by James McMahon
Ireland’s loss to Scotland drew an immediate reaction from RTÉ pundit George Hook, who feels Declan Kidney’s tenure as national coach should now be brought to an end.
Despite territorially dominating the game at Murrayfield, the Irish were beaten 12-8, with Hook lamenting a lack of leadership on the field, while also stating that the squad now needs a new voice at the helm.
He told Tom McGurk: “I have to be very, very careful about what I say. This doesn’t come to me easily. I think at this point Declan Kidney has proven that he has taken Ireland as far as he is capable of taking them.
“In the interest of the Irish game and the interests of Irish rugby he ought to resign and that somebody else should step in now. Against Scotland, we lost a match with 80 per cent possession. I think Kidney’s reputation is now in tatters.
“His team selection was wrong and it was sad to look at Ronan O’Gara’s performance in the last 20 minutes. There was a definite lack of leadership all over the pitch. We didn’t take early kicks at goal that would have settled the side."
Hook added: “Brian O’Driscoll looked a pale shadow of himself today because he was in a backline that could not function, that was rudderless. Outside and inside him there was nobody to take control of the match. It was the worst performance from O’Driscoll in an Irish shirt in 10 years.
"Overall, the team has been in decline since 2011 and the recent victories over Argentina and Wales only disguise that fact."
"Kidney has proven that he has taken Ireland as far as he is capable of taking them" - George Hook
Fellow pundit Brent Pope was in agreement that the Kidney era is over and that he is not the man to take us to the next World Cup.
He explained: “I think the question regarding the World Cup has been answered and sadly for him Kidney is not the man to take us there. He has a done a great job, winning the Grand Slam and all that, but his time his up.
"It’s a sad day for Irish rugby as we went down to a poor Scottish team. We made too many schoolboy errors and gave away needless points."