Indicative of the immense pressure Ireland were under, Jerry Flannery’s so-bad-twas-funny hack at Alexis Palisson was only as bizarre as Popey’s description of the hooker’s ‘no-arms tackle’ as “accidental”.
Mind you, the referee merely admonished the since-cited Flannery for being “silly”, which correlated with Tony Ward’s warped view that it was a ‘nothing’ incident. Que?
On the BBC Keith Wood called it as a straight red card offence, as did Hook on our national broadcaster. There’s no denying it was a potential leg-breaker, and an utter gameplan-wrecker at a stage when Ireland were still in the match.
Chatting to Newstalk on Monday, Wood sounded concerned for Ireland’s state of body and mind. The players looked “a bit shook” afterwards, he mused.
While it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of an era (and whichever XV are ready to face Martin Johnson’s men at Twickenham they won’t want for incentive), he certainly wasn’t seeing it as the start of something.