23/09/2002. A weary Irish squad returned to their Co Wicklow hotel yesterday evening with coach Eddie O’Sullivan “pleased enough” with his side’s victory over Russia in Siberia
A weary Irish squad returned to their Co Wicklow hotel yesterday evening with coach Eddie O’Sullivan “pleased enough” with his side’s victory over Russia in Siberia. The 35-3 win came at the end of a gruelling journey that was reflected in the way the Irish side performed. Nevertheless, O’Sullivan will know that Ireland were on a hiding to nothing and whatever about the blips that appeared in their game, he can be rightly content that the job they set out to do was done with a minimum of fuss.
There were aspects of play that will need to be addressed and without making excuses both he and captain Keith Wood, commented on the extenuating circumstances that influenced the performance.
“The journey was a difficult one,” said O’Sullivan, “and although we did what we could to combat the effects of such a journey, we looked a tired side.”
“The change of ball the night before the game was an unpleasant surprise and certainly had an effect on the lineout throwing.”
“It wasn’t a great spectacle. they were a tough side, very difficult to break down, very physical and as we expected they were up for it. But we did what we came here to do so now we look forward and get ready for the game against Georgia next weekend.”
Wood was prepared to take responsibility for a lineout that he termed a ‘shambles’. “I was throwing the ball beautifully, problem was it was going five yards too long. We didn’t play well, we played tired. No we didn’y play nearly as well as we can. We know that. But it was a tough job and whatever anyone else believed we knew it was going to be. Hard trip, hard job, job done.