George Hook: Opponents know they can boss Ireland around

The RTÉ pundit was in no mood for niceties after Ireland lost 12-6.

George Hook was typically forthright after Ireland's loss.
George Hook was typically forthright after Ireland's loss.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

RTÉ RUGBY PUNDIT George Hook lashed out at an Irish team that he considers to be lightweight after they lost 12-6 to England.

Hook, on the RTÉ panel at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon, also took a shot at Irish coach Declan Kidney for some of his late substitutions.

The former Connacht and USA coach proclaimed, “The difference this season is opponents know they can boss us around.”

He added, “England came here reasonably confident in the knowledge that they could boss around this [Irish] pack.”

Hook believes the Irish team did not mount a sufficient physical or attacking challenge to trouble a side of class and organisation as Stuart Lancaster’s men.

It was pointed out to the outspoken pundit that Ireland had 58% possession in the match but his mind was not for changing.

‘What was Kidney thinking?’

Hook was not happy with a couple of late substitutions made by Kidney in the closing stages as Ireland were seeking an improbable try from deep within their half.

The coach withdrew hooker Rory Best with five minutes to play and Mike Ross after Ireland prepared for a lineout in the final minute.

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Hook said, “What was Declan Kidney thinking about, bringing Declan Fitzpatrick on with 90 seconds to go?

If we had’ve got a 5-metre scrum near the English line we would’ve got mullered”

He added, “He brought Cronin on, who is a poor lineout thrower… and we lose it.”

Hook also declared that he would be ‘astonished’ if Irish prop Cian Healy plays another game in this season’s championship after a stamp on Dan Cole in the first half.

As it happened: Ireland v England, 6 Nations

Reaction: Headcount needed after England leave Ireland ‘bruised and battered’

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Patrick McCarry

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