Pressure is often misunderstood. It's attributed with being a factor that can cause random reactions in big games when in fact its impact is mostly predictable.

Pressure doesn't bring the unexpected – it typically sees players and teams revert to certain traits and behaviours that are embedded deepest.

Far from becoming volatile and harder to read, teams are at their most predictable when they are riddled with doubts and anxiety.


The Irish, under pressure, try to carry the ball harder, tackle harder, niggle more and bully their way back into the game. They have a fighter's mentality not a