Ireland 23 - Italy 20
How can this be? Was this the luck of the Irish coming into play? Ireland dubiously won against a fired up Italy in the dying minutes of Saturday’s ‘friendly’. Some parts of the British media are saying the Azzuri may feel aggrieved the TMO Derek Bevan awarded Ronan O’Gara a fumbled try off an alleged forward pass as the clock ran into full time.
Eddie O’Sullivan must be slightly worried that without Brian O’Driscoll, the Irish team appear to be faltering on the home straight – just under two weeks now before the Rugby World Cup kicks off. The Italians shunted the Irish pack around the field, had superior defence and disrupted a disjointed Irish backline (missing the centre magic). In what was expected to be a walkover, the Irish stumbled but didn’t strive against the underrated Italians.
Some are saying Ireland’s weak showing in these build up games is a blessing, because resting on their laurels they will not be when the crunch games kick off next month. I think they have reason to panic. Without BOD they are looking increasingly one dimensional and Eddie O’Sullivan and co must consider themselves lucky to get away with this win over the weekend.