Irish sports legend blasts Johnny Sexton’s claim that “we won”

Ireland’s captain Johnny Sexton had good right to be upset following his country’s second consecutive disappointing Rugby World Cup quarterfinal loss to New Zealand.

Even though Ireland was heavily favored and felt that this might be their year, particularly after a close victory over eventual champions South Africa in the pool stages, the All Blacks ultimately defeated Sexton’s team 28-24 in an exciting quarterfinal, dashigning the hopes of the thousands of spectators who had traveled and those who were beginning to believe back home.

After hanging up his boots, the 38-year-old fly-half announced that he will be entering the business world in January. He will be joining the company full-time, having worked there one day a week previously. In addition, he has a management company that is apparently doing very well.

Although many believed that coaching or more engagement in the sport may be the case, Sexton has shelved that for the time being and instead posted a farewell message on Instagram for supporters.

Pat Spillane, however, did not take well to the statement. Although the former Gaelic football hero is a big supporter of Sexton, he labeled some of his comments “Gobbledygook” in his Sunday World column, claiming that they reflected the mindset of Irish rugby fans.


The piece says, “His sense of devastation after Ireland’s loss to New Zealand in the World Cup quarterfinal was written all over his face as he walked off the field.”

Therefore, it would be an understatement of the month to suggest that I was shocked by his retirement declaration. He mentioned that the Irish team held a meeting four years prior and discussed their goals.

Our primary goal was to serve as an inspiration to the country. I believe we’ve succeeded in that. The statement said, “We lost, but we won.”

“What? We lost, but we won?

The most un-Sexton quote ever was this one. It is just plain nonsense, which may be expected from a public relations expert, but not from an innate winner.

“Jesus, can you picture Jack O’Connor and the Kerry players telling the Kerry supporters following their defeat by Dublin in the All-Ireland final, “We lost, but we won”? If they had been stupid enough to say something like that, they would have been driven out of the county.

I think his remarks highlight the significant disparity in Irish perceptions between rugby and Gaelic football (and hurling).

The rugby community seems content with its standing in the globe and its victories in the autumn Tests.

“We did not win; we lost.” Take the other one out. Ireland was defeated. Complete halt.


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