O’Sullivan defiant in defeat

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has vowed to see out his contract, insisting a horrendous World Cup has not diminished his hunger for the job.

The Irish were dumped out of the tournament on the back of a emphatic 30-15 defeat by Argentina in Paris on Saturday, and so a team that arrived in France with pretensions of reaching the semi-finals has instead failed to reach the play-off stages.

This is the first time the Irish have failed to the play-offs, and their abysmal form throughout the tournament has cranked up the pressure on O’Sullivan, who was awarded a four-year extension to his contract just before the World Cup got started.

But while O’Sullivan admitted the last four weeks have been a bitter disappointment, he refused to contemplate the end of his reign as Ireland coach.

“I’m totally committed to this job – I still have a contract to run and every intention of seeing it though,” he said.

“I have the appetite for the job and I want to see it out. This has been a tough World Cup, no question about it.

“Things haven’t gone to plan but that’s no reason to walk away.

“I’ve never walked away from a challenge in my life and I don’t intend to start now.”

Of the loss to the Pumas, O’Sullivan said: “We needed to score four tries today, we gave it out best shot but we just couldn’t get enough field position to make it happen for us.

“I’m disappointed for the boys, they tried their guts out but it wasn’t to be in the end. It’s been a tough World Cup for us, it’s not been for the want of trying but that’s the way it goes.

“Argentina kicked a lot of ball deep, we tried to mix between kicking it back and running back and a lot of times we got ourselves into trouble.”

Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll, who went over for one of two Irish tries along with Geordan Murphy, admitted his side had come up against formidable opponents.

“In parts we played some great rugby today, we tried to go out and play,” he said.

“It was difficult, we were playing against a team that refuses to play in their own half.

“They played a good kicking game and they controlled it well. They are a difficult brand to play against, particularly when you have to chase the four tries.”


365 Digital

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