Oh, sweet mother of Jesus! What the bloody hell was that?
Ireland, ranked fifth in the world, run uncomfortably close by Namibia, ranked 24th. Ireland, whose players are all professionals, exposed by a team made up of a few pros and the balance postmen, delivery drivers and the like.
Make no mistake, Namibia fully deserved their two second half tries. At that point in the match, they were the ones playing all the rugby. They were the ones that were controlling possession and field position. Ireland meanwhile were dropping balls, being beaten off their own ball and having their maul sent backwards.
It’s just as well that we had Namibia first. If we had had Argentina or France, we would have been beaten off the park. Ireland really need to buck their ideas up before the Georgia match, or they could be in for another fright. And they really need to show some improvement before 21 September, before they face a wounded France.
What the hell happened to our forwards? Ireland’s maul was decidedly the runner-up tonight. We coughed up scrums and even a couple of lineouts. Best was a disaster at hooker and Flannery should be the first choice next time out. Where were our back row forwards at ruck time? Ireland were pinged several times for not releasing, and frequently had their ball slowed up by the Namibians.
The Irish players and management have to ask themselves if they really believe that they are genuine contenders for the World Cup. Tonight, they looked nowhere near that.