Autumn Internationals. Ireland 22 — New Zealand 24

I’ve been sitting for about six hours now staring at a blank TV screen and asking myself, what happened there?

Forty minutes of sublime rugby from the Irish had reduced the New Zealanders to disarray and while their fight-back in the second half was inevitable, our boys had the means to wrap them up and choke the life out of their counter-attack.

Every single Irish player was immense.   Everyone from the captain Paul O Connell to the immortal BOD, from poor Rory Best of the broken arm to the amazing Kearney brothers.  Conor Murray was magnificent, though Jonny Sexton perhaps a little less so, especially when he waited so horribly long to take that crucial kick that went wide, though I’m not saying it cost us the match.

With about a minute to go, all Ireland needed was to retain possession and we would have beaten the All Blacks.  One minute of up-the-jumper five-man rugby, the kind that Anthony Foley would understand, and Ireland would finally have defeated the best team in the world.  One minute, that’s all.  One agonising minute.

But instead, they gave away possession, to a side notorious for never giving up and the visitors were away, sensing blood.   Throw in a bad call by the TMO on an obvious forward pass, a very harsh decision by referee Nigel Owens, to re-take the New Zealand conversion and it’s easy to see why the Irish are feeling so hard-done-by.

I don’t normally say this kind of thing because I believe a team should take its beating and shut up, but on this occasion, we were robbed.

19 thoughts on “Autumn Internationals. Ireland 22 — New Zealand 24

  1. Sorry Bock, gotta disagree with you on that one. The scoreline never lies. We played great stuff and should have got something from the game, and but for the odd bounce of a ball we would have got something. But we didn’t, and to say that we were robbed unduly takes away from the All Blacks who were excellent themselves today. We lacked the necessary confidence and self-belief to close out a game like that. We should have, like you said, just strangled the life out of the game in the last thirty seconds with picks and gos rather than popping the ball wide…alternatively Murray should have kept the ball in hand a few seconds before that rather than kicking it away. But the real problem was the same old shit, a lack of clinicality in crucial areas. We had a number of chances inside the 5-metre line and didn’t take them. We weren’t robbed, we just didn’t do enough to win (which is evidently a massive massive amount).

  2. “The amazing Kearney brothers” Never thought I’d read that anywhere in a rugby context.

  3. We had possession with 40 seconds to go and then Nigel blew for ‘going off their feet’. To me this seemed a very harsh call but it gave the ball back to the ABs from which they scored the try. 40 fucking seconds !!!!!

  4. Anyone see England V NZ in the rugby league semi final? Now there’s a team who can feel as sickened as the Irish.

  5. Poor England, ref Rugby League.

    Reminds me of when I was speaking to a Scottish boxing coach – and they don’t come much tougher than a Glaswegian corner man.

    I remarked that Ireland and Scotland were the only two western European nations to reach the last-four of the European Championships.

    I then, foolishly, added that England had not advanced one boxer to the business end of the tournament.

    “Our harts are facking brokan,” snapped Scotland’s Chief Seconds, the accent as hard as a coffin nail, the steely stare not inviting a reply.

    Meantime, t’was Johnny Bottler what lost it, like. If O’Gara was taking that kick – the key penalty a few minutes from time – we’d be celebrating an historic victory now.

    Still, fair play to the All Darks, as they were called by two-time Olympic champion Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux at the press conference in Thomond Park a while back, they never stopped believing that they could win.

    That’s 28 and 0 to the All Darks versus Ireland since 1905 – 812 points for, 310 against. The events of 1978 at Thomond Park stand alone

  6. Sorry Bernard, it wos Jonny Bottler wot lost it? I’m not having that. It’d be just as easy to say Connor Murray had a brainfart at the end and kicked the ball away when all he had to do was keep the ball in hand and pass it so we could stick it up the jumper and go through two or three more phases. Listen to the groan of the crowd when he kicked the ball. But I’m not playing the blame game here, it’d be harsh given the performances that every player put in. I thought they were immense but just failed at the last.

    If anything Boggy has it right, it was the lack of clinicality close to the line. I was screaming for the ball to be passed to Sexton for a drop goal attempt when we were attacking just before halftime. It didn’t happen because we seemed to have white line fever. It’s a pity but hopefully we can learn from it. There’s nothing else to take from this, certainly not a game of pass the parcel of blame.

  7. I agree. It was a stupendous performance and there’s no point blaming anyone. That’s how it went. But Nigel was still harsh for blowing with 40 seconds to go.

  8. Sorry gents, don’t buy it, Sexton missed an easy penalty and the 108-year wait continues.

    Points win games, or as Brian Clough replied when he was asked to forecast the outcome of a match: “The team that scores the most goals usually win.”

    You cannot miss opportunities against the best team on the planet and hope to win.

    “Yeah, when they took that shot at goal, which would have put them out to eight points [ahead] the reality is if that had gone over it was probably game over,” admitted All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

    All Blacks coach Steven Hansen: “If they had kicked the goal it was all over but they gave us a sniff and that’s what makes us as coaches very proud because it was special to take advantage of that.”

  9. Bernard if you understood the game you would not blame one player for the loss, Murray had his part, Sexton missed a kick that while kickable can not be classed as easy and lets not forget Toners stupid penalty, when it comes down to it there are 3 definate instances that defined the game,

    but as I said you would have to understand the game

  10. When Sexton is playing for Racing Metro, ROG comes onto the pitch, ostensibly to bring him a bottle of water, and stands behind him giving advice as he takes the kick. I was at Bayonne against Racing in September and had got there early because of confusion with a ticket – 45 minutes before kick off they were out on the pitch going through the routine. It is an odd sight but has been responsible for any success Racing have had this season (without Sexton, they lost 47-14 to ASM on Saturday).

    Perhaps if ROG had been there on Sunday . . .

  11. again, he had an excellent record before going to Racing, have Ian and Bernard forgotten that this is a 3 time Heineken cup winner and a Lions Tour winner

    Kicks get missed, he had a good game

  12. Being a Leinster season ticket holder, I was not unaware of his previous record. Simply observing that his current regime includes O’Gara

  13. Seems that the All Blacks coach and captain don’t understand the game either, eh Backtowork, so I’m in good company, then again, I probably made the quotes up. Right?

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