'Golden team' fails to shine
The Irish rugby team set out on their World Cup campaign with high hopes. And the expectations of the team, the manager and the fans were not fanciful.
This was a squad that had gone a long way and might go farther much farther. But high hopes took an early battering when our players performed poorly against two of the competition's minnows, Namibia and Georgia. Then France thrashed us. There are noble defeats and unlucky defeats and bad defeats. This was a bad defeat.
To redeem themselves and progress to the quarter-final, the team needed not only to beat Argentina but to score four tries and win by a margin of at least seven points. Mission Impossible. For most fans, the question was how well our men would play. And the answer: Not well enough.