‘Irish avoid Shizuoka sequel but Boks blockbuster looms’-ZoomTech News

Andy Farrell has guided Eire to fifteen straight wins earlier than subsequent week’s crunch Pool B recreation towards three-time world champions South Africa

Two bonus-point wins, a rejuvenated Johnny Sexton breaking data and 20 tries within the bag. The World Cup goes as scripted for Eire.

There was to be no repeat of Shizuoka in Nantes. 4 years in the past, Eire started their World Cup marketing campaign with a convincing win over Scotland, solely to fall to a shock defeat by hosts Japan within the second recreation. They had been higher ready this time.

Eire head coach Andy Farrell, who was defence coach beneath Joe Schmidt for that loss in Japan, had dismissed questions on any lingering scars of Shizuoka within the build-up to Saturday’s Pool B win over Tonga in Nantes.

Naturally, even when they’d not admit it, it could have been behind Irish minds after seeing off Romania in emphatic style, realizing {that a} slip-up towards Tonga would incite panic earlier than a few daunting Paris assignments towards South Africa and Scotland.

Farrell took no probabilities. Retaining Sexton in a robust line-up that confirmed each Irish respect to Tonga and the will to expertise a bruising bodily encounter earlier than renewing hostilities with the Springboks, Farrell opted for momentum over rotation.

And whereas Tonga brought on the world’s primary facet just a few complications, Eire had been by no means actually at risk of experiencing a repeat of that humbling evening in Japan.

With eight tries and an Irish scoring file for captain Sexton, who surpassed Ronan O’Gara to develop into his nation’s file factors scorer, Eire in the end had an excessive amount of for the Pacific Islanders.

Sexton attracted extra plaudits, Bundee Aki continued his glorious type with one other two tries, and after a good bit of consideration, the line-out functioned easily. Farrell mentioned after the sport that Eire “aren’t actually into ticking containers” however they’ve hit a whole lot of their targets thus far.

However as with final week’s win over Romania, the celebrations can be muted realizing the holders can be ready for them on the Stade de France subsequent week.

For Eire, the primary two video games had been all the time about getting the job executed and constructing a wholesome factors complete. The query now’s, are they the place they have to be for South Africa?

In response to Farrell, enchancment remains to be wanted.

“I might hope we can be higher as a result of we’ll definitely have to be when it will get to enjoying towards a unbelievable facet in South Africa,” mentioned Farrell.

“We’re not prepared fairly but however we definitely can be.

“It is one thing that we have talked about fairly a bit, clearly with the opponents that we knew we had been going to face.

“We’ll take {that a} step additional this week and get the gamers to personal that as quickly as we presumably can.

“It is one thing that they are doing very effectively at this second in time.”

‘It is the sport all of the outsiders have been trying ahead to’

The Romania and Tonga video games weren’t with out their imperfections. Whereas the line-out regarded extra strong towards Tonga, Farrell and his teaching workers will nearly definitely look to work on Eire’s scrum earlier than going through a formidable South African pack.

However Eire have made a behavior of elevating their recreation to face elite-level opposition. Final 12 months’s Check sequence win in New Zealand exhibits that, as does the titanic Six Nations win over France in Dublin.

Farrell’s facet even have comparatively recent recollections of besting the Springboks in a brutal Aviva Stadium encounter in November.

Eire will nearly definitely downplay the importance of that recreation as a result of South Africa within the World Cup are a distinct beast, however Eire’s journey over the previous 18 months means they need to method Paris with relish, not worry. That would not all the time have been the case in World Cups down the years.

“What every week to be concerned in Irish rugby,” mentioned scrum-half Craig Casey, who made his World Cup debut off the bench towards Tonga.

“It is the sport that each one the outsiders have been trying ahead to for a very good few years now for the reason that draw got here out.

“Clearly we needed to get these first two video games over the road and get two wins, nevertheless it’s an enormous week to be concerned in. It is going to be nice.”

South Africa, who beat Scotland of their opener, play Romania on Sunday earlier than they begin planning for Eire.

The Springboks have regarded again to someplace close to their greatest currently, thumping the All Blacks in certainly one of their warm-up video games earlier than taking good care of the Scots in Marseille.

The holders have since misplaced hooker Malcolm Marx for the remainder of the match to a knee damage, and whereas Farrell remains to be with out his first-choice quantity quantity two in Dan Sheehan, Eire have thus far managed to keep away from devastating health setbacks. Finlay Bealham got here off simply 10 minutes after being launched towards Tonga with a head damage, though Farrell later mentioned the prop was in “nice spirits”.

However even with a clear invoice of well being, battling the three-time world champions beneath the Stade de France lights represents the best problem this Irish juggernaut has confronted.

“We knew this one was coming down the pipeline,” mentioned Iain Henderson, who was not concerned in Eire’s 19-16 win over South Africa 10 months in the past.

“It is most likely our largest problem in a very good whereas. I believe everybody’s enthusiastic about it. Thankfully for us, we’re capable of get into the meat of taking a look at them this week.

“All I can say is everyone seems to be extremely excited, no matter whether or not we’ll be beginning, on the bench or not concerned. Everyone seems to be buzzing.”

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