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Rob Kearney Says Quarter-Final Hoodoo Will Weigh On Ireland Players

Rob Kearney Says Quarter-Final Hoodoo Will Weigh On Ireland Players
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Ireland's quarter-final history has become a meme of sorts among fans of other nations, and while it may annoy some, it is for good reason.

It is constantly looming over the team, and whether they say in public that it affects them or not, according to a man with plenty of experience, it most certainly does.

Rob Kearney is a three World Cup man, suffering three quarter-final losses, each excruciating in their own way.

In 2011 Ireland were beaten up by their closest rival, in a loss that is seen as the worst suffered by many on the field that day.

2015 vs Argentina was a match which Ireland, perhaps rather arrogantly, were favourites for, despite missing five crucial starters.

And 2019 was straightforward hammering that most saw coming.


"It absolutely weighs on players," says Rob Kearney.


You know that in the history of your country at World Cups you haven't been able to manage to get out of a quarter-final.

Rob Kearney Speaks From World Cup Experience

19 October 2019; Rob Kearney of Ireland during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final match between New Zealand and Ireland at the Tokyo Stadium in Chofu, Japan. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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"I'll always remember," continued Kearney.


"That I played the All Blacks nine or 10 times before I beat them and every time you take the field you think no other (Ireland) team has done this before.

"So immediately you know that it's a very tough challenge and listen, that quarter-final is the crux of this tournament for Ireland.

"It's going to come down to the last 10 or 15 minutes, you'd have to think. The guys will know that, too."


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