Finn Russell Neil Francis: ‘Joe Schmidt’s side are a match for anyone in the world’

Finn Russell This is another astonishing component!

There was nothing flash about this performance. They played with an intimidating ferocity, they executed with vigour and they showed the sort of mental resilience and persistence which we have come to expect from this team.

More importantly, they took responsibility for the occasion and played with the sort of dynamism that announces them once again as contenders.

All of this was underpinned by a defensive performance which was ruthless in every aspect of how they dealt with the Scottish runners.

Ireland’s line was hermetically sealed and the fact that they missed eight tackles all game gives you a clear indication of where they were mentally.

Joe Schmidt had his team primed for this game. It showed in the obvious and non-obvious things, the 50-50 balls on the deck and in the air.

The fact that they won 12/12 lineouts and 10/10 scrums with contemptuous ease tells its own story. It was an essay on how easy it can be once you are certain of yourself.

These figures are not down to individual skill, structures or organisation, but purely to mental application.

International Rugby Newsletter

We understand that Scotland did not manage to land one single punch. That considered, if Ireland take the field against anybody in that sort of mood they can beat anyone.

Top of the heap in Ireland’s renaissance was the performance of their No 9. Given the game and the weather condition

These constituents are quite elegant!

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