herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Abusive Aussies become bad losers in attack on our winning Irish squad

AUSTRALIA might be world-renowned for its vineyards, but the grapes turned rapidly sour after their rugby loss to the boys in green.

While the two countries have always enjoyed a special relationship off the pitch, it seems the bitter taste of defeat has left Aussies a little less welcoming.

Down Under pundits have attempted to belittle Ireland's historic win at the Rugby World Cup, accusing coach Declan Kidney of adopting a "rope-a-dope style".

Newspaper and TV reports in Australia have been far from gracious about our big win, saying Ireland played ugly rugby.

Andrew Slack from Sydney's Daily Telegraph definitely gets the gong for the worst loser with his piece entitled: "Wallabies suckered by world's best exponents of rope-a-dope style."

"For the most anticipated game of the World Cup to this point, that was without question the ugliest," he wrote.

"For a land of poets and musicians, it's ironic that Irish rugby teams don't give a toss about rhythm."

The Australian newspaper admits that Paul O'Connell's Irish scrum dominated, but says that wouldn't have happened if hooker Stephen Moore had been playing.

"The problem was that Moore's replacement, Tatafu Polota-Nau, had only played three games in three months because of injury and was in no shape to play the full 80 minutes."

Spiro Zavos, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, cursed Ireland's 16th player -- not the passionate crowd but mother nature.

"Rain fell sporadically: it was an Irish rain in that it made the field slippery, which effectively nullified the twinkle-toed and speedy Wallabies backs."

But perhaps the sour grapes aren't overly surprising given that the Australian media had totally written off the Irish squad prior to the game.

Rugby legend Phil Kearns even laughed at the Irish fans as they launched a massive roar to welcome the team onto Eden Park. On Fox Sports Australia, he said: "Well they're not going to have much to cheer about tonight, so they may as well cheer them on in the warm-up."

Paul Cully, also from the SMH, predicted a minimum 13-point victory for the Wallabies.

hnews@herald.ie

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