Dazed Green Army beats a sad retreat from Edinburgh
BEMUSED, dazed and deeply disappointed.
The Irish fans trudging out of Murrayfield found it hard to understand how Ireland had lost after dominating for long periods in their Six Nations clash with Scotland.
But our failure to put enough points on the board meant it all fell apart for the visiting supporters on a strange Sunday in Edinburgh when the Scots triumphed 12-8.
Many among the green hordes were left wondering what might have been after Ireland had led 8-0 early in the second half.
Students Ciaran Callaghan (21), from Co Donegal, and Ciara Toole (19), from Co Down, said it was time for new leadership.
"I think the result shows we need a new manager," said Ciara.
"Some of the ones on the field today are starting to show their age."
Ciaran added: "I don't think it should take anything away from the Scottish side. They did what they had to in order to win and kept their head up."
Ross Ardale, a 46-year-old doctor from Dublin, said: "We didn't capitalise on our possession.
"We didn't take our chances when we had them and allowed Scotland to come in and win back points."
Meanwhile, John Kelleher (29), a food technologist from Waterford, was left wondering where it all went awry.
"I don't know what went wrong – we had so much of the ball but didn't seem to do anything with it," he said.
Coming hot on the heels of Ireland's defeat to the English in Dublin, fans were hoping Jamie Heaslip and his comrades would lift their spirits.
However, it was not to be.
Una Kincaid (47), from Co Donegal, said: "It was a shame. It's like we just didn't show up."
But not everyone was in a sombre mood following the final whistle.
The Phelan family from Kildare visited Murrayfield for the first time yesterday and, after a long journey, were determined to make the best of it – no matter what the result.
Husband Dermott, a 50-year-old bus supervisor, said: "We've been travelling since 3.30am to get here using the ferry.
"It was a very exciting day but we didn't expect to lose – hats off to the Scots."
Meanwhile, wife Kathleen (42), a hospital worker, added: "The atmosphere was great right up the final whistle.
"This was our first visit and it was well worth it – but it would have been nice if Ireland won given how well they've done up until now."
Diane Curtin (33), from Co Clare, was in Edinburgh for a long weekend.
"The result wasn't great but the match itself was," she said.
"We've had a right good craic since we came over on Saturday and we're here until Monday so we'll make the most of it and enjoy ourselves."
Comment: Billy Keane P24