JOANNE O'RIORDAN: Let’s kick rugby cynics to touch

WE all know that the country is heartbroken because the All Blacks beat us. The responses from that match ranged from extremely negative to extremely positive.

For example, on every Irish Twitter user’s feed there were tweets like ‘Johnny Sexton bottled it, bring back ROG’ or ‘So proud of the Irish!’

So why were we extremely negative? Was it because we depended on a victory to take us out of our economic depression? Or are we all just too sports mad?

Well, the answer is probably all of the above. We all know what happens if there is a momentous sporting victory, like Katie Taylor’s Olympic gold, the Euro 2012 qualifications, etc, where we let our hair down and forgot for a few weeks that our country was in economic ruin.

There are also over-the-top pessimistic people who can only contribute with some smart sarcastic remark like, ‘If Dan Carter was playing we’d know all about it’. To those people, I say breathe in some positivity because you are annoying everyone. Yes, it is true Dan Carter is the kicking king, and it is slightly true that if Johnny Sexton kicked it over we might have left New Zealand in the dust, but that is the beautiful thing about sport.

Yeah, Johnny missed, \but just because he missed one kick, doesn’t mean he’s crap and should be dropped. The irony was the people saying all those ‘ROG is greater than Sexton’ comments probably couldn’t kick a ball four yards in front of them. ROG is gone, it is time to move on. As the man himself said ‘we focus on the things we can’t do’ and I agree with that 100pc. We’re all quick to criticise and even quicker to jump on the bandwagon when it’s rolling, forgetting about the people who got it rolling.

Our bitterness during the recession, in my opinion, is the arrogant personas we adopted during the Celtic Tiger. It’s all cynicism and ‘anything you can do, I can definitely do better’. That attitude should be well gone with the Celtic Tiger’s death, and it should be more about togetherness and spirit.

Joe Schmidt now knows his team can perform with the very best, and even though we are in transition trying to replace the old guys, Schmidt has proven that he has a nice winning formula to put together an amazing team.

As Pep Guardiola said ‘that’s the beauty of sport; sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry’. Through these tears we know that in the future we will be laughing.


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