Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill knows how to bring the best out of John O’Shea. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

This looked like a proper Republic of Ireland side sent out by people who know what Irish football is about

Ireland’s Shane Long  celebrates his late strike against Latvia.

Playing Robbie Keane as the lone striker has rarely worked

 John O’Shea, James McClean, Séamus Coleman  and Robbie Keane celebrate after Keane’s goal for the Republic of Ireland in last night’s friendly international against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Alan Betson/The Irish Times

But O’Neill and Keane would have taken satisfaction from all the little things done right

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill with assistant Roy Keane during last night’s training session at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Enjoy the trip lads, here’s looking forward to seeing you guide us on an epic journey

The Dream Team: Martin O’Neill greets Roy Keane during their Premier League days in 2008.

You have to bite your lip at times, something Martin O’Neill’s assistant may find difficult

Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King: in just two games,  King tried to address the serious issue of been outnumbered in midfield.

Noel King’s brief tenure has shown that viable tactical alternatives are available to us

Noel King: criticism of his tactics and team selection against Germany were ‘ludicrous’.

Noel King can concentrate on an attacking approach in a game where Ireland should have significant possession

 The Republic of Ireland’s Anthony Stokes and Jerome Boateng of Germany contest an aerial ball during the World Cup qualifier in Cologne. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Noel King’s line-up battled valliantly but gulf in class was always likely to tell

More articles

Rabo Pro 12

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Leinster 20 15 1 4 517 319 12 74
Munster 20 15 0 5 466 308 8 68
Ulster 20 14 0 6 431 270 9 65
Glasgow 19 15 0 4 355 259 4 64
Ospreys 19 11 1 7 479 328 10 56
Scarlets 19 9 1 9 361 383 7 45
Edinburgh 19 7 0 12 338 419 7 35
Connacht 20 6 0 14 336 442 10 34
Cardiff 19 6 1 12 371 483 7 33
Dragons 19 6 1 12 339 419 5 31
Treviso 20 5 1 14 341 533 7 29
Zebre 20 4 2 14 317 478 5 25

Pool One

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Leinster 6 5 0 1 152 66 2 22
Northampton 6 4 0 2 107 104 1 17
Castres 6 2 0 4 78 104 1 9
Ospreys 6 1 0 5 75 138 1 5

Pool Two

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Toulon 6 5 0 1 170 104 4 24
Cardiff 6 3 0 3 119 148 2 14
Exeter 6 2 0 4 118 123 4 12
Glasgow 6 2 0 4 98 130 3 11

Pool Three

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Toulouse 6 5 0 1 143 63 3 23
Saracens 6 4 0 2 217 74 4 20
Connacht 6 3 0 3 101 147 1 13
Zebre 6 0 0 6 33 210 0 0

Pool Four

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Clermont 6 5 0 1 139 69 4 24
Harlequins 6 3 0 3 126 103 4 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 122 150 1 11
Racing Metro 6 1 1 4 66 131 1 7

Pool Five

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Ulster 6 6 0 0 179 62 2 26
Leicester 6 4 0 2 159 112 5 21
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 121 124 3 11
Treviso 6 0 0 6 41 202 0 0

Pool Six

Team P W D L F A BP Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 161 77 3 23
Gloucester 6 3 0 3 113 114 2 14
Edinburgh 6 3 0 3 104 141 0 12
Perpignan 6 1 0 5 112 158 3 7