Irish Journalist Launches Ridiculous Attack On Ireland & Joe Schmidt
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There’s no hiding from the fact that Ireland have been pretty disappointing over the last few weeks after an incredible 2018.
The Six Nations didn’t go according to plan with defeats to England and Wales resulting in a third place finish, massively down from last year’s Six Nations Grand Slam win.
But there’s no need to push the panic button just yet. As said previously, Ireland went unbeaten in the Six Nations last year – they then went on to win a series in Australia for the first time in nearly 40 years, before a clean sweep in November that included a win over the All Blacks capped off a remarkable year.
And while all this was happening the provinces were firing too. Munster reached semi-finals in the PRO14 and Champions Cup, while Leinster went on to complete an historic double in both competitions. It was only a matter of time before Ireland slowed up. No team in the world can keep up that kind of form, bar maybe the All Blacks, but even they have their rough patches.
One Irish journalist however, has gone to extreme lengths to launch an incredible attack on Ireland and head coach Joe Schmidt, branding their Rugby World Cup hopes as “done.”
Writing for the Irish Independent, Eamon Sweeney say Ireland’s loss to Wales was “pathetic.”
“Pathetic. Pitiful. Practically pointless. This was one of the worst performances by an Irish team since the return to international respectability in the early noughties. It is difficult to imagine how the defeat could have been any more humiliating.”
“Forget your World Cup fantasies. Turn Ireland over. We’re done.”
He goes on then to attack head coach Joe Schmidt, comparing the last few weeks to the downfalls of previous coaches Eddie O’Sullivan and Declan Kidney.
“The end of an era feel to it all evoked memories of similar displays in the dying days of the Eddie O’Sullivan and Declan Kidney reigns.”
O’Sullivan left Ireland after a humiliating Rugby World Cup campaign in 2007 where they failed to get out of their group, while Kidney left after a Six Nations campaign where Ireland finished fifth and lost to Italy. Schmidt meanwhile as we said had an incredible 2018 and has won 23 out of his last 26 Test matches. Two Six Nations losses hardly call for a crisis similar to his predecessors.
Incredibly the same journalist wrote a piece last week after the French game waxing lyrical about their return to form, highlighting the return of Garry Ringrose and CJ Stander in particular.
“What Garry Ringrose and CJ Stander have in common is that Ireland are always a lesser team without them, something clearly illustrated as the Leinster centre and the Munster number eight made stunning returns to action against France.”
“The concerned talk about Ireland’s stuttering attempts at recovery after the setback against England had largely overlooked the absence of Stander and Ringrose, who’d both been hors de combat since that opening day defeat.”
At the end of the day it’s been a pretty shitty Championship for Ireland. They didn’t show up and their top players struggled for form. But it’s a long road to Japan and there’s plenty of rugby to be played between now and then.
Relax. Ireland will be back. No team is perfect. They are human after all.