Ireland’s mediocre performance against Italy only a trick to put France off guard

All part of the plan

Now look, said Joe Schmidt, get out there and play the crappiest rugby you can. Just don’t lose the game, all right?

The Irish squad shuffled awkwardly as the coach’s instructions rang in their ears. They knew he was right, but they didn’t have to like it.

Show nothing out there, Schmidt went on. I don’t want Novès finding out anything about us and I sure as hell don’t want Hansen to know what we have. So get out there and win ugly. Make plenty of mistakes, lots of handling errors  and let’s have a bit of indiscipline.

The coach grinned. Ok guys? Any questions?

There was a long, uncomfortable silence in the Ireland dressing room. Far above, the players knew, an expectant Irish crowd would be gathering in the Olympic Stadium, eager to see a thorough thrashing of the Italian upstarts.

Coach? It was the captain, Paul O’Connell.

Yeah, Paulie. What is it?

Coach, can we have one moment of brilliance?

Schmidt thought for a moment. Sure. Why not? Earlsy, Robbie, I want you to pair up and engineer a world-class try, as good as anything New Zealand could pull off. But only one, got it?

Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw glanced at each other and high-fived.

One, I said, boys. Just one, to send out a message.

Ok boss, Just one.

Peter, the coach turned to the Number 6. I want you to pull off one brilliant try-saving tackle.

O’Mahony grunted. Count on me, boss.

And Peter?

Yeah boss?

I want you to do the moment of silly indiscipline too.

What, boss? Me?

Yeah, you. I want you to shoulder-charge someone and get binned with ten minutes to go.

The flanker shook his head ruefully but said nothing.

Right, said Schmidt brightly. That’s about it, guys. Get out there and play like shit. We’ll keep the Frogs and the Kiwis guessing. Just remember to win.


Also on BTR:

Ireland 24 — France 9


6 thoughts on “Ireland’s mediocre performance against Italy only a trick to put France off guard

  1. Indeed that unverifiable tale may or may not be the true.

    The alternative is that Joe Schmidt is currently sitting in an armchair, cigar in hand with a glass of whisky and a loaded revolver on the table in front of him.

    He might just be ruing the day he ever met Conor Murray, so awful were his box kicks today. The fact that Jamie Heislip and Keath Earls decided to mitch off at half time and were seen watching it on TV in the club house bar at around 60 minutes must turn his stomach.

    Were fucked entirely. Next week, the wheels come off. Guaranteed.

  2. Joe Schmidt must be a worried man. Ireland looked stale and devoid of ideas. Could be hammered on Sunday next if the performance is anything like tonights.

  3. I tend to agree with the logic of the article. Bonus points mean nothing in this group – It was always about beating France. Both teams have three wins from three.

    Were we to go out and put 50 on Italy we would have to reveal our hand to the big nations, especially France. That would achieve what exactly?

    Schmidt is a canny operator. He knew that Ireland needed a tough game and I’m fairly certain his game plan included making it tough on ourselves by gifting approx. 60% possession to the opposition.

    Sure, we’ll see on Sunday.

  4. It’s all academic, a US Christian group insists that the world will end tomorrow.

    They reckon the planet will be consumed by fire on October 7, or in about three minutes, according to my watch.

    It will be sad to see the world go, especially with a full weekend of international football and rugby coming up.

    The GAA season is over an all, in another positive sporting and psychiatric development The entire term passed without one single ref being locked in the boot of a car in the arsehole of Ireland.

    The GAA can take a lot of positives from that.

    But with the day of reckoning almost upon us, it’s a Pyrrhic victory.

  5. Nare a sign of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse doing a Lester Piggott down O’Connell Avenue on Wednesday night.

    Oh well, chin up, it’s not the end of the world.

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