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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Players’ Reaction: Ireland 32 Namibia 17

Players’ Reaction: Ireland 32 Namibia 17

Ireland centre and captain Brian O’Driscoll, lock Paul O’Connell and flanker David Wallace gave their reactions to IrishRugby.ie after the 32-17 defeat of Namibia.

BRIAN O’DRISCOLL:

It was a really awful display. It just got worse as the game went on. We’ve no excuses…after the game, it was like a defeated dressing room in there. It’s just a massive disappointment on every level. There’s a huge, huge amount to improve on for the next game (against Georgia).

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“It is a concern. We know our standards. Everyone saw during the Six Nations that we can play some really good rugby. But we’ve struggled to reproduce that sort of form since then. Time is running out a little bit.

“But, at the same time, we’re not going to lose our heads just yet. We didn’t lose the game. We did get five points. You still have to remain as positive as you possibly can. We can still come out of this pool by winning the next three games.

“So, as bad as things are, things could have been worse if we hadn’t won the game. So, let’s just take a bit of a reality check.

“I think Namibia really grew into the game. Credit to them, when we made mistake after mistake, their confidence started to grow. Games can change very quickly. If you start well you can sometimes put teams to the sword but we did anything but that today. We got what we deserved.

“Not to disrespect them at all but we certainly expected the result to be a lot different. They played well, though, I suppose. Us putting in a performance like that, both personally and collectively, was not what we expected. We’ve a huge amount to improve upon. We’re going to have to do a lot of hard work this week.”

PAUL O’CONNELL:

“We just made too many mistakes. Fair play to Namibia, they played some very good rugby, retained the ball very well, they’re a fit bunch, very committed and played very well.


“There’s only so long we can go on like this. Today was the day to do it and it’s going to be very disappointing if this team doesn’t produce the kind of rugby it’s capable of.


“We’ve had three warm-up games and there was only glimpses of (how we can play) during those games and again tonight. We’re very disappointed. We’re not playing well and we need to find it from somewhere.


“You can’t play rugby against any team in the world making that amount of mistakes and it’s something we’re going to have to eradicate. We’re not playing to our potential.”


DAVID WALLACE:


“Basically we made too many silly little errors. There were a lot of knock-on balls – probably more than in any game I can remember.


“We gave them a platform to get back into the game, gave them more ball than they should have had. We just have to cut the errors out because it’s not acceptable.


“It just started happening, you can never tell why. Maybe it was first match nerves, I don’t know…you think we would have settled down but we kept making silly little mistakes and we were punishing ourselves.


“We’ll have to have a long hard look at ourselves and see where we went wrong. We’ve only a short amount of time to get ready for the Georgia game. It’ll be another bruising encounter and we need to step it up at this stage.


“You don’t become a bad team overnight. We still have to feed off our confidence from last season. We know we’re not a bad team and we can bring a better game to the pitch the next day.”