Saturday 20 July 2019

Comment: Ireland made a statement and can achieve so much under this coach

Mark McConville

Three games played, three wins. Ireland have the momentum and are now raging hot favourites to win this year’s Six Nations Championship following today’s win over England at the Aviva Stadium.

David Kelly and Ruaidhri O’Connor were there for Independent.ie today and they both agree that this team has the ability to challenge in this year’s World Cup.

“This Irish team proved that they are a team for all seasons,” said Kelly after today’s win.

“Ireland are getting better all the time and in a week when we were demanding Robbie Henshaw to really come of age and possibly score his first try, he did so and Ireland really took the game by the scruff of the neck from then on. 

“He emerged as a star and a Championship performer of the highest level and this Ireland team today emerged as the team who will probably win the Championship this year.”

O’Connor agrees and he suggests that Joe Schmidt’s men should be thinking beyond the semi-final stage of this year’s World Cup in England.

“That’s a statement performance. Ireland are talking about semi-finals at the World Cup. If they are able to replicate that at the World Cup, if they can build on that. This team under this coach, as long as Johnny Sexton stays fit, they can achieve so much,” said O’Connor.

“They have never done it at a World Cup Ireland. They have never performed at a World Cup and this looks as though it’s going to be their best chance.

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