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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Eddie O’Sullivan: Post-Match Quotes

Eddie O’Sullivan: Post-Match Quotes

Flanked by his coaching staff, Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan held a press briefing at the team hotel in Paris on Saturday shortly before the squad’s return to Bordeaux. Read on for more.

ON IRELAND’S WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN AND HIS CONTRACT RENEWAL:

“No, I think the IRFU gave me the four years because they want me to do the job the four years. Everyone knew this was the toughest pool in the World Cup – and we’re not out of the tournament yet.

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‘Maybe we should wait for the requiem until we’re out of it. For now it’s onwards and upwards and we’ll leave the review until after the tournament.”

ON THE TEAM’S PERFORMANCE AGAINST FRANCE:

“It was a better performance than the previous two (against Namibia and Georgia). It was a lot better, it needed to be. But the kernel of the problem came down to two particular areas. One – our discipline was very, very poor. We’d 13 penalties against us, seven in the first half, six in the second.

“We gave France seven kicks at goal and they converted five of them and that was the 15 points. That really was the killer and we had two kicks at goal, the that we missed the drop goal from the advantage, so you look at it in that context, seven against two is a damning statistic.

“In terms of getting into the game and playing, our lineout didn’t fire. We lost five out of 20 lineouts and that was compounded by the fact that they got a lot of our other lineouts. They weren’t really quality deliveries so we really didn’t get to run at them.

“The scrum was pretty good. We lost two scrums, one was a free kick and another was when we were down to seven men in the pack. But on the basis that if your lineout doesn’t fire and you give up seven kicks at goal, it tells a big story as to where we ended up.”

ON NEXT SUNDAY’S FINAL POOL GAME AGAINST ARGENTINA:

“There is now a bit of a mountain to climb, there’s no doubt about that. It’s possible (that we can beat Argentina with a bonus point), but it won’t be easy. The trick for us is to go in with a strategy. It might be a high risk strategy but at this stage maybe that’s where we need to go. We have a week to figure out how to go about it.

“I would say it’s a big ask but once there’s an opportunity there and a chance, we’ve got to go for it. We’re not out of the tournament yet. I suppose the bookies would have odds on us being out of the tournament come next Sunday but where this is a chance, you’ve got to go after it.”

ON THE CHALLENGE OF SCORING A BONUS POINT WIN OVER THE PUMAS:

“No, I wouldn’t say this is the biggest challenge of my career or my life. I mean it’s another challenge, it’s a big challenge. I’m not playing it down but you have to keep it in context of a game we have to win to stay in the World Cup.

“We have to win it in a certain way but that’s like the challenge of any game. I suppose at the moment it looks a bit tougher because we started the pool not playing well. I was very disappointed with that.

“We got better on Friday night and probably beat ourselves in our own way. If we had kept our penalty count down to its normal standard and if the lineout fired as well as it normally does, we would have been right in that game.

“We know that’s disappointing so we’ve got to put that right. You’ve got to look forward in this business and get onto the next job. You can’t look back and feel sorry for yourself.”