after watching ireland lose yet again to NZ it got to me thinking....where irish rugby is at the moment...and where it was in the past 8 years or so.....the 'golden years' for irish rugby.
not so long ago we were considered the best team in the northern hemisphere but what did we do in that time? 2 very disappointing world cups, no grand slam not even a 6 nations trophy but 3 triple crowns. the first one was nice but after that we wanted to beat france we wanted to win the 6 nations and the grand slam.....wales did it...twice....we failed.
after england won the 2003 world cup we got into an almost yearly routine of beating them...petty easily at times..but england get to the world cup final in 2007 and ireland crash out in the first round after a pathetic display.
in 2006 we reached 3rd in the world rankings but now are struggling to get a top 8 seeding in the next world cup...i believe if we lose to argentina by more that 15 points or so scotland jump ahead of us to 8th spot.
why did we under acheive so much and why are we playing so badly now. i know declan kidney hasn't been the coach for long and NZ is easily the best team in the world at the moment but lets face it NZ didn't play that well today, carters penitly kicking was poor but still, they made it look so easy against us...we didn't create a decent chance the whole game. we where playing a kicking game that you just can't play against NZ, letting them run at you like that with the ball is suicide.
looking at the northern hemisphere teams other than france i don't see a team that is man for man so much better than us but yet here we are, not performing as a team for almost 2 years now and underachieving when we did play well before that.
especially seeing munster and leinster play so well in the heineken cup every year...its pretty much guaranteed that munster reach the quarter finals each year...teams hate coming to thomond park why can't it be the same for ireland.