Rugby Rugby World Cup 2019: ‘Middleweights’ Ireland impress Joe Schmidt but All Blacks and Springboks still ‘heavyweights’

Rugby Rugby World Cup 2019: ‘Middleweights’ Ireland impress Joe Schmidt but All Blacks and Springboks still ‘heavyweights’

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SPARK SPORT

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team make an impressive statement in a bonus point victory over Scotland.

Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt turned to a boxing analogy to analyse his impressive Ireland team’s potential World Cup quarterfinal challenge against the Springboks.

Ireland, who thumped Scotland 27-3 on Sunday, should clinch Pool A if they beat Japan and would thus avoid a quarterfinal clash with the All Blacks.

Rugby Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt says South Africa would be a

STU FORSTER/GETTY IMAGES

Ireland’s Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt says South Africa would be a “heavyweight” quarterfinal opponent.

The Irish would then face South Africa, who lost 23-13 to the All Blacks in  a Pool B classic in Yokohama on Sunday, 

Schmidt was pleased with Ireland’s bonus point win, but warned they would have to go up a gear against the Springboks because the All Blacks-South Africa match was at another level.

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“I thought it was a heavyweight contest last night; we might be light heavyweight or middleweight, I don’t know,” Schmidt told reporters in Japan.

“And I think those physical demands are right up there.

Rugby Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong crashes over for a try during his side's 27-3 win over Scotland in Yokohama.

EUGENE HOSHIKO/AP

Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong crashes over for a try during his side’s 27-3 win over Scotland in Yokohama.

“It was a super game last night, maybe slightly dif

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