O’Gara Reveals Ireland Training Session Following France Win Not For Faint Of Heart
Ireland weren’t taking things lightly after their win in Dublin.
Former Ireland and Munster playmaker Ronan O’Gara says he was at Ireland training session on Monday following their win over France, and it wasn’t for the faint of heart.
Schmidt’s men enjoyed a comfortable win in the end, with a rest weekend ahead of them. You’d imagine they would take things lightly in the first session following the win… No sir.
I watched Ireland’s training session last Monday in Dublin after they’d beaten France. If you are conjuring up this notion of a gentle shake-it-out-of-the-legs session, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Joe Schmidt has everyone eating grass. He has Cian Healy reeling in Jack McGrath, Niall Scannell getting game time off Rory Best, Peter O’Mahony desperate for a start to stake his Lions claims. It goes on. The work-rate and diligence of Henshaw and Ringrose is immense.
Ireland have worked their way back into Six Nations contention following a disappointing opening day defeat to Scotland, but O’Gara believes the trip to Cardiff on Friday night, will be a tougher Test than undefeated England in a fortnight.
Wales? Wales will bring The Fear to the Millennium Stadium. They’ve only had a win against Italy and have to go to the Stade de France. The Welsh public will not accept losing four Six Nations games out of five.
The power of fear, the fear of losing, the fear of disappointing an entire nation, a powerful thing to have. When the human body is pushed to its limit to deliver a performance, it’s the fear that drives it there. Not just the dread of losing, the dread of not achieving.
You don’t get that as a sportsperson from weekend to weekend when it’s a league-type environment. Wales are ready to hit rock bottom, I think that has to be appreciated. Losing to Scotland for the first time in 10 years, losing at home to England, not getting a bonus point against Italy.
And the prospects, the dread, the fear of losing at home to Ireland. There’s a lot of trees cut down dissecting Welsh rugby. It’s all- consuming. It’s not Cardiff City or Swansea, with respect. This is the national game, the daily point of reference.
You can ready O’Gara’s full column in The Irish Examiner here. As intriguing as ever.