Luke Fitzgerald training for the British & Irish Lions 2009 – Rugby BSI

Luke Fitzgerald’s Ireland vs Scotland Prediction & Big Game Analysis

Ahead of the massive Rugby World Cup game this Saturday we sat down with Luke Fitzgerald who gave us his Ireland vs Scotland prediction.

The former Leinster and Ireland winger/fullback also offered fascinating analysis on Scotland’s weaknesses and what Ireland can do to exploit those weaknesses.

Potential Weakness In Scotland’s Defence?

Duhan van der Merwe is a real weapon in attack.But I sometimes think his decision making and positioning in defence can be suspect.

I think he [van der Merwe] can be got at in the air and you can expose him in defence.

You do get his attacking potential but you also get someone who can be a bit awkward under a high ball when he is being competed against.

To me in sport I always have this thing about great athletes like Michael Jordan and Muhammed Ali, who in their own field were fantastic attackers but also brilliant in defence.

Great players to me are great defenders too.

How Ireland Can Exploit Scotland’s Weaknesses

Ireland have a definite advantage in terms of forward pack versus forward pack…

…and definitely on the bench in terms of what they have in the pack.

I think they will be pretty direct, trying to take the Scottish pack on as often as possible. First things first approach. They will try to maul the Scottish pack and push them around.

I would be trying to exert as much pressure as possible at scrum time. I would be pretty direct in terms of the exchanges near the ruck. I wouldn’t be trying too much at the start of the game.

Ireland Should Target Scotland Aerially

Another key component will be how you kick to this Scottish team. If you give them time and space their back three can be extremely dangerous. Kinghorn, van Der Merwe and Graham are all dangerous broken-field runners but on the flip side…

Graham is a small guy who I believe can be got at in the air.

Van de Merwe is dodgy in the air if you can compete against him. Kinghorn is excellent but can be got at. Ireland have some great guys who are so good in the air. That is an area Ireland will look to.

Ireland In ‘Really Good Shape’ Ahead of Scotland Game

It was a fairly exhausting game to have come through for Ireland. You could see how much energy was expended.

They have a rude bill of health. To have 33 guys available is unheard of.

They are in really good shape and they are primed to deliver.

This Ireland Team ‘Primed’ To Break Quarter-Final Hoodoo

They are excellent, the deserved number one team in the world, based on the body of work that has gone behind them. They are probably the best positioned Irish team I have ever seen to go ahead and break that quarter-final hoodoo.

This squad is perfectly primed to deliver on its potential. And do really well in this tournament.

This is the best chance we have ever had to win it.

Luke Fitzgerald’s Ireland vs Scotland Prediction

Ireland will win by 15 points. I think they are a better team across the board.

The only thing that will stop them is if they get a red card. Ireland have won their last eight fixtures against Scotland. They know how to do it.

Luke Fitzgerald’s Prediction: Ireland beat Scotland by 15 points.

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