Ireland is on a path to winning a fourth Grand Slam and can then set their visions on the France Rugby World Cup. To win when you’re not playing well when the damages are growing up when the chips are down. That is the spot of champions. It’s how New Zealand ruled rugby in the past era. How South Africa can never be reigned out of a game? And it’s indeed a mark of Andy Farrell’s Ireland side right now.
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As they take the next step towards a reasonably amazing six nations Grand Slam. Only England stands in the way of magnitude now. Only England, a side that at this instant has a habit of playing poorly and losing too. Not Ireland. On Sunday they came back from an aggressive first half against Scotland at Murrayfield, one Mack Hansen said was our hardest game of the year.
After Hugo Keenan and Josh van der Flier prohibited a sure try that would have given Scotland the edge to blow their enemies away. Tries from James Lowe and Jack Conan after the pause saw to that. The latter’s a mainly impressive dot down, coming as it did from Hansen’s lovely stuck pass. But what made Ireland’s 22-7 win over Scotland so terrifying if you’re Steve Borthwick or indeed any other top head trainer awaiting the Irish at the Rugby World Cup this autumn is they did it despite damages.
Ireland start losing in the first half
Already assaulted and bruised, Ireland lost hooker, Dan Sheehan, after 18 minutes, and his standby Ronan Kelleher after the pause. Iain Henderson and Caelan Doris were also side-lined before 40 minutes had passed. Garry Ringrose was given oxygen on the pitch following serious-looking head damage. But Ireland being Ireland they pressed through and, with nine substitutes, got over the line in some style.
That was an astonishing test match, said Farrell. A bit of planned chaos at half-time, but everyone had a smile on their face. Scotland perhaps didn’t know what was going on second half at hooker! We didn’t get the try early on and lost Caelen, it was a huge effort but that’s what these boys suppose of each other. They’ve earned the right to take it to the last weekend. It was enormous from Josh.
The fellas can do anything at this instant in time how we looked after each other was the most inspiring thing. Ireland’s expert captain Johnny Sexton, who pinned two conversions and a penalty, was equally enthralled by his team’s resolve. That was one of the roughest first halves I’ve played, the pace it was played at, said Ireland Rugby World Cup 2023 captain Johnny Sexton. Rugby fans can book Ireland Rugby World Cup Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
Substitutes played very well
Tadhg Furlong hasn’t played for four months, some of the lads coming back were probably a bit surprised by the pace, but we’ll be enhanced for that. To stick at it and have Cian Healy come on and play hooker fair play to him, he kept us in the game because we’d have been down to 14 men if he didn’t. Next up for Ireland is a Grand Slam fight with England in Dublin on Saturday evening. Win this as they should and Ireland will be flawlessly primed for the Rugby World Cup.
And Farrell says he’s thankful for the depth of ability at his disposal. We’ll go again, we’ll have a good team. If we get any more injuries in the week we might have to have a look at Old Belvedere under 12s, Farrell joked. We’ll lick our injuries and go again. England will be risky, but it’ll be one hell of a weekend on St Patrick’s Day. Sexton added we’ve got to get the physiques back together. We’ll be playing against an English side that is hurting and one that we have huge admiration for.
Tuipulotu says Scotland has to learn fast ahead of France’s Rugby World Cup 2023
It was Sione Tuipulotu’s first event playing Ireland but the Scotland centre won’t have long to wait before he faces them another time. He ended up on the losing team at Murrayfield on Sunday and knows the Scots will need to be a lot more solid when they meet at the RWC in Paris on October 7. The match is likely to define who qualifies for the quarter-finals and Ireland is showing no signs of releasing their stranglehold on this game.
Their 22-7 win in Edinburgh was their eighth in a row over Scotland who played well in the first half but were second-best after the disruption. We came up against a good side but going in at half-time I felt the trust, said Tuipulotu who created Scotland’s effort for centre partner Huw Jones. But they’re so clinical. They lost both their hookers and Josh van der Flier started throwing in darts, and I think that displays their clinical edge.
We’ve got to learn rapidly. We’ve got Ireland in our pool at the RWC, everyone knows that. That was my first time playing Ireland in my profession and that’s certainly the best team I’ve played. We had New Zealand here in the autumn and we played France last week. I think Ireland’s biggest asset is its clinical edge and we’ve got to learn quickly to get that if we want to beat them at the World Cup. Rugby fans can buy Scotland Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.
Scotland has to do homework before RWC 2023
Scotland trailed 8-7 at the break and was left to rue missed chances in a brutally contested but even first half. We had a couple of violent set-piece orders between 30-40 minutes, which we perhaps should have scored from, added Tuipulotu. If we’d put more scoreboard burden on them and started the second half well, then they’d have been up against it. They just flexed on in the second half better than we did. I can’t tell you how upset I am about that.
This is possibly my first time facing the whole thing in terms of the build-up to a big game, I’m chilling in the squad room and things are coming out about what’s being said in the Irish media. Things like us having a soft underbelly. I don’t think we do. It’s just they were a bit more solid in the second half. I’m truly cut up about it. We’ve counted a lot of tries in the other games, whereas we only counted one today. There were tries out there to be counted.
A 100 caps are such an achievement
I am pretty expressive about it because I know how much goes into it. When you go into a big game like that and don’t get the outcome, it’s a bit heartbreaking, to be honest. Tuipulotu was mainly upset that they weren’t able to deliver a win for Stuart Hogg, who was winning his 100th Scotland cap. A 100 caps are such an accomplishment.
To play at his level 100 times and be that regular from the age of 19 at his first appearance until now. There are not many people like that in Test rugby. And he’s got a big share to play in the Rugby World Cup 2023. I’m stoked for him to get his 100 but upset we couldn’t get the result for him because that’s what all the boys desired.
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