Rugby

Ireland Fringe Players Fail To Make Opportunity Count In Dull Georgia Affair

Ireland Fringe Players Fail To Make Opportunity Count In Dull Georgia Affair

After a dire performance at Twickenham last weekend, today's game against Georgia was seen as the perfect opportunity to bounce back strongly.

The Georgians had been fairly poor in their opening two games of the Autumn Nations Cup, failing to score a register a single point on the scoreboard in their losses to England and Wales.

With a number of fringe players given the start at the Aviva Stadium, this was a good chance for them to display their test credentials. However, it's fair to say few have emerged with much credit after that game.

Ireland actually started the contest in a positive manner. They put pressure on Georgia right from the outset, with Billy Burns crossing for a try inside the opening ten minutes.

However, Georgia's try a few minutes later was indicative of what was a passive Irish performance.

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It was certainly a well worked effort by the visitors, producing some lovely bits of play in the buildup to what was an excellent try. Despite this, Ireland should have done much better.

They missed a number of tackles and granted far too much space to the ball carrier.

While that would be Georgia's only try of the contest, Ireland's lack of creativity in attack was a huge concern.

They did well for Hugo Keenan's try just after the half hour mark, with Jacob Stockdale producing a delightful pass.

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Carrying a 20-7 lead into the interval, it was assumed that Ireland would kick on from there. As the Georgians tired and Andy Farrell utilised his bench, it would be expected that Ireland could run in a few more tries.

The reality of the second half was far different.

Ireland's lack of imagination inside the Georgian half was frightening at times. They continually failed to go beyond the gain line with ball in hand. More often than not, their attacks ended with a penalty at the breakdown or a sloppy mistake.

In all of the second half, Ireland would score only three points. That is unacceptable against a team of Georgia's standards.

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As pointed out on RTÉ, Andy Farrell made a big deal of the fact that Ireland won the second half half against England last week. On this occasion, they would draw 3-3 with the visitors over the final 40 minutes.

Prior to this game, Georgia had never lost to Ireland by less than 42 points in Dublin.

It's fair to say that most of those granted an opportunity to impress in this game failed to do so. Andy Farrell now has has even more headaches to address ahead of the final game of 2020.

It is a year Ireland will be glad to see the back of. While this was a fairly inconsequential game in the grand scheme of things, there seems to be more questions than ever surrounding this team.

It's hard to know where they go from here.

SEE ALSO: The Game Is In 'Nursery School' And Ireland Still Risks Falling Behind

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Gary Connaughton

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