…Flannery: It Was Definitely A Try…Referees Are ‘A Work In Progress’ Says O’Brien…Harrington Admires Peter ‘The Great’…O’Driscoll Glad To Have Horgan Back…Up And Unders…
FLANNERY: IT WAS DEFINITELY A TRY: Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery spent much of yesterday confirming to the press that yes, his try in the left corner against Namibia was indeed a legitimate try despite doubts surrounding the grounding.
Flannery, who is determined to regain the starting hooker’s berth from Rory Best, admitted to RTE that it has been “a tough couple of days” for the squad since Sunday’s less than impressive win over Namibia.
“We’ve looked at the video and it didn’t make for pleasant viewing. There were an awful lot of mistakes, we turned the ball over an awful lot,” he said.
“After watching the video, we’ve had a think about it and at training we’ve tried to put right a few of the things.
“We’ve maybe reverted more to our basics, trying to cut down the mistakes and build on it from there. Georgia are going to be very physical and we can’t afford to make as many mistakes against them.”
Explaining that Ireland did not take Namibia lightly, Flannery added: “Everyone was really disappointed at the weekend. We had everyone fit apart from Shane (Horgan), we’d been training hard. No one was holding back, no one took their foot off the pedal because it was Namibia.
“It was just very disappointing. We’re trying to take positives out of it – maybe it’s the wake-up call, maybe we tried to do a bit too much, too early.
“There’s a lot of pressure that’s come with the team this year and that’s mainly because of the expectations we have and we want to keep it there, keep our standards high but we can’t afford to put in another performance like that.”
REFEREES ARE ‘A WORK IN PROGRESS’ SAYS O’BRIEN: In an interview with Total Rugby Radio, IRB Referees manager Paddy O’Brien gave his opinion on the overall performance of the World Cup’s twelve match referees in the tournament’s opening games.
“Overall I’m certainly very happy. I thought the standard was set in the opening game. I thought it was a very good game of rugby from the point of view of being close, tight and everything the World Cup wants and I thought the referee played his part,” said O’Brien, who refereed most Tests than any other New Zealander during his career.
“It’s fair to say a couple of referees have been disappointing without having had poor games but they weren’t probably where we want them to be.
“A couple of the others who we expected to go well have refereed very well.
“I’m reasonably happy with how it’s gone but it’s a work in progress and we’ll continue to work towards getting it right by the end of the tournament.”
HARRINGTON ADMIRES PETER ‘THE GREAT’: Irish and British Open golf champion Padraig Harrington has become quite a rugby follower in recent years, and in a recent interview spoke of his admiration for Ireland’s smallest but gutsiest player.
“I like watching Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Shane Horgan play but the guy I like the most is Peter Stringer. I think he’s a great little player,” said the Dubliner.
“What he has to do on the pitch is incredible. He sticks in there and does it. Stringer is the guy I would admire the most for what he has to do out there. He is only a little guy and he is tackling men of 6ft 6in and doing a very good job.”
Padraig is just one of the sports stars to send a message of good luck to the Ireland team. Other stars including Derval O’Rourke and Robbie Keane have also sent their good wishes. To read all their messages and send your own click here.
O’DRISCOLL GLAD TO HAVE HORGAN BACK: Having a fit-again Shane Horgan back on the pitch will make quite a difference to the Ireland team this weekend, according to Brian O’Driscoll.
“It’s a massive, massive boost to have Shane back for the Georgia game. I can’t speak highly enough of him – the way he trains, the way he’s handled his injury, his hunger and the leadership qualities he brings to this team,” said O’Driscoll, who will captain his country for the 40th time on Saturday.
“I always look forward to being in the same side as Shane. He’ll bring something to this World Cup for sure.”
UP AND UNDERS: …”We got the job done, it wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world. We should have done better. You give any team 39 turnovers – 39 free goes at you – they’re going to come away with a try or two.
“If you half that turnover rate, take 15 or so away and we’d probably score four more tries which would completely change the momentum of the game.
“That’s hindsight, it’s an exact science. The responsibility and onus is on us now to not repeat that performance and deliver one that everybody is used to seeing from us.
“It’s about individually performing. If I’m playing well, that will have a knock-on effect on Brian (O’Driscoll) and Rog (Ronan O’Gara) and if they’re playing well that will have a knock-on effect on me.
“If you’re looking after yourself and your own job first and you get that done and you do it well – the guy beside you, it gives him a little bit of a lift and it has a spiralling effect after that.
“If everyone’s getting their own little bit right, we’re going to play well as a team and if we’re playing well, you can try extra little bits and your confidence grows and it’s pretty simple when you think about it.”
– Gordon D’Arcy gives his verdict on Ireland’s disappointing victory over Namibia and what supporters can expect from the team against Georgia this weekend…
…The Rugby World Cup is proving popular so far with television audiences in the host country. 14 million people watched the opening game of the tournament between France and Argentina on French television, whereas the French footballers’ European qualifier against Italy only drew 9 million viewers…
…Irish music group Slide will be playing a concert in the World Cup village in Bordeaux on Saturday, prior to Ireland’s Pool D clash with Georgia. Slide’s set up kick off at 5pm.
The event is being organised by the Irish Embassy in France. For more information, please contact the Irish Embassy in Paris on tel: 00 33 1 44 17 67 00…