'You can't fire a cannon out of a canoe' -- Eddie O'Sullivan

No scrum no win.

THE POST-MATCH RTE analysis of South Africa’s supreme dominance of the Rugby World Cup final centred around a Ronan O’Gara tweet.

Stephen Ferris cited the very French-sounding view from the Ireland and Munster great who has always spoken openly about the value of a solid forward platform and the debt every out-half owes his pack.

It’s a fundamental truth of rugby, a simple concept. So naturally, Eddie O’Sullivan was on hand to underline the truism with a sublime trademark metaphor.

‘You can’t fire a cannon out of a canoe.”

It was an all-time great Eddie-ism, delivered with a remarkably straight face. O’Sullivan surely knew he had delivered on the big occasion. 

dan-cole-in-a-rolling-maul Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“15 points South Africa picked up directly from scrums, that’s a huge amount. The scoreboard kept ticking over and England could see the trophy getting further away.”

The former Ireland head coach, whose analysis throughout this World Cup has been strong before and after Ireland’s exit, added:

“Nobody talked about the scrum being an Achilles heel for England this week. Kyle Sinckler going off didn’t change anything. They were in trouble when he was there and when Dan Cole came on they were in bigger trouble.

“They set their stall there. England were shocked, they struggled to get a grip on the game and they made mistakes which we didn’t associate with England.

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siya-kolisi-lifts-the-webb-ellis-trophy Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“As Popey said, take them out of their comfort zone, let them figure it out and England didn’t figure it out today.

“In some ways, the tries were the icing on the cake, South Africa would have won without those tries because they were so dominant.”

What Eddie is trying to say is, even before Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe touched down their late scores, England were short on paddles and drifting up shit creek.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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