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Smal expecting Scots to struggle unless they can bash 'Boks

IRELAND forwards coach Gert Smal believes if Scotland don't match the "physicality" of South Africa, they will struggle.

"The three things that you have to stop against South Africa is their physicality, their kick-chase and their maul. If they can't stop that, they don't stand a chance to beat them," he said.

Of course, the relevance for the Irish is to be found in the current World Rankings where Ireland, in eighth, are one place ahead of Scotland on what is the cut-off point between the second and third seeds for the 2015 World Cup.

At least the Irish management will know exactly where they stand after the weekend. A Scotland shock would put Ireland into a treacherous situation against Argentina on Saturday week.

A South African juggernaut performance would wipe away most of the nerves that could exist when the in-form and fast-improving Pumas come to the Aviva Stadium.

Smal has backed the new Ireland as a group who "want to create their own legacy" with the likes of lock Mike McCarthy and Simon Zebo showing the right attitude and ability.


"I always talk about the Irish fire. Coming from South Africa, it is difficult to put words on it. There is something very special about the Irish, the way they go about their work, the ambition.

"This is a special group. It is different than what we had in the past. It is a group with a lot of ambition to be better. It is lovely to see players who want to go somewhere playing against the best in the world."

Fiji certainly do not fit the description of the best in the business. The country ranked 14th in the world rankings were brushed aside by a rusty England and they have been short-changed by not being honoured with international caps at Thomond Park.

"This is a new game. We will approach it in a different way. It is not South Africa. Fiji is a really unstructured team," said Smal.


1. DAVID KILCOYNE: "His nickname is 'Killer'. That is what he is, the way he runs, the way he works, the way he practises. That is what he is -- a little killer."

2. IAIN HENDERSON: "There are a lot of things I like in his make-up. He has size, a nice ball carrier. He is going to be a special player if he is managed well in the future."