Brian O’Driscoll & Paul O’Connell React To Ireland’s Shock World Cup Defeat To Japan
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Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll says “the mood of the country has shifted in 80 minutes” following Ireland’s shock 19-12 defeat to Japan this morning.
The men in green looked to be in great shape ahead of the game on the back on an impressive bonus-point win over Scotland in their opening game and looked to be on course to go unbeaten in the pool stages.
But Japan love an upset, and just like in 2015 against South Africa – have defeated one of the world’s very best sides at the grandest stage of them all with a simply incredible performance.
“The mood of the whole country has shifted in 80 minutes,” O’Driscoll said as part of ITV’s panel for the game
“I didn’t see that happening.
“It was a tough game, playing against the host nation who had nothing to lose, but huge credit to Japan. They played terrific rugby.
“But Ireland looked very blunt. They looked devoid of ideas, they looked devoid of energy actually. I wondered if the conditions and the humidity took effect because it just wasn’t the Ireland we’ve come to expect over the course of the last couple of years.
“It’s very disappointing. It’s not the end of the tournament – they can still top the pool – but they have some amount of work on if they’re even thinking about getting beyond a quarter-final at this stage.”
Paul O’Connell was also on punditry duties for ITV and he said one of Ireland’s strongest areas was demolished by Japan.
“A big thing for Ireland over the last number of years has been their ruck.” O’Connell said.
“They’ve had the best ruck in the world in terms of their ball retention, in terms of their speed, and Japan have absolutely just done a job on them at the breakdown.”