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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Fri, 24 February 2017
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 24 February 2017
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16 | 10
UWC v Rhodes 88 | 8
Maties v NMMU-Madibaz 35 | 16
TUT v WSU 13 | 17
NWU-Pukke v UCT-Ikeys 20 | 15
Sun, 19 February 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 46 | 31
Sale Sharks v Wasps 34 | 28
Sat, 18 February 2017
Connacht v Dragons 14 | 9
Ospreys v Munster 23 | 25
Leicester Tigers v Bristol 50 | 17
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 2 1 0 1 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Scotland 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0
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