Italy 11 Ireland 13: Initial Reaction

Ireland were given an almighty fright at the Stadio Flaminio today, where a late drop-goal from Ronan O’Gara spared their blushes.

They trailed 3-6 at half-time, but started the second half with much more intent as Brian O’Driscoll scored to give them the lead. The game was error-strewn without, and not a great spectacle, but the climax was dramatic.

Italy came so close to a first-ever victory over Ireland after Luke Maclean scored in the corner with just a few minutes remaining, but up stepped ROG to silence the crowd.

O’Driscoll said at the end, “It was sub-standard and we’ve got to expect more of each other. Thankfully we won today and that’s probably the only thing we can take out of the game.”

What are your thoughts? What do Ireland need to work on?

3 thoughts on “Italy 11 Ireland 13: Initial Reaction

  1. Massive opportunity squandered by the Italians. The knock-on from the restart after Maclean’s try was the key mistake for them, and as soon as Ireland had the ball back, you just knew they were going to score somehow.

    More encouraging from Italy, which is good because they’ve been a little disappointing for me in the last couple of years. They’ll fancy their chances against the Welsh!

  2. Oooohh where do I start? First off well done Italy, they deserved to win, stuck with it until the final whistle.
    Ireland were very poor in the first half, slow to start, unforced handling errors (in perfect conditions). Couldn’t put any distance between themselves and Italy and went in at HT down by 3.
    The opening 15mins of the 2nd half was a different story, Ireland were purposeful and dominated in every area, but agin let the foot off the gas and Italy were back in it.
    On their poor performances, O’Leary, D’arcy and Leamy should be ‘rested’ for the French game (Heaslip and Ferris were sorely missed)
    Don’t like to blame referee’s for bad performances, but Roman Poite was very poor by any standard, penalties were coming thick and fast against the props and for no apparent reason, Handed Leamy a yellow card for commiting an offence that he ‘assumed’ happened.
    Kidneys team selection (No Stringer on the bench) really hurt the team overall, no changes were made until the 63rd minute which was too later as O’Leary should not have come back out at halftime. Anyways, a win is a win… France next week in Dublin, lets hope that today was the wake-up call required for a better performance.

  3. Ireland faltered badly but it was for good reason – Italy piled on the pressure and contrary to my preview, they seemed to have a solid gameplan. Their set piece was superb and they had runners picking lines that caused Ireland to panic.

    I agree with Hutch, there was a sense of inevitability to Ireland’s victory, even trailing with four minutes to go but they will need to seriously regroup if they have any desires to finish anything other than midtable in this year’s tournament. Poor handling, execution and decision making does not a grand slam win.

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