Unsteady Eddie!

16 03 2008

Well done Eddie O’Sullivan. The envy of coaches everywhere! Your future prospects are not related to performance. You have had an appalling World Cup and 6 Nations. But you have not been fired for your poor returns.

Steadfastness, commitment, never-say-die attitude, pulling together against all the odds. Sadly these are qualities displayed by IRFU headmen in backing the appalling O’Sullivan. Were he to coach some of these qualities into his sides we’d be getting somewhere.

The only saving grace from this sorry episode is that, once the IRFU realises that O’Sullivan is not the man for the job, they will treat him appallingly. They always treat departing coaches appallingly.

Still, that England game was good. Boy can he ever coach an eight-minute game. We wuz up 10 points by the 8th – problem is that we failed to score again for the next 72 minutes. During which time England helped themselves to 3 tries, 3 conversions and 4 penalties. Still, heck of an 8 minutes Eddie!

Part of the problem is that his teams practically self-select. There is little competition for places. Ashton dropped Jonny Wilkinson for an untested 20-year-old. O’Gara has been sub-standard for 3 seasons, yet he was made captain for Saturday’s drubbing. (BTW – the untested 20-year-old racked up more than half the England total.)

The wane in O’Sullivan’s star can be graded against the curious rise of Gatland’s. He moulded less talented Welsh stuff into a championship winning team. But hang on… isn’t this the same Gatland who was knifed by the IRFU and replaced by O’Sullivan? Top job lads! Yip, he’s the guy that left Ireland and took a struggling Wasps side to 3 premiership titles, and the Challenge Cup, and the Heineken Cup. And won a 10th Grand Slam for Wales.

For Wales the spoils. For Ireland it’s about divvying up. If O’Sullivan stays, we divvy up any hope of winning very much. If he leaves, the IRFU divvies compo for the long term contract they inexplicably made him sign ahead of last year’s World Cup.

The silver lining from Saturday must be that it hastens along the latter, so avoiding the former.

BTW – the test of quality for the new coach is this; do you select Shane Horgan? If the answer is yes then, sadly, you too are Eddie O’Sullivan.
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