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Coaches’ Reaction: Scotland 18 Ireland 19

Coaches’ Reaction: Scotland 18 Ireland 19

See below for quotes from Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan and Scottish supremo Frank Hadden in the aftermath of Saturday’s Six Nations clash between their sides at Murrayfield.



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“The game was always going to be a dogfight. We talked all week about that. I think a lot of the hoopla in the media was proven to be complete nonsense and we never bought into that.

“We said coming here today that Scotland would feel they let themselves down a bit against Italy and they needed to put in a big performance. That they did and we expected that.

“We had talked all week that the game might go down to the wire and we might have to pull the game out of the fire with 10 minutes to go. Having that headset was very important.

“If we believed everything we read in the media we would have lost that game because we would have been coming here with the wrong mentality. So I wasn’t surprised the game was a dogfight.”


“The two things that were disappointing for us were that we did have some chances to score tries, we did have some good line breaks and we forced the game a bit. And our discipline was poor.

“We gave up six kicks at goal, which is well above our average, and against a kicker like Chris Paterson there’s only going to be a bad outcome, so we couldn’t shake them off.

“Had we given up less penalties and finished a couple of scores life would have been easier for us. But that was Scotland’s best performance of the championship. I thought they defended really, really well.”


“The key was that when we fell behind and the clock was running out, it was a big question for the boys whether they would place up their tent and go home and say it’s not our day or were they going to dig in and turn a result out of a difficult situation? “That’s what we did. We held onto the football, took them through the phases, got our chances and nailed them. They were kicks, that what it was going to take to win today.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was effective. I’m not over the moon about the performance. I would have preferred if we were more accurate when we had our line breaks and I would have preferred if we weren’t giving up easy penalties.

“It happened and the most important thing when that is happening is to still come out the right side of the result.”


“There was an incident on the ground when someone tried to choke O’Gara. Someone had their arm around his neck, cut off his air supply and he went blue. I’d rather not say who it was.

“I believe it was deliberate, putting your hand around someone’s neck and trying to choke them is hard to do by accident.

“I didn’t see it because I’m sat in the stands like everyone else and he was at the bottom of a ruck with people on top of him.

“When the ruck broke up Ronan had gone blue and was losing consciousness. The doctor came on, checked his air supply was clear and he started breathing again. It’s an unfortunate incident but it happened.”


“Brian O’Driscoll fell awkwardly on the shoulder that he had reconstructed, so it was quite sore last night, but these things can settle down in a day or two.

“Girvan Dempsey picked up a broken nose in the first half in a tackle, so I suppose his modelling career is over now.

“You had two very tired sides last night (Saturday) and we’ve got a lot bumps and bruises.

“This is the last week of the championship and ideally we’d like to go out tomorrow and start working towards Italy, but it could be counter-productive in terms of keeping the energy.”


“The camp is obviously bitterly disappointed at the outcome of today’s game but most disappointing thing of all was that we didn’t play well enough.

“Ireland were there for the beating but we didn’t do enough or perform with enough accuracy or precision during the game to get a grip of it.

“It was the sort of game where the scoreline was always going to be back and forward and you just weren’t too sure who would be in front at the end.

“But we see it as a missed opportunity against the second-best side in the world to give the sort of quality performance of which we know we are capable.

“We were very disappointed with the quality of our defence. Obviously if we had happened to be in front at the end of the game we would have accepted the win but we would still be disappointed.

“We started poorly and I wanted to see a performance right from the start. But, perhaps, to be fair we underestimated what the defeat by the Italians took from our confidence.

“There’s only so much confidence you have and when you take a pasting from all and sundry following the Italian defeat it is difficult to rebound and I said before the game we’d find out how much it had affected us.

“I was surprised by the lack of urgency we showed at the start. But there were some good cameo moments throughout the game as it swung one way and another but in terms of what we were capable of it was disappointing.”