Never under threat. Physically impressive. Ireland swaggered towards a Rugby World Cup quarter-final with New Zealand after a 36-14 demolition of Scotland.
This was Ireland’s 17th win in a row, and the ninth in a row over Scotland.
It was a rapid start for the Irish and for 50 minutes they did not let up, going in at half-time 26-0. The Scots could not make a breakthrough in that time.
And then after ringing the changes, Ireland went flat and Scotland finally took their shot. Was it to be a repeat of the famous comeback against England in 2019? Sadly for them, the Irish cushion was too great. And so we will get Ireland versus the All Blacks back here, at the Stade de France net week.
As for the Scots, it’s a second exit in the pool stage in a row at World Cups. Four years ago, they were knocked out at the hands of Japan at the Brave Blossoms’ home World Cup. Here they were shunted aside by an Ireland side who could well have been playing at home, such was the shading of green in the stands.
It’s Ireland versus All Blacks in the knockouts
Six tries did it for Ireland, with James Lowe opening the scoring, Hugo Keenan getting two, and Iain Henderson, Dan Sheehan and Garry Ringrose getting one apiece.
It was already done and dusted when Scotland dotted down via Ewan Ashman and Ali Price, but that was the extent of it for Scotland.
That blip may irk Ireland boss Andy Farrell, but there was no doubting the Irish dominance.
After winning against Uruguay and securing their place in the quarter-finals, All Blacks boss Ian Foster was asked about who he’d like to face. He replied: “Clearly we have a plan for whoever it may be. At this stage we are excited about us being there, it is our first goal achieved and let’s get into the next one.”
Well we know for a fact it’s Ireland.
The last time these two faced each other was on the 2022 tour of New Zealand, when Ireland won the series with a 32-22 win in Wellington.