Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Bowe was winging it at magic moment

Wing wizard Tommy Bowe conceded that Ireland almost shot themselves in the foot by giving away 14 penalties.

“A bit of indiscipline let England back into it and at three points down with a couple of minutes to go it was looking a little bit dodgy,” he said.

“But it was a bit like Wales last year. We showed the belief. It was never say die. It was great to get over for that try.”

Tellingly, Bowe revealed that the move from which he scored his second and Ireland’s third try had gone even better than they had dared hope.

“We called it earlier in the game and we got it wrong. We called it again and it came off. But it’s not really designed to score off first phase. It’s to get us on the front foot and luckily today the hole opened up.”

Expressing misgivings about Ireland’s indiscipline he added: “Our penalty count definitely worked against us and if we’re looking to go forward we’ll have to improve that.”

He was not going to allow that to overshadow the result, however. “No, a win on English soil is very special,” added Bowe.

Fellow-winger and co-scorer, Keith Earls reckoned England had been as physical as the French.

“Yes, they’d be right up there with France. It was tough,” he said. “The forwards produced a huge work rate.”

With regard to his inclusion on the left wing Earls added: “I’m enjoying it now. I’m starting to get experience there and learning more about it. I’m getting a bit more ball now, so I’m happy.”

Responding to England coach Martin Johnson’s complaint that his try had come when South African referee Mark Lawrence controversially changed a penalty initially awarded against Irish scrum half Tomas O’Leary, Earls said: “He (Danny Care) threw Tomas on the ground.

“He reacted. I don’t know what Tomas did. Scrum-halves are always at it.”

Meanwhile, Rory Best does not see any good reason why Ireland tighthead John Hayes, who on Saturday became the first Irishman to win 100 international rugby caps, cannot keep going.

Asked how much longer he felt the big Munster prop might continue, the Ulster hooker replied: “A lot of people have been saying that this is his last season but he’s a model professional, he just gets on with his job and there’s no airs or graces with him. So as long as he’s the best tight head prop in Ireland, he’ll continue to be there.”