Well, Ireland’s 3-test series against New Zealand ended in a bit of a shambles to say the least. The team suffered a record defeat of 60-0. This brings an end to what has been a pretty disappointing season.
It was a game too far for the Irish. They looked completely spent, which is understandable, and were unable to build on their brilliant performance of the previous week.
The All Blacks, on the other hand, had been embarrassed in that test, and had been castigated by the home media and fans, and so they were going to come back a lot more motivated.
It was an immense performance from New Zealand, who dominated from the start. Few of the Irish players were able to have any affect on the match, with most been completely nullified.
It would be wrong to single out one player, but Paddy Wallace had a very poor game, although this is understandable. He had been called in to the squad 3 days before the third test, from a holiday in Portugal, so he was obviously not going to be on top form.
I don’t know why Fergus McFadden didn’t play in the centre, as this is his preferred position. Trimble could have started at wing, and Wallace could have been on the bench.
The only players that really put in a good game were the front row and Donncha Ryan. All four have been great throughout the series, and should start all of Ireland’s upcoming internationals.
Kearney tried too hard at times, and was ‘rewarded’ with a yellow card just at the end of the first half. Other players were left ineffectual by the dominant New Zealand performance.
As a friend pointed out, the last time Ireland suffered such a heavy defeat to New Zealand was in 1992, when they lost 59-6. Ironically, Ireland had almost beaten the All Blacks the previous week, losing by just 3 points, 24-21!
Overall, it has been a disappointing season for Ireland, with only the draw against France, and the 2nd test against New Zealand, as high points. The lows included the record loss against New Zealand, and the poor performance against England.
The players now have a short break, before their back into the season, training and playing for their provinces in the Rabo12 and Heineken, which will go on for the whole season, ending in late-May.
Ireland have internationals in November against Argentina and South Africa.
Then there’s the 6 Nations, and for the lucky players a Lions tour to Australia in June. That’s a very long season, with only a month break, separating it from their last season. In fact, the players have had only about 2 months break in the last 3 years!