The Irish are “capable of not depending too much on their emotions”, explained their forwards coach Paul O'Connell on Wednesday, three days before the decisive meeting against Scotland for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. rugby. “It's always one of our great strengths how much the guys love playing for Ireland, how important the history of this team is to them,” said O'Connell.
The Irish are in a favorable draw against an opponent who has beaten them only once in their last 13 clashes. For the former second row having taken part in four World Cups from 2003 to 2015, the XV du Trèfle, which has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a World Cup, is now used to high-stakes matches.
“I think to be honest that it came when Joe (Schmidt, former coach from 2013 to 2019, editor's note) was a coach, with this ability to focus only on what happens right away, and not what is further away. added O'Connell, captain of the Irish under Schmidt's tenure at the 2015 World Cup.
“Being able to not depend too much on their emotions is a big part” of the progression observed in a selection that is now number one in the world. And the Irish, who remain on a Grand Slam during the last Six Nations Tournament, proved it again thanks to a convincing victory against the South African world champions during their third match (13-8).
“They have a huge desire to progress, to improve, both individually and collectively,” assures O'Connell, while the team coached by Andy Farrell remains on eight victories against Scotland.
A new success on Saturday at the Stade de France (9:00 p.m.) would guarantee them first place in Group B.