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A Historical past of Heartbreak – 2007 Rugby World Cup

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A Historical past of Heartbreak – 2007 Rugby World Cup

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Construct as much as the 2007 match 

France performed host to the 2007 match however as common there was some politics concerned and the Millennium stadium in Cardiff was awarded three pool video games and a quarter-final. Whereas Scotland would host two of their pool video games at Murrayfield. Eire had been additionally given the choice of internet hosting pool matches upfront of the match, however declined the supply as Lansdowne rd was below redevelopment on the time. 

The match ran for 44 days between seventh September and twentieth October, Eddie O’Sullivan’s Irish facet nevertheless, crashed out earlier than September was over. It was a massively anti-climatic finish to a match that promised a lot for Eire’s golden era of gamers. 

Within the 2007 Six Nations marketing campaign previous to the World Cup the low level and the spotlight for Eire each got here in house video games at Croke Park. Within the former, Vincent Clerc’s final minute strive consigned them to a sickening 17-20 defeat to France. Whereas within the latter, 83,000 witnessed a sensational 43-13 win over England. Away wins over Wales, Scotland and Italy noticed Eire safe their third triple crown in 4 years and simply miss out on the championship on factors distinction to France.

Eire ready for the match with a coaching camp in Spala, Poland. It’s Cryotherapy centre and ice baths in keeping with coach Eddie O’Sullivan “permits the gamers to coach tougher and, extra importantly, recuperate extra shortly from their bodily exertion.” The advantages, it might transpire later, would meet up with the workforce in the long term.

The nice and cozy-up video games noticed a 31-21 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield, a doubtful Ronan O’Gara strive within the ninth minute of harm time noticed them keep away from defeat in opposition to Italy in Belfast (23-20) and a the notorious battle of Bayonne noticed them nearly lose captain Brian O’Driscoll after being blindsided by second row Mikaera Tewhata. (https://www.rte.ie/sport/rugby/2007/0816/221635-ireland1/)

Eire, it was acknowledged, had been in a difficult pool. Pool D was give the group of loss of life tag, because it contained 3 of the highest 6 IRB ranked groups going into the match. France (third), Eire (fifth) and Argentina (sixth) ensured there could be one excessive profile casualty on the group stage. Whereas Georgia (seventeenth) and Namibia(twenty fourth) had been anticipated to make up the numbers. 

ninth September 2007: Eire 32 Namibia 17

There was no trace of what was to come back within the opening half as Eire began effectively in Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux. O’Driscoll chipped over the Namibian defence to attain the video games opening strive after simply 5 minutes. A second strive adopted on 18 minutes after a Ronan O’Gara cross-field kick was by Andrew Trimble and after highly effective break from Denis Leamy the ball was recycled to Simon Easterby who added a 3rd Irish strive earlier than the break. Eight minutes after the restart Eire had been awarded a penalty try to O’Gara’s straightforward conversion gave Eire a 27-3 lead. 

Shortly earlier than the hour mark the Namibian’s obtained a foothold with a strive from Jacques Nieuwenhuis and inside two minutes they went over once more, this time centre Piet van Zyl hacked on a kick excessive from flyhalf Henini Bock and gathered to attain. The conversion closed the hole to 10 factors. Eire had went from being dominant to trying like a boxer on the ropes inside the area of some minutes. The Namibians stored coming and the Irish needed to put their our bodies on the road to repel them. A contentious Jerry Flannery strive in opposition to the run on play with 4 minutes to go put a gloss on the scoreline that Eire scarcely deserved.

fifteenth September 2007: Eire 14 Georgia 10

Eire had been again in motion in Stade Chaban-Delmas six days later. If the final twenty minutes of the Namibian recreation was a warning on tiredness inside the squad, then it definitely went unheeded by the administration. Eire had been to get an almighty scare in opposition to the Georgians. Eddie O’Sullivan made just one change from the facet that began in opposition to Namibia. Match once more Shane Horgan changed Andrew Trimble on the wing. 

After 17minutes Rory Finest discovered a manner by the resolute Georgian defence for the video games first rating and O’Gara transformed to offer Eire a seven level lead. Nonetheless, they by no means constructed on the rating and the floodgates didn’t open after that as Eire had been dragged right into a warfare of attrition. Referee Wayne Barnes despatched David Wallace to the bin and Kvirikashvilli kicked the ensuing penalty to go away the scoreboard studying 7-3 on the break. 

Eire got here out with renewed goal within the second half and began to push the tempo. However a shock was on the cardboard when in opposition to the run of play Georgian winger Giorgi Shinkin intercepted a Peter Stringer cross to race in from 70 yards out. After the conversion Georgia had been 10-7 forward. Regular service gave the impression to be resumed on 53 minute when slick wing play from O’Driscoll and alternative hooker Jerry Flannery despatched fullback Girvan Dempsey over within the nook.

Ronan O’Gara’s difficult conversion was to later show essential because it pushed the opposition out of penalty or drop purpose vary. The Georgians went on to dominate each territory and possession for the ultimate twenty minutes of the sport as they went seeking a strive that may give them their first ever World Cup win. Irish participant later spoke of feeling as in the event that they had been enjoying with lead of their legs throughout that closing quarter. 

Eire had been in full disaster mode because the repelled wave after wave of Georgia assault, on 78 minutes Denis Leamy prevented a sure strive by getting his physique below the ball as Georgia seemed to have compelled their manner over. There was aid for all in inexperienced when the Argentina TMO returned the decision of ‘held up’.

twenty first September 2007: France 25 Eire 3

 

As soon as once more there was a six day turnaround for the Irish. The venue this time was Stade de France to face the hosts. A 12-17 defeat to Argentina for the French of their opening recreation  made it a should win recreation for Bernard Laporte’s facet. One other defeat would see them turn out to be the primary hosts to fail to qualify from their pool, so in Irish minds all of the stress was on France. 

As soon as once more O’Sullivan despatched the identical ahead pack into battle for his or her third recreation in 12 days. Two modifications in again division noticed Peter Stringer dropped for Eoin Reddan and Andrew Trimble exchange Denis Hickie on the left wing. 

Eire began effectively and threatened the French line on a few events inside the opening twenty minutes. Nonetheless, they had been quickly outclassed as France aggressively tore into O’Sullivan’s facet. 4 penalties from Jean-Baptise Elissalde to a solitary O’Gara drop purpose noticed the French go in on the break 12-3. Eire had been even flatter within the second half as Elissalde added one other penalty and his Toulouse teammate Vincent Clerc scored a brace of tries. The defeat left Eire on the convey of their first pool stage exit.

thirtieth September 2007: Eire 15 Argentina 30

The truth that Eire didn’t get a bonus level of their match in opposition to Georgia meant that even a win in opposition to Argentina wouldn’t guarantee a quarter-final spot. Certainly it was a really tall order for O’Sullivan’s facet as they wanted a bonus level win whereas denying the Argentines a shedding bonus and a thirty level margin of victory to be able to progress. 

Eire began the opening half filled with ambition and intent. They turned down a few kickable penalties and opted to go to the nook as a substitute, however the strive they had been looking for by no means got here. As an alternative it was the Argentines who had been first to breach the whitewash. Scrum-half and captain Agustin Pichot despatched winger Lucas Borges in for the video games opening rating. Argentina stretched their lead due to a Juan Martín Hernández drop purpose earlier than Brian O’Driscoll gave Eire hope with a thirty second minute strive. Ronan O’Gara’s conversion put Eire 10-8 forward. That hope nevertheless was shortly extinguished when one other Hernández drop-goal and a strive from Horacio Agulla despatched Argentina in on the break 18-10 forward.

A Filipe Contepomi penalty after the restart elevated the lead, earlier than the hole was narrowed to six factors by a Geordan Murphy strive on 47 minutes. That was as shut as Eire would get as two extra Contepomi penalties and a 3rd drop-goal of the sport for Hernández despatched Eire crashing out.

What occurred after that?

Eire’s golden era went crashing out, Argentina topped the pool and went on to beat Scotland within the quarters 19-13, earlier than being crushed 37-13 by winners South Africa within the semi-finals. For runners-up France second place within the pool meant that the hosts needed to journey to Cardiff to face the All-Blacks. In an exceptional second-half efficiency the French edged it 20-18 regardless of trailing by 13 factors at one stage within the first half. They returned as heroes to Paris for the semi-final, which in usually mercurial French style they promptly misplaced to England. 

Eddie O’Sullivan and his teaching workforce got here in for a lot criticism on their return house and a 4th place end after defeats to England, France and Wales within the 2008 Six Nations sealed his destiny. He was changed as Eire coach by fellow Corkonian Declan Kidney.

Irish World Cup Squad 2007

Forwards: Neil Finest, Rory Finest, Simon Finest, Simon Easterby, Stephen Ferris, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Marcus Horan, Denis Leamy, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Malcolm O’Kelly, Alan Quinlan, Frankie Sheahan, David Wallace, Bryan Younger.

Backs: Isaac Boss, Brian Carney, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey, Gavin Duffy, Denis Hickie, Shane Horgan, Geordan Murphy, Brian O’Driscoll (captain), Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan, Peter Stringer, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Wallace.

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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