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Ireland report clean bill of health and how they celebrated victory

By PA
Press Association

Ireland emerged from a blockbuster win over South Africa with a clean bill of health but wary there are “big tests on the horizon” at the Rugby World Cup.

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Andy Farrell’s men took control of Pool B with a stirring 13-8 defeat of the Springboks in Paris to put themselves on the brink of the quarter-finals.

Players will go their separate ways to enjoy a few days off following an unforgettable evening at a raucous Stade de France before reconvening to prepare to finish the job against Scotland on October 7.

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Aside from some bruised bodies – and possibly a few sore heads – scrum coach John Fogarty confirmed the squad came through an intense contest relatively unscathed.

“We managed to come out of what was a really physical game with a full bill of health,” he said on Sunday.

“There’s medicals on now, but at this moment in time there’s no obvious injuries.”

Ireland saluted a phenomenal defensive effort with a lap of honour in front of tens of thousands of Irish fans in the French capital.

Asked about the subsequent celebrations, Fogarty said: “It is important to make sure we’re aware that that was a big win and we’re obviously delighted with it.

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“We took time with each other, enjoyed company. Nothing too mad at all.

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“The dressing room is generally the best craic, you’re there all together, there’s no outside distractions. We enjoyed that time together.

“It’s a late kick-off, we got back to the hotel around 1am so we didn’t do the dog on it, but we enjoyed each other’s company.”

Ireland backed up thumping bonus-point victories over Romania and Tonga by downing the defending champions to retain top spot in the world rankings.

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But reaching the knockout stages and a probable showdown with either hosts France or three-time winners New Zealand is not yet guaranteed.

“We’re very proud of the result, we’re very proud of the performance,” continued Fogarty.

“But we’re very, very aware that that’s a pool game, we’ve got Scotland next and we’ve got big tests on the horizon.

“We’ve got a few days with family which is so important. I can’t wait to see my wife and kids. I’m sick of looking at the boys at this stage!

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“We’ll certainly look at things we need to improve on but we need to get the recovery in now because Scotland are going to be coming.”

Back-rower Jack Conan, who suffered a foot injury in the warm-up win over Italy on August 5, versatile back Jimmy O’Brien and centre Stuart McCloskey are the only members of Farrell’s 33-man squad yet to feature in France.

The trio are in contention to take on Scotland.

“Jack had a brilliant week and took part in training,” said Fogarty.

“We’ve been very, very lucky with the health of the squad.

“Right now we look like we’ll be training with a full deck when we return, which is great.”

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3 Comments
M
Michael Röbbins (academic and writer extraordinair 272 days ago

Happy they finally got over the hump, and won the World Cup, oh wait…

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