Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan had a catch-up session with the media this morning following his side’s disappointing Pool D victory over Namibia last night. Read on for his thoughts.
ON INJURIES SUSTAINED IN THE NAMIBIA GAME:
“I haven’t actually spoken to the doctor this morning. I think we’re going to just let the knocks settle down. They don’t seem to be too serious. Brian (O’Driscoll) just hyper-extended his elbow and it seems to be more of a trapped nerve than anything else.
“Ronan O’Gara’s got a bruised foot, so we don’t expect it’s anything more than that. We haven’t had an update yet – it’s a bit early for that.
“We had a late night last night. We didn’t get back to the hotel until midnight, so we’ve decided to let the lads sleep in a little bit.”
ON THE PERFORMANCE AND ERROR COUNT AGAINST NAMIBIA:
“I suppose I was a bit shocked by it all but I was more frustrated and annoyed by the performance…and so were the whole team. I looked at the match video and it was pretty much what we expected. It was just sloppy football.
“The main statistic is that we had 39 turnovers. We play with the ball in hand quite a bit so there’s always going to be turnovers but that’s probably double our average.
“We just made silly errors. We dropped the ball forcing the offloads in the contact, and we even lost it out of contact and had some kicking errors too.
“39 mistakes is catastrophic in a game. It’s like shooting yourself in both feet. The performance was error-ridden but there was nothing else too badly wrong with it. We were trying to do the right things.
“We had ourselves in good positions to score tries and we made line breaks but we either coughed up the ball after making the break or turned it over while making the line break.
“Basically, that’s it. I’m trying to make it as interesting as I can for you but it just boils down to making stupid mistakes.”
ON HIS TEAM SELECTION FOR THE GEORGIA GAME:
“I want to look at things in more detail before deciding whether I’ll make any changes. I’ve only had a glance at the match video so far.
“If we make changes we need to establish what advantages they’d bring. I don’t want to make changes for the sake of it.
“You have to consider whether it will improve the team or not. I wouldn’t say changes are out of the question but I’m not going to slash and burn on the back of that performance.
“The players know they did badly and executed poorly. That let the Namibians back in the game and gave them something to play for. It was our first game of the tournament and we wanted to put on a better performance than that.
“So, if I said wasn’t concerned after we went out and played like that I’d be telling you a lie. Of course we’re concerned. It was a very bad performance by any standards.
“And I suppose it means we’re not going to muck around with the team too much. We’ll see who’s fit and who isn’t.
“But we need to break out a good performance on Saturday against Georgia. I don’t think we can play that badly again to be honest with you. I would hope not anyway.
“We’re not going to start making wholesale changes all of a sudden. The team that took the field against Namibia is not a bad Irish team – they just played badly. That’s an important factor to remember.”