After last week’s effort wouldn’t it be just like Ireland to go off and beat the All Blacks? Eh, no
Australia’s anarchic lead singer Quade Cooper celebrates scoring his try against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday. Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images.
It has been suggested Ireland’s only chance against the All Blacks this Sunday is to play to our traditional strengths ie bringing them out on the lash. But that didn’t really come off against the Aussies did it? Not many teams out-Ireland the Irish on and off the pitch, but by going on the piss off it and then taking the piss on it, they’ve insulted us to the core.
Even the number of Aussie players involved feels like it’s a dig, 15 to be precise, a whole rugby team, maybe eight others tagged along as replacements in case there was a late casualty in Coppers?
You’d have to wonder, on the evidence of last Saturday did it actually happen the other way round? That might explain why Ireland played like Canada with a hangover. Apologies Canada.
The Aussies are clearly attempting to make rugby the new rock ’n’ roll. The anarchic lead singer Quade Cooper, the punkish lead guitarist who can’t take the heat anymore, Kurtley Beale,and the golden boy gone astray James O’Connor.
But Cooper didn’t need the rest of his band last week, instead he relied on the head-banded duo of Nick Cummins and Michael Hooper who disconcertingly resembled a Wimbledon doubles team from the 1970s and the lads from the 11-8-50 ads. Need a try nifty? Call 11-8-50. It certainly looked that easy.
Playing in the dark
The nonchalance with which the Wallabies scythed through flailing-armed, wrong-footed Irishmen was jaw-dropping. At times it looked like Ireland were playing in the dark. Given the majority of the team (1l) played under Les Kiss’s defensive system in the defeat of the Aussies two years ago, it doesn’t really add up to suggest there are now “teething problems” in the area.
Whatever the warnings were about not kicking badly to Australia’s back three, it’s not New Zealand’s back three we have to worry about, it’s the 12 in front of them.
Yes, this time even the bright side seems quite dark, black . . . All Black.
“It would be just like Ireland to go and beat the All Blacks now,” said a man in a local hostelry after last week’s debacle, a very positive man who was lowering one of many pints of black at the time.
Of course we all know it wouldn’t be like Ireland to go and beat the All Blacks now; in fact it would be most unlike Ireland to go and do any such thing, which is probably why it hasn’t happened once in 27 meetings.
Hold on, of course, it could be worse. We could be down in the dumps after an awful display, have half our team missing through injury and be playing the best team of all time. Eh . . .
But here’s a positive for Ireland – Dan Carter is not playing. Aaron Crudden is a good outhalf, but he’s not Dan Carter; he doesn’t have his running threat, his vision, his passing game or his kicking game. Who does?