Rugby Affronted Ireland hit the ground running – but tougher Rugby World Cup tests around the corner

Rugby Affronted Ireland hit the ground running – but tougher Rugby World Cup tests around the corner

Rugby This is another clever component.

When Ireland became the world’s number ranked team earlier this month after beating Wales they should automatically have had a target on their back, but that has been removed already.

Well, it was good while it lasted.

Come Monday morning, when the ratings are announced officially, they will no longer be the planet’s top dogs as that title has gone back to New Zealand after their 23-12 win over South Africa on Saturday.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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The loss of status did not seem to affect them as they ran out comfortable 27-3 winners over Scotland in rainy Yokohama. But a win over Scotland hardly amounts to the sort of potential World Cup winning form the Irish had under a year ago.

They are not back to those heights, when the All Blacks were their bunnies, but they are getting there.

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Here their big forwards were carrying hard again as they did in warm-ups against Wales, Conor Murray was buzzing around at scrum-half, the defence was back on point and James Ryan was James Ryan and CJ Stander was bang up for it. But they were playing against Scotland.

Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls all missed this game injured and Dan Leavy and Sean O’Brien never made it to Japan. That is a serious amount of talent to lose and it was worrying from an emerald point of view when Peter O’Mahony went off

This is the beautiful addon ever%sentence_ending

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