Sunday, 9 March 2008

It's the hope that gets you - Part 2 - Ireland V Wales

It came as no surprise to me when Hope once again teased then walked out the door with the other guy on her arm. That she did so demonstrates that she is a discriminating judge of manhood and justice. Wales were by far the superior team on a day when Ireland were mechanical, witless and one-dimensional. We were a team who never really believed in our own ability or our own "colour-by-numbers" gameplan; instead we tried to stop Wales executing theirs.

Wales had ambition, self-belief and courage - Ireland did not. When these fundamentals of rugby (and of indeed of life) are absent the finer characteristics like skill and tactics are largely irrelevant.

And so today I too must join the chorus calling for a change in the Irish Management. Eddie O'Sullivan has done great things for Irish rugby over the past few years, things for which we must all be very grateful. However it is now clear that his growing conservatism, scientific and methodical approach to the game have overthrown the passion, imagination and bottle that characterise successful teams and has thwarted the natural talents of the current squad of Irish players. The IRFU made a mistake awarding Eddie a four-year contract before the world cup debacle - they must not compound that mistake by allowing that contract to run any further.

As for Hope? Well she showed up in Anfield over the last couple of weeks wearing red. She wants me to bring her to Moscow ;-)