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Matt Williams And Shane Horgan Disagree Over Whether Andy Farrell Call Cost Ireland Vs All Blacks

Matt Williams And Shane Horgan Disagree Over Whether Andy Farrell Call Cost Ireland Vs All Blacks
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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After yet another Rugby World Cup quarter-final exit, there is no doubt that Andy Farrell's Ireland side will come away from the loss to New Zealand with plenty of regrets.

They failed to capitalise during their trips to the opposition 22-metre line on too many occasions, something that always had the potential to cost them in such a close game. As well as that, they may feel that they could have done more to stop one or two of the All Black tries.

The team had been ticking away nicely up to this point, massively impressing during the pool stages. In saying that, they didn't quite hit those heights in this fixture. That was largely down to the performance of New Zealand, who were incredible on both sides of the ball.

The analysis will now being on what went wrong this evening.


Williams & Horgan disagree over impact of Andy Farrell decision

Ireland were an outlier in this tournament among the top nations in that they essentially played a full team in each of their pool games. That allowed them to build momentum, but some may feel that it also cost them against the All Blacks.

Speaking on Virgin Media after the game, Matt Williams suggested that decision from Andy Farrell might have had an impact in this fixture. However, Shane Horgan did not believe that was the case.



Kearney: A lot of players tonight looked out on their feet after 50 or 60 minutes. I think that first half, New Zealand in defence were soft. They were leaving a lot of space on the edges that we could have exploited if our handling was sharper...

Williams: We said this from day one, Ireland is the only team of the four big - France, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand - who didn't rest their starting team in one pool game. They played more minutes than everyone.

I really loath to bring that up because it's a criticism of Andy Farrell and I think he has done a phenomenal job, but I thought they all looked tired...

Horgan: I'm not how important that is, I know we disagree on this Matt. I think maybe it could be more important later on in the competition if the team gets there.

I think the Ireland players are conditioned and battle-hardened enough, and used to it enough, to play that number of games over that number of weeks.

It is true that Irish players played more rugby than the first choice XV of other nations, although how much that affected tonight's game is up for debate. Ireland did produce a stirring comeback in the first half and were well in the game right until the death.


Unfortunately, the debate after yet another quarter-final exit is likely to rage on over the coming days.

SEE ALSO: Brian O'Driscoll Says Johnny Sexton Will Hold Huge Regrets Over Parts Of New Zealand Loss

brian o'driscoll johnny sexton regrets
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