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'We’ve done it in New Zealand': Ireland coach fires warning to All Blacks

By PA
Tadhg Beirne of Ireland celebrates with Josh van der Flier of Ireland during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Ireland at Forsyth Barr Stadium on July 09, 2022 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Ireland believe they are capable of significant improvement moving towards a pivotal Paris showdown with Scotland.

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Andy Farrell’s side underlined their Rugby World Cup credentials by scalping defending champions South Africa to register a third successive Pool B victory.

Saturday evening’s thrilling 13-8 success at Stade de France put Ireland on the brink of the quarter-finals but they will likely need to avoid defeat against the Scots at the same venue on October 7 to complete the job.

Players are currently enjoying a few days off following a stirring display against the Springboks and departed camp feeling they can and must perform better.

Defence coach Simon Easterby said: “There’s so much belief in what the players are doing. They pitch up time and time again.

“We got the reward (against South Africa) but there’s lots we could be better at and that’s the feeling in the changing room.

“(We’re) really pleased with a lot of aspects of the performance but we know we have to be better.

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“The games will get tougher.

“There’s a few things that have gone on over the last couple of seasons that give the guys confidence and trust in what we’re doing.

“This is another stepping stone I guess towards what we all want to try to achieve over the next couple of weeks.

“We’re genuinely feeling that we can get better and we need to get better as the competition goes on. There’s more in us and we have to get better.”

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Ireland lead their group on 14 points after backing up bonus-point victories over Romania and Tonga in style in front of tens of thousands of Irish fans in the French capital.

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Yet the Springboks and upcoming opponents Scotland can still deny Test rugby’s top-ranked nation a place in the knockout rounds.

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Easterby says Six Nations champions Ireland have proven they are a team for big occasions, having defeated each of their major rivals during the past two years, including last summer’s historic tour success over the All Blacks.

“That’s not a one-off,” he said of the weekend result. “We’ve done it in New Zealand, we’ve done it in the autumn series last year against South Africa so that doesn’t surprise us.

“I guess the level of physicality and the brutality of the game these days, that’s something that the players have got to get their heads around and to a man they did that.

“You’ve got to make sure you enjoy these occasions.

“The support was incredible and those of us who were lucky enough to be at the stadium will remember that type of support for a long time.”

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Comments

61 Comments
K
Kerry 269 days ago

Farrell we certainly are not afraid of Ireland either - beaten 30 times to 5 - 60 Nil in 2012 - NZ know how to play and win World Cups and our up coming quarter will be no different Ireland to lose this just as they did in 2019 - oh and by the way dont get too carried away with your series win it wasnt a whitewash it was during the covid plandemic we lost our coaches and a second test red card Once our best team is back and Blackadder is in Ireland will have their work cut out containing us - we know how to find holes and we will match you up front and on the bench our backs are better bring it on

C
CO 271 days ago

There is no question that this Barbarians selection is a very good selection of three X factor Kiwis coached by two Englishman with an Australian and South African added in along with some actually very good Irish players.

Should this team win the cup then it would demonstrate that taking a bunch of tier one rugby professionals from multiple countries and combining them is a great way to win world cups.

Hopefully it would get rule changes in place soon after to stop tier ones allowed to poach from other tier ones.

S
Simon 271 days ago

Easterby should learn that arrogance in rugby bites you back and his comments will assist the ABs preparation for the QF no end. Ireland are fast becoming England of old and are the most hated team in world rugby and every other nation will do their utmost to inflict as much misery as they can on them. There's winning, being confident and sheer arrogance and I'm afraid our friends in green are falling quickly into the last category and it's not pleasant!

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