Sport Rugby

Sunday 21 January 2018

Time to stop rot – D’Arcy

Despite missing a raft of top players, Ireland star believes they can end dismal run of defeats

David Kelly

David Kelly

Gordon D'Arcy has backed Ireland to break the cycle of their worst losing record in 14 years by overcoming strong favourites South Africa in Lansdowne Road this evening.

A loss against the Springboks would condemn Ireland to their fifth consecutive defeat under coach Declan Kidney -- their worst run since losing seven in a row between 1997 and 1998.

However, despite Ireland missing six of their best players through injury, D'Arcy has backed his under-strength side to buck the odds and continue their good record against a side they have beaten in three of the last four occasions in Dublin.

"It is a must-win game," said D'Arcy (right). "There's enough experience in this team, who have faced backs-to-the-wall, must-win games before.

"I didn't know this was a bad run but if you start looking at the result, you start taking your eye off the performance.

"I'd love to say we can stop the rot but we can only do what we can. If we can get our individual and collective performance right, hopefully we can get the right result."

Ireland's last international was the humiliating 60-0 defeat to New Zealand in Hamilton.

"It was the last game Ireland supporters saw us play," said Munster scrum-half Conor Murray. "It was a very disappointing day, an embarrassing day. They were very good that day, but we were poor. It was the last game we played and you are only as good as your last game. It's crucial we put that right."

Ireland's naturalised hooker Richardt Strauss earns his first cap in direct opposition against his cousin, Adriaan, while Ireland could also call upon three more debutants, including controversial Kiwi recruit Michael Bent.


Tony Ward: Zebo's trip into the unknown


George Hook: Kidney's risky calls


Irish Independent

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