Ireland’s World Cup dream has been in tatters since the Pool C defeat France last week, and the post mortem has started even before their tournament has ended.
Tom Tierney’s team failed to make the semi-finals, with the fifth-placed play-off semi-final loss to Australia rubbing salt into gaping wounds.
They now take on Wales in the seventh-placed decider on Saturday; they must win to ensure automatic qualification for the next World Cup.
The fairytale has soured, and former inetrantionals Fiona Steed and Lynne Cantwell pulled no punches in their post-match analysis after the loss to the Wallaroos.
"They weren’t good enough," said Cantwell. "There are questions around their preparation. It wasn’t to the standard it needed to be. How come every other country can get it and we can’t get it right? It’s very frustrating for the players fundamentally. They’ve been robbed of an opportunity."
Steed echoed that sentiment, adding: "Rugby continues but I think what’s absolutely necessary is what goes into it gets better and that we unearth more players. Then when we have those players we mould them into the teams that have won Grand Slams, that have won Six Nations, that have got to semi-finals of World Cups."
Watch the full analysis here.
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences