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Eddie O'Sullivan on the "worrying" aspects of Ireland's "pretty average" Paris show


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As Ireland went through phase after phase in Paris on Saturday, a realist would have assumed themselves safe in the knowledge that surely the ball would be knocked on, France might turn over possession amid a myriad of potential pitfalls.

Instead, Jonathan Sexton set up a glorious finale with an arcing drop goal from acres away that dropped between the posts and gave Ireland the sweetest of wins in the Six Nations opener after an indifferent display before that - and that's not even mentioning the cross-field kick to Keith Earls with no margin error in the build up to that!

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As we bask in the afterglow of such a dramatic win, former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan and former Ireland and Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris joined Joe on Monday Night Rugby to dissect the moment and overall performance.

As Eddie said, Sexton's kick to Earls was "bravery beyond belief" and prompted him to think a glorious finale "was on here".

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"It was an extraordinary moment in Irish sport and nobody is going to forget where they were," he said of the moment Sexton's drop goal soared between the posts.

While that was brilliance personified, the overall performance did not overly enthuse Eddie. 

"I thought it was pretty average to be fair and that sounds ridiculous when you win a game like that," said Eddie before continuing.

"We did dominate the game. We had almost 70% possession and 70% territory and we didn't really look like scoring a try."

Eddie also added that, "It wasn't a comprehensive performance and you feel that if we had a comprehensive performance we would never have been in that position [heading into the closing stages]." 

He also felt the "source of Ireland's points" was another worry, pointing out that French indiscipline contributed to the Irish side of the scoreboard.

"They were just penalties. You wouldn't see that in a school's cup match in Donnybrook this week," he said of the points the French gifted to Ireland.

"There were nine of our points that came from brainless plays, completely idiotic plays [from France]."

Eddie also pointed out that young wing Jacob Stockdale, whose role was scrutinised in regards to France's try, was "poor all Christmas" for Ulster in a defensive sense. 

"It's a little bit of a worry that he's missed some tackles," he said. 

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