Kidney deserves the chance to sit down with IRFU and explain where he thinks it all went wrong
But the coaches underneath him have to take responsibility as well.
The setpiece malfunctioned badly and that’s Gert Smal’s area. Ireland have only scored 21 points since half-time in the Wales game and the attacking side of their game is Les Kiss’s department.
There’s more than just the head coach who should be taking the criticism here.
When all is said and done, this is on the players’ shoulders. What happens out on the field is their responsibility. When you dominate a game as much as this, nobody can blame the gameplan for a defeat.
I was really impressed with the way Ireland played in the first half – their energy was high, they were running great lines and really pushing Scotland around at the breakdown.
To me, the setpiece was the key weakness because of the psychological blows that came from turning the ball over in the scrum and lineout.
You could see the effect it had on the Scottish players – they were desperate for any bit of a lift they could get and Ireland’s setpiece gave it to them. This was Ireland’s own doing. Their accuracy and decision-making was so poor.
When they needed leaders, Ireland were found wanting. When Jamie Heaslip was made captain, I was one of the people who couldn’t see what the big deal was. I really didn’t think it was going to be that significant. But looking at it now, there’s something not right there.
I think maybe Brian O’Driscoll is just too big a player or too big an influence. However much he tries to take a step back, the team still look to him.
At times on Sunday, the Irish players looked like they were looking around for somebody to do something. Games are won and loss when there’s pressure. That can be pressure to score or pressure to defend – either way, that’s when your team needs somebody to come up with a big play. Those moments are where you find leaders having their biggest influence. Ireland made a mess of those moments when the pressure came on.
They’re in a tough place now as players. They have to see the rest of the tournament as an opportunity to right the wrongs. They got themselves into it, now they have to get themselves out of it.