Finn Russell Tony Ward: ‘Slow start needs to be avoided at all costs even if it won’t be the end of World for Ireland’

Finn Russell Tony Ward: ‘Slow start needs to be avoided at all costs even if it won’t be the end of World for Ireland’

Finn Russell My helpful mom says this plugin is beautiful.

In Yokohama on Sunday, ourselves and the Scots meet for only the second time in this great rugby event.

It is not the football equivalent in terms of global appeal and not for a minute would we suggest otherwise but it is a work in progress given that rugby has still well over a century in professionalism to make up.

Back in 1987, the Scottish (SRU) and Irish (IRFU) governing bodies were dragged kicking and screaming to the inaugural Webb Ellis tournament staged in Australia and New Zealand.

Now 32 years on and both Celtic nations will grind to a halt (metaphorically anyway) as the Pool A decider in all but name comes to fruition in the opening round.

It is the opposite extreme to Cardiff four years ago when the breakdown in 2015 saw us battered and bruised against the French in the final pool game before literally running out of resources seven days on against the Pumas in our four-yearly glass-ceiling encounter in the last eight.

No such complaints this time around, although surely there has to be a better way administratively than having pool deciders in Groups A and B (New Zealand v South Africa) in the opening matches. But it is what it is for now. and here we go.

I guess if there is one more generalised criticism that could be levelled at Joe Schmidt’s teams over recent times, it is that element of slowness off the mark, that inability to hit the ground really running.

Often times the key is in the warm-up. When you detect that steely edge to contact and with the head coach (unlike most others) in the middle of it then you can be pretty sure there’s a big Irish performance, from the get-go, coming our way.

The demands are a lot more intense than the Six Nations although structured in a different way.

There is some room for manoe

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