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Summer Tour Diary: Kiwi press believe Irish 'mob' are ripe for crushing

New Zealanders expect some bite and struggle from their prey while Euro 2012 woes do little to lift team morale.

Dejected: Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Kevin McLaughlin, Ronan Loughney Sean Cronin and Eoin Reddan
Dejected: Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Kevin McLaughlin, Ronan Loughney Sean Cronin and Eoin Reddan
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

PITY THE SOUL that fails to put up a serious fight against the All Blacks.

Ireland are taking more flak in New Zealand from the local press than from the scribes, myself included, that signed on for the 40,000 kilometre round-trip to the home of the world champions.

And while Ireland rejoiced at the attacking intent signalled by Declan Kidney when he named a backline including Simon Zebo, Jonathan Sexton and Keith Earls at inside centre, the Kiwis have different ideas.

In an article entitled Hapless Irish ripe for crushing, New Zealand Herald reporter Chris Rattue believes it was folly for ‘an inferior team playing wild rugby’ to hope it could beat the home team.

Rattue stated that Ireland were ‘in for one helluva hiding’ over the next two Saturdays. He added:

The Irish, battered and bruised after a long and unsuccessful season, ended up with more lumps knocked out of their front row and, the fact is, the mob that has ended up in this country isn’t good enough to beat the All Blacks anyway.

Rattue doled out player ratings in the paper too.

He gave his highest Irish rating (8) to Sean O’Brien and said Kidney’s men will be ‘dog’s tucker’ if Sonny Bill Williams gets going.

A legacy of excellence

The Dominion Post, at least, credited Ireland for fighting until the final whistle, while former All Black Jeff Wilson offered up a condescending ‘plucky’ when asked for his opinion.

Richie McCaw, Steve Hansen and Zac Guildford all lined up in the 24 hours after their team’s 42-10 win to tell all and sundry and they could do better.

This is not new territory.

In 2010, minutes after the All Blacks beat 14-man Ireland by 66 points to 28, McCaw was held to account for his side allowing those plucky Irishmen to score three second-half tries.

Hansen commented on Sunday that the World Cup win felt like getting ‘a big monkey’ off his team’s back.

Another one-sided defeat in the second Test, however, and members of the press may well go ape.

TheScore.ie microphone awaits news on Irish injuries. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

Julia Guglia

Coming to play New Zealand – world champs, possessors of McCaw, glaciers, Dan Carter, Israel Dagg, ski slopes and, now, Julian Savea – feels like visiting a superior in-law.

He has the beautiful wife, straight-toothed children, a promotion to trump your pay-cut and a dog that fetches slippers rather than a spittle drenched tennis ball recently retrieved from a sewer.

He is Glen Guglia from The Wedding Singer:

YouTube credit: movieclips

Just when you have had enough of his story about jet-boating through Venetian canals you challenge him to an arm wrestle.

You lose. badly.

At least there’s the football

What better way to get over a Saturday rugby defeat than waking up at 6.45am to watch a free-flowing Irish side put Croatia to the Euro 2012 sword?

3-1 with a smidge of controversy but deserved nonetheless.

Ireland team manager Mick Kearney rose early, along ‘with a good few players’ to watch Robbie Keane and company lose out to the Croats.

Irish lock Donnacha Ryan chose to stay in bed but was eager to extract as many details as possible from TheScore.ie after the Irish press conference.

He grimaced and gasped as he heard about the bounce off Shay, the hack on Robbie and the non-appearance of James McClean.

*You can follow all the latest news, comments and goings on from the Irish camp by following @patmccarry on Twitter and by regularly checking in with TheScore.ie.

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