Saturday 29 July 2017

Feek: Ireland can be as consistent as England and All Blacks

Ireland scrum coach and former All Black Greg Feek. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland scrum coach and former All Black Greg Feek. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

They are currently operating a win/loss ratio of 53pc, but Ireland scrum coach and former All Black Greg Feek reckons that his side can catch up with the world's most consistent sides.

The top two teams in the rankings are currently operating on a different level to the rest. England have a 100pc record since the 2015 World Cup, while New Zealand are at 93pc. Their only loss came against Ireland in Chicago, while it is Ireland's mission to end England's 18-game winning streak this weekend.

"What the All Blacks have achieved and what England have achieved now... the All Blacks have been up there for a long time. We've talked about it and it's something that, with the players we have and that are coming through, it's you'd aspire to definitely," Feek said.

"I mean, you guys know as well as me whether that's realistic or not and I think that you can see with the U-20s and how that development is going and with the structures that are in place and what we're building to, it comes back to certain positions.

"We might be a bit low in a certain position and we all know that's not going to happen overnight. But I think when the spotlight goes on to development and long-term planning - and there's a massive amount of work that goes into that - 100pc you'd want to hopefully, one day, have yourself up there and do that.

Achievable "I think in the last three or four years we've brought ourselves into a position to be in the top five in the world, and that speaks for itself. And it's tough to be up there in that area.

"You need to be winning either against big teams or winning consistently to be up in that ranking. So I suppose that's one part of something that we can go, 'This is achievable'."

While a record of two wins from four Six Nations games is less than inspiring, Feek is not overly concerned with Ireland's record in comparison to England.

"We have done some things since (the World Cup) that have never been done before and there has been a few incidences where in games this moment and that moment have changed how it went," he said.

"You're judged by the scoreline, but I suppose we have got to be realistic and find out why.

"We played the three southern hemisphere teams last year and did really, really well. Playing the All Blacks twice and even playing them a second time we all felt we played better playing them the second time, you know?

"How do you judge yourself? You judge yourself on the final score but some of our performances have been really good without the 'W' so we're reasonably happy."

Irish Independent

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