Posted by: theswissjob | September 24, 2007

Siege mentality

After a weekend of gentle mourning and heavy drinking analysis I had a quick scan of the rugby news this morning and the inevitable has happened. The siege mentality syndrome has hit the Irish camp and so there is no hope. This is something that happens every time a team performs badly and it always suprises me that squads can’t see it coming and avoid it.

The Irish rugby news is filled today with the rumours, allegations and speculation about O’Gara’s personal life and the numerous players who have come out in his defense. It’s also detailing how Eddie is on the back foot and the IRFU are probably kicking themselves for getting back into bed with him. None of this should matter.

The amount of time, effort and focus it takes these people to defend allegations and “what-ifs” could be put to much better use, I don’t know, practising line-outs, learning how to catch the ball and take it into contact, rugby in general! I’m not up to speed on the contractual obligations of players and management but surely they can cut out a few interviews and get back on the training pitch?

The players focus also gets thrown in these situations. It reminds me of the famous “spear tackle” on O’Driscoll during the Lions tour. We heard nothing but that for the next few weeks, meanwhile nothing came of it and the Lions got beaten off the field. It was a smokescreen for bad management, poor preparation and an inevitable loss and the same could be said about the whole O’Gara debacle. Move on, get over it, get back to what you should be doing and forget about the media, the sponsors and the allegations.

The “hard-done by” attitude is coming into it, the excuses are being exercised and meanwhile the team aren’t performing. We got put into the “pool of death”, the French media have taken a pop at O’Gara, the referee was not on our side, Georgia are actually a good team etc etc. Time to grow up and play some rugby.



  1. Enough speculation and mystery! This team has passed it’s peak – no mystery. It’s just a shame that the unravelling has happend at the WC.

  2. Let me be the first to say that how I’m surpise with Ireland performance.

    Nevertheless though my beloved Pumas are on fire at the moment, I still fear the worst could happen in the last game.

    I’ll writing a preview on that match in my blog soon, so please do check and leave your comments as well.

  3. I’m sick to death of people moaning about the team – almost as if their under-par performances were a personal insult to them. The callers into “Drivetime” on Radio 1 were a disgrace – “another anonymous post here – caller says that he’ll never go to another rugby match again”. Great! Can I have your ticket for Croke Park in the new year?

    Who are these a**holes? Yes the team played badly but they didn’t look as if they weren’t trying. They looked crushed after the French match – they certainly didn’t look as if they didn’t care. I really don’t want to hear one more comment about “overpaid professionals”. Yes they’re earning more than any Irish rugby player before them, but compared to players in the Premiership or golfers like Harrington or McGinley, they’re only in the ha’penny league. They’re not going to earn enough from ten years in the professional game to sustain them for the rest of their working lives. They’re probably earning a hell of a lot less than Mick from Corporate Finance who is currently slagging them off.

    Doesn’t anyone remember the 90’s when they lost game after game? No, because they weren’t there – they were busy climbing on Jack Charlton’s bandwaggon and following the successful Irish soccer team. Yes, the results have been a real downer, the team have played badly and we’re all disappointed. That’s sport – if you played it at all then you’d know that it has the ability to thrill and crush, shock and delight. That’s why the real fans still follow it, still cheer on their team and GET OVER IT when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted. There’s always another day.

  4. AttaGirl !! I agree with every word. Never mind the money (and yes, I’d like it!) those guys play because they are proud to represent Ireland. Keith Wood said last night ‘if you are gutted as a supporter then how do you think they feel?’

    Ronan O’Gara and the lot of them have given me and thousands of others massive pleasure over the last few years. Yes, the wheels have come off in spectacular and disappointing style – and it will need savage analysis once it is all over to try and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

    In the meantime I’m off, more in hope than expectation, to Paris for the weekend. And I’ll be making a LOT of noise!

    Supporters support; fair weather travellers whinge.

  5. I’ll be at the game on Sunday, wearing the jersey and singing myself stupid as well. I’m proud of how the team has tried to meet the huge expectations put on them. I just don’t think they should let things like the French media get in the way of their recovery or worse yet, use it as an excuse for why things are going wrong.

    Come on the boys, four tries against the Argies isn’t completely out of the question. Is it?

  6. Right on ScaryGirl. God knows the results have been disappointing, but having been at all three games, with the exception of the namibia match (which I still can’ get my head around), the team have been flogging their guts out to get this going. In the French match there was no shortage of effort – though why, on why we never compete on the opposition throw in is beyond me, especially when our rucking is not working to plan. I have my ticket for Sunday, and a couple of my friends are fightçing throw the transport booking systems to get across to join me at the match. Of course it will be a struggle – but that is where we are at, and I know this team still have the ability to make it happen. Will they – I don’t know, but I know what I hope. Also, I am looking forward to a large Irish crowd who get behind the team and lift them on Sunday. (and for God’s sake, cut out the whistling when the opposition are taking a kick at goal, this is childish, thuggish behavior, and not representive of our game). And if we win, and get the bonus point, then we face the All Blacks (assuming Georgia don’t beat France – well, there is always hope!), and yes, we can rise to that one as well. Is uit a long shot, yes, but welcome to the world of being an Irish Rugby supporter – and those of us who are, wouldn’t trade it for all the riches in the world. Come on Ireland, you can do it.

  7. Sad, sad sad…reminds me of a Stones song. Love the game, but could never come to terms with what must be the rugby equivalent of “route one” as it is practised by Ireland, or at least was, until quite recently. Fact is we just don’t have the resources to back up a team that relies almost exclusively on its strength, and that was patently obvious in Argentina this summer. Yet, according to BOD (before the deluge) we had to go out and “crush” the minnows to make our mark on this tournament and then everyone was then lost for words when we couldn’t. This team has patently overtrained, that’s what, and now, at the crucial juncture, has no gas left in the tank. Worse still, there evidently is no plan B, if talk of making better use of phase play on Sunday is anything to go by. Well, I’m sure the Argenitinians are going to grant us a special indulgence just to do that. No man, maybe a cleverer use of the backs, a little guile and cunning, feints, up and unders, use of the wings, even belting the effing ball along the ground and chasing after it (For Shame!!) might get us further! Attacking rugby, I believe it’s called.

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