Euros 2012 Treviso: Day 4

Day 4 – Scots & Swiss

vs. Scotland

This was an exhausting, high-emotion, interesting, disappointing day. A lot of tension, a lot of fatigue. We were in the Quarter-finals against an experienced Scottish team. We prepared well, we competed well, we played well but in the end we were well-beaten. Why?

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My mind has been racing since the game. We had a couple of great victories in the previous days but when we came up against Scotland, the fatigue levels in our team were far higher than in the Scottish team. It’s not because we’re not fit enough, but our earlier victories were based primarily on heart and spirit, which is a credit to the people in our team. Honestly, I can’t speak highly enough of my teammates, their efforts levels, their togetherness. But at a certain point you’re not going to be able to sustain that energy at international level. You need the high-level game knowledge. Scotland had greater skill levels than us, which meant they got easy tries from little moves around the try line, whereas we had to work hard for every single one of ours and then defend like demons near our own try line every time, because our defensive systems were being taken apart.

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Judging by the pasty whiteness, I’m pretty certain this is my sister with the ball

Personally, I was happy with how I played in both games today. I gave absolutely everything I could in the blazing Italian sunshine, but already looking forward from this tournament, we need to up our skill levels right through the Irish teams. We have great players, we have people with great knowledge of the game. We need to push this up several levels. We can’t depend on Irish ‘fighting spirit’. As Mikey from the Senior Mixed says, games are won on ‘execution not emotion’.

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Well, some games can be won on emotion, but if you want to be really great, it’s not enough.

To quote American Football legend Ray Lewis, we got to be ‘pissed off for greatness’, cause if you’re not, you’re accepting being mediocre.

I’m disappointed we stumbled at the quarter final stage but I’m fired up too about doing every thing I can to keep driving this on.

One more game still to go against France to decide who will finish 7th and 8th.

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