Forget the jerseys coloured blue, red and even black - it’s the green ones we need to get behind, says Keego…
I don’t want to talk about it!
I SAID I don’t want to talk about!
Ok, I’ll talk about it.
Last weekend was horrible. I was seated on the couch ready to watch a confident Ireland roll over an improving but delicate Australia.
That’s not what happened! We played as if our lives didn’t depend on it. I knew there was an issue when the lads ran out on to the pitch not in a line. It was dribs and drabs. Not a good sign.
I won’t go through the game because there is no point and I really don’t want to talk about it.
I will just say that regardless of the level you play at, if your team takes to the pitch like the Ireland team did last weekend, your coach would sort you out.
And so hopefully that is what has happened this week. King Joe has read the riot act to his players. There are people in the media who are giving out about the coach, he didn’t miss any tackles. I dare say if Joe was played we would have had some wallaby blood on our hands. Zero players showed up, zero players played.
As we said when the team was picked for Samoa, players who have something to prove always play a level above themselves. These players have a lot to prove. Darren cave and Luke marshal have been sent back to Ulster for the weekend which leads us to believe the power beard is back at 12 beside the Notorious B.O’D. this is a good call (should it happen). Darce is a demon in the tackle, whilst he may have lost half a yard in pace, he is doing great work at slowing the ball down which is what we need to happen. With this being O’Driscolls last go at the all blacks (until the golden oldies tour next year) he will be raring to go.
Eoin Reddan has been sent back to Leinster which points at Conor Murray to start. He has improved hugely in the last 18 months and scored in the second test against the ab’s last year. He has to step up and be aggressive from the off. The only time his feet should leave the ground is to run at the opposition. No more box kicks!
The team picks itself, the only worry is Sexton. If Sexton is out, I would pick Madigan. There is no provincial bias in this; it is just that he has much more of a spark than Jaddy Jackson (who was confident and sturdy against Samoa). We will need some inventiveness should there be any gaps for us to go through, and mad-dog is the man to find them should Sexton be watching from the stands.
There are 7 changes in the All Blacks team which shows the respect they have for Ireland. That being NONE. Crudden in for DC, we will need to put pressure on him. I wonder how many women have sent their tickets back after hearing about Carters injury. Kieran Read and Richie ‘I am tired so I’ll lie down’ McCaw need to be stopped in their tracks. Will this mean that Seanie gets moves to 6?
The team hasn’t been announced as I write this but the score is not important. We know what we are headed into. I want to see aggression. I want to see an attempt to play the game. I want to see the lads coming out of the tunnel together and singing the anthems loudly.
If they want to be taken seriously as a team, they have to put it up to the best in the world.
To be the man, you gotta beat the man.
And to finish, there was a lot of anger from the red side of the country (they just got broadband you see) wondering why the ex Leinster coach is picking Leinster players and not able to have them playing like Leinster. If you were one of these people then you need to be booked in for a lobotomy ASAP! If you think this then you don’t get what is going on. You should try putting the red jersey in the wash (finally) and put on a green jersey. You’d be amazed how good it will make you feel.
As for a result, I won’t be looking at the scoreboard. I’ll be looking for tackles, I’ll be looking for signs of a plan and I will be looking for Ireland being aggressive and throwing themselves at the world champions.
As usual, you can find me @nkeegan on twitter and www.thedailyclothesline.com
Until next week…
Keego (@nkeegan): Blogger, former professional wrestler, sometime attempted rugby player (@TheThirsty3rds), professional procrastinator and attempted musician with a fondness for long walks on the bar, tea and the couch. Opinionated Leinster fan and constant gardener.