Tuesday 25 April 2017

'He was largely anonymous' - RTE panel criticise Heaslip, Best and Henshaw over Wales defeat

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland's Six Nations title-winning ambitions are at an end after a disappointing 22-9 defeat in Cardiff.

Ireland failed to score a try and conceded three through George North (2) and Jamie Roberts in a performance which featured far too many mistakes and poor decision-making.

In a hugely physical  encounter, Ireland created a lot of tryscoring opportunities but failed to convert any of them.

"We're all deflated, we wish it didn't mean as much," Ronan O'Gara told RTE after the game.

"(Justin) Tipuric, (Sam) Warburton, (Rhys) Webb, (Dan) Biggar, (George) North and (Liam) Williams had big games. The big players performed for Wales tonight and not enough of our players had big moments. I think we were inaccurate.

"You cannot win a game with nine points. Those days are over. It has to be tries."

Shane Horgan was not impressed by the displays of two of Ireland's most experienced campaigners, Jamie Heaslip and Rory Best.

Heaslip and his back row counterparts were overwhelmed by Wales and the Irish lineout had a day to forget.

"Two of our key players didn't perform tonight. Our captain Best didn't perform well at lineout time and Jamie Heaslip was largely anonymous for the game," Horgan said.

O'Gara criticised the decision not to go for the posts when Wales were penalised in their own 22.

"I don't think the lineout is the issue, I think it's the decision before that. I think the lads have kicked 18 penalties in a row between them," he added.

"For me, if that's an (Brian) O'Driscoll or an (Paul) O'Connell, he doesn't give the kicker an option, he doesn't even ask you, he just goes do it because there will be time away from home when you have to build the scoreboard."

Ireland had a huge opportunity at 15-9 down through a driving maul but were pinged when Robbie Henshaw joined the maul in front of the ball carrier

"He has such good intentions but he doesn't need to do it," O'Gara said.

Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan described the mistake as a "completely unnecessary intervention".

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