Gaffney: We are only halfway there

Updated: September 20, 2011

Alan Gaffney today spoke of how keeping the lid on expectations will be key to the rest of Ireland’s World Cup campaign and has warned that getting out of the pool is not done just yet.

Speaking in the aftermath of the 15-6 defeat of Australia, the backs coach admitted that the win in Eden Park was one of Ireland’s best ever results. “Winning in the southern hemisphere is not something we’ve done a lot of, so we regard that as a monumental win,” Gaffney said. “It was an enormous performance and everyone was of the same opinion.

“The boys knew they had it in them and there were some very emotional chats in the build-up week, including from some guys not in the 22.

“We had to go out and start showing what we can do. We couldn’t start wandering through the World Cup and not perform. Against Australia we put it on the paddock.

“I don’t know if the Wallabies underestimated us. I don’t know whether they did show us enough respect, I’m not quite sure there.” Ireland’s next pool game will be against Russia, who shipped a loss to Italy this morning, and Gaffney is not looking beyond that game.

“Brian O’Driscoll’s address after the game was very pertinent. He said we’re only 50% of the way,” Gaffney added.

“We’re not treating anyone with disrespect, it’s not an Irish thing. We’ll go out and pay everyone the respect they deserve.

“We haven’t qualified from our pool yet, we’ve still got two games to play.

“Russia are a growing side. Every time we play Italy it’s a sticky game, it’s never easy whether it’s home or away.

“They’re confrontational and have a great set piece. It’s going to be a great Test for us.”

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