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Our Tribute To Rugby HQ: Top 5 Irish Disappointments After Big Performances

Our Tribute To Rugby HQ: Top 5 Irish Disappointments After Big Performances
By Conor O'Leary Updated
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One of our favourite Australians here at balls is Seanny Maloney of Rugby HQ. The same Seanny Maloney that brought us the wonderful Top 5 moments and the plays of the week. With the Australians coming to town this week, we'd thought that we'd honour Seanny with some top 5's of our own, continuing with the Top 5 times Ireland failed to back up after a big performance.

The idea here is to illustrate how one big performance from Ireland in a game no one expected us to win is elevated into outrageous expectations that have historically not been backed up. So after the South African victory two weeks ago where no one expected us to win, it's perhaps prudent to check our World Cup ambitions and focus on the Wallabies. You can be sure that Joe Schmidt will have similar thoughts and will be focused on beating a weakened Australian team.

See Also:

Top 5 Australian Tries Of 2014

Top 5 Australian Threats To Ireland

5. England 2013, 12-6

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4IeP1zH73k

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Ireland had opened their 6 Nations campaign in blistering form with Simon Zebo announcing himself to the world with THAT flick and Brian O'Driscoll giving a BODly performance complete with an outrageous pass for Zebo's try. However, when England came to town in the rain, the boys in green couldn't deliver another big performance in a row yet again, and the start of the demise for Declan Kidney began.

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4. New Zealand 2012, 60-0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZuHQyHybG4

In the 2nd test in Christchurch, Ireland were in a fantastic position to beat the All Blacks for the first time in rugby history. With the scores level with less than ten minutes to go, New Zealand full back Israel Dagg gets sent to the sinbin. Somehow, Ireland still manage to lose when Dan Carter slots a drop goal with minutes remaining. Fast forward a week later, and the score isn't as close. It hurts me to even talk about it. In New York at the time, getting up at 4 am to watch Ireland run New Zealand close was disheartening, but to be hammered by 60 points seemed like a wasted opportunity for sleep.

3. Scotland 2010

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NdvuYcvk5k

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A victory over England and a big morale boosting win over Wales left Ireland needing to beat Scotland to win the Triple Crown in the last rugby game at Croke Park. It was a nice script for Ireland to leave the home of GAA with some silverware, but Scotland hadn't been told. Ireland were horrendous, and it looked like they might get out of jail when Ronan O'Gara levelled the scores in the 76th minute. It wasn't to be however, as Dan Parks kicked the last points in Croke Park to deny Ireland the triple crown.

2. France 2007

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHwBChyKLmM

It still hurts. Ireland lost both the first and last rugby matches in Croke Park, but were fairly handy in between those times. This game meant so much to the nation. O'Gara's 78th minute penalty gave Ireland a two point cushion. Vincent Clerc had other ideas though, and scored a try which haunts me to this very day. Ireland would go on to win every other game and lose the championship to France by 4 points.

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1. Wales 2011

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocmxtY-ngds

I don't think I've ever been more despondent after an Irish loss than against Wales in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Just two weeks after a monumental and uplifting victory over Australia, the media and ourselves had us believing that a spot in the final was a formality. What followed was the biggest low after a high in Irish rugby history.

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