Ireland Rugby fans “need to up our game”, the Irish Times’ rugby correspondent has claimed.
On Saturday, Ireland beat France 32 - 19 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin but Gerry Thornley believes that the home supporters could have done more to cheer them on.
“We definitely need to up our game,” he told Lunchtime Live.
“On the one hand, we have to be fair about this; we’re the first ones to celebrate when 15 or 20,000 Irish people descended on Twickenham on Paddy’s weekend to celebrate the Grand Slam win there.
“Whenever we go abroad, we always travel in great force and we applaud that.”
Mr Thornley said that French fans had been a “fantastic” support to their team at the Aviva on Saturday and that Ireland fans should do likewise.
“There’s no doubt about it, when I was in the Stade de France last year, the fervour of the French fans at their home fans made a significant difference to France winning that game,” he said.
“I just would love to see Ireland up its game a bit.”
Mr Thornley described supporters as “quite a reserved crowd” and said while there had been “a couple of very good renditions of The Fields of Athenry”, it was perhaps time fans learnt to sing other songs as well.
A number of Lunchtime Live listeners got in touch to agree with Mr Thornley.
“Gerry’s dead on,” one texter said.
“There’s no atmosphere from the Irish fans and my preference would be for Molly Malone [to be sung as well].”
Another listener said:
“The atmosphere at the Aviva is definitely not what it used to be in the old Lansdowne or the old Five Nations Championship.
“There was always an explosion of sound when the teams ran out, it was genuinely spine tingling. I haven’t experienced that in years.”
Main image: Rugby fans. Picture by: Alamy.com