Irish down on their luck
By ROB HOUWING
WE often talk about the luck of the Irish . . . what luck? The Sevens has produced little of it for the men in green, always popular visitors to these shores but among the biggest flops of the first two days. Ireland are firmly in the basement, damned by statistics: played four, lost four, with 39 points going their way and a humiliating 129 to the opposition. South Africa, not the only team to have faced day-one foes on day two under the dubious seeding system, have made mincemeat of them, with 38-5 and 34-7 wins, while the Irish also fell to Argentina (31-22) and were trounced 26-5 by Hong Kong. A side with such household names as Ben Cronin, Denis McBride and Niall Woods should not find themselves in such a predicament, especially considering that, bar the humidity, the weather has not been dissimilar to that of a winter's day at Lansdowne Road.
Skipper McBride, 33, was not afraid to talk about it. 'Compared to some sides we are a little inexperienced in coming to terms with the Hong Kong atmosphere. But it is disappointing,' said the Malone flank. 'We were probably in the hardest starting group, with Argentina and South Africa, and playing the Springboks again today took it out of us. 'The Five Nations took a toll and did not leave us much time to practise, but we can't make excuses. 'Perhaps we can still pull something off tomorrow.' Like win the Bowl. Talk about the luck of those Irish!