| 11.4°C Dublin

The Left Wing: Welcome to Irish rugby's biggest week - is an upset on the cards?

Close

Johnny Sexton of Ireland during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Ireland and Samoa at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Johnny Sexton of Ireland during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Ireland and Samoa at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Johnny Sexton of Ireland during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Ireland and Samoa at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

We're down to the business end of the Rugby World Cup and it's not South Africa, but New Zealand, that Ireland are facing, so what chance does Joe Schmidt's Ireland have of actually progressing past the quarter-finals?

It's the biggest of asks against the All Blacks and on this week's Left Wing podcast, Leinster star Scott Fardy, who played in the 2015 World Cup final for Australia, joined Luke Fitzgerald, Fergus McFadden and Will Slattery.

For Fardy it comes down to one thing: defence. Do that and we could be five-point victors, he reckons.

"Just defend well, defend really well, then you have a chance."

McFadden also thinks the Irish players will lift themselves for a match-winning performance, while Luke doesn't think so, believing New Zealand, ultimately, will have the edge.

The panel also discussed the importance of Johnny Sexton, Joe Schmidt's trick-plays, Nigel Owens' influence and they give their predictions for the other quarter-final pairings, the chances of an upset in those games and will Japan's fairy-tale World Cup continue into semi-finals?

For more from the Left Wing you can visit, www.independent.ie/podcasts/the-left-wing/

The Left Wing is sponsored by Aldi.

Online Editors