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‘Elation and relief’ – captain Griffin thrilled Ireland’s World Cup plans are back on track

Ireland play Scotland in decisive game next weekend in bid to finalise qualification.

Ciara Griffin praised Ireland's hunger.
Ciara Griffin praised Ireland's hunger.
Image: Giuseppe Fama/INPHO

CIARA GRIFFIN INSISTS Ireland will not be complacent in the aftermath of yesterday’s nervy but deserved win over Italy in Parma.

Ireland now face Scotland next weekend, with their Celtic rivals also recovering from an opening day defeat to get back in contention, too, following yesterday’s 27-22 win over Spain.

It means all four countries are level on five points after two rounds of fixtures. Ireland now play Scotland this Saturday while Italy face Spain. Right now, the Italians top the table on points differential. Their points differential is plus 17, Ireland’s is plus seven; Spain are third with a minus four points differential; Scotland have a tally of minus 20.

What this effectively means is that if Ireland and Italy secure bonus point wins this Saturday in their respective matches against Scotland and Spain, then Ireland’s winning margin would have to be 11 points better than Italy’s. Ireland have the advantage of playing Scotland after the Italy game with Spain has ended.

After yesterday’s 15-7 win over the Italians, a second Irish victory this weekend certainly seems within their grasp.

“We did a lot of work this week in terms of our defence, our line speed, and as a group we were composed in our defensive structure,” said Griffin. “It was fulfilling to see that. Last week compared to this week, we definitely were better (in terms of linespeed).”

Their breakdown work was even better.

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“That comes from a hunger and a want,” said Griffin. “It comes down to hard work, the mental challenge of keeping the body going, Yesterday it worked well in terms of us disrupting them, it gave us that time to get set as well.

“At the end, when the final whistle went, there was elation and relief because there was pressure on us. You want to celebrate a win but you saw that as soon as we came back in from the pitch, we had our huddle and we switched focus onto the Scotland game. Now it is getting the mental switch pressed onto this Saturday’s game.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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