Kidney left frustrated by Irish flops

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 00:00
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"I know we're better than that," was Ireland coach Declan Kidney's verdict as a Six Nations Championship that promised so much for his side ended with a thumping 30-9 defeat by England at Twickenham.

"I know we're better than that," was Ireland coach Declan Kidney's verdict as a Six Nations Championship that promised so much for his side ended with a thumping 30-9 defeat by England at Twickenham.

The loss saw Kidney's men finish in third place behind Grand Slam champions Wales and second-placed England.

Ireland's campaign faltered at the first hurdle where they squandered a lead in the closing stages at home to Wales in a 23-21 defeat and they then let slip an 11-point half-time lead in a 17-17 draw with France.

That match in Paris had to be rescheduled following a postponement minutes before kick-off due to a frozen Stade de France pitch and left Ireland having to play four matches on successive weekends.

They also had to play the whole tournament without Brian O'Driscoll (shoulder injury) while fellow British and Irish Lions captain Paul O'Connell missed the final two weeks of the tournament with a knee injury.

Saturday's match saw England overwhelm Ireland at the scrum, their first of two tries coming as a result of a 57th minute penalty try from the set-piece and the Irish who, saw tighthead prop Mike Ross go off injured in the first half, never got going.

"That was extremely painful. You never like losing and you never like losing 30-9, especially on St Patrick's Day against England," Kidney said.

"All credit to England, they played well and deserved to win. I know we're better than that, we were well beaten."

As for the scrum, Kidney said: "I wasn't surprised by what happened at the scrum because Mike Ross got a crick on his neck at the first scrum and managed to play for half an hour after that.

"Tom Court came on and went valiantly, but our balance was off. That was always on the cards because we have guys who don't have huge tighthead experience playing for Ireland at the moment.

"It's something we'll have to work on and bring more Irish guys through."

Ireland captain Rory Best, who saw the scrum problems first hand from his position at hooker, added: "There's no real hiding from what happened. From the first scrum they took hold of us and didn't let us breathe.

"It's bitterly disappointing as a front row and front five. The scrum is something we pride ourselves on. The last 18 months we've talked about it and used it as a strength.

"We're happy to take the pats on the back when it goes well so equally when it goes wrong we must stand up and take responsibility."

Worryingly for Ireland, their next international matches are away to world champions New Zealand, renowned for their forward power.

"Unfortunately, it will be three months before we get to wear an Irish jersey and it (this defeat) will hurt for all that time," said Best. "The error count was unacceptable."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
London Irish v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 18 November 2017
England v Australia 30 | 6
Wales v Georgia 13 | 6
Italy v Argentina 15 | 31
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 30 | 15
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0
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