Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ireland not firing as France take second win over Dublin hosts

Ireland lost their third successive Test as France beat them 26-22 in Dublin on Saturday. Two late tries gave the scoreline a look of respectability, after France had led 26-8 before taking their foot off the gas.

Ireland will need a good result against England next weekend to justify their decision to have such a gruelling run up to the tournament, after their fixtures had meant to get them match fit and firing on all cylinders. If anything, they've been a decent wake up call and has given them the opportunity to work out what's not quite right in the squad.

"There are no panic buttons being pressed," said Brian O'Driscoll. "This is not the World Cup – we are not at the group stage yet. We showed in the first 15 minutes that we can do it and that we can handle the intensity. We just have to front up in the collision area and although we did not win the game, we are building on the finished product and we have work to do before England."

Coach Declan Kidney shared similar views. "These are the games we want to play. There’s no point hiding away and challenging yourself against something (less testing) to give yourself a false lift.

"These players are big enough; they know what it takes to win. It hurts at the moment because we try to win every single game that we play. We just have to go away and learn from it to get ourselves ready for next week," he said.

France coach Marc Lievremont had made 13 changes to the side that beat Ireland a week before, and while no doubt happy with the win, he was dissatisfied with the way that his team allowed Ireland back in the game.

"We are not shouting too much about the two victories over Ireland. We have to do better individually and collectively. I almost regret the Trinh-Duc try because it allowed us to manage the game and there were no interesting moments for us. I expected more."

He has now named his 30 man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Forwards: Fabien Barcella (Biarritz), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Toulouse), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Luc Ducalcon (Castres), William Servat (Toulouse), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Français), Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Pascal Papé (Stade Français), Julien Pierre (Clermont), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Métro), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, capt), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Raphaël Lakafia (Biarritz), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)

Backs: Morgan Parra (Clermont), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz), David Skrela (Clermont), François Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Fabrice Estebanez (Brive), Maxime Mermoz (Perpignan), David Marty (Perpignan), Aurélien Rougerie (Clermont), Maxime Médard (Toulouse), Alexis Palisson (Brive), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Cédric Heymans (Bayonne), Damien Traille (Biarritz)

Time: 05:00



  • first

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 11:46 am  

  • France look decent, the first try was very clinical and the second was a gift. Good to watch but very worrying from the point of view of an Ireland fan - O'Leary and Earls had shockers, whilst O'Driscoll and D'Arcy aren't offering any threat in the midfield. The only threat in open play seems to come from the back row and Cian Healy. Would love to see Kidney grow a pair and play Bowe in the centre with O'Driscoll against England. Reddan and Trimble should have played themselves into the team. Bowe in centre, toss up between Earls and Fitzgerald for the other wing spot. Would love to hear everyone else's thoughts on this!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 11:47 am  

  • no chabal in the RWC...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 11:52 am  

  • Good game by the french during 60 minutes. I'm not too worried about the Irish comeback as it was more a case of France not caring(no point in hurting themselves when the match is already won)than Ireland actually playing well. Although they completely outplayed us during the first 15 minutes and just stopped playing after that. I'd be worried about the RWC if I was an Irishman. I'm quite surprised by the confidence dispayed by the players and the coach. As for France, I just hope they can keep up the intensity during a full 80 minutes, in which case we should be very hard to stop. Also, the physical preparation seems to have been excellent, next to France the Irish look like a bunch of fat, old geezers ;)
    Should be a great WC, I can't wait.

    By Anonymous Cyprien, at August 22, 2011 11:56 am  

  • Typical boring NH low scoring wasteful game!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 11:59 am  

  • Utterly disrespectful of france for having an all white away kit exactly the same as englands home kit!! oh no wait nobody cares its just a kit. France far and away the best NH team atm, clinical rugby, need to keep it up for 80 mins though

    By Anonymous Jimmy, at August 22, 2011 12:01 pm  

  • FYI, france have always played white in away matches. However totally disrespectful of England for having an all black away kit. Oh wait, isn't England basically the NZ B-team?

    By Anonymous Cyprien, at August 22, 2011 12:05 pm  

  • Nope, judging by the game the other day I'd say the only b team would be the one that played the boks!! LOL!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:06 pm  

  • French away shirt normally had a blue flash on it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:08 pm  

  • watch out NZ!!

    rwc final
    the french v the wallabies i think

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:10 pm  

  • Was at the match. Ireland came out all guns blazing and then after 20 minutes France decided to play rugby and show Ireland how it was done.

    Declan Kidneys team choice is poor...he is wearing tinted glasses and giving people like earls (who butchered a try trying to flick it out the back) fitz (who should be left in ireland)and o'Leary (who cant do the only job a scrum-half must do...throw a ball) we have no second row cover, no prop cover, and will crumble if any of our main players get injured (unlike France who can throw out a different team every week and still show noting but pure class!!

    but on a positive note how good is the irish back-row...O'Brein is an animal on attack and when Ferris came on made a big impression to.

    By Anonymous creggs08, at August 22, 2011 12:13 pm  

  • Where is o'connell?

    has he retired? or is he injured? etc?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:28 pm  

  • "Anonymous said...
    Typical boring NH low scoring wasteful game!"

    ha ha how truly stupid you are troll.

    Last time I checked 26-22 is a higher score than the 18-5 that New Zealand and South Africa managed to tot up. idiot.

    By Anonymous DaveJ, at August 22, 2011 12:29 pm  

  • It's hard work being an Ireland fan sometimes.

    Two points:

    1. Our playing resources are so small that if 90% of the players aren't playing at 90% of their potential, we don't have a prayer against the top sides. Too many of those who played in the last 3 games have been nowhere near their best.

    2. France have such huge strength in depth they could send 2 teams to the WC and both would have a chance to win it. They are that good, even if they didn't show it in the last couple of games - they only did the minimum required to beat us.

    Oh well. Here's looking forward to the World Cup!

    By Anonymous Mike, at August 22, 2011 12:31 pm  

  • "Typical boring NH low scoring wasteful game!"

    You didn't watch the last Tri Nations match, don't you ?

    Imbécile !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:35 pm  

  • Cyprien - the guy talking about the white kit for France was making a joke about the NZ reaction to someone else wearing black.

    Also I think the guy talking about low scoring NH games was also making a joke.

    By Anonymous Gavin, at August 22, 2011 12:38 pm  

  • It is an absolute joke that Irish people can;t see how Brian O'Driscol makes silly mistakes like breaking a line of defence which gave France their try on the 31st minute! It's F**KING JOKE!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 12:42 pm  

  • Gavin I'm not telling a joke you moron! the fact is this was a weak game with weak try's being scored!!

    At least in the NZ SA game there were some GOOD try's that actually required skill to score! (like most SH try's!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 1:01 pm  

  • To the above poster - I'm Irish and I can see that the first try from France was O'Driscoll's fault. . .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 1:01 pm  

  • The first French try required a good bit of skill from Rougerie and Heymens to be fair

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 1:03 pm  

  • And D'arcy again demonstrates why he is not up to international standards

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 1:26 pm  

  • Leary and reddan have been given enough chances ,as for Earls,he had a bad game,last week he couldn't do anything because he had a joke of a 12 inside him,maybe ROG at 10 and Sexton at 12?could it work??Murray needs to be given a proper chance next week,Stringer is above leary and reddan in my books now.As for Felix Jones,good luck man,such a huge loss,his time will come

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 1:40 pm  

  • Neither team looks that great. Both are still preperation though.
    But neither team look like worying NZ.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 2:21 pm  

  • To be fair France started to play well after Skrela's injury and Trinh-Duc entrance. Hopefully TD won't get wounded becaus ethat maybe the only player who is sure to make the starting team. I still don't understand why Skrela has been choosen over Wizniewski or Beauxis

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 2:34 pm  

  • Nice and efficient job by France.
    but as always u can't learn a lot from the warm-up matchs, because most of the selections are just installing their rugby and finishing a long physical preparation.
    But few points can be considered:

    concerning France, still no doubt that there will be among the favorites. England and France have far more reserves than Wales and Ireland. that's sad but true. France can select 2 different teams from a match to another and win it. very happy to watch back Rougerie at top level.
    France have the creation, power and skills to go far in the RWC, but medard, clerc and heymans can show really more and the frenchies have difficulties to kill the score and often relax themselves after 80 minutes

    for Ireland, i don't recognize the team which have destroyed england durin the 6N. The team seems to play by reaction. but when they play with agressivity, the mix of leinster and munster can be impressive.
    Hope they can do somethin for the last great international moments of ROG, BOD, POC and co.
    May the last warm-up match vs england wake up Ireland

    Can't wait for this "breakfast" RWC :)

    By Anonymous Colombes, at August 22, 2011 2:48 pm  

  • to colombes

    "France relax themselves after 60 minutes, to be more precised" ;)

    By Anonymous gary, at August 22, 2011 2:50 pm  

  • France will always be a team that thrives off emotions and as such they will blow hot and cold like the wind.....dont expect a repeat of this I assure you. Unless its against the AB's ;)

    By Blogger SpencaH, at August 22, 2011 2:58 pm  

  • 'kin ell, what was O'Leary thinking in throwing that pass? Looks like he just threw himself out of the Ireland RWC squad.

    Cedric Heymans has been spending some time in the gym hasn't he! I wouldnae like to see his meat bill, as Bill McLaren might have said.

    Nice to see him and
    Maxime "Wolverine" Medard on form and playing well. I'm a fan of them both.

    France are playing some nice rugby and I hope they do well in NZ. Can't see them beating the All Blacks in the pool so they'll probably go through second in the group, meaning they face (probably!) Le Nemesis in the quarter-finals. On current form they should thrash England, but England v France games and the RWC can be very unpredictable.

    By Anonymous von, at August 22, 2011 3:45 pm  

  • neither team played fantastic to be honest but at least in my opinion ireland cant do much worse which is a good thing. irish fans shouldnt be so fickle about earls and fitzgerald debate because earls has been producing the goods all year with the exception of the last game while fitz has been pretty poor....no discussion on who starts the next match.

    By Anonymous Ballygowen, at August 22, 2011 4:44 pm  

  • Yeah to the poster who said that Irish people never recognise O'Driscoll's mistakes, you're absolutely right. He came a mile out of the line for Heymans's try and put the defence under huge pressure. But an example of the myopia that Irish people suffer from was that Gerry Thornley (one of the most respected rugby journalists in Ireland) today said that the try was all Sexton's fault. It actually astounds me. I mean no matter how many mistakes he makes (if you just watch him you'll see that he does so many things wrong) people still say he's the best out there. People just judge him on reputation rather than how he's actually playing. And that ridiculous thing that he does of playing on while injured just puts his team under so much pressure, and he does it all the time. It's not heroic or anything at all like that, it's just stupid and inconsiderate.

    On another note, it seems like a decent Ireland selection from Kidney today. He finally saw the light and got rid of O'Leary and Stringer, but with him insisting on playing D'arcy and Wallace at inside centre instead of Bowe or Trimble or anyone else, Ireland's backline effectiveness is going to stay relatively low.

    By Anonymous Reality, at August 22, 2011 4:51 pm  

  • Poor performance by ireland but these warmups will hopefully remove the cobwebs and get them playing at full tilt, this was only the 1st match the full team has played together. The backrow is immense, obrien is destroying everyone in front of him. Darcy is coming in for unwarranted critcisim i think, trimble at 12 would be awful, he was only ever a 13 and his distribution is woeful. Bowe at 13 would be interesting but sexton at 12 could really work, everyone forgets he can be a very good runner and he can tackle. O'driscoll is only just back from injury and will be 100% hopefully come sept 11 v usa. This team i think could beat anyone bar NZ, unless they bottled it completely playing us but althoug they appear alergic to winning the World Cup i really do think they finally will win it again this year.

    By Blogger james, at August 22, 2011 5:15 pm  

  • Cant believe James Downey does not even get a look in.... our Centres are aging.....put Trimple and Bowe in there...Fionn Carr on the wing with Earls....its going to be a painful World Cup from an Irish perspective, Kidney cant coach offload/ fast rugby........and christ Tony Buckley makes it????! He couldn't prop up a bar.

    By Anonymous ConnachtFan, at August 22, 2011 5:47 pm  

  • Irish world cup squad looks ok, tough but fair on the likes of Fitzgerlad and O'Leary who haven't been producing the goods of late (although Fitzgerald looked very impressive when he came on vs France).

    Murray instead of Stringer is a gamble, he has a very similar style of play to Boss and has little experience. Stringer offers something different to all other scrum-halves and is vastly experienced. Murray's definitely a bolter and time will tell if it's an inspired call or just another Walcott. I certainly hope Kidney's right.

    I'm not happy with Donncha Ryan being picked - Kevin McLaughlin, despite only just being back from injury, covers the same positions and is a generally much more effective and dynamic player. Bad call IMO.

    I don't see why Leamy's been selected either. He's a poor man's Stephen Ferris/Jamie Heaslip - he runs into brick walls and instead of getting in an offload or making ground, he's chopped down straight away, making little ground. At best, it's slow ball - at worst it's a turnover or penalty against Ireland for holding on. He makes stupid decisions, has bad hands and gives away far too many penalties. Jennings is a genuine no.7, a traditional openside and would at least have offered something different. Eddie O'Sullivan made a similar mistake at the last world cup (i.e not bringing a genuine no.7) and we were left with very limited back-row options. Keith Gleeson should've gone. Hopefully not bringing Jennings won't prove to be too damaging to our chances.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 6:18 pm  

  • ireland handed france 26 easy poin ts

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 8:56 pm  

  • Anonymous said "Murray is a botler"what has he doe wrong to be given that tag?Leinster much?He totally outplayed any other irish scrum half in the magners,completely destroyed Reddan in the Grand Final

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 10:04 pm  

  • Looking at the highlights of the other games over the weekend, you see the Welsh being far more creative and clinical when given a sniff of go forward ball. Also, look at the lines of running from the ABs for their try off good off the top lineout ball. That surely isn't rocket science - just good coaching. You've got to hope that the Irish backs are keeping the whoopie cushion and fake dog turd in the suitcase, cos' they're going to need a whole lot more tricks than they showed on Saturday.

    Also, when is someone going to wake up and smell the coffee that we need a decent second row enforcer. Clearly DOC and POC aren't going to perform this role so you just wonder whether sticking Ferris in there is going to have someone hitting those damn rucks a bit harder than DOC. Admittedly Ferris is no Brad Thorn or Bakkies B but you have to cut your cloth...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 10:16 pm  

  • Apart from being talented, SOB also looks very powerful, but I don't know how committed the French were on that last try at the 81st minute. Watch out for Estebanez, a former League player and a very athletic and talented center (+played flyhalf sometimes with Brive). It's a pity he's already 30 yrs old by the time he reaches the French squad.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at August 22, 2011 10:19 pm  

  • Why is everyone saying France will thrash England? I don't understand. England won pretty comfortably in the 6 nations, not much can really of changed since then.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 22, 2011 11:25 pm  

  • ^^^ Other than attitude.

    France are a better team than England.. I have a fair array of different nations blood flowing through me, but i was born in england so i tend to support england but france are clearly a better team. HOWEVER, it all depends on what the french had for dinner, or breakfast, or how comfy the beds were etc etc and therefore which team turns up, the ones who win, or the ones who lose!

    If the heads screwed on french team turns up against the heads screwed on english team then my money is on the french. I am uninspired by england...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 12:32 am  

  • @Anonymous
    Typically, the French are a more complete team than England, in part due to a tougher domestic competition, but the English tend to outmuscle the French in mental aspects of the game. I'm not saying the English are smarter, I'm saying the French think too much. There are twice as many ways to conjugate a verb in French than there are in English ... it's too much.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at August 23, 2011 1:11 am  

  • Yeh I'd agree with you there ^^^

    I find the french play the best rugby when they play unconventional rugby. i.e "scrappy" 9 to 10 to 12 tackle to 6 to 8 ruck to 3 ruck to 2 (who makes a break) offloading to 13 to 14 who scores....

    you get my drift... but when the french try and do something "too clever" they tend to over analyse and stuff it up!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 1:35 am  

  • And D'arcy again demonstrates why he is not up to international standards

    D'Arcy played?

    I just got done watching the match this morning and was multitasking so I wasn't glued to the screen...but I honestly don't remember D'Arcy's name being said or seeing him do anything...

    Felix Jones did more at fullback to advance the ball that D'Arcy did at 12...shame about his injury (though Murphy does bring a certain level of "leadership" and old warhorse attitude with him, so that could be of use).

    By Anonymous el, at August 23, 2011 1:54 am  

  • Oh, and I was gutted to see Ireland lose after getting an early lead, but I'm always glad to see the French back three work their magic and Heymans score try.

    Oh, and I just saw O'Leary and Fitzgerald missed the boat to NZ. And not a single Connacht boy.


    By Anonymous el, at August 23, 2011 1:59 am  

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ARHuy-G7UM

    trinh-duc drop: vid

    By Anonymous ElliotJack4, at August 23, 2011 2:10 am  

  • he said BOLTER not BOTLER you fucking retard!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 2:15 am  

  • Its been said before but if Ireland could play England every match in the World Cup I've no doubt they'd win. They only really seem to care about beating England these days.

    The fickle nature of French Rugby continues to amaze me. Should we shorten the games so they only have to concentrate for 60 minutes,

    By Anonymous Englishman in HK, at August 23, 2011 5:27 am  

  • Yeah that, and THEY AREN"T THAT GOOD.
    France just aren't that great. They have some very good players, but not of the calibre of NZ, Aus, SA etc.
    They just aren't as good. They don't have as much flair, or as much skill. They are just as big and hit just as hard, but aren't as capable of playing running rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 8:08 am  

  • @ Englishman in HK
    Made me laugh a lot!! I saw France being beaten by I'd say a very average English team in Paris for the 2007 RWC. I was gutted but England played to win the game. That's what France is missing: a killer instinct, a winning mentality. I am French and I am now annoyed to see The French team only reacting to an "emergency situation" such as the one they lived during last RWC (losing vs. the Argies) and putting one of these sensation game (beating the AB) just to miserably chock against our Nemesis England; and I honestly think that that English team was not good.
    The French are not smart in the sense that when things go wrong they often don't have a plan B, they will be lost on the pitch, sort of naive. It's more often you see France leading a game and loosing (or close to lose) than France coming back into a game and winning it. No?
    Dussautoir is a great player but not a good captain I think. France misses a captain such as Martin Johnson when he was captain for England.
    I bet England will win again if they play the French in the 1/4 this year...arrggghh

    By Blogger Frenchy, at August 23, 2011 8:52 am  

  • To anon two above...You said

    "Yeah that, and THEY AREN"T THAT GOOD.
    France just aren't that great. They have some very good players, but not of the calibre of NZ, Aus, SA etc.
    They just aren't as good. They don't have as much flair, or as much skill. They are just as big and hit just as hard, but aren't as capable of playing running rugby."

    I'm pretty sure you're just trolling...if you are fair play, that makes you soooo cool!

    if not you're an idiot and this video should shut you up..

    So much for not being able to play running rugby and not being as skilled as the ABs...

    France have some of the best players in the world and to deny this fact would be moronic of the SH teams..They knocke out NZ last WC, lets hope you's don;t underestimate them again...

    By Blogger themull, at August 23, 2011 12:03 pm  

  • @Connachtfan - would love to see fionn carr and trimble on the wings, with bowe at 13, BOD at 12. Earls is too small and can't break tackles- which I think is also the problem with the BOD & D'Arcy centre pairing. Also don't get why James Downey hasn't even been given a single chance in these warm ups whilst Paddy Wallace, the guy who tried to lose us the grand slam and threw away the chance to beat Wales in the last 6 nations has been picked in the squad. Perhaps we need an inadequate centre who can also provide inadequate out half cover in case one of our two first choice out halfs gets injured?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 12:24 pm  

  • France won 2 of their last 4 games against NZ, and 3 of their last 4 against RSA. The only southern team that consistently beats the French, is Australia (and northern team: England).

    By Anonymous moddeur, at August 23, 2011 12:42 pm  

  • Though if you want to consider Argentina as one of the southern teams, then they are also France's Nemesis.

    By Anonymous moddeur, at August 23, 2011 12:44 pm  

  • Well most of the NH consider Argentina as a SH team... However most SH fans only consider SH teams to be NZ, Aus and SA... everyone else (unless they beat a NH team) are NH teams!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 3:04 pm  

  • That's because virtually all the good Argentinian players play in Europe, and learn their rugby there (mostly in France).
    They play like European teams. They focus on set piece, kicking, ten man rugby.
    Maybe as they adapt to the new 4 nations, they;ll become more like the SANZAR teams.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 3:22 pm  

  • ^^ Spoken like a true asshole!

    Typical, forget where they are ACTUALLY from, just focus one what they do!

    So sick of dick heads from SH and NH!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 3:30 pm  

  • Cant help feeling The french league system is doing to the national side what the premiership does to english football.

    Because the pay is so high and the teams attract international superstars, alot of french talent doesnt get the chance to play top rugby.

    I hope they hold it together and have a stormer of a world cup.

    By Blogger Savage, at August 23, 2011 4:19 pm  

  • if we are in with any shot of competing at he The WC Kidney needs to start backing our naturally talented players...and forset about the dead weight which he is caryying on the plane over (p. wallace, leo cullen, rory best , isaac boss, wtc.) We are a small nation but somehow we produce just about enough serious rugyb aathletes to compete at high level rugby. Leaving Fitzgerald at home was a mistake..even if he has been well off form since that knee injury over a year ago he is one of our few players with the natural ability and rugyb brain that could make an impact against NZ or Wallabies. That being said i have to respect some of his decisions such as dropping OLeary who should be back playing hurling and as far away from a rugby pitch as possible.

    My starting XV: 1.Healy 2.Cronin(pace and power..needs to sort out his throwing a bit) 3.Ross(for lack of anyone else) 4.Callaghan(again filler but he does a lot of the unappreciated grunt work-needs to stop giving away penalties though) 5.O'Connelll (for sheer leadership and agression) 6.O'Brien/Ferris (both amazingly effective in similar ways..a great selection choice to have) 7.Wallace (getting old but still probably the best footballing player in the squad outside of Drico) 8.Heaslip(maybe our only player that would make any other team at the WC bar Italy surprisingly enough) 9.C.Murray(a bit of a wild card but hes young agressive and made a fool of reddan in the ML final alredy this season..also has the size and speed thats needed for the modern S-H) 10.O'Gara(i genuinely believe he has the better all round game..ok his tackling is dodgey but he gets the back running onto the ball and has the best tactcal kicking game in the WC) 11.Earls/McFadden 12. O'Driscoll (because Darce of PW just arent up to it anymore and he is slowing down a bit himself..needs to move in to make room for someone fresh at 13) 13.Bowe/Earls (i believe either are great 2nd centres so long as they have the quality of Drico inside them) 14. Bowe/McFadden 15. Kearney(for lack of a credible alternative)

    By Anonymous opinionated, at August 23, 2011 7:29 pm  

  • Jesus are u people need to rember BOD is just back from an injury so is D'Arcy Jennings,feris,Tommy bowe who hasent played yet or David Wallace who wasent there and Kearney was missing its gonna take a few matches to get them full fit but i taught Fitzgerald played well off the bench glad O'Leary was left at home. Its been proven Sexton and O'leary don't go together.

    I wanna see Gordan Murphy play is well its prity much 2 losses because of the C Irish team vs Scotland. The mixed a/b team vs France in Bordeaux and the almost A team in Dublin. There is no need to worry just yet we will see where we are when the RWC starts. I will say this im not happy with kidney picking Buckley instead of Jamie Hagen for the RWC. It is about time O'Leary has been dropped finally coped on Deckie ur job should be on the line if you screw up

    By Anonymous ciaran, at August 23, 2011 8:16 pm  

  • and the 33 was a mistake my bad :D

    By Anonymous ciaran, at August 23, 2011 8:19 pm  

  • At this stage I don't know what Ireland need to do to stem the tide... The only thing this match did was expose all the weak points to the coaching staff from other nations watching (if they bothered). Our weakest link is the center. We need to look the future and McFadden needs to start taking the 12/13 jersey, and not the wing.

    France are 20/1 to win the WC... That's a decent bet. I can see them winning it. They'd outplay SA no problem, and have never been intimidated by AB's reputation.. They could find themselves in trouble vs Australia however. Still, a good bet.

    By Blogger Adam Keni, at August 23, 2011 8:38 pm  

  • @ Ciaran above: mate you must be joking.BOD was back from a small injury, while the frenchman rougiery was bakc from a broken ankle! just watch the whole game you'll see the bloody French basically breaking BOD everytime...
    something you must admit about the French: I see no other team that can actually play and win 2 good games with 15 different men! I mean, Bordeaus team and the one that played in Dublin were completely different, and yet they went on with either! if only these guys didn't get hurt that much...I think top 14 is way too long, way too many matches and therefore they're off it when it comes to national team...pity...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 23, 2011 10:50 pm  

  • Leaving Fitzgerald at home was a mistake I feel...

    He is one of the few Irish players with the talent to beat a man one on one or outpace him...he showed this when he came on last weekend...

    Even if Deco wasn't going to start him, he'd be a great guy to be able to bring on with 15 or 20 mins left...

    I'm still torn on whether Sexton should play at centre and let O'gara play OH...While his tackling is woeful, his tactical kicking and general game management are far superior...

    By Blogger themull, at August 23, 2011 10:50 pm  

  • earls is awful. id have fionn carr or fitz any day. earls can break or make tackles. good hands and speed but no physicality. cant see why he even makes the munster team. too much of a liability

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 24, 2011 12:31 am  

  • edit: cant above^^^^^^^^^

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 24, 2011 12:35 am  

  • "^^ Spoken like a true asshole!

    Typical, forget where they are ACTUALLY from, just focus one what they do!

    So sick of dick heads from SH and NH!

    August 23, 2011 3:30 PM"

    Haha, relax.

    It's why people from the SANZAR countries don't really include Argentina when they talk about the differences between southern and northern rugby.

    And you'd already know that, if you actually knew a damn thing about rugby.

    Argentina owes a huge amount of it's success to France, and the French domestic league. Without it they would have almost zero pro players.

    Thare aren't really any pro Argentinian players in the south, they're all in Europe. They play like European players, like French players. Because that's where they learn their rugby.

    But yeah, rant away.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 24, 2011 1:26 am  

  • So which hemisphere is Argentina in?

    ever seen an atlas?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2011 6:07 pm  

  • haha, you idiot. You asked why Argentina often isn't included when discussions are started about the differences between southern hemisphere rugby and northern hemisphere rugby.
    I explained that SANZAR rugby (ie what is played by NZ, Aus and SA) is not at all the same style as what is played by the Argentinian national team. This is because proffesional Argentinian players do not play rugby in the southern hemisphere. All of them play in Europe, primarily in France. This has been the case for decades.
    What it emans is that Argentina actually plays a very European, French style of rugby.

    This is why they often are considered sepearte to the SANZAR countries, because they don't embrace the same rugby philosophies as the SANZAR teams. These different attitudes to the game are what seperate Europe and SANZAR in their attitudes and approaches to the game.

    Unlike you I'm not making a judgement call, I'm just talking about rugby and answering your question.

    But again, you seem set on some kind of wierd emotional rant, so go right ahead.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 2:51 am  

  • ^^^^ How ironic that you call me an idiot and then make up a question I apparently asked....

    Learn to read, or read again, you'll find I never once asked a question along the lines of "why isn't Arg considered SH"

    So check again....idiot...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 3:36 am  

  • I'm sorry to say this, because as a neutral I am all for Ireland. But Ireland is going all wrong into the WC. I hope they make it farther then it looks like they will make it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 8:09 am  

  • Actually you're right you didn't pose a question, you just posed an opinion.

    "Well most of the NH consider Argentina as a SH team... However most SH fans only consider SH teams to be NZ, Aus and SA... everyone else (unless they beat a NH team) are NH teams!"

    Which I took no issue with, in fact agreed with, and then offered reasons for.

    Because (and I'm pointing this out again calmly and rationally for you, since you seem quite emotional and not good at observing or retaining facts), when the debate about southern hemisphere / northern hemisphere rugby goes on, it's not really about the hemisphere at all.

    That's just a conveniant but largely inaccurate geographical description of a divide in phislosophy which is really about a difference in approach between European rugby teams and the SANZAR teams. You could maybe throw the Islanders in there too, although they kind of have a style all of their own.

    The difference is debatable but focuses largely on the SANZAR focus on attacking play, particularly skillful backline play, and the European focus on set pieces, what is refered to as ten-man rugby (ie forward dominated) and the kicking game.

    So the reason people who actually know a bit about rugby and it's history don't include Argentina in the debate is for several reasons.
    1. Argentina has only recently been able to compete at a proffesional level with other teams with any consistency, so up till recently no one bothered including them in the debate.
    2. They don't have any players playing proffesionally in the Southern Hemisphere or SANZAR ruigby. None of their players come through SANZAR development pathways or learnt heir trade proffesionally in the south.
    3. Virtually every single one of their proffesional players has developed in Europe, primarily through the French system.
    4. Argentinaina players as the result of the above, play what is without doubt quintisential European (or NH rugby).

    The Argentinians aren't included really, in much the same way that Japan isn't often included when talking about 'NH' rugby, even though they are without doubt in the NH. Japanese rugby influence is largely Southern Hemisphere (SANZAR). They emulate that style of rugby. But they are without doubt a northern hemisphere team geographically. So basically they just don't get included in a debate.

    But anyway, I assume you'll go on another weird emotional rant.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 8:27 am  

  • I don't know why you keep using emotional rant...

    Do you have emotional issues?

    I made a statement..Correct... But in this giant world of NH v SH it has nothing to do with Argentina playing in the NH competitions. (Perhaps it does for you, and for a few others) but generally Argentina are considered NH because most SH fans cannot bear to have "SH teams lose to NH" therefore the only teams which are considered SH are SANZAR...i.e Aus, SA, NZ = SH anyone else is NH...

    It's not an emotional rant, in fact I'm too tired to put any real emotion into my posts right now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 11:23 am  

  • And p.s Japan is often considered NH... So I'm not entirely sure where you made that one up from...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 26, 2011 11:23 am  

  • You're just a bit ignorant of rugby and it's history.
    You dont really understand the context of the whole NH vs SH thing, and you think it's based on geography.
    Its not. It's about a style of play.
    But anyway, good luck to you. There was never any reason for this dicsussion to be anything other than civil.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 27, 2011 3:38 am  

  • You are truly talking out of your rear end...

    NOBODY in the SH views Japan as a SH team...

    Imagine England losing to Japan... would a SA fan say "haha, look another SH team demolished the english" ?

    Or if Argentina beat Aus do you think a NH fan would get away with saying "thats good that one of our NH teams beat a SH team"

    silly silly boy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 27, 2011 4:50 am  

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