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Bowe and Ireland targeting hat-trick of Autumn wins after South African shakedown

One down, bring on Georgia and the Wallabies.

Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

TOMMY BOWE WAS thrilled to be back on the international scene and thrilled to seal victory for Ireland over South Africa.

However, the Ulster wing is calling on his team-mates to keep building consistency in their performances and keep putting victories back-to-back.

Since losing two out of three Tests last November, Ireland have won seven of their eight matches, the sole defeat coming at the hands of England at Twickenham.

Since that narrow loss, Joe Schmidt’s side have racked up wins in France, Argentina and the Kiwi’s first triumph over one of the southern hemisphere’s big three to put five straight Ws on the form guide. The task now, is to keep momentum rolling so that Schmidt can cross the Wallabies off of his hit list.

“That consistency is something we’ve wanted to bring on,” Bowe said post-match.

“We’ve shown in the past: we beat Australia in the World Cup, we beat [big] teams before, but it’s [about] doing it back to back. We’ve got a great win there under our belt now, but we have two big matches coming up in the next two weeks.

“If we can get three from three, which I’m sure Joe is looking to get, it will be a fantastic step forward for us.”

Bowe echoed the sentiment of his fellow wing Simon Zebo in highlighting the belief within Ireland’s squad, saying of Schmidt:

“He’s definitely changed the mentality. We believe we can take anyone on. I don’t think we ever questioned that before, but in bringing that consistency in the way we train, maybe that brings it through onto the pitch – that is something that maybe helps us get that little bit of an edge.”

Tommy Bowe with Francois Hougaard Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

That intense training regime was a point Bowe could not escape from. Despite being sharply dressed in his post-match suit he highlighted the effort being put in on the fields around Carton House unprompted. He returned to the issue again before leaving the spare Aviva Stadium changing room that is used for interviews by lightly suggesting that the training drills might even be as tough as matches themselves.

“We’ve trained exceptionally hard the last two weeks,” says the Monaghan man.

“We didn’t get as much ball as we would have liked, but from a defensive point of view and all week, we felt well-drilled. We trained exceptionally well and we were up for it. We knew exactly what threat South Africa posed and I think on our day in the Aviva, we got the crowd behind us, our defence was great and we can take anyone on, on our day.”

“South Africa have been well-drilled, playing in a massive tournament before this. We knew they were going to be right up there from the very start, but our game plan was right.

“To get such a great win and still know there are areas we can improve on as well is a great positive for us.”

Originally published 7.15

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Sean Farrell

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