Rugby

Eddie O'Sullivan Had A Different Take Than Most On Ireland's Defeat To Scotland

Eddie O'Sullivan Had A Different Take Than Most On Ireland's Defeat To Scotland

Ireland's first half performance against Scotland was the period of yesterday's game selected by most when talking about where Joe Schmidt's team lost the game.

Ireland were two tries down after just 23 minutes and would go into half-time trailing by 13 points.

Though Ireland had the majority of possession and the Scots were the ones conceding penalties and missing tackles, Vern Cotter's side were leading where it really mattered.

Speaking on RTÉ ahead of Italy vs Wales on Sunday afternoon, Eddie O'Sullivan said it was Ireland's failure to put Scotland away in the second half, rather than their concession of three tries in the first, which 'sickened' him.

Ireland started the second half like Scotland had the first, scoring two tries in 17 minutes, taking a one-point lead through Paddy Jackson's conversion of his own try.

Everyone talked about the first half and how poor we were and how Scotland exploited us. The sickening thing for me - we hit the lead with literally 18 minutes [left] on the clock and you think, 'We're going to kick on here and put these guys away.' We somehow managed to give them one last shot and they took it. You never give a sucker an even break but, by golly, we gave it to them yesterday.

I can park the first half, there's so many things to talk about there, but the second half we roared back, we came back, we got onto our front foot, we did what we do well - we wore them down. It was pretty attritional rugby. It was very physical. To take the lead with 18 minutes on the clock and then not close it out... one more try and we had a bonus-point win.

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O'Sullivan said continous mistakes by Ireland was the source of their inability to get the score which would have won them the game.

It was that seven or eight minutes where they were on the ropes and one more punch and they were gone. We couldn't put it together. We kept making mistakes and turning over the ball, missed lineouts.

They got to 10 minutes to go and might have said, 'Hold on a minute. One score here and we can win the game.' We breathed life back into them by not putting them away in the 10 minutes after Paddy Jackson's score. That was the time to put the foot on the throat.

You can watch Eddie O'Sullivan speaking on RTÉ below.

PJ Browne
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