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What Ireland camp made of Scotland win over Romania

By PA
Ireland's centre Robbie Henshaw and Ireland's lock Iain Henderson celebrate the victory after the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on September 23, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ireland’s coaching staff insist Scotland’s ruthless Rugby World Cup win over Romania has not impacted their side’s mindset.

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Gregor Townsend’s men were expected to ease to a bonus-point victory on Saturday evening in Lille and duly delivered to set up a Pool B shoot-out in Paris next weekend.

Andy Farrell’s squad enjoyed a team meal in the centre of their base city of Tours before tuning in to watch their rivals run in 12 tries in a 84-0 success.

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Ireland have won 12 of the past 13 meetings with the Scots over the past decade and, depending on bonus points accumulated, can progress to the quarter-finals even if they suffer defeat in the French capital.

Speaking of Scotland’s display, performance coach Ciaran Ruddock said: “Certainly they played really well and they’re a very good side.

“It’s something we’ve been focusing on for more than just the result last night.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
5
Draws
0
Wins
0
Average Points scored
26
13
First try wins
80%
Home team wins
60%

“It’s the next step and we’ve been building towards it but they did play very well.

“We didn’t all watch it together. Everyone watched it but a few of us watched it in different parts of the room or with different people.”

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Ireland have all 33 members of their squad available for the pivotal Stade de France showdown, with number eight Jack Conan in contention to return from a two-month injury absence.

Former Ireland Under-20s player Ruddock, brother of ex-Test international Rhys Ruddock, praised the application of players but is aware the good fortune can end at any time.

“Look, with all of this stuff, there is an element of luck to it,” he said. “There always is.

“Likewise, where there are injuries, you look at it and always try to figure out why these things happen.

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James Ryan Ireland Scotland
James Ryan was a beacon of consistency for Ireland as they won the Grand Slam (Photo By Brendan Moran/Getty Images)

“Sometimes there is luck, sometimes there are things that could have been done differently. That can always change next week.

“I think there has been a lot of really good work from everybody, from rugby coaches, S and C (strength and conditioning) department, medical, nutrition, mental performance, the wider support team – and obviously most importantly, the players.

“I feel like the guys have really applied themselves all pre-season, the attitude that they’ve brought in, which is always incredible, has continued.

“We’re in a good place but we’re still focusing on continuing to develop and get better as a team.

“We keep kind of chasing that potential now and that’s what we’re really focusing on doing.”

Flanker Peter O’Mahony could win his 100th Ireland cap against Scotland.

Ruddock, who was captained by the Munster skipper during his Under-20 days, said: “That would be amazing for Peter.

“He’s an incredible leader, he’s a great bloke and he’s worked incredibly hard over his whole career to be where he is. He deserves every bit of it.

“I remember playing with him for the first time and I was incredibly impressed with him, some of the things he could do, some of those one-handed line-out takes.

“At the time, I don’t know what he weighed but he didn’t weigh nearly what he weighs now.

“He was 18 years of age and I couldn’t get over how much of a punch he packed for a guy his size.

“It will be incredible to see if he does do it and he deserves all the success he’s got to this point.”

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