Sunday 24 February 2019

George Hook: Some parts of today were worrying and we are in danger of France beating us up

Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in action
Reuters / Rebecca Naden
Livepic
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip in action Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic

Despite today's comprehensive victory over Canada, George Hook says Joe Schmidt's men will get "beat up" against the French in three weeks' time.

Ireland stormed to a 50-7 win over the Canadians and ran in seven tries with seven different players crossing the white line.

But, while agreeing it was a decent start for Ireland, Hook reckons Schmidt's side relies too much on our forwards and admitted he was "disappointed" with the performance of the back row.

"We did what we came here to do which was beat a third rate nation but the way in which we did it was slightly worrying," said Hook following a live show with Tom McGurk and Brent Pope in Dublin's D2 pub.

"A bad second half, there is no glossing over it. We allowed Canada in the game. With 10 minutes to go, they were still alive instead of being beaten out the gate.

"Very narrow, a big problem at outside centre. That's the negatives. The positives - Fitzgerald looks a replacement for Payne, Sexton is in good form, the Murray/Sexton partnership is working."

But the Irish Independent columnist was not impressed by the back row.

"Disappointing, I think, the Irish back row. Heaslip, O'Brien. O'Mahony not really dominating to any great affect. Is it a good start? Yes. Do we now beat Romania? Yes. Italy will provide us with a sterner test because they will defend better and than France, we are in danger of France beating us up up front because we rely on forward domination to win." 

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