In Depth

Rugby World Cup diary: Ireland have ‘no chance’ against the All Blacks

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland side close in on the quarter-finals, but Matt Dawson doesn’t rate their chances

Rugby World Cup pool A: Ireland 35 Russia 0

Ireland just need another bonus-point win to secure their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

Should they progress they will potentially play defending champions New Zealand or South Africa.

In the pool A clash against Russia on Thursday Ireland sealed the extra point with five tries in the 35-0 win in Kobe.

If Joe Schmidt’s side repeat the feat and get the five points against Samoa on 12 October they will progress from the pool.

It was an unconvincing display against Russia and speaking on the BBC England World Cup winner Matt Dawson said Ireland have no chance should they face the All Blacks in the last eight. 

“I don’t think Ireland will win in the quarter-finals but it sharpens the mind when you’re playing against the top teams,” said Dawson. 

“I can’t see the conditions being quite as bad as they were in Kobe but Ireland have no chance against New Zealand at the moment. 

“If you put yourselves in the All Blacks’ shoes, they will be massively focused after what Ireland did them to them last year.”

After falling to a shock loss against Japan, Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton was happy that the team bounced back with a win against Russia. 

He said: “We are delighted to get a good win and back on the horse and we got the bonus point which was what we were looking for. 

“They are a well organised team and made it difficult for us at times. The ball was very slippy and there is lots to work on but we are onto the next one against Samoa.”

In Thursday’s first match at the World Cup Fiji ran in seven tries in a 45-10 bonus-point victory against Georgia in pool D. 

Friday’s match sees South Africa take on Italy in pool B in Shizuoka.

Next games at the Rugby World Cup 

  • Friday 4 October - pool B: South Africa vs. Italy (10.45am; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka; ITV 4) 
  • Saturday 5 October - pool D: Australia vs. Uruguay (6.15am; Oita Stadium, Oita; ITV) 
  • Saturday 5 October - pool C: England vs. Argentina (9am; Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo; ITV) 
  • Saturday 5 October - pool A: Japan vs. Samoa (11.30am; City of Toyota Stadium, Aichi; ITV) 
  • Sunday 6 October - pool B: New Zealand vs. Namibia (5.45am; Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo; ITV) 
  • Sunday 6 October - pool C: France vs. Tonga (8.45am; Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto; ITV)
  • Rugby World Cup fixtures, UK start times and TV guide

Jones urges England to show passion and intensity

England head coach Eddie Jones has named his team for Saturday’s pool C clash against Argentina.

George Ford plays at fly-half with captain Owen Farrell returning at inside centre. Lock George Kruis comes in for Courtney Lawes in the back row.

Earlier this week Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy predicted a “war” between the forwards at the Tokyo Stadium and Jones said: “Argentina are always about the physical contest. They’ve got good players, they’ve got a reasonably settled way of playing. 

“They enjoy World Cups more than the other major teams, because there’s such a pride and there’s such a passion. The challenge for us is to show the same level of intensity and passion at the start of the game.”

England team
  • Starting XV: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell, May; Ford, B Youngs; Marler, George, Sinckler; Itoje, Kruis; Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola 
  • Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, Ludlam, Heinz, Slade, Nowell
Argentina team
  • Starting XV: Boffelli; Moroni, Orlando, De La Fuente, Carreras; Urdapilleta, Cubelli; Chaparro, Montoya, Figallo, Pagadizabal, Lavanini, Matera, Kremer, Desio 
  • Replacements: Creevy, Vivas, Medrano, Alemanno, Lezana, Ezcurra, Mensa, Delguy

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