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Hellooo We Won

6th February 2006 By Munster Rugby

Hellooo We Won

On Saturday in the RTE studio Conor O’Shea and Brent Pope, a pair who know something about the game suggested the Scots might cause an upset. George Hook, wrote off the Scots in his flamboyant manner

The blond phones the Fire Brigade and says her house is on fire. The Fireman
asks, How do we get there ?
Hellooo she says, in the ***ing red truck.

Now the same blond having read the papers over the weekend is surely saying,
Hellooo, we won the bloody match !

The re-action to Saturdays result in Lansdowne Road must have a familiar ring to it in Munster circles. Following their back-to back Heineken Cup games against Newport Gwent Dragons commentators and supporters like bemoaned the fact that Munster had failed to secure bonus points. This according to most sources would come back to haunt them. Worse than that, Munster it seemed, the team Munster that is, had an iffy game-plan, showed a lack of ambition ,
didn t go for the extra tries and could, we were assured, pay for their lack of adventure. This morning that Munster squad is just a little under two months off the Heineken Cup quarter final joust with Perpignan.

It seemed the only group who really understood how difficult those Heineken Cup games were, were the players themselves. The general public and most commentators had those games marked down as a minimum, nine, possibly ten pointers. Dragons ? Yeh right. Just making up the numbers. Outside of the Munster camp, no regard, no respect.

After the game in Rodney Parade, Munster skipper Anthony Foley – how Ireland could have done with him on Saturday, but sin sceil eile – talked of chances created, chances missed and how they had a bearing on the outcome. But in the end Foley concluded, the scoreline remains, talk of chances, is all just ifs and maybes.

And this time around more of the same. Sure it s only Italy. Outside of the Irish camp itself, no regard, no respect. And the Italians weren t having that. A bit like the Scots. They were meant to roll over and be tickled then thrashed by all-singing all-dancing France.

On Saturday in the RTE studio Conor O Shea and Brent Pope, a pair who know something about the game suggested the Scots might cause an upset. George Hook, wrote off the Scots in his usual flamboyant manner.

But before we lose the run of ourselves we should look back at that Italian performance and accept it for what it was. A hugely improved from the norm, superb effort that might, just might have earned them a famous victory. And if it had, there could have been no quibble. But it didn t because, Ireland scored more points than they did, and in time honoured fashion are therefore
deemed the winners. And rightly so. And this morning they sit in second place in the RBS
6Nations table.

The Italians hit hard and they hit late. They lived closer to the offside line than onside and a fridge full of octopus couldn t have got more tentacles into the ruck than they did.

Ok, so Ireland were lucky. Fair enough. What side has ever won anything without it? Tommy Bowe didn t ground the ball but the move deserved a try. Earlier in the game, Ronan O Gara kicked for Bowe from a penalty. The Monaghan man was inches short of scoring a spectacular try. Had he, he would have been a hero and O Gara lauded for his quick thinking and pin-point accuracy.

As it turned out its hero to zero and O Gara, of course should have gone for the posts.
Damned if you do, damned if you don t. But if that try had gone in. If Geordan
Murphy s
pass to Bowe had been on the money. If referee Dave Pearson had
tackled the offside and octopus issue, then maybe .. Ifs and maybes. All ifs
and maybes.

To a man, this Irish squad will accept that their performance wasn t what was required. To a man they will know that what they got away with it in Dublin against Italy, they will not get away with in Paris against France. And to a man they will know that if they talk up the Italian performance they ll be seen as making excuses.

In the Charlton years no-one gave a tuppenny damn how the Ireland soccer side won. Just hoof the leather into the opposition box and hope for the best. It was boring. My God was it boring. But brilliant.
But your Irish rugby supporter of this era is a totally different animal. It s not enough to win. The Celtic tiger, tigress and their cubs want to be entertained as well. If you don t they ll claw your eyes out. This is Celebrity rugby. You won but I wasn t amused. I m a rugby supporter get me outta here.


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