O'Sullivan exasperated by agonising over Namibia

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The Independent Online

Eddie O'Sullivan has demanded an end to the post mortem into Ireland's abysmal World Cup opener on the eve of another potentially hazardous contest.

O'Sullivan has voiced his frustration that the morale-sapping 32-17 victory over Namibia is still being picked apart a day before Ireland are due to face Georgia.

Just a week ago the Ireland coach was urging his side to put the Namibians to the sword in case a group that also contains France and Argentina is settled by points difference.

But Namibia were not so accommodating and given Georgia's stubborn resistance against Argentina on Tuesday, another gruelling night at the Stade Chaban-Delmas looks possible.

Pool D, the tournament's most challenging group, has proved even more punishing than feared and O'Sullivan insists improvement will only be seen if last Sunday's match is forgotten.

"We have a match against Georgia and if we go into that with the Namibia performance on our backs then we're not going to play well," he said.

"It defies all logic of sports psychology to keep talking about that game. We have to stop dwelling on the past and what went wrong. Five days later it's time to park Namibia and concentrate on Georgia."

Ireland must reproduce the standard set in the second half of the Six Nations against Georgia or else risk seeing their confidence deteriorate further ahead of the pivotal clash against France next Friday.

An impressive display would also spell the end of any suggestions discontent is setting in. "I haven't heard from any players that they're not enjoying it," O'Sullivan said. "Overall the mood in the camp is very good. The hotel has been brilliant."

Ireland will be fielding their most capped line-up of all time, containing a combined total of 796 appearances, against Georgia and O'Sullivan takes comfort in their experience.

"We're a very seasoned team and that comes into play tomorrow," he said. "If you look throughout the squad we're carrying a huge number of caps.

"We have to stay focused and be sensible. We can't make the mistake of thinking we'll win this game in the first quarter."

Georgia have brought in 11 new faces to their side following the 33-3 defeat by Argentina.

Ireland: G Dempsey, S Horgan, B O'Driscoll (capt), G D'Arcy, D Hickie (all Leinster), R O'Gara, P Stringer, M Horan (all Munster), R Best (Ulster), J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell (all Munster), S Easterby (Leinster), D Leamy, D Wallace (both Munster). Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), N Best (Ulster), M O'Kelly (Leinster), S Best, I Boss, P Wallace (all Munster), G Murphy (Leicester).

Georgia: O Barkalaia, G Elizbarashvili, R Gigauri, D Kacharava, G Shkinin, M Kvirikashvili, B Samkharadze; M Magrakvelidze, G Shvelidze, A Kopaliani, I Zedginidze (capt), M Gorgodze, I Maisuradze, R Urushadze, G Chkhaidze. Replacements: A Giorgadze, D Khinchagashvili, L Datunashvili, Z Maisuradze, I Abuseridze, M Urjukashvili, O Eloshvili.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).

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