10 minutes into the game you would be forgiven for thinking that Ireland just might cause the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history. Ireland started well and the team looked promising, they were certainly hitting the rucks harder than the previous two matches.
At only 3-0 down Ireland were very much in the game, but the attacking line struggled to challenge a very organised French defence. Key players such as Ronan had to play the best rugby of their lives to win, the result showed they didn’t.
Line-outs were poor and to many silly penalties were given away, with incidents like Wallace v.s Chabal the referee should not have the option of making a bad decision in the first place.
If this was a Six Nations match I think Ireland’s early performance may have had more of an effect however with a few wayward refereeing decisions and facing opponents who had no option but to win Ireland failed to stamp any authority on the game.
Ireland were always going to find it hard to beat France in their back yard especially under the circumstances, from the start many of us accounted for this possibility however no one accounted for the first two matches. If Ireland go out on Sunday night it will be the Namibia and Georgia matches that are to blame, those performances should have been the building blocks for what was to follow but instead sucked the confidence from an over complacent squad.
Ireland scraped together a win over Georgia in what became a dismal display for Ireland’s most capped team to ever play. In the final five minutes we were just hoping to win after a lack lusting Ireland faced an opposition who simple wanted the win more than us.
It was a surprise to see an Irish team who performed so badly against Namibia fail to come out all guns blazing and show the rugby world that the previous game was nothing but a mishap. However the blip on the radar has grown significantly and with it, Ireland’s problems. Ireland failed to gain the much needed bonus point by not running in four tries, this will make it even harder for us to qualify in what has now become the accurately named pool of death.
Sunday 9th December
Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux
Kick off: 19:00
The Team: Here is the Irish team which will face Namibia in the opening match.
Backs: G Dempsey (Leinster); A Trimble (Ulster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, skipper), G D’Arcy (Leinster), D Hickie (Leinster); R O’Gara (Munster), P Stringer (Munster).
Forwards: M Horan (Munster) R Best (Ulster) J Hayes (Munster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), P O’Connell (Munster), S Easterby (Llanelli), D Wallace (Munster), D Leamy (Munster).
Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), S Best (Ulster), M O’Kelly (Leinster), N Best (Ulster), I Boss (Ulster), P Wallace (Ulster), G Murphy (Leicester).
It is a great game for Ireland to open their campaign with, Namibia will hopefully provide a good game and give all the players some much needed match time.
We hope you will find somewhere in the world to support Ireland, but there should be no excuse to miss the match. Click here to find out how you can watch all the RWC matches online.
Ireland arrived at their world cup HQ yesterday with some exciting news on the fitness of O’Driscoll. It looks like Brian will be fit for the Namibia game this Sunday, it’s a great morale boost for the time and will give Brian vital match time before the France game.
IrishRugby.ie have some photos posted of the teams arrival.
In this rugby round up we learn from the BBC that O’Driscoll could play Ireland’s opener against Namibia in the world cup.
It seems that Brian has recovered well from the injury he picked up in Bayonne and has surpassed expectations on when he will be available to play.
O’Sullivan said O’Driscoll took a full part in Monday’s training and that his recovery was ahead of schedule.
While it was first thought that Brain would miss the two games against Namibia and Georgia it looks like we may seem him in action much earlier.
In other news The Minister for Foreign Affairs has issued travel advice for fans travelling to this years world cup. Information can be found on IrishRugby.ie.
With Ireland’s world cup campaign creeping closer and closer it’s time to look into our crystal ball and see what lies ahead for Ireland on the rocky road to the world cup.
By now you should have a good idea of the pool fixtures, if not shame on you, let’s recap.
Ireland will face four teams in pool D. Firstly Namibia this Sunday followed by Georgia, France and finally Argentina. The top two placed teams from each pool will qualify for the quarter-finals, while 3rd, 4th and 5th placed teams will be eliminated.
So Ireland have two secure 1st or 2nd place to go through to the quarter-finals, but what happens next? Well this depends where Ireland finish, let’s run through some possibilities.