Jamison Gibson-Park: St Patrick’s Day party a big incentive for Ireland

The scrum-half is eager to once again lift silverware on home soil.

Ed Elliot
Sunday 10 March 2024 09:17 GMT
Jamison Gibson-Park hopes to help Ireland bounce back against Scotland (David Davies/PA)
Jamison Gibson-Park hopes to help Ireland bounce back against Scotland (David Davies/PA) (PA Wire)

Jamison Gibson-Park feels the prospect of igniting another St Patrick’s weekend party in Dublin is a “massive” incentive to help Ireland swiftly move on from an agonising 23-22 defeat to England.

Andy Farrell’s men were on the verge of retaining the Guinness Six Nations title with a game to spare before being punished by Marcus Smith’s last-gasp drop goal at Twickenham.

The “gutting” late drama halted Ireland’s pursuit of consecutive Grand Slams but they will still win the championship if they beat Scotland next Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.

Leinster scrum-half Gibson-Park is eager to lift more silverware on home soil following the jubilation of last year’s flawless tournament triumph, which was sealed with a win over England amid patron saint celebrations in the Irish capital.

“We’ve thrown a lot into this championship and we were pretty keen to go after the Grand Slam,” he said.

“That’s gone now but there’s still plenty to play for, thankfully.

“It’s massive, man. I mean we were able to get it done last year in front of our friends and family and home supporters, which means a huge amount.

“There will be that same drive next weekend for sure.

“Faz (Farrell) has already said to us that we’ve got to dust ourselves down, congratulate England and just get ready for Scotland.”

Jack Crowley’s four penalties ensured Ireland led 12-8 at the break in south-west London before James Lowe’s two tries put them on the cusp of glory.

But Steve Borthwick’s impressive hosts were the better side for large parts and deservedly snatched victory at the death as replacement fly-half Smith decisively added to scores from Ollie Lawrence, George Furbank and Ben Earl to spark wild scenes on the pitch and in the stands.

Gibson-Park was forced to play the final 30 minutes out of position on the right wing after the departures of Calvin Nash and Ciaran Frawley to failed head injury assessments exposed head coach Farrell’s decision to name a six-two split of forwards and backs on the bench.

The 32-year-old expects a thorough inquest into only Ireland’s second defeat in 22 games dating back to the summer of 2022.

“We are thankful over the last number of years, we have been on the right side of the ledge a lot of the time,” he said.

“But every now and again, it’s the way it goes.

“Plenty of things to review and obviously we have to dust ourselves down because there’s still a championship on the line.

“It will be tough but England showed up and sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles and you don’t end up on the right side of the result.

“It’s gutting but plenty to learn and we’ll have to show up for next week.”

Captain Peter O’Mahony credited England for derailing Ireland’s Grand Slam dream.

The Munster flanker, who was sin binned for hands in ruck just before the hour mark, said: “It was a massive pressure match, pressure environment.

“They’re a quality side and I thought they showed that in spades with the way they defended, clinical in their attack, and disrupted a lot of the stuff that we wanted to do.

“It was a savage battle out there.”

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