Ireland will have to play better, warns Farrell


Although Andy Farrell was all smiles after Ireland beat South Africa 13-8 at the Stade de France, he warned his team that they will have to play better in the remaining World Cup games.

“This was a decent showdown that had everything one expects from a rock-hard test. It was a see-saw battle and I am proud of the players who did not fold under the Springbok pressure,” said the Ireland coach.

The 48-year-old Englishman, who has held Ireland’s coaching reins since 2020, believes that a tough group stage game was the perfect injection of momentum for his team’s ultimate dream of walking away with the World Cup laurels.

“It’s great to win such an important game before the knockout rounds. We now know what it feels like to remain standing in the pressure cooker, while also learning some good lessons. Still, we will have to play better because there were a few hiccups against South Africa.”

The Springboks especially made things difficult for the Irish in the lineout situation and the South Africans missed a number of lineout balls.

“It only underlined the quality of the Springboks – they will always put you under intense pressure. However, we stayed mentally strong and found a way to win the game.”

Although the Boks’ Bomb Squad regularly grabs the headlines, Farrell is also in his element with the performance of Ireland’s substitutes.

“They are not just there to fill the team, they want to contribute to the group’s success. All the players train incredibly hard and the energy with which the substitutes played now was fantastic.”

Ireland play Scotland in their final group game on October 7 at the very Stade de France.