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Ex-Ireland wing brands Six Nations champs 'not that good an Irish side'

By Josh Raisey
Ireland/ PA

Ireland and South Africa have developed quite a peculiar rivalry in recent months as it is one that was not created on the pitch, nor does it really involve anyone in either camp.

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Instead, this is a rivalry created by everyone else in the rugby community debating who is the best team in the world ahead of their much-anticipated two-Test series in July.

The Springboks have a few aces in the hole in this debate being the reigning world champions and official world number ones, but Ireland have had plenty of advocates since their victorious Guinness Six Nations campaign, or even before then.

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While the two camps grow more vociferous as we edge closer to their blockbuster series, one thing that has barely been seen is someone breaking ranks and criticising their own side.

But former Ireland wing Andrew Trimble is one who is not wholly convinced by the hype surrounding the side he represented 70 times.

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Speaking on his Potholes and Penguins podcast, the former Ulster wing dissected Ireland’s Six Nations campaign and provided context to each one of their performances.

“If they’d have beaten England, I still feel we would have been talking ‘is this the best team ever,’ ‘is this the best team that’s ever played in the Six Nations'” he said.

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“I still think they’re not quite that good. I actually don’t think they’re that good.

“There’s a story behind every game, there’s context behind every game.

“First game in Marseille, that was peak France without Antoine Dupont. Peak France. The biggest deficit that Dupont left was in that first game.

“Italy was like unopposed, playing beautiful flowing phase play against no defence. Having said that, Italy then got their finger out after that.

“We stuttered against Wales, we didn’t have anywhere near the same flow.

“England, we obviously completely cocked up. Now we’re saying ‘Oh England at Twickenham’ – no one was saying that, everyone was saying England are shit, they’ve been shit for two years, we’re going to spank them. And we got a beating.

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“We got outsmarted, outfoxed in the first 40 minutes by Scotland and we had to go to a really simplistic gameplan to get the game over the line. And we still nearly cocked it up. Scotland made 240 tackles. Do you have any idea how exhausted they must have been and still Huw Jones runs from 40 and scores.

“So it’s not that good of an Irish side.”

@potholesandpenguins This is a very good Irish team but is it the greatest? #sixnationsrugby #irishrugby #thearcticcamel ? original sound – Potholes and Penguins

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110 Comments
B
Bull Shark 72 days ago

Aha. An Irishman with logic!

Follow the flow:

  • Ireland peaks with a >80% win record between 2020 and 2023.
And then…
  • crashes out of another QF at the WC;
  • Beat a poor French Team;
  • Beat 6N wooden spoonists Italy;
  • Play shite against eventual wooden spoonists Wales;
  • Lose against the most boring, “the worst English team ever” , a team widely regarded as unable to attack;
  • scrape through against Scotland.
This article, No - Trimble, is on the money!

Except for one glaring statement:

The Springboks have a few aces in the hole in this debate being the reigning world champions and official world number ones

There is no debate, boys and girls. There it is. In black and white. “Reigning World Champions and OFFICIAL world number ones”.

Come July, the overrated Andy Farrell and this overhyped team are going to enter into a world of hurt.

L
Liam 72 days ago

Best team ever…. To have played? These guys are still pressure chokers. Came nowhere when it counted. What a joke

L
Lou Cifer 72 days ago

So if this ain’t the best Irish team ever then who exactly is? I don’t remember any other Irish team being this good & winning a series in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Yes I may rip them often for 8 X QF RWC exits & twice not even making it to the QF, but they’re a damn good team who many think can only improve, including me!

m
monty 73 days ago

Everywhere you turn some irish journo is advocating Ireland as the greatest, reasoning that the wc is a 4 year cycle event so, they say wc doesn’t matter it’s the rugby in between that should account for the accolade. If there was no wc then some substance could be gained, however in my opinion the moment that defined Ireland’s fate against the abs was 37 phases of repeated head bashing against a brick wall. If a change in strategy or a tinker with the game plan was executed then things could've been vastly different. And to point a finger the let down was in the hands of the number 10.

T
Troy 73 days ago

Yeah, and ours is waaay bigger than yours.
Just as you's get a semi…oh hold on that never happens

T
Turlough 73 days ago

Overheard conversation between NZ and SA rugby fans everywhere:

We’re the greatest!
No! we’re the greatest!
We’re the greatest!
No we’re the greatest!
Ireland are arrogant!
True but they beat you!
We’re the greatest!
No! we’re the greatest!
Etc. etc, etc.

T
Turlough 73 days ago

“If they’d have beaten England, I still feel we would have been talking ‘is this the best team ever,’ ‘is this the best team that’s ever played in the Six Nations'” he said.
“I still think they’re not quite that good. I actually don’t think they’re that good.”

So Trimble is saying he doesn’t think this is the best 6N team of all time. He is silent on if it is the best Irish team of all time. Can’t disagree with him. Just another misrepresentative clickbait headline from the guys at RP.

K
KiwiSteve 73 days ago

Ireland are going to win the world cup.

J
John 73 days ago

It sounds like Andrew is trying to convince himself or has just lost all perspective. The team did look jaded for the last couple of games of the six nations but a few things were wrong there. Italy tackled their hearts out and made Ireland work hard for every try. Outsmarted by Scotland? Huh? Ireland got held up over the line about 4 times. Scotland did nothing on attack the whole game other than one breakaway near the end. A recharge and reset is needed which they hopefully will have had before the SA your.

J
J P 73 days ago

Unsuccessful bitter ex Ulster player taking a pop shot at a side that isn't including his consistently poor mates up north

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Michael 36 minutes ago
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