Tuesday 23 January 2018

Peter Bills: Poite's failings ruined game as a spectacle

one statistic condemns Ireland's display in Rome on Saturday.

Of 193 passes completed by Ireland, there were just six offloads in the tackle. That reveals that this Irish team is still miles off coming to terms with the nuances of the new game. Continuity is the oxygen by which it breathes. Ireland's players, in the main, are still seeking contact, not space and preferring to take the ball to ground.

Or, perhaps in this instance, there was a reason for that. His name was Romain Poite. To say that Ireland had a bad day at the office is an understatement. But include the French referee in that category.

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