Rugby

"Ireland were too hyped" - Eddie O'Sullivan brilliantly analyses mindset

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

08:07 6 Feb 2019


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Former Ireland rugby coach Eddie O'Sullivan joined Wednesday Night Rugby to assess the damage of Ireland's loss to England.

Eddie believes that Ireland's defeat was likely due to being mentally-drained; a situation that he recognised from his experience in the 2007 World Cup.

"We tend to talk about lads being up for it as they are all ready to rock and roll; ready to run through brick walls for you. I don't think it's that at all.

"In the whole mental preparation side of the game, one of the symptoms of anxiety or too much stress, is that they would go into themselves.

"I would say that if you get a quiet changing room, you get very worried. It is not that they are not up for it - they have probably gone over the top and down the other side a wee bit, and the stress is getting to them."

O'Sullivan is confident, however, that all is not lost for Joe Schmidt and the coaching team if and when they recognise that this might be the case.

"You need to re-energise them then. It's not difficult - it may be just about getting them together in the warm-up and getting them physical in the warm-up. You need something to jolt them out of their torpor.

"I don't think guys were relaxed at all [...] I think that the stress and the pressure of the occasion - maybe they sensed England were on a mission, and they were - that guys went into themselves a little bit.

"The stress got to them a little bit. That is the bigger worry. If it is just a simple case of getting guys up a bit, that will be fine."

Wednesday Night Rugby is sponsored by Vodafone Ireland - #TeamOfUs.

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