Tuesday 23 July 2019

Ronan O'Gara: Ireland churning out results in an effortless fashion

Ireland's wing Keith Earls scores their second try during a Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Ireland and Romania at Wembley
Ireland's wing Keith Earls scores their second try during a Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Ireland and Romania at Wembley
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland legend Ronan O'Gara believes Joe Schmidt's side are purring nicely after their facile 44-10 victory over Romania in Wembley.

Munster flyer Keith Earls took his World Cup try tally to seven in Ireland's routine six-try win, drawing level with Brian O'Driscoll to top Ireland's tournament record.

Earls underwent a pitchside Head Injury Assessment (HIA) midway through the third quarter and though he returned to action, he was replaced permanently 10 minutes later.

Tommy Bowe claimed a try brace of his own in a strong showing, with Rob Kearney claiming a fifth but suffering what looked a minor hip injury in the process.

Chris Henry drove home the sixth score, cementing top spot in the pool with two wins from two matches.

It was a display that convinced O'Gara that Ireland are in a great place ahead of the big games against Italy and France over the next two weekends.

"I think the positives are that Ireland are a machine and they are really well oiled... churning out results in an effortless fashion," he told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One.

"There's massive belief in their gameplan, their is massive belief in their workrate.

"Ireland are a team that are very difficult to score against. Their disciplined is incredible, the penalty count was very low again.

"They'll be disappointed to have conceded the last try but the intensity levels will step up now with Italy and France more so to come.

"You'll see more of the real Ireland in the coming weeks.

"Ireland are just looking to take it step-by-step.

"What Ireland are doing well is that  they are concentrating on themselves and they are very internally focused and getting the best out of their preparation and their performance.

"Over previous years, maybe we've paid the opposition too much respect.

"The French game is a really tough game because they have the ability to raise their game because they have really good rugby players.

"Ireland will have played three games of a standard that will be up 40pc against France. Can they make the jump? You would be confident they will."

He was very impressed with the performance of former team mate Keith Earls.

"Keith was very good, but it's not a surprise. People only see 80 minutes every week, sometimes he can be inconsistent but when you see him every day at training as a young lad, he stood out way above other players," he added.

"His natural ability, his acceleration, explosiveness is what separates him.

"I'm a massive fan, always have been. For me, he was always going to achieve greatness and hopefully he will go on to achieve greatness on a world stage.

"His headspace is in a great place and he's achieving things he deserves to achieve."

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