England 12 — Ireland 6

 Posted by on February 10, 2013  Add comments
Feb 102013
 

The baby polar bear grabs the big polar bear by the paw and says, Dad, am I really a polar bear?

Of course you’re a polar bear, son.

Are you sure I’m not a panda?

Of course you’re not a panda.

Maybe I’m a sun bear.

No, son.  You’re not a sun bear either.

I could be a spectacled bear.

You’re a polar bear, my boy.  A polar bear.  Why are you asking this?

Because, Dad, I’m fucking frozen.

______________

Just remind me again where we come from.

That’s right, we come from Ireland, where it rains all the time, isn’t that right?  All the goddam time it rains, which accounts for our miserable outlook and our love of the pub.  It rains morning, noon and night and it affects everything we do, including our sports.  More particularly, let me point out the obvious: every member of  the Irish team routinely plays rugby in the rain because this is a rainy country.

Lansdowne RoadHere’s another surprise: it also rains quite a lot in England, so why exactly are people blaming the wet conditions for the abysmal Irish ball handling today?  The English players didn’t fumble or spill the ball, conceding possessions or gifting scrums to the opposition.  No indeed.   They held onto the ball like a team that’s used to playing in, of all things, the rain.

But that’s not all they did.  They also managed to put more points on the scoreboard, something that has frequently been associated with winning games.  Not only that, but they managed to score six points while they were a man down.  Normally, having an extra player should be worth something to a team, if only a penalty, and at six points each, it is conceivable that Ireland could have made it 9-6 and held on to the lead, but instead, they threw the game away during ten minutes of confusion.

Certainly, it didn’t help that Simon Zebo was forced off after ten minutes with a hamstring injury [update : broken bone in his foot], followed twenty minutes later by Jonathan Sexton with something similar.  That left Declan Kidney with unpalatable options: Keith Earls on the wing to replace Zebo and Ronan O Gara —  a player with very little recent game time — coming on for Sexton.  Where did that leave O Driscoll and d’Arcy if one of them was injured?  Nowhere, as we found out when BOD hurt his ankle and had to soldier on because there was nobody left on the bench to replace him.

Heaslip’s leadership has to be in question after this game.  This was not a well-organised team, which it needed to be in a down-and-dirty slog, and Heaslip’s own discipline left a lot to be desired, giving away vital penalties in what was always going to be a low-scoring game, repeatedly fumbling the ball and showing little enough leadership.  A few points either way were always going to decide this match, and Ireland were the ones who gave gave them away.

It wasn’t a rout by any means but England came to Lansdowne Road better prepared than the locals.  They’d done their homework, and managed to neutralise the much-hyped choke tackle without much difficulty.  Oddly, they didn’t dominate in the scrum or the lineout, but they did enough to shade it, and in these conditions that was all they needed.

It was a tough, physical game that could go either way but the English came ready to dog it out, and that’s what happened.

If it comes down to one thing, I’d say it has to be the element of surprise.  The English were less surprised than we were to discover that it rains in Ireland.

 

 

 

  21 Responses to “England 12 — Ireland 6”

Comments (21)
  1.  

    Appalling game management. Normally, I would eschew criticism of players but I’m afraid that Cian Healy’s idiotic stamping and fighting will surely be punished severely and deserves to be. (six weeks, I reckon)

    Kidney’s decision to award Heaslip with the captaincy is, to say the least, questionable. Poor discipline, no leadership (why no kick to the corner on 70 minutes?) and a very poor personal performance.

    However, no Irish player rose to the occasion, bar perhaps Best, O’Brien and Earls,

  2.  

    I thought O Brien and Best really gave it everything, as did O Mahony. Not so sure about Earls though. Healy’s action was really stupid and uncalled-for.

  3.  

    Best team won.
    After expressing my confidence to your Windy city brother,and wifey.

    I was more than confident having read the so called informed predictions of

    English rugby that it would be an Irish win.

    Both nations grew up in the pissing rain, we have no excuse.

    We didn’t break their line once, game over.

  4.  

    Not sure what you chaps are talking about, England is a tropical paradise.

  5.  

    Oh dear, Ireland.You have now allowed England to claim that they have the championship sewn up. France, Italy and Wales to play and England are suggesting…no, claiming that it;s just a stroll in the park. That’s arrogance…or is it confidence?

  6.  

    Listening to Parling last night on English tv, he was saying “we’re not going to get carried away, we’ll take it one game at a time”. It seems, as is always the case, the English media might get carried away with the “6 nations champions” tag. From what I have heard of their players and management, they are anything but arrogant and cocky this year. Even after the Scots tried to rise them with the “arrogant” tag, they didn’t rise to it. Theirs to lose this year. Good team.
    Still, I dunno is there anything worse than hearing Sweet Chariot blasted out by the English crowd….

  7.  

    Come off it Bernard-Much as I’d like to believe you, who has said that England “have the championship sewn up”? We meet France in two weeks at HQ, and they’ll be up for it in no uncertain manner against the hated Les Rosbifs. Fully appreciate that not everyone loves us and we’re perceived as “arrogant” by certain of the colonial outposts, but “sewn up” after two games? Hardly.

  8.  

    I think France will put it up to England. Now that they have nothing to lose, they might decide to put on a display of free-flowing French rugby and who knows what might happen? Stuart Lancaster is a man who understands how to respect the opposition and he has passed that attitude to his players. They won’t write off France, or Italy for that matter. All it takes is one defeat for England and we’re back in the race for the championship.

  9.  

    Much as I hate the French, it’d be good to see some of that Gallic flair at Twickers, but they do look a really pathetic, disorganised bunch at the mo. Some of Lievremont’s madness requiredagain perhaps?

  10.  

    No. Lievremont brought no flair to the French game. He was just nuts.

  11.  

    Did you not think Healy was reacting to the English lying over the ball trying to disrupt the ruck, the same thing that gone them binned in the second half ? can I also say (as a Leinster man) that one ordinary day does not a player define, and o’gara wasn’t the cause of Ireland losing, and I hope he doesn’t become the fall guy just because he is 35. Healy had a mare and he is 27

  12.  

    Healy had a mare? Jesus that’s the best I’ve heard in a long time. :) Mairtin could you not take off the sheepskin coat at all?
    I agree with you though, the player on the ground was definitely trying to disrupt the ruck and reduce the angle and speed of pass for the scrum half. Healy could have been a little less vigorous with his attempt at clearing the area. I’ve seen a lot worse though, but he will definitely be sited.

  13.  

    McCarthy was anonymous, apart for being mentioned once for spilling the ball. Heaslip hesitated every single time he got the ball; that’s a yard at least the defence has on him. Truly awful stuff.

  14.  

    What is it with some people? We are supposed to be at lest semi-civilised, and discussing a game we all obviously love. But as I see those words..”I hate.” I simply shut down!

  15.  

    Long John, you are probably correct, I meant to say poor jamie Heaslip had a mare. That I cant complete my own texts speaks volumes. My main point is that I think England to be a good team, and Ireland caught out, if they played again tomorrow, it could be different, which is why we love the six nations.

  16.  

    Sorry Bernard, but “semi-civilised”? Presumably you don’t appreciate the very long running “feud” that exists between the French and the English, a feud that is always seen at its best during International games.
    It’s a joke!
    I have several French friends who never fail to roundly abuse me whenever the great game is mentioned and, in my turn, I give as good as I receive.
    From an Englishman’s point of view, France is the one team we HAVE to beat. No other team does it for us, I’m afraid.They are”The Old Enemy”. We even send some of our players over to play in France, purely to sabotage their free-flowing style…….
    In cricket, Australia fulfils a similar role for us.
    But it’s all very “civilised”! See you at Twickers the weekend after this?

  17.  

    Well, what do you think?
    France didn’t really turn up against us yesterday and now, unbelievably, look set for the wooden spoon, but I’ll pass (gleefully) over that.
    What about Ireland today? God Almighty, they didn’t appear to know what to do. They should’ve had the Scots reeling in the first 40 minutes, but to end up at the half just 3 ahead was, I thought, very disappointing. As for the second, well.
    One of the two rookie Irish lads did alright, the other not, although he looked to have some potential, despite some wayward kicking.

  18.  

    I’m afraid I had other things on my mind today and didn’t get a chance to respond to the disaster.

    It was dreadful, although Marshall at inside centre showed a lot of promise. Jackson, on the other hand, proved Kidney’s critics right, especially those who wondered why he didn’t select Madigan.

    Everything about the Irish game was terrible, despite the fact that they had 78% of possession in the first half. They were murdered in the lineout, in the scrum and at the breakdown. They created little forward momentum and they were unable to defeat Scotland’s defence close in.

    DO you want a word for it? All right: it was depressing.

  19.  

    Italy? ITALY??

  20.  

    I haven’t had a chance to write about the game, but yes. Italy. Fair play to them.

  21.  

    This win by Italy was coming from a mile away. This was just retribution for the ‘win’ we managed back in the warm-ups before the ’07 RWC.

    I am delighted that the Italians have progressed beyond being the whipping boys of the Six Nations. They are now a force to be reckoned with and they thoroughly deserve their new status.

    I was fairly certain we would loose this on so I fecked off to Anglesea Road to watch Old Belvedere beat Garryowen (15-12).

    At this point, my number one hobby can best be described as an exercise in self-flagellation.

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