’ to identify partitionist grievance and this I’ve no sympathy for. Partition supporters of Irish rugby need get off the field – they damage a game that brings identities together in a common purpose.

    So-called Ulster supporters need a few facts about ‘their’ players on the squad. The notion that there’s a Munster bias is nonsense. A Munster bias when the IRFU decided ceding on the European Cup and then changed it to the Celtic League? Look at who lost out by that – and then went on to win the European Cup – despite the IRFU!

    Let’s look at this Ulster ‘grievance’ by each Ulster player, whether they’ve been selected and who they compete against for a place:

    Paddy Wallace – on the bench for each game – to replace which Munster player in the back line? Ronan O’Gara? Eoin Reddan? Brian Carney is the only other Munster player in the squad backline. He hasn’t been selected for the bench for any of the matches while Paddy got selected for every match.

    Andrew Trimble – has been selected for all three matches playing on the wing twice (Namibia & Georgia) and then outside centre (against France). Should Carney have been given a run since Trimble (as with the rest of the Ireland team) hadn’t played well?

    Issac Boss – on the bench for Namibia and Georgia. A talented player but competing for a place as scrum-half or fullback – probably the most competitive positions on the squad. Most of the comments suggest Geordan Murphy (Leinster) should have been given a chance. Both Geordan and Issac have been on the bench twice – both dropped for the game against France. Hardly evidence of anti-Ulster bias.

    The forwards

    In this area Munster dominate and – in my view – rightly so. But lets look where Ulster players on the squad could have played.

    Stephen Ferris – a blindside flanker competes against Denis Leamy (Munster) and Simon Easterby (of no province). Stephen faces stiff competition and I very much doubt he’d conclude a Munster or Southern bias to him not being selected from the squad. Perhaps he should be tried against the Pumas – but it could well be Easterby he’d replace. Again – little evidence of Munster bias here.

    Bryan Young – a talented prop forward with around 2 caps. He’s without a doubt a talent Ireland will need in the future but him not being called from the squad this time occurs against John Hayes and Marcus Horan (both Munster). He may well come up to the front bench – but he’ll have competition from Simon Best (Ulster). I see no bias here.

    Rory Best – selected ahead of Jerry Flannery (Munster) in the games against Namibia and Georgia. Rory had a hand injury after the Georgia game and Jerry came on having sat on the bench in the first 2 games. Not an example of pro-Munster bias – much less anti-Ulster bias.

    Simon Best (Ulster) has been selected for all 3 games but started on the bench. Simon has been given preference to Young (above) but needs to get selected against a notoriously successful Munster prop-forward combination of Marcus Horan and John Hayes. To have given Simon a preference would have been seriously questioned – but he has been there in reserve for all the games. I’m far from sure that a change needs made here for the (last?) game against the Pumas – but if it happens – 2 Ulster players will compete for it.

    Neil Best – a flanker competing against Wallace (Munster), Leamy (Munster) O’Callaghan (Munster) and Easterby (of no fixed provincial abode). I think you’ve a point here. Neil has been selected for the bench for all 3 games and his time has come.

    I can’t see the bias you speak of. Please feel free to point out where I’m wrong but there’s no evidence of a pro-Munster or anti-Ulster bias that I can see. Neil needs to be put out against the Pumas – but so too does Geordan.

    Ulster supporters with a partitionist gripe don’t care for the game and won’t let facts get in their way. They are not rugby supporters and in the bad times ahead as we rebuild they’ll not be seen to have anything constructive to say – much less do. I wish I could say “good riddance” – but they are vultures that circle around each failure hoping to make a political point while having nothing to contribute.

    Thankfully, Ulster is an asset to the Irish team and a credit to Ireland’s rugby history. Partitionist nare-do-wells won’t be changing anything soon.

  • IJP


    this World Cup is being used by fair weather ‘supporters’ to identify partitionist grievance and this I’ve no sympathy for.

    I agree entirely.

    Against that, however, I would say the failure to play to National Anthem at Ravenhill (in line with the IRFU’s own regulations and tradition) did cause genuine resentment among long-time Irish rugby supporters. There is a very genuine concern that for most people “Irishness” does not include “Britishness”, and that was seen (correctly, basically) as confirmation of that.

    So I do believe the IRFU has work to do. But that is no excuse not to support the men in green on the field.

  • agh@hot

    Rubicon – not really sure what you’re on about – haven;t heard too many ulster supporters argue that the likes of young,, ferris and wallace should be in the starting line-up. I would suggest that they should have been developed more over the past year to provide adequate cover for the 1st choice players though.

    Boss has been hard done by – Reddin is a cracking player, but he has no real gametime for ireland – ludicrous decision to start him. N Best should be starting game about with the easerbunny. Trimble has done okay and deserves his starting place.

    If you’d been at Ravenhill last night u would have seen thousands of fans stay behind to cheer on the Irish side on the large screen errected, so not quite sure what garbage you are spouting – perhaps u should have a look at the munster web site and read the crap about trimble being at fault for the 1st try and how singing Irelands call demotivates our players lol. laughable.

  • agh@hot

    oh and how can you moan about Wallace being on the bench? What other fly-half would u suggest we put on the bench to cover Rog? Or maybe we shouldn;t cover the 10 spot? I think you’ll find 2,9 and 10 a specialised positions – much like a QB in american football and require adequate cover. PW has also played significant gametime at 12 and 15, so a fairly handy player to have on the bench. Likewise, Boss can cover 2-3 positions. Not that is really matters, EOS isn;t a great man for using the bench – no meaningful changes until the 72nd minute! Whilst the likes of Murphy doesn’t even make the bench – shocking!

  • Rubicon

    agh@hot – where in my post did I have a go at the Ulster fans – much less those who watched the match at Ravenhil? My gripe is with those so-called Ulster supporters who claim discrimination. Take the post from “ulsterfan”:

    “There are too many Munster men. Lets give real talent a chance. “
    Posted by ulsterfan on Sep 22, 2007 @ 10:56 AM

    Ulsterfan my arse! Talent? For Talent read “Ulsterman”. Sorry – in rugby talent is talent. No special places for any province – or for those without one (Easterby).

    As for the Munster site criticising Trimble – well poor f*cking you! Is Trimble the second coming – after Christ or after David? He played poorly and – yes – he should be criticised. What is wrong with you big-girl-blouses? Can’t take criticism? Criticism of O’Gara is OK – but not Trimble?

    Get a life!

    Ireland not playing well is clear. It’s when the criticism goes to “Munster”, “Leinster” or “Ulster” that you start to hear the bigots come out.

    Sure – Munster has bigots – but Ulster so-called supporters wanting to be on the tit and wet-nursed through criticism is a bit much to take. Thankfully, your views are not what Ireland’s supporters see as a problem. Your views are just symptomatic of the Northern Ireland problem – that most people in Ireland and further afield see as an illness.

    As for playing the Soldiers Song in Dublin – what about it? It is the capital city of a sovereign nation. Belfast is a sore (that is too often rubbed) within the UK. The Republic earned independence and NI is a public sector nightmare of dependence.

    You want GSTQ sung at Ravenhill? Fine! Earn it! Does the Assembly have control of policing and justice? No! Does it have tax raising powers? No! Why not? Because unionists might have to pay for their point of view.

    Respect is earned.

    Personally, rugby pre-dates this shite and I’d prefer to keep it that way. For this reason I criticise the IRFU in having a different policy North of the border. Rugby is a national game that pre-dates division. No tri-colour and no national anthem would be fine by me.

    But – Ulster supporters who think their players beyond criticism are not going to get their way.

    O’Gara deserves criticism – so does Trimble and a lot more besides. Do you want Ulstermen on the team – or just ladies?

  • agh@hot

    i see you didn;t address any of my rugby related points – is that because you have no knowledge of the game or because you want to enter into some kind of secrarian slanging match? Or maybe a bit of both?

    I’m defending trimble on the 1st try becasue it was not his fault – did you watch the game? Not saying he had a good game, but probably played as well as most of the backline. Let me see, what other tosh are you talking?

    Oh, did I mention playing the soldiers song in dublin – hmm, let me think, hmm no, i did not – why are you bringing that up? I;ve been down to dublin for many a game and stood in respect to the southern anthem – no skin off my nose bud.

    Did i say GSTQ should be played at Ravers, hmm – remind me again?

    I think maybe you should take a look at your own views before attacking the rest of us. Being an Ulster fan, I obviously keep an eye in how our boys are performing – as do Munster and Leinster fans – problem with that?

    You never did tell me who we should replace Paddy with on the bench by the way?

    Perhaps we should get this blog back onto Ireland’s performance lol

  • Dewi

    Johnny Wilkinson spends his mornings learning Shakespeare. In his afternoons he plays bowls on the village green. In the night he analysis the military campaigns of Nelson and Wellington.

    Best outside half I have ever seen….Bastard !!!

    They would have lost without him today.

  • Dewi

    Hard work this – it’s Munster v Llanelli on S4C…

  • rab

    ‘the failure to play the National Anthem at Ravenhill (in line with the IRFU’s own regulations and tradition) did cause genuine resentment among long-time Irish rugby supporters. There is a very genuine concern that for most people “Irishness” does not include “Britishness”, and that was seen (correctly, basically) as confirmation of that.’

    Probably the same reason why the football team has an almost exclusively unionist support, even after all the money pumped into saying otherwise.

  • Nic

    Right. So we have these amazing world class players, we have the most thoroughly prepared team ever, and once again we failed when the tough got going in tournament play.
    Not being an expert coach, I’ll leave the tactical discussion to others except to point out that in my opinion, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and the sort of intellectual noodling that EOS and BOD engage in is likely the root of the problem.
    Both need to be replaced in their roles. We need a manager with an instinct for the psychological and emotional curve to the buildup and execution of a tournament, and a captain who doesn’t come out with quotes like this (in the Irish Indo) after an epic humiliation by a rather ordinary french side:

    “We set targets for indiscipline but we just didn’t match that, we were behind our target at the half-time break.”

    Jesus wept. Did we send them to a rugby tournament or a marketing conference?
    Contrast with Ciaran Fitzgerald captured on TV in the 1985 crunch match against England for the triple crown (showing my age now). Match starting to slip away, he can be seen walking along the line shaking a clenched fist and asking each player individually “where’s your fucking pride?”
    (For those who don’t remember, we went on to win that tournament and triple crown with a drop goal at the death).
    Call me old fashioned, but I know which Captain we could have used last night.

  • agh@hot

    nice post nic – agreed a leader was missing on the pitch – no one stood up to be counted.

  • Rubicon

    “see you didn;t address any of my rugby related points – is that because you have no knowledge of the game or because you want to enter into some kind of secrarian slanging match? Or maybe a bit of both?”

    Posted by agh@hot on Sep 22, 2007 @ 02:56 PM

    Not being someone who hits refresh every few minutes I read and posted without reading your post. But let me take up your ‘rugby related’ post while hoping you might read what I posted.

    You insinuate I moaned about Paddy Wallace being on the bench. I didn’t. I simply pointed out he was on the bench and selected from the squad. My point was? Something to do with no anti-Ulster selection (or pro-Munster) happening perhaps?

    What about Boss covering 2-3 positions? What did I say?

    “Issac Boss – on the bench for Namibia and Georgia. A talented player but competing for a place as scrum-half or fullback – probably the most competitive positions on the squad. Most of the comments suggest Geordan Murphy (Leinster) should have been given a chance. Both Geordan and Issac have been on the bench twice – both dropped for the game against France. Hardly evidence of anti-Ulster bias. “

    What’s really rich is you then add “Whilst the likes of Murphy doesn’t even make the bench – shocking!” – as if this isn’t what I’d already said. Do try and keep up!

    “i see you didn’t address any of my rugby related points”.

    Go get some Vaseline and rub it in those self-inflicted wounds of yours!

    Ireland played badly (but better than against Namibia & Georgia). It wasn’t for the want of Ulstermen. But I have “no knowledge of the game” – if we’d only but realised we should have played the Ulster 15 who are Gods and we’d have nothing but success.

    Jesus wept!

    Nic – partly agree. B.O’D should be dropped as captain, but he remains a great player. E.O’S – couldn’t agree more – for reasons even abvious to agh@hot.

  • ulsterfan

    Good win by England.
    They may go further than most people think and will cause at least one surprise.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    you cannot be serious about Ciaran Fitzgerald – he was then picked as captain of the Lions and was a disaster. Anyone can run around swearing – most sporting leadership is shown by actions on the pitch. BOD does that, Fitzgerald couldnt throw the ball straight and ended up undermining the team.

    We are getting ahead our ourselves. We are the 2nd best nation ( currently) in Europe and that’s it. Apart from G. Murphy EOS probably picked the best 15.

    No anthems will suit me fine and efforts should be made to make Ulster players/fans included given the (continued) divided nature of our collective allegiances.

  • Nic

    Hi Sammy,
    let me clarify in case you missed it: LAST NIGHT we could have used a Fitzgerald-TYPE leadership (Martin Johnson for example would do either) rather than the technical noodling of the management consultants running this current Irish rugby team.

    My concern is about TOURNAMENT rugby and this team’s dismal failure to get their act together in the few absolutely critical tournament matches the IRFU spend all that money preparing for.

    IMO a) we’ve totally overestimated how good these players actually are (probability 30%) or b) we’re talking about a failure of leadership (probability 70%). “There’s no problem” is not a serious option.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    they have better players and more of them than us – we are the second best team in Europe over the last 4 years and we were beaten by the best team. Add in the fact that they were at home and it’s our bogey ground and hey presto – we lost. No crisis in leadership, no failure in processes or systems – just the natural order of things. The most difficult thing to say is that thre other guy is better – thats why we reach for the coach and try to wring his neck – it’s really a comfort blanket or a device to hide behind and keep reality out.

  • Dewi

    Tonga had a go. Wilkinson brilliant for England. Why didn’t he play soccer like the rest of his tribe ?

  • agh@hot

    I see what you are saying mate – but I think there is a bit more to it than getting beat by a better team. We have played 3 games in this world cup – 2 of them against minnows – as I said namibia are made up of amateur players, Oz beat them 150-0 in last RWC, and they are the lowest ranked side in the competition. Georgia are only a couple of steps up. Indeed, the missing out of a bonus point against georgia, effectively means our chances of qualification are zero!!!
    The result against france was 1 thing, the performance another – I saw very little to be proud about – pack ineffective, backs hardly crossing the gainline – what do we take out of such a performance?
    To date we are the laughing stocks of this RWC – even england have now shown glimpses of potential. And if we thought France was tough?

    Rubicon – ireland should play the 15 ulster gods, unfortunately the likes of harrison, steiner, danielli, dewey, and bart will find eligibility somewhat difficult lol.

    On a serious note, I;d be starting Trimble, Boss, Rory and Neil. And I;d be bringing on Paddy, Simon and ferris shortly after half-time. I hope Eddie picks no ulster players, as I expect the Argies to rip our pack apart no matter who plays and I’d prefer if the likes of Hook and Francis didn;t get their knives into our men again lol.

  • ulsterfan

    How could we possibly be World beaters?
    For the past year 6 or 7 Munster players made up our pack of forwards and what did they do in the last HC?
    Not very much except being torn apart by a club side Leicester and others.
    If our pack can not hold its own in such a competition how can they win in a WC situation.
    Many may say this is the best pack we could select—what nonsense.
    Will someone tell me why Bob Casey is never considered and some Leinster players should be in the reckoning.
    The team is jaded and that is the responsibility of management.

  • Clancy

    If we had been anyway good we could have complained about another bad performance by an Englishman at the World Cup.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin


    “Andrew Trimble’s mistaken position which led to France’s first try.”

    He was covering, it must be said, for a tragically out-of-form ROG. The latter’s misfiring performance is having a deleterious effect on the whole back line. Without competition for Fly Half he seems not to have prospered. The forwards have their own questions to answer.

    I’m afraid it’s too late for Eddie to do much about it now. His tactics worked for long enough so that we probably shouldn’t carp. Four years ago he promised the players would be physically up to world standards and by and large they are.

    But the team looks played out for ideas. And his conservatism in player choice has left him/us with too few options to vary our game.

  • World Wide Net

    Seven nations in competition there are.

  • barnshee

    “The first try was a gift from Trimble”

    No so careful rerun of event shows Trimble telling No 8 and WF7 that he was going right to counter expected surge- “coverme”

  • Redman

    Careful reruns also shows that he was telling the same thing to Michalak.