Ronan O'Gara: 'Isn't it time Ireland was winning another Grand Slam?'
Ronan O'Gara: 'Isn't it time Ireland was winning another Grand Slam?'
Jonathan Sexton right and Rory Best
09 March, 2018, 21:25
If they beat Scotland with a bonus point, England will have to win with a bonus point in rain-lashed Paris just to retain a mathematical interest.
The home side has the luxury of being able to call upon one of the best half-back duos in world rugby and their experience, game management and attacking threats are well known and lauded.
"If you let them have an armchair ride they're one of the best pairings in the world". Have lots of kicks, but keep them all inside the white lines.
Head coach Stevie Scott joked this week that it was about time the backs contributed some tries after his pack claimed all four scores a fortnight ago, but it wasn't all in jest - there was a kernel of truth to his words.
O'Gara feels Scotland have had a few impressive scalps (Australia, South Africa and most recently England) but they have "a serious mental issue" playing games outside of Murrayfield.
"We have a confidence and a professionalism around the squad that we've never seen before".
"We're definitely looking to see if we can have a crack out wide, but we also have to respect the power of our forwards".
"I was talking to our physio the other day and he said he was ordering in more ice bags for Dublin", Barclay wrote in his BBC column.
That's a shame because the Tri Nations used to be compulsory viewing, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the intensity of the rivalry between the All Blacks and the Wallabies was at an all-time high and when the Springboks were all but invincible at home.
"But look, we're going to go into this weekend with the same approach that we did against England.
They're the only team left in the tournament who can achieve it and they're only two games away from it. Pressure comes with that, but these boys are hugely experienced".
"Before coming here, I thought I was a ten, but I've been chucked in at 15 with these boys and fallen in love with it".
"When you have a breakthrough moment like we did in the Calcutta Cup, it just sends a message out there that this is something real now".
Asked about the chance of winning a third championship in five years, Best said: "For us, it's only about the challenge that Scotland pose".
"It is class. It is so fun", said the youngster, breaking into a broad smile which reminds you that he is still a teenager getting his first taste of the big time.
They can, but it's going to tough. Blair Kinghorn might be the next one. "So, it is possible - it is about putting in the work and the extras at the end as well".
The suggestion from Gatland was that his team would back their fitness against Ireland, who have lost the final quarter in three of their last four games. He is a stage two [part-time] member of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and is also an assistant development officer at Ayr - working under club stalwart Frazier Climo. Not much by the players, I'd guess, but by the media.
"After a loss we want a response from the players this week", Jones said.
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