Luke Fitzgerland Ireland Rugby International at the 2015 Rugby World Cup BSI

Luke Fitzgerald’s Candid Take On Irish Players Enjoying Rosé At World Cup

Recently there were images shared of Irish players enjoying Rosé in France after their historic win over South Africa at the World Cup.

The public reaction to the images in Ireland was generally supportive as people felt the players deserved to enjoy themselves after such a big win and with two weeks until their next game.

In an exclusive interview with us here at BoyleSports, former Leinster and Ireland winger/fullback Luke Fitzgerald gave his personal opinion on the images along with how he thinks they could be used by Scotland as motivation in preparation for the big game.

Fitzgerald also offered insight into how Scotland might attack Ireland this Saturday, the areas in which Ireland need to improve and declares which team has the advantage at fly-half.

Will the images of Ireland players drinking Rosé serve as Motivation for Scotland?

It will be easier for Scotland to get up for this game.

They will think that they will have seen the pictures of Ireland players drinking Rosé – which I’ve got no problem with by the way –

…and they will think these guys think it is over and done with.

There is enough motivation there. They are obviously going home if they don’t pull out a big win, plus they will have seen some of the comments from Bundee Aki saying we will be seeing South Africa again later in the competition. The only way that is going to happen is in the final.

This is not unwinnable for Scotland by any stretch. This is a two horse race.

I think Ireland are the better side no doubt about it, but Scotland have quality and can hurt teams all over the pitch.

They are number 5 in the world for a reason.

How Scotland Could Target Ireland’s Half-Back Pairing

That nexus at 9 and ten, an opponent is always looking to disrupt them to make them tired give them more physical work to do because in any sport where there is an anaerobic component the more tired you are the worse your decision-making is.

Based on that simple fact I’d be trying to target them all day long no matter what. Make them wrestle with the bigger guys, make more tackles, make them carry more cut off more options so they have to carry the ball in, get them involved in rucks.

Ireland Need To Improve At Lineout Time

Ireland do need to get their lineout sorted…

it has been an area of concern for the past five to six weeks. I am sure they will with Paul O’Connell.

Ireland Have The Advantage At Fly-Half With Sexton

Ireland definitely has an advantage at 10 in terms of decision making.

If Johnny stays on point for most of the game that will be a key reason why Ireland will win the game.

Sexton The Best Passer In World Rugby

Unless you have played with him it is very hard to understand and appreciate how good his decision making is under pressure.

His passing is unbelievable. There is no-one in world rugby who comes close.

Based on decision making ability with less time than anyone else, the quality of his passing is unparalleled. I have never seen a player do it as well as him.

It is the thing that makes him so difficult to try to target. If you overdo it and maybe leave a little bit of a dog leg or if you’re a little bit ahead of the guy beside you, he will find a hole. That is something you always have to watch when you target him.

Then you have his vast array of kicking options. Lovely short options and long. He is the full package but the ball handling and the decision making are what make him so hard to target. You need to be smart.

How Ireland Can Contain Finn Russell’s Playmaking

Defence up fast and pressure him.

I think he is an excellent player if given time and space but I think this Ireland team has dealt with him very well over the years and I think he is liable to make a few mistakes as well. He can’t help himself sometimes! He has to keep trying to break you down and I often think he tries to do it a little bit too early and you can force mistakes out of him.

Russell can’t help himself sometimes. He does try to pick open defences with a magical move which sometimes does come off but against the very best teams I think it generally doesn’t work. They are usually pretty clued in to what he is going to do.

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