Simon Zebo: Ireland backlash is coming, but my phone is always on

Following Ireland’s loss to England last weekend Simon Zebo has his say on the defeat and feels Scotland better get ready for a backlash on Saturday…


It was a disappointing result for Ireland last weekend, I know all the lads will be gutted with their performance.

They didn’t play well, but still had the opportunity to win it and they weren’t a million miles away with 20 minutes to go on the clock.

That just shows how competitive this team is. You have to give credit to England though, they were obviously hurting after last year when Ireland won the Grand Slam in Twickenham and sometimes a team wants it a tiny bit more than the other.

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That’s the difference at international level. I thought England were brilliant and Ireland were just a little bit off the pace.

It’s hard to say what England’s mindset would have been if Rob Kearney or even I was playing full-back, the outcome may have been the exact same.

I suppose with the positional changes and Robbie Henshaw playing at full-back for the first time in a number of years, England thought that they were going to be able to find some grass and cause Ireland problems in the backfield.

Unfortunately, England did just that. But I’m sure if the boys were able to play that game again, the outcome wouldn’t be the same.

Henshaw is world class

Robbie Henshaw is a world-class player. He’s a Lion, a Grand Slam champion and a Champions Cup winner.

He’s a proven performer. Everyone can have an off day and that was probably it.

I touted him to go in and have a stormer, but it just wasn’t to be. He just had a little off game and he hasn’t played at full-back in years, so you can’t fault the guy really.

He’ll be more used to the intricacies of the position now and how to cover the grass a little bit more. You can train all you want, but the difference is doing it in a match.

The rust will be knocked off him and if he gets selected there again, he’ll be all the better for it.

Backlash is coming against the Scots

I see Ireland coming out with the same intensity that England did at the Aviva last Saturday and really sticking it to the Scots this weekend.

They’re going to be hurting, they’re a wounded beast now and Scotland have their tails up after a bonus point victory over Italy.

There’s a lot of injuries, so Joe’s hand will be forced on a couple of them, but he tends to stick with what he knows.

I’m sure he’ll give Robbie Henshaw another crack at full-back or else in the centre because he’s too valuable not to have on the pitch.

I’d say Schmidt is going to stick to the tried and tested, like he always does and see how it goes.

It’s going to be a very close game, I fancy Ireland to win it by a couple of points. The Scots are going to be very dangerous though.

They’re going to make line-breaks and if they finish one or two of those off, it’s going to be hard for Ireland.

They’ll have to do their best to keep Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and Blair Kinghorn quiet. If they can do that, then Ireland will win.

I’ll keep trying to cause coaches headaches

It’s hugely flattering, really nice and it means a lot to me that people want me in the squad.

Especially when you are playing out of the country and there’s still so many people that think so highly of you back home that they want to see you wearing the green jersey.

I’ll just keep on chasing and trying to give the coaches a few headaches by playing well.

Hopefully, we’ll go a long way in the tournament in the Champions Cup with Racing and do well in the Top 14.

All I can do is play my best rugby and give them decisions to make come World Cup time. For now, I’ll lay low, under the radar and keep doing my best.

My phone is always on though. I’ve two phones actually and they both work, so we’ll have to see.

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What do you think?