Press Association Horgan admits however that Ireland must scale the mental hurdle that accompanies what would represent the “uncharted territory” of contesting a first-ever World Cup semi-final. “I think Ireland have the capacity to win the competition,” Horgan told Press Association Sport. “If you look at the potential draw they have, they’ve got one big northern hemisphere game against France. “That would put them into a quarter-final against Argentina, then it could be a semi-final against England, and anything can happen from there. “But you have to frame that against the fact that Ireland have never been to the semi-final before. “It’s not something they are used to be doing. “It’s really uncharted territory.” Horgan believes Ireland’s tournament-winning experience at both club and Test level leaves Schmidt’s squad better-placed than any in the past for World Cup success. Former British and Irish Lions wing Horgan believes Joe Schmidt’s men “have the capacity” to win the autumn’s World Cup – but only if they hold their nerve. The ex-Leinster and Ireland battering ram is confident back-to-back RBS Six Nations titles can hand head coach Schmidt’s men an edge in England. The 65-cap wing was part of the 2007 World Cup “disaster” where Ireland failed to reach the knockout stages, that sowed the seed for Eddie O’Sullivan’s departure after the 2008 Six Nations. Horgan, now working as a lawyer in London, insists Ireland will approach this year’s World Cup a team transformed, now equipped to reach that elusive first semi-final, and move further still. “In the 2007 Six Nations we didn’t quite pull off our run chase against Italy, we went into that World Cup really expecting big things and it ended in disaster,” said Horgan, speaking to back Land Rover’s ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign. “So you have to be able to deal with the psychological side of things. “Our team in 2007, we won a number of Triple Crowns, but we hadn’t won a championship. “This team do have those kinds of championship wins behind them though. “So you would think they would be able to deal with it well, but there is a step-up psychological pressure that comes with the World Cup. “It’s a different kind of pressure and it’s one they’ve got to handle. “The experience of winning back-to-back Six Nations titles is going to stand them in great stead with that. “Ireland don’t win very many championships, so it’s been a remarkable run. “Even if Ireland hadn’t won the championship they would still have taken a great deal out of everything that went on. “It’s a very good group of players that have had significant success in their careers. “You’re talking guys who have won two or three Heineken Cups, Grand Slams, championships and Pro12 titles. “But you’ve got key decision-makers in the key positions, Murray and Sexton both performing well, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip going well too. “Now there’s a front-row that has four props that can hold their own at Test level. “And then there’s Joe Schmidt who is an exceptional technical coach, and those things combined are providing a successful period.” :: Land Rover ambassador Shane Horgan was speaking as part of the ‘We Deal In Real’ campaign, championing the people at the heart and soul of the game by putting grassroots clubs on the global stage. www.landrover.com/rugby @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal Ireland must conquer the “step-up in psychological pressure” to become genuine World Cup contenders, according to Shane Horgan.
An early morning fire at Bent Street, Wortmanville, Georgetown, has left several persons homeless after four homes were destroyed and neighbouring buildings scorched.Firefighters dousing the inferno at Bent Street, GeorgetownOn Friday morning, the occupants were awakened from their slumber to find their dwellings engulfed in flames. The only option was to rush to safety as the flames swept through the wooden structures.Reports are the fire started at about 05:00h at the properties located between Hardina and Haley Streets on Bent Street, Georgetown. The fire initially started at one of the back houses and quickly spread to two others in front and another on the adjoining lot.A section of the aftermathGuyana Times understands that Natasha Morrison resided with her two sons in the first house that was engulfed. The second was occupied by Venezuelan nationals while the third housed another family. The three houses were all flattened in the aftermath.Meanwhile, one person resided in the neighboring house at Lot EE Bent Street, where the second storey was damaged. The owner, Harvey December, resides in front of the same lot and was thankful his home was saved. He indicated that his wife alerted him that a fire broke out at their neighbor’s property, to which he became alarmed. They quickly rushed over and removed a family friend, who was staying at the house before it was razed.“My wife wake me up. I was sleeping and she said ‘Fire!’ so all I did was come downstairs and we had to move a family friend who was staying. We had to move her out the house and make sure we get our documents. We didn’t really move anything because it didn’t make any sense,” December recalled.His son, Yannick December, detailed that all of the houses were occupied by families with children, all of whom were taken to safety. The Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Prison Service provided resources to ensure that the inferno was brought under control. Neighboring buildings were drenched with water to prevent the fire from spreading. This action saved his father’s house and the homes of many.“I do know that the fire started at the back. There were some children in all three homes that were destroyed at the back there. Where the fire started, there were two children in that home, there were some Venezuelans I think in the other building next to it and in the last one, there was a family with also two children,” he explained.The close proximity of the houses coupled with the morning breeze accelerated the spread of the fire. By the time the fire was brought under control, nothing was saved and charred debris littered the property.“Of course, most of these homes are wooden so it didn’t take long for them to catch afire and the heat was so intense. What I would say is that the firemen did a wonderful job in containing the blaze.”The Guyana Fire Service has launched an investigation to determine the cause and origin. While a complete assessment is pending, losses are estimated in the millions. (Rupa Seenaraine)