Jump to main content


Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

World Cup Bulletin: Ireland Must ‘Try’ Harder

World Cup Bulletin: Ireland Must ‘Try’ Harder

…Ireland Must ‘Try’ Harder…Pumped-Up Georgia Ready To Tackle Pumas…First Citings Of The Tournament…RWC 2007 Top Scorers…Up And Unders…

IRELAND MUST ‘TRY’ HARDER: Brian O’Driscoll’s early try in Ireland’s 32-17 victory over Namibia on Sunday was his fifth in World Cup history, tying him with Keith Wood, his predecessor as Irish captain.

Wood’s Irish World Cup record haul of five tries includes his famous quartet of touchdowns against the USA at Lansdowne Road in 1999 and a single effort against Romania in 2003.

O’Driscoll’s previous tournament scores were against the USA (1) in 1999 and Australia (1) and France (2) in 2003.

And while the Leinster centre is now operating at a strike rate of a try every other game at the World Cup, some of his more experienced Ireland team-mates are lagging behind. The men in green simply have to improve their scoring touch if they are to make a mark on France 2007. 

Half-backs Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer and second rows Paul O’Connell, Donncha O’Callaghan and Malcolm O’Kelly have never scored a World Cup try.

Seven players in the 30-man Ireland squad are yet to make their World Cup debuts, but apart from O’Driscoll, only eight of the remaining 22 players have notched a World Cup try.

Girvan Dempsey (1 try), Simon Easterby (1), Jerry Flannery (1), Denis Hickie (3), Shane Horgan (2), Alan Quinlan (3), Andrew Trimble (1) and Marcus Horan (1) all know what it is like to cross the whitewash at rugby’s biggest event.

Flanker Quinlan has an enviable strike rate of three tries in four games thanks to his brace against Namibia and that much replayed try against Argentina four years ago.

PUMPED-UP GEORGIA READY TO TACKLE PUMAS: Georgia, or the Lelos as they are nicknamed, will hope to hit the ground running and provide Argentina, the conquerors of France, with a big challenge in tonight’s match at Lyon’s Gerland Stadium (kick-off 8pm local time).

The selected Georgian team includes eleven players who graced the last World Cup, their country’s debut in the tournament, with lock Ilia Zedginidze expected to lead by example as the retained captain.

The 2003 World Cup saw Georgia score just one try – against 1995 champions South Africa – but with the French influence in the current side, they seem well placed to fare better this time around.

Looking forward to the undoubted physical nature of tonight’s tie, hooker Akvsenti Giorgadze said: “Rugby involves contact. The history of Georgia is war, and rugby is like a modern war. On the field we do battle and rugby suits the Georgian national character.”

It is quiet an achievement for Georgia to be at their second World Cup, considering they only have 38 rugby clubs at home and a pool of 2945 players to draw on.

Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda has made six changes to the side he field for last Friday’s surprise 17-12 win over France.

Four of the six alterations are due to injury – Marcos Ayerza is in for Rodrigo Roncero, Rimas Álvarez Kairelis for Carlos Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, Federico Martin Aramburu for Horacio Agulla and Santiago Gonzalez Bonorino will play instead of Juan Martín Scelzo.

ARGENTINA: Ignacio Corleto; Lucas Borges, Gonzalo Tiesi, Felipe Contepomi, Federico Martin Aramburu; Juan Martin Hernandez, Agustin Pichot (capt); Marcos Ayerza, Mario Ledesma, Santiago Gonzalez Bonorino, Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, Patricio Albacete, Martin Durand, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon.

Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Omar Hasan, Esteban Lozada, Martin Schusterman, Nicolas Fernandez Miranda, Federico Todeschini, Federico Serra.

GEORGIA: Pavle Jimsheladze; Irakli Machkhaneli, Malkhaz Urjukashvili, Irakli Giorgadze, Besiki Khamashuridze; Merab Kvirikashviki, Irakli Abuseridze; David Khinchagashvili, Akvsenti Giorgadze, David Zirakashvili, Ilia Zedginidze (capt), Mamuka Gorgodze, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Grigol Labadze, Besso Udesiani.

Replacements: Goderdzi Shvelidze, Avtandil Kopaliani, Victor Didebulidze, Zviad Maisuradze, Bidzina Samkharadze, Revaz Gigauri, Giorgi Shkinin.

FIRST CITINGS OF THE TOURNAMENT: England prop and captain Phil Vickery could miss Friday’s crunch Pool A match against South Africa after being cited for kicking.

Vickery was cited after he was seen to ‘foot trip’ USA centre Paul Emerick during their opening pool match on Saturday.

Vickery described the alleged kick as “unfortunate”, and admitted that “there was certainly no malice on my part.”

Emerick was also cited by citing commissioner Steven Hines for a dangerous tackle on England out-half Olly Barkley during the match.

Meanwhile, following Sunday’s bruising Pool A encounter between South Africa and Samoa, Springboks flanker Schalk Burger has been cited by citing commissioner Douglas Hunter.

Burger, the former IRB World Player of the Year, was picked out for a dangerous tackle on the Samoan scrum half Junior Polu. The player and his team management have been informed and a hearing has been scheduled.



1 – Percy Montgomery (South Africa) 29 points
2 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) 20 points
2 – Stirling Mortlock (Australia) 20 points
3 – Olly Barkley (England) 18 points
4 – Dan Carter (New Zealand) 17 points

10 – Ronan O’Gara (Ireland) 7 points


1 – Bryan Habana (South Africa) 4 tries
2 – Doug Howlett (New Zealand) 3 tries
2 – Rocky Elsom (Australia) 3 tries
3 – Drew Mitchell (Australia) 2 tries
3 – Sitivenu Sivivatu (New Zealand) 2 tries
3 – Berrick Barnes (Australia) 2 tries
3 – Jerry Collins (New Zealand) 2 tries
3 – Chris Latham (Australia) 2 tries
3 – Rory Lamont (Scotland) 2 tries
3 – Shane Williams (Wales) 2 tries
3 – Percy Montgomery (South Africa) 2 tries
3 – Richie McCaw (New Zealand) 2 tries

4 – Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) 1 try
4 – Andrew Trimble (Ireland) 1 try
4 – Simon Easterby (Ireland) 1 try
4 – Jerry Flannery (Ireland) 1 try

UP AND UNDERS: …Ireland’s three referees at the World Cup will see plenty of pitch-time over the coming days. Ulster’s Simon McDowell will be on touch judge duty tonight for the Argentina-Georgia game and has two television match official appointments for the games between England and South Africa (Friday) and France and Namibia (Sunday).

Meanwhile, Leinster duo Alain Rolland and Alan Lewis will also be in action. Rolland will be the man in the middle for France’s clash with Namibia, while Lewis will be a touch judge for the Samoa-Tonga encounter that same day…

…Former Ireland and Lions winger Tyrone Howe believes all is not lost for Eddie O’Sullivan’s team despite their failure to fire against Namibia on Sunday.

“We have a win and a bonus point and things can only get better. I have faith that this Ireland team can raise its game, but we need to get our act together and quickly,” he wrote in his Belfast Telegraph column.

“All things being equal, international rugby starts and finishes in the head. Confidence is crucial and a near apocalyptic refusal to submit.”

Howe believes more game-time for his former Ulster team-mate Neil Best would help Ireland’s cause in France.

“In the heat of a battle there are certain players you want beside you, someone who can give as good as he gets. Get Neil Best on the pitch. Call for ‘Skinny Chabal’!”…

…A very entertaining theatre show called “Heart Of The Scrum” is currently being staged at the Petit Theatre in Bordeaux (8/10 rue du Faubourg des Arts – 33000 Bordeaux), running from September 5 to October 19.

Taken from the writings of French rugby enthusiasts Francis Marmande, Patrick Espagnet and Serge Simon, and adapted by Yves Harte, this monologue presents the memories of a former rugby trainer, himself a former player, just before his retirement.

The values of rugby as well as of the pitchside heroes, the exploits, the friendships, the highs and lows are brought to life through the main character’s memories of the game. Actor Eric Sanson features.

The show will run until October 19, with performances from Wednesday through to Saturday (concession EUR10). For further informaton, telephone +33 (0)5 56 51 04 73…