Thursday 24 October 2019

'Rory Best has every reason to be pleased' - Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell react to impressive Ireland win

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 22: Rory Best of Ireland applauds fans as he leaves the pitch after the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group A game between Ireland and Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama on September 22, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 22: Rory Best of Ireland applauds fans as he leaves the pitch after the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group A game between Ireland and Scotland at International Stadium Yokohama on September 22, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Tony Considine

Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll hailed Rory Best and Ireland's performance after the current skipper put his pre-World Cup wobble behind him to lead the boys in green to a dominant victory over Scotland in their Pool A opener.

The Ulster man copped some flak after Ireland's warm-up loss to England but was back to his best in his swan-song tournament today, laying down a marker with a try of his own in the 14th minute.

"Rory Best has every reason to be pleased with that performance," O’Driscoll said on the ITV panel.

"He’ll be trying to temper excitement at home and within his own squad. There'll be lots to improve on but particularly with that first half performance, all the damage was done then.

"Even when the (weather) conditions came down in that second half, sixteen points seemed like a huge lead. They didn't have to do a huge amount. They knew Scotland had to do all the playing and had to chase the lead.

"They played just simple, concise rugby. Good kick and contest, they got their bonus point try out of that. So just an all-round, really solid performance.

"The guys coming in did outstandingly well and now there’ll be some nervous guys that have been out through injury wondering will they get in for the next one."

O'Driscoll was joined in the studio by another of Best's predecessors, Paul O'Connell who sounded a note of caution when asked if Ireland had shown why they are currently ranked number one in the world.

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"I think Scotland were really poor, Ireland were utterly dominant," he added.

"The last thing that Scotland wanted to see at half-time was that rain because it's very difficult to chase a game in those conditions, particularly with Ireland’s line speed. 

"Scotland had a crack at a five metre drive and lost it, Ireland hoovered up the ball in one of the scrums on Scotland's own put-in. I think Ireland were excellent but Scotland were really disappointing in the first half and succumbed further in the second. There’s a long way to go for them."

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