Sunday 23 April 2017

'We've become a bit predictable, I don't care what anyone says' - Eddie O'Sullivan sums up Ireland's attacking woes

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Eddie O'Sullivan says that questions need to be asked about the Irish attack after Joe Schmidt's men were held tryless in the 22-9 defeat to Wales that ended their Six Nations hopes.

Ireland missed a succession of chances near the Welsh line, a repeat of the win against France where a similar number of opportunities were squandered.

Comment: Joe Schmidt's baffling Conor Murray decision was as costly as the butchered chances  

Schmidt defended his side's attack in the post-match press conference in Cardiff, but speaking on RTE this afternoon, former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan was far less positive about the team's ability to cut open a defence.

"There are questions about where we're going here," O'Sullivan said.

"Attack has really been the big talking point. At the front end of the champions it was our defence, now it is our attack. We can't break teams down. We've become a bit predictable. I don't care what anyone says.

"Last night we had 60% possession and territory in the second half and had three points to show for it. That's a problem and we have underperformed in that area.

"I think we have been shut down by teams who have our number and know how to defend us. In terms of picking teams apart and breaking teams down strategically, I don't see it and there is no evidence as far as I'm concerned."

Ireland managed 12 tries in their first two games in the 2017 Six Nations, three against Scotland and nine against Italy, but have stuttered since, scoring just one five-pointer in the subsequent two matches against France and Wales.

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