Thursday 19 September 2019

D'Arcy - Lazy to lay blame at Stockdale's door for porous Irish defence

Four-time World Cup veteran Gordon D'Arcy. Photo: Sportsfile
Four-time World Cup veteran Gordon D'Arcy. Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Of the many images which scarred Irish rugby supporters during last Saturday's Twickenham terror, the sight of Jacob Stockdale wheeling through a series of imaginary revolving doors was an overly familiar one.

However, on a day when so many appalling errors were unspooled by so many, it seemed almost invidious to finger individual error amidst such a collective meltdown.

Four-time World Cup veteran Gordon D'Arcy has little desire to paper over the cracks of a "bad" day but he is also eager to shine a light towards the future; for the alternative might just be to fumble in the dark and go nowhere.

"It's lazy to point the finger at Jacob Stockdale," says the man who formed a midfield fortress with Brian O'Driscoll with Leinster and Ireland for more than a decade.

"If he stops the try scored by Joe Cokanasiga, I'd be giving him a medal of honour. He's basically running the same system as everyone else but mistakes have been made inside.

"The biggest disappointment would be around the way those opportunities were afforded to England. Everybody was doing what they wanted to do rather than what they should have been doing.

Concerned

"If you saw this in a Leinster warm-up game, you'd be concerned. These were a lot of good players making a lot of bad decisions.

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"There were mistakes everywhere. One or two players don't change the result, the team are off by a couple of per cent.

"You don't need to win the Scottish World Cup opener against Wales this weekend. There is still time to do something even if it is hard for us to believe that.

"Fundamentally, they are good players with a good coach in a good team. Where do they get confidence from? The basics.

"England stripped that away last weekend in their win, so now it's about getting back to a basic game-plan and not necessarily one that is about one-off runners.

"But just the fundamental building blocks of any game, accuracy, pace, what we're used to from Irish teams. And no errors.

"It will be a disjointed game because of the team Wales will put out and there will be a few Irish guys who need to shine.

"The squad needs a performance. Potentially it could be a really good thing that happened.

"There is a hindsight bias though because if we do have a bad World Cup, everyone will remember these games."

Gordon D'Arcy was speaking at the launch of Dominic Smith Expert Electrical's new showroom in Dundrum

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