Six Nations – Round 3b

The post-mortem of last night’s Welsh defeat is underway. [France’s victory, surely? – Ed] Don’t call me Shirley. Today, Ireland will be hoping that England’s form, and their discipline, doesn’t suddenly improve at Croke Park and that Ireland’s unchanged side become the team they’ve threatened to be – Kick-off 5.30pm – G’s live-blogging it. First up though, Scotland will try to send Italy home with the wooden spoon – despite Brendan Cole’s prediction. Kick-off 3pm. Half-Time at Murrayfield. Scotland 16 – 3 Italy. Final Scotland 26 – 6 Italy. Now 12min in. A bit uninspired so far and O’Gara misses a penalty. 21min. A better passage of play brings another penalty. And another O’Gara miss. 29mins. First points from O’Gara’s boot. 38mins. England level. Half-Time Ireland 3 – 3 England. Worryingly, 3-3 is a fair score at this point. Despite more possession Ireland look vulnerable and seem to be waiting for a miracle play. 2nd Half 42min O’Gara misses again. 45min. A drop-goal from BOD! 54min. Pressure from Ireland’s secure lineout results in yellow for England No3. 57min. Finally, a try. Sustained pressure against 14man England and BOD scores. O’Gara misses. 65min. England pull back a penalty. Replacements on for both sides. 70min. Another yellow against England. Moore agrees with the decision. And O’Gara scores the penalty. 75min. Brian Moore’s Man of the Match.. BOD! 77min. And the crowd start singing. Doesn’t last long. 79min England score a deserved try. Final Ireland 14 – 13 England. It ended in an unruly muddle. Much like the game itself. Ireland were very very lucky today. They’ll have to play much better against Scotland, nevermind Wales, to win the Championship.

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  • dewi

    Still a bit shell shocked but I suppose the tourament is now a little more interesting.Watch out for that Flutey fellow…and with Powell and R Jones disappointing last night Heaslip, Ferris and Wallace all could put their hands up for Lions spots….Best of luck!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    you are being disarmingly humble and contrite. I agree about Flutey – 2 years ago he was outstanding for Wasps but seems now to be returning to some form.

    Not wishing to mix politics and rugby but there is some resemblance between O’Connell and Grizzly and Rory Best and piano player (puffs and a piano) on Joanathan Ross.

    Just taking up my position behind the settee now with cushion in hand.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Ireland are total and utter tripe Unbelievable. That said, england are crud too. I think ROG will get his kicking game sorted in the 2nd 40 mins. This game will be won with field position. PW has actually done well the 1st 40 and may benefit if a bit of space opens up in the 2nd 40. Oh, and if O’leary and rog actually pass the ball…

  • Turgid shite. It’s unfair to single out anyone, but still have to single out O’Leary. Never thought I’d say “bring back Stringer”, but I am.

  • Mick Fealty

    O’Gara… Grrrr….

    O’Driscoll… just made up for the rest of the team…

  • Mick Fealty

    O’Gara… Grrrr….

    O’Driscoll… just made up for the rest of the team…

  • Mick Fealty

    God, what a totally cra[ game… Ireland… funny hearing Brian Moore trying to turn a nasty clout on O’Driscoll… Butler is getting seriously hacked off…

  • Mick Fealty

    Ohil Vickery: BIN!!

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s in: for O’Driscoll!!! Massive!!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Idiot O’Gara… Bloody passenger in this match…

  • Mick Fealty

    Forwards now on fire! That’s much, much better!!

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    both sides are totally toothless. shocking game

  • Mick Fealty

    From Twitter: @aaronsthe level of chat between the England players and the ref in this match is incredible. Ref is pathetic…

  • Mick Fealty

    Good move there from England….

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    needed to look up though. 1 break all game… sheesh

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    oh no, flinger is on for o’leary…

  • Mick Fealty

    Armitage just in 11-6 one score would do it… vickery… on again…

    Stringer on… shame there is noone to replace ogara

  • Mick Fealty

    Rory Best: excellent…. IMPACT Rory!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Another English YELLOW… Penalty… come on; between the posts lads…

  • Mick Fealty

    Rob Kearney… nice catch… Big GAA move says to Butler.. O’Gara’s got his wits back, at last!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Rob Kearney… nice catch… Big GAA move says to Butler.. O’Gara’s got his wits back, at last!!

  • Mick Fealty

    From Twitter: ICork: Can’t even drink I am so tense. Only on second pint

  • dewi

    A concussed O’Driscoll a class apart…Brian Moore a pompous smug Saxon tw*t.

  • Mick Fealty

    The Welsh are watching… now 14 – 13

  • A win as a win. But…

    Oh, and the ELVs are ruining rugby.

  • Mick Fealty

    That god for one dropped ball… A quite horrible game of Rugby…

    Cannot play like that against Wales… Live with the pressure lads…

  • Mick Fealty

    One manwas the difference… BOD!

  • Pete Baker

    The Scots will have been watching too, Mick.

    They’ll fancy their chances if Ireland don’t recover the form they showed against France.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Good enough – and there will be days again when we will bite someones hand off if offered this score but just hope late try does not cost us dearly in points difference.

    BOD outstanding, O’Connell & Ferris excellent. Any other intrnational team and outside half/kicker would be dropped.

    Still too good for Scotland on that perfromance but Wales will have perked up having watched us with so much slow ball and so predictable.

  • dewi

    So if Wales beat Italy by 68 points….

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    Only 23 points differnce at the moment – I expect Ireland to beat Scotland and IF the do – say by 5 poins – which is what the bookies will probably give Scotland in the handicap betting and Wales beat Italy by 20 then a very achievable 8 point victory over Ireland will be on the cards – if today’s Irish prformance is anything to go by.

    On that performance and against France BOD is not only the outstanding player of the championship but should be captain of the Lions.

  • dewi

    France in with a shout though Sammy? Agree with O’Driscoll – magnificent.O’connell also took charge of those close forward drives well… O’Gara for the chop? Got anyone else for No 10?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    bod was decent, no more. end of the day, he is captain and needs to take some responsibility for the performance. fortunately for him the decision to kick for the corner paid off big time. on another day he would have looked a complete eejit.
    as for the elvs, we have had a few cracking games this championship. France and Wales are happy to run the ball. ireland and england: kick kick kick kick kick kick…

  • dewi

    To be fair to Ireland it takes two to tango – England seem to have cultivated a petulance – the Millwall of European Rugby? Nobody loves us and we don’t care.

  • ulsterfan

    O’Gara to be dropped along with O’Leary and would some one please show Best how to throw straight.
    O’Gara has over the last two years missed too many important kicks.
    His days of being Irelands no.10 are over.
    No mention of this from RTE.
    Hooke, Pope and O’Shea will not give any criticism.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    dont think France will beat England at Twickers – so probably it will be just the 2 of us in the Millennium. What a couple of months coming up a 6N champioship showdown, the Euro Elections, Euovision and the Heineken Cup.

    We are now 4/7 and you are 15/8 with my good friend Patrick Power esquire.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan

    Hooke, Pope and O’Shea will not give any criticism.

    Well that is plain poor analysis – Hooke and Pope are annoying feckers though I do like O’Shea.

    Stick Paddy Wallace at 10 and bring in D’arcy – otherwise no change.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    “O’Gara for the chop?”

    He should be. Arrogant bugger, who’s ego is kept inflated by commentators who forget every f@&* up he makes. But who else can replace him?

  • Greenflag

    English indiscipline cost them the match . That giveaway penalty for a stupid play which put Ireland 14-6 up in the end won it . Without it it could have been Ireland 11 -England 13 🙁

    What were they playing in the first half ? Looked like a cross between Wimbledon and Gaelic football ?

    Still a win is a win .
    O’Driscoll , Kearney, Heaslip , Best and Ferris did the work . O’Gara had an off day . It happens 🙁

  • The _Analyst

    A win is a win. Jack Kyle interviewed on RTE reminds us that in 1948, the last time Ireland won the Grand Slam, we only managed to beat England by the minimum margin. so , here’s hoping history is about to repeat itself. Am I the only one who enjoyed the image of English manager, Johnston,beating the arm of his seat with frustration as his charges continued to display the ill discipline that has plagued the English side for the past two seasons. The mystery in the game was why more English players did not see yellow cards considering the treatment meted out to O’Driscoll. The South African referee’s inexperience was all too evident on too many occasions failing to spot the English cynical play

  • Driftwood

    What were they playing in the first half ? Looked like a cross between Wimbledon and Gaelic football ?

    I was there and it was woeful

    Counted 11 straight kicks in a row to the other teams hands. no vision or imagination. Like watching Celtic v Rangers rather than 2 professional teams.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Good point, Driftwood. It seems Ireland’s main tactic to get tries is sheer brainless muscle to drive it over the line.

    The Welsh are the only home nations side who play with some panache, some style, some class. Ireland, as always, tend to mimic the English and play with all heart and no brains. Brute force being our primary tactic. Our ball handling skills and ability to play creative moves is always woeful.

    We need to send our young rugby elite on LONG TOURS to France, or New Zealand, to learn how to play rugby with imaginaton and style. But I suppose we won and we might still beat the Welsh so happy days ahead perhaps.

    But as in football, we are too influenced by the English and history shows that in rugby and football, the English style is neither the most intelligent, the most attractive nor the most successful. Yet we copy their flawed methods.

    How about we copy the Brazilans in football and the New Zealanders in rugby? It might prove more successful in the long run, I believe.

  • LURIG

    ‘Young rugby elite’ just about sums up rugby on this island and why Ireland will always flatter to deceive. It’s a game played by nice middle class Southern Catholics and nice middle class Northern Protestants and they are NOT hungry or hard enough to go the extra mile and push themselves when it matters, the 2007 World Cup and Grand Slam failures of the past few years being the obvious examples. Ireland will bottle it against Wales and it wouldn’t surprise me if Scotland won at Murrayfield either. Look at O’Gara today, he lost it when the pressure was on as he always does. Furthermore there are massive constituencies rugby just passes by, the Northern Catholic community being the most obvious. I will always support Ulster & Ireland when they play but feel the Rugby authorities on the island are doing virtually nothing to introduce or welcome young Northern Nationalists to the game. I look forward to the debate in the Northern & Southern media next week, the same debate they always have when an Ulster side win Sam Maguire. What are you doing to attract Protestants to the GAA? They will fall over themselves NOT to ask the same of rugby and Northern Catholics.

  • Stick Paddy Wallace at 10 and bring in D’arcy – otherwise no change.

    I’m not convinced that Paddy is an international out-half – international inside centre, sure, but he’s not even playing No. 10 for Ulster these days.

    O’Gara is clearly distracted as he was during the last world cup and I actually think the the BBC commentators are worse than RTÉ’s for failing to note what a chump he has been on so many occasions over the years, not to mention being a divisive force in the divided Irish camp of the EOS years. But who to replace him with?

    Never thought I would say bring back Stringer, but, er… bring back Stringer the flinger. At least he has some degree of awareness of where he should be throwing the ball, even if he then throws a hospital pass. O’Leary has been a massive disappointment – slow to the breakdown and no presence when he gets there, no awareness of what is around him, and his overused box kick gets worse with every week (but then again when you are so slow at getting the ball out of the breakdown, what else to do but put up stupid, overlong, box kicks?)

    This is turning out like every other Irish grand slam run – starts out brilliant, then gets worse with every passing match. On past form, we should self-destruct in Murrayfield in a fortnight. Sorry, but we’ve always fucked up in match 4 before, often against inferior opposition, so why should it be any different this time?

  • I will always support Ulster & Ireland when they play but feel the Rugby authorities on the island are doing virtually nothing to introduce or welcome young Northern Nationalists to the game.

    There has been quite a push to get rugby into Northern Catholic schools for at least 20 years, usually though link-ups with local clubs’ under sides, but St. Columb’s in Derry can field a senior schools XV in its own right now. I know, because that’s how I was introduced to the game. Remember, schools aren’t always that keen to upset established GAA or soccer success for a minority and resource intensive sport that isn’t likely to win the school any medals for a generation, but there has been work done.

    Some Northern clubs also have pretty high proportions of Catholic players in amateur rugby now. These things take time to build.

  • Lurig

    Fair enough Sammy I’ll accept that. I know it’s not all a one way arguement as some within the Catholic schools, especially the clergy, were a bit anti-rugby and not too keen on the status quo being disturbed. However there are many young Catholics in the North who would bust a gut to have a go at rugby. I also accept that it is an elite sport in the South too played by the private school crowd. You’ll never hear the media go on about it though, North or South, as most of them are part of this old boy network too.

  • I’m not particularly disagreeing with any of that, Lurig. Sure, a lot of work still needs to be done if we’re to develop the sort of player base we need to compete with the best of the world, but the work has started. Those who broke through that particular glass ceiling, notably Willie Anderson in Dungannon, deserve credit for that.

    Also, down South, some of the best youth development work is going on in Connacht, traditionally very weak rugby country.

    Also, I think having young players with potential in either code cross-training in both Gaelic and rugby would pay dividends at élite level later in both sports, especially as aerial ping-pong has become such a key area in rugby, and effective use of the hand pass so important in football. And what young front row wouldn’t benefit from running around a GAA pitch for 70 minutes now and then, and what Gaelic half-back wouldn’t benefit from perking up their upper-body strength for the rugby pitch?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Guyz,

    any discussion about Irish rugby needs to consider where its soul resides – ie Munster and specifically Limerick. Munster’s success for over a decade in the Heineken Cup explains not just the extreme good health of Irish rugby but is a template for the rest of Ireland with its professionalism and grassroot/working class support.

    re. Northern Nationalists and rugby – why dont the IRFU and the GAA look at playing an under age group (e.g. under 20S who are also atop the table) in West Belfast in Casement (Irish hero and gay(?) Ulster Prod(for a few years at least )) Park. That would send a signal right across Norn Iron that sport can and should be totally integrated.

    I for one will be content with a defeat to Wales (or Scotland )as long as we win the camhpionship. We can worry about rhe grand slam new year.

  • dewi

    Munster eh… Keep your mutts off our tickets !!!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    that is a cracking story – it reminds me of the situation of the good Munster folk including those from Kerry ago used to get on a bus to Norn Iron to buy Kerrygold.

  • Sir Tony

    “as some within the Catholic schools, especially the clergy, were a bit anti-rugby ”

    Get in the Jesuits!

  • ulsterfan

    The Jesuits did a good job at Belvedere.
    It did you no harm Sir Tony

  • Dewi

    Breaking news – England ask the IRB if they can start with 17 players against Scotland….

  • dewi

    Btw – did anyone see that English player smack the sound man? Extradition I reckon for GBH.