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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 9 August, 2020

Carbery: We can overcome anything, we've done it before

Joey Carbery says that Ireland’s confidence hasn’t been dented despite some underwhelming performances during the pool stage in Japan

Carbery says that confidence is high in the Ireland squad.
Carbery says that confidence is high in the Ireland squad.
Image: Adam Davy

JOEY CARBERY SAYS that Ireland’s confidence hasn’t by dented despite a rocky road through the World Cup pool stages. 

Ireland booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup with a 47-5 defeat of Samoa in Fukuoka, producing a much improved performance following the loss to Japan and laboured defeat of Russia.  

And Carbery, who came off the bench to kick two conversions against Samoa, says that the squad are still confident of their abilities as they look to become the first Ireland team to reach the semi-final stages at a World Cup. 

“We just know how much talent is in the group. We stick together,” Carbery said.

“We try to block out as much negative [commentary] as we can and we can overcome anything, we’ve done it before and we just need to do it again. I think the collective really shined today, [and it] shows how strong the group is.”

Ireland will meet either South Africa or New Zealand in the quarter-finals depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s final Pool A clash between Scotland and Japan, a game which is in danger of being cancelled as Typhoon Hagibis batters Tokyo. 

With Ireland’s performance levels having dipped in 2019, they will enter the game as underdogs, but Carbery says the team are returning to their best form after a difficult two weeks.
“I think we are building well, it’s hard to know where the peak is. We’ve been together for so long we are clicking a bit now. It was great to get that good a performance.

“It was a low couple of days after the Japan game but – like I said a couple of times – Japan were a better team on the day. There was real character from the lads to come together, stick together and get the job done because it was a tricky enough two teams [Russia and Japan].

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“You can kind of feel it during the week at training. There was a good vibe. Monday and Tuesday were probably our best sessions of the campaign so far. There was a good vibe throughout the week.”

Carbery has had limited game-time in Japan having come in to the tournament nursing an ankle injury. The out-half irritated that injury before the Russia match and was pulled from the match-day squad as a result, but the 23-year-old says he is fit and raring to go for next weekend’s quarter-final.

He looked sharp against Samoa having replaced Johnny Sexton with 51 minutes played, producing a clever grubber to set up Andrew Conway for Ireland’s seventh try.

“I could see there was no one in the backfield and he (Conway) is always itching for that. I’ve done it a few times with Munster. He is a good man to chase after [a ball].

“Hopefully I’ll be involved in some sort of way [next weekend] but I’m finally coming back to my normal self after the ankle. It was a tough couple of weeks but I’m delighted to be back.

“I think the nature of the tournament obviously there was a down [point] but there is such an excitement around the place. There is a huge week coming up. Obviously one of the biggest weeks of our lives.

“There is a huge positive in that.”

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