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George Hamilton Brilliantly Puts Achievement Of Ireland WNT Into Perspective

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It started off with such promise but, ultimately, it was a bittersweet end for the Ireland women's national team on their first visit to a major tournament.

Despite putting up strong fighting performances against tournament contenders Australia and Canada, they would come away with no points from either game, and will solely be playing for pride in Monday's clash with Nigeria.

Nonetheless, it has been a memorable journey Down Under with Vera Pauw's team, and the general understanding is that this Irish WNT is ahead of schedule, with the 2025 European Championships being eyed up as an opportunity to kick on from the success of this World cup campaign.

Katie McCabe said as much in her post-match interview from Perth at Wednesday, and there was widespread praise for the Girls in Green for punching above their weight on their first visit to a World Cup.

Legendary RTÉ commentator George Hamilton has been the voice of this team on the World Cup campaign, and has been the voice of the men's team during all of their visits to major tournaments in past years.


Speaking on RTÉ's Women's World Cup podcast, Hamilton perfectly summed up just how much Ireland had achieved in qualifying for the World Cup and their performances in Australia, even if the outcome was ultimately disappointing.

Ireland WNT: George Hamilton sums up weight of achievement at World Cup

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Calling in live from Australia, George Hamilton was asked for his feelings on the Irish performance at the Women's World Cup.

Though Hamilton lamented the slightly tired second-half performance against Canada, and the inability to get a result out of the Australian game, he summed up just how much the Ireland team had punched above their weight, and how narrow the margins which had knocked them out of the World Cup had been:

This is the first time for everybody involved, and she [Vera Pauw] was trying to guide the team into a place where they had a good chance of qualifying.

If you consider what happened, Australia only won by a penalty - and a very unfortunate penalty it was to be given away by a relatively inexperienced player. Then, there was the unfortunate Canada own goal which came out of a defensive lapse.

These mistakes...you cannot eradicate them, they're always part of the game. I don't think we can be too harsh. If it had been 5-0 against Canada - the Olympic champions - and 2-0 against Australia, and we're looking at an awful goal difference and two heavy defeats, I think we could say, 'something wasn't right here.'

But the knife edge...we could so easily have come down the other side with two draws, like Italia '90, 1-1 and 0-0, and we're looking at a real chance of moving further.

Swings and roundabouts, ball bounces, luck of the draw. In the circumstances, they have done really, really well, and we shouldn't be too harsh in criticising the fact that they only played two halves, as opposed to four halves.

It will be a bittersweet return home for Vera Pauw and the Ireland team, but George Hamilton's comments perfectly sum up how much they have progressed, and how close they came to causing a major upset at this World Cup.

They will hope to finish their World Cup on a high with a result against Nigeria on Monday, with kick-off at 1pm in Brisbane.


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Carlsberg 00 is an official partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team

Carlsberg 00 is an official partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team

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