Sports Digest: Italian job done, Wales awaits the Irish team at the Rugby World Cup
Also GAA Shorts, Athony Daly stays and Alan Gaffney impressed
FULL-back Rob Kearney has issued a World Cup battle cry as Ireland prepare for Saturday’s mouth watering quarterfinal clash with Wales in New Zealand.
The Irish are favorites in many eyes to win the match and guarantee they stay around for the rest of the tournament, with the winners set to play in the third place playoff at worst.
A big win over Australia two weeks ago and Sunday’s convincing 36-6 triumph over Italy in their final pool game has Irish fans daring to dream of more glory to come in this Rugby World Cup.
Kearney isn’t in any mood to dampen their spirits or their enthusiasm ahead of Saturday’s date with very familiar opponents.
“We had that great win against Australia, but there were still a lot of doubters out there,” claimed the Leinster star after Sunday’s win.
“This was a big day for Irish rugby, our personalities, us as a team and how we want to be perceived as a team.
“Obviously there was a quarterfinal place at stake and that’s massive, but in terms of building a legacy and how this Ireland teams wants to be known, beating Italy was quite important.
“We finished top of the pool and are slowly creating something really special. We feel as if there’s more to come. I hope we’re perceived to be a tough team to play against that’s building and improving with every game.
“That’s four wins out of four, so we have sent out bit of a message. Any team that won all four group games needs to be taken seriously.
“Topping the pool is fantastic and has got us into a quarter-final, but we want to go a lot further.”
Keith Earls scored two tries and captain Brian O’Driscoll grabbed another as Ireland completely dominated the second half against the Italians.
“Tries win games and for weeks we’ve been talking about not taking our opportunities. We have to be more accurate in those channels,” added Kearney.
“When you get chances at a World Cup you must take them and we’ve starting to do that a little more. It’s good to see us scoring tries.”
While the fans are enjoying their New Zealand jaunt, Kearney insists it will be business as usual for Ireland this week before the Welsh game.
The Louth native maintained, “The excitement’s gone already and that’s how focused everyone is. There was more excitement and elation after the Australia game.
“The fact it’s a six-day turnaround makes a massive difference in terms of recovery. Wales will be on us before we know it.”
RORY Best is highly unlikely to play in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarterfinal, but the hooker will be available if Ireland beat Wales and book a place in the last four.
Ulster star Best was forced out of Sunday’s final pool game against Italy with a shoulder injury that has all but ruled him out of this weekend’s Celtic derby in Wellington.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has already taken the precaution of flying Munster hooker Michael Sherry out from Ireland as cover to Sean Cronin and “Rory has been playing fantastic rugby and it would be a blow if he’s not available,” said Ireland team boss Paul McNaughton.
- Boston immigration center apologizes to young...
- Irishman John Downey arrested for 1982 IRA...
- Young Irish woman turned in to U.S. authorities
- Justice Minister hangs on as Shattergate...
- Amnesty International says Ireland’s abortion...
- Government minister calls for investigation...
- One in seven people on social welfare in...
- New book ‘John F. Kennedy - Among the Germans’.
- Sleazy secrets and the American Dream of...
- ‘Quiet Man’ star Maureen O’Hara says John...