Brutally Honest Feedback

Joe Schmidt silently leads the first team off the bus. The first team stop, take a step and applaud the substitutes off the bus. The substitutes stand in line and applaud the coaches off the bus. The coaches take their place in line and applaud the driver off.

This is the New Ireland.

Entering the hotel, the players are assigned a ‘room buddy’ in addition to the room-mate. They walk their room buddy up to their room, hug them (back thumps optional, but mandatory for Munster players – both hugger and huggee), tweet them something nice, then have a cry together.

Down in the conference room, the players have to text five selected team-mates and tell them why they should play ahead of anyone else, and how they will stop The Awesome Power of Luther Burrell. The hubbub dies down, players avert their eyes, and the Milky Bar Kid takes the stage. The Brutally Honest Review Session ™ is about to start.

Joe: “Peter, great gusto with the anthem singing, but you were nearly a full octave out of tune. Plus you’ve made a schoolboy error – we’ll only have Ireland’s Call at the weekend, that’s where the passion should be directed”

Joe: “Paddy, you let Tommy hug you after your try – not on. What are you going to do when you’ve scored our sixth late on on Saturday but you’ve got The Awesome Power of Mako Vunipola on top of you? How will you shove him away then?”

Joe: “Rob and Dave – you’ve let some parody account become lame – if you are going to encourage the Twitterati, you need to ensure it’s a meme that will last longer than a week. Look at Frankie Sheahan’s account – it’s been laughable for years”

Joe: “Brian, you can’t keep letting biology beat you, it’s getting embarrassing that you are picking up bugs the week before a game. You’ll just have to ask science to stop.”

After sixty minutes of Brutally Honest Feedback ™, the players retire to the games room where they have to spend so long complimenting each other, even Andrew Trimble runs out of things to say.

This is the New Ireland.

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  1. Stephen

     /  February 19, 2014

    I’m not entirely sure how much of this is journalism, and how much is sheer takng-the-mick.

    Perhaps that is the point?

  2. I feel for Rala being left out of the love fest. Not on, boys, not on.

  3. Too excited to write nothing, too excited to write anything sensible?

    (Not that I think there’s anything wrong with that whatsoever!)

  4. Paddy

     /  February 19, 2014

    New Ireland…..only 2 letters off New Zealand

  5. Len

     /  February 19, 2014

    Good laugh. In a serious note I’d love to sit in on one of the actual match review sessions just to see exactly what level of detail JS goes into. Also is it odd that it’s Wednesday and I’m already getting excited for Saturday? It’s been a while since this has happened with Ireland so I’m not sure.

  6. connachtexile

     /  February 19, 2014

    The Munster players better be careful with all that hugging and sending texts to each other. Sure it’s all fun and games now but with all their pashun things could get out of hand very quickly.

  7. Only three more sleeps to go. Ní féidir liom fanacht!!!!!! Thanks for the bit of light relief, WoC.

    • abitofshoepie

       /  February 19, 2014

      Which means …..four more sleeps until Scotland v Italy….wooo hoooo!

  8. Amiga500

     /  February 19, 2014

    In other news, dial the pashun up to the max… Axel confirmed at Munster…

  9. Stevo

     /  February 19, 2014

    Wouldn’t being nearly a full octave out of tune have you almost in tune again?

  10. Jlo

     /  February 19, 2014

    You’ve left Leinster loin speechless

  11. J. Browne

     /  February 19, 2014


    You guys ever think of doing a post on the project players? The glory that is Struass the despair that is Borlase the potential which is Payne etc.

    Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:23:24 +0000 To:

  12. Hansie Macdermot

     /  February 19, 2014

    Team bonding rituals are essential but your list reads like it might suit a schoolgirl’s
    hockey team on tour.
    99% sure that you are codding us WOC.

  13. Rostafer

     /  February 19, 2014

    Over in Twickers, Chris Robshaw’s humility knows no bounds. Lancaster has enforced a midget throwing embargo. We wont see Tuialgi jumping into the Thames nor the graceful Ashton touching down. New Ireland/New England. I can’t wait to watch as O’Connell gets one back for Mary Mc and stands on the wrong side for the craic.

  14. P White

     /  February 20, 2014

    There is lots of chat about the team bonding rituals and all that from as the seminar post that is doing the rounds.

    The thing that jumped out from me about Schmidt from that post is when he said he would spend 6 hours reviewing a game that evening so he could discuss every incident from memory with the players if they asked the next morning. That is pretty ridiculous man-management. It must make it pretty easy for players to buy into the system when the coach puts that kind of effort in. It puts Deccie and his ‘life is like a 3 legged stool’ into perspective.

  15. D McShane

     /  February 20, 2014

    Where did it all go wrong? Strike 2…..

  16. Bill H

     /  February 20, 2014


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