Not exactly a tale between our legs

First thing to say about last night`s match is that I would not have missed it for the world. Paris is a truly stunning city, and the Stade de France is fit venue for any major gladiatorial conflict. Just a shame that our best team in a generation could not step up to the plate with a performance to mqtch it`s epic scale and beautifully clean architetural lines. Paul O`Connell must have woken up this morning seating blood. For such a consistent servant of this team his sinbining effectively blew whatever chance we might have had as half time approached. And it is the pack that has the most search questions to answer before the Argentine match (our last hurrah?). The SwissJob has some suggestions.

Personally I think the heavy self criticism should not come too prematurely. It seems O`Sullivan has something of a human resources mess on his hands. Allegations in the French media about the conduct of one of the players hqven`t helped either. But there is another match to go, and bonus points needed.

Allez Les Verts!

  • pith

    I have never been in the Stade de France but it does get a bad press as a poor spectators’ venue especially for athletics events. Maybe it’s better for football and rugby. The IOC was distinctly unimpressed with it.

    Failure to get a bonus point against Georgia could prove to be very very expensive. Hope not.

  • Sean

    Who cares about Ireland anymore? It’s over, why not move on and build a good Ulster for our children? Ireland will always be a high achievement, too far for our people to reach, we shopuld stop being the runt of the litter and create an Ulster for all our people

  • Dawkins

    Mick,

    “Just a shame that our best team in a generation could not step up to the plate…”

    Step up to the plate? It’s no wonder Ireland lost. They changed the rules of rugger without telling anyone else.

  • I have never been in the Stade de France but it does get a bad press as a poor spectators’ venue especially for athletics events

    I visited it over the summer and wasn’t that impressed. The stadium is an identikit one, albeit on a slightly larger scale, to the various soulless ones in the Premiership, reminded me a bit of an upmarket Reebok.

    St Denis is a an interesting and culturally mixed area, but it feels that the stadium (along with accompagnying winebars and cafes) has been kind of plunked in between motorways and trainlines to make sure that none of the nayce supporters get to meet any of the working-class locals.

  • Dewi

    Dawkins – that was very good for once !

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    This world cup is really the tri nation being played in the northern hemisphere with the rest making up the numbers. It is not a competition that our players really think they can win – they say otherwise so as to not be accused of having old irish amateur attitudes – and for fear of bumbing in to Roy Keane in the airport. Beating Argentina will restore pride and hopefully a few reputations – principally amongst the Munster forwards. Personally speaking any victory will do me fine. I would like to see him being Best and Murphy in and possibly Wallace to shake things up.

  • IJP

    Mick

    I’ll make a serious attempt to bring this one back to NI… what is the stadium like? Does it suffer from its* out-of-town location?

    (* Note spelling, before Willowfield does…!)

  • Rory

    I take it Ireland lost then. Never mind, the Gunners are strolling on.

  • agh@hot

    ‘This world cup is really the tri nation being played in the northern hemisphere with the rest making up the numbers. ‘

    We weren’t saying that last autumn – when Ireland beat both Oz and SA!!! Since then, however, rather than building for the RWC, we seem to have disintegrated, whilst the southern hemisphere sides have built strong squads and gained confidence approaching the RWC.

    Their tri-nation competition was an interesting 1, with all 3 sides taking something away from it – NZ won it, Oz beat NZ at home with a cracking performance, and SA got some excellent wins and blooded a lot of young players. Consequently, all 3 of them hit this RWC on the front foot.

    France have the potential, the nation is getting behind them, they have some world class players and a strong squad overall. I expect them to come 2nd in the group and face the all blacks in cardiff – what a mouth watering prospect!!! Both sides will be under immense pressure, with France probably being the 1 with least to lose. Anything could happen in that 1, on paper a 25 point win for the kiwis, in reality, who knows???

    Scotland should shade italy, which may line up a game against the argies – the argies are a cracking side, but definitely beatable and a fantastic QF draw for scotland.

    If England come 2nd in their group, which I think they will, they’ll play OZ in the QF. Out of the 3 southern hemisphere sides, Oz are the most beatable and have had a poor 4 years since the last world cup. The english pack could cause them serious probs and obviously Johnny can keep england in the tie!! Another close game to call.

    Wales have no chance against SA, on paper or otherwise.

    In summary, prob 4 southern hemisphere sides will make the semi-finals – but I wouldn;t be surprised to see 1 of scotland, england or france make it through – imagine scotland in the SF – lol – what a thought!!!

  • Dewi

    “Wales have no chance against SA, on paper or otherwise”

    After watching Tonga yesterday anything could happen !!

  • agh@hot

    fair point dewi – but SA played their 2nd string – when they brought on the big guns they looked more comfortable (ish lol). If they had Monti kicking from the start they would have been out of sight at half-time. SA have a hunger about them – looking very very good. Just hope we get to see SA play NZ – what a clash that would be!!! ouch!!!!
    but yes, well played Tonga and Samoa – for me this RWC has been all about the so called smaller rugby nations – the likes of Namibia, Georgia, Japan, Samoa, and Tonga have all puched above their weight (sometimes literally lol). Great stuff. Fiji playing today – hope they put in a good performance, and come on the Scots!!!

  • Aaron

    The Stade de France is cracking. The atmosphere suffers a bit during the day, but at nighttime it’s like no other place on earth. On Saturday the noise was incredible.

    The out-of-town location is not a problem at all. If anything, it helps provide a focal point for supporters, the various groups of which can get a bit lost in the midst of Paris. There are lots of beer tents set up on the walkway between the station and the stade, and it makes for a great pre-match atmosphere.

    But it only works because the transport network is so good – two suburban rail line stations, and a metro, all serving the stade – all built and designed to cope with large crowds.

    One thing though – very nasty crushes outside the grounds have been a feature of this world cup. The French are not great at managing the crowds as they turn up. Hillsborough was a force for good in Britain and Ireland, in terms of stadium design.

  • IJP

    Rory

    Correct. It’s hard to imagine how this World Cup could realistically have gone any worse.

    However, it’s also hard to imagine how the Premier League and European Cup season could realistically have started any better.

    “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”, as they don’t sing at the Emirates…

  • Michael Robinson

    Agree with Aaron – atmosphere in the Stade de France was excellent although I think the Millennium in Cardiff still has the edge in terms of the proximity of the crowd to the pitch.

    The S de F lavatories also seem to have been designed with French rather than British & Irish pre-match beer consumption in mind.

  • abucs

    Does anybody think France can beat the Allbacks ??