Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Cooling of hype might suit Ireland ahead of World Cup

Editor's Viewpoint

For a team ranked second in the world, Ireland's performance in the Six Nations was a major disappointment.

Having beaten all before them in the last year, including a Grand Slam and victory over the All Blacks, expectations were high of further success. However, by their own standards, the players performed poorly.

That is a concern ahead of the World Cup later this year, but at least it has dampened some of the hype surrounding the team. Irish teams traditionally play best when they are seen as underdogs. We know this squad has sufficient talent to make a big impact in Japan and should not despair.

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