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Cian Healy has backed Ireland to keep breaching the mental “dark spells” that can yield more World Cup progress.
James Ryan, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Conway all crossed as Ireland blitzed Scotland 27-3 for a bonus-point victory in Yokohama on Sunday.
Ireland squeezed the Scots up front then ran them ragged out wide to provide the perfect start to Pool A.
Now Joe Schmidt’s men will roll on to face hosts Japan in Shizuoka on Saturday, with prop Healy expecting a frenetic pace against the Brave Blossoms.
Leinster star Healy believes Ireland’s relentless physical preparation has left the squad mentally robust enough to push into ever-increasing limits.
Asked how challenging the humidity had been against Scotland, Healy said: “It felt tough. It was hard to breathe, but we just have to back all the work that they have done with us, and go through the dark spots where you’re sucking air.
“It was good, we played the game in the right positions and in the right parts of the field for the most part, backed our fitness, came through the dark spells and that’s when we actually got to play a bit of our game and that’s when we went harder into that zone.
“It just takes your breath in a different way, it’s not like playing in the sun or anything like that.
“Your breath goes, but you can get it back quickly, if there’s a break in play you can get regular pretty quick.
“But those extended periods of play do put a lot of pressure on t
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