Andrew Trimble delivers emphatic reality check to people that call Ireland boring 5 years ago

Andrew Trimble delivers emphatic reality check to people that call Ireland boring

Ireland are too rigid and structured. Their rugby is based on winning set-pieces and dominating the breakdown, not free-flowing and there are very few 'off the cuff' moments. They play the percentages and kick too much. They are boring.

Those are some of the accusations thrown at Joe Schmidt's Ireland - often after a deep breath - and that is without touching on Pat Spillane's Sunday newspaper rants.


Ireland are up to third in the world, have won seven Tests in a row and handed a record beating to South Africa, as well as giving four talented young players their international debuts. And yet there are those that expect the team to fling the ball around like a Baa Baas side that knows they are 80 minutes away from getting the drinks in.

Of their 10 tries scored in November, three of them were pure class - Jacob Stockdale against the Springboks and his first against Argentina, and the Joey Carbery-inspired Dave Kearney score against Fiji. The forwards will tell you that mauling tries for CJ Stander and Rob Herring were sights to behold too, and they would not be wrong.

Still, we want more. The grumblings continue.

Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble delivered the perfect response to those that want Schmidt's team to cut loose in 2018 on SportsJOE Live.


"I think that criticism is reasonably unfounded, to be honest," he began. "It has been said a few times in the past."

Trimble, who is hoping to get back in the Ireland mix next year, continued:

"I suppose the alternative is to play the way France play. You throw the ball about and you're all a bunch of talented individuals who go out there and play some rugby. They can't buy a win at the minute.

"You have to have a bit of structure. Certainly I'm a big fan of that - knowing where you're supposed to be and out-smarting the opposition. Not just relying on a talented outhalf or a couple of talented ball-carriers.

"You go out there as 15 players and you become greater than the sum of your parts. Ireland has become a side that has made the most of ourselves and beats teams together, and does it in a team framework, and that is quite satisfying - to see that all come together.

"There's a lot of rehearsal that goes into place - a lot of hard work that goes in there - and whenever you see it coming together as a team, it's quite satisfying."


Taking Stockdale's first try against the Pumas, you can see exactly what Trimble means by the idea of all 15 players combining for the benefit of the team.

With a scrum put-in on the left flank and a metre short of the halfway line, Ireland were in a prime position for a set-play. The scrum needed to engage the Argentinean pack for long enough to draw them in while not worrying about shunting forward and winning a penalty. Peter O'Mahony hooked the ball cleanly to Conor Murray and Ireland were away.

Bundee Aki received the ball from Johnny Sexton and crashed through Nicolas Sanchez before Tomas Lavinini and Pablo Matera brought him down. Three men taken out. Sean O'Brien and CJ Stander had pegged it from the scrum and were there to clear out the ruck and give Murray the space to get his next pass away.


Sexton was back in line for the next phase but Chris Farrell still had to do his job. No fear. He ran a hard, straight line and sucked in two men before slipping Sexton a perfect pass to put him through the gap. Stockdale burst through that same gap and Ireland were away.

Sexton then ran a straight line for the post, which occupied Joaquin Tuculet and Matias Moroni. He then fed the supporting Stockdale for a canter over the whitewash and a brilliant score.

Team work and an example how out-thinking the opposition and trusting your structures can be beautiful too.

You can listen to Trimble's full chat on SportsJOE Live from 2:00 below: