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Gordon D'Arcy Picks Out Ireland's Best Passer To Show How Far Behind We Are

Gordon D'Arcy Picks Out Ireland's Best Passer To Show How Far Behind We Are
By Sam Moore

Gordon D'Arcy's weekly Irish Times column has been largely well received throughout the World Cup even if it has come in for some heavy criticism abroad.

Today, he addressed Ireland's heartbreaking loss to Argentina and he offers some of the same conclusions that most pundits gave. He agrees with Brian O'Driscoll that the gulf in class between northern and southern hemisphere has increased and that injuries hurt our chances.

However, D'Arcy also pinpoints one key skill that Ireland lacked on Sunday and that the Puma's had in abundance. He believes that Argentina passing skills far surpassed ours and that their use of space with the ball was All Black-esque, something that Ireland couldn't even come close to.

Argentina won because they executed catching and passing while holding their runs under pressure before converting their two on ones.

This belief leads D'Arcy on to what was his rather eye-opening opinion in the piece. The former Leinster centre firmly believes that Ireland's best passer is Noel Reid, who often struggles to make it into Leinster's match day 23 when everybody is fit and available.

The best passer in Ireland at the moment is Noel Reid, but he didn’t make it to the World Cup.

D'Arcy doesn't say that as a slight on Reid, he obviously rates him as a player, but the reality of the situation is that if someone so far off Ireland's starting XV really is our best passer then things are in a bad way in terms of the weighting that is given to conditioning in the development of young players.

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The Leinster man is also firmly of the belief that it would be in the best interests of rugby in Ireland if the IRFU would invest further money into expertise coaching and also to expose kids from an earlier age to this coaching.

With this coaching in place passing would become the number one skill and this it would become ingrained in rugby players from a young age. This he believes would mean that it would become a natural skill rather than an unnatural one like it is now. D'Arcy uses a hurling analogy to add further emphasis to his point.

See a 12-year-old from any hurling county hitting a sliotar. It starts as soon as he can wield a hurley.

We're certainly not going to argue with him. We can all point fingers at the amount of injuries and suspensions we had but unless the next generation is taught the basic and fundamental skills from an early age, like our southern hemisphere counterparts, then continued heartbreak at the World Cup will be an all too familiar feeling.

[Irish Times]

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