Ireland proceed their Rugby World Cup marketing campaign on Saturday night by taking over Tonga in Nantes.
Andy Farrell’s males are in search of a second successive Pool B win forward of pivotal Paris appointments with South Africa and Scotland after starting the competitors with a thumping 82-8 success over Romania.
Here, the PA information company picks out a few of the important speaking factors.
With the formidable Springboks looming massive, there have been solutions head coach Farrell could make sweeping adjustments to his beginning line-up. But the Englishman has resisted temptation and gone virtually full energy. Only sidelined hooker Dan Sheehan and scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park are lacking from arguably his most popular XV. Farrell made clear he needs to prioritise the rapid problem quite than change into preoccupied by potential damage setbacks and the forthcoming menace of the reigning world champions. Some followers and pundits disagree with that logic. Only time will inform if it’s the right name.
Sexton in search of extra historical past
Johnny Sexton returned with a bang in Bordeaux. His first aggressive outing in virtually six months following damage and suspension included two tries as a part of a 24-point haul. The spectacular return propelled him above Ronan O’Gara as Ireland’s main World Cup factors scorer (102) on the day he turned his nation’s oldest worldwide. Further historical past beckons for the 38-year-old in Nantes. He wants simply 10 extra factors to surpass O’Gara as Ireland’s outright file factors scorer. Captain Sexton, who will retire after the match, is just not considering private glory. “It will be a very special moment individually but no-one else will really care,” he stated.
Avoiding deja vu
Ireland require little reminder of the dangers of underestimating weaker opposition on the World Cup. With influential fly-half Sexton rested, they have been shocked by hosts Japan beneath Joe Schmidt in 2019, which finally led to a quarter-final exit by the hands of New Zealand. Farrell was assistant to Schmidt again then. But he insists the upset in Shizuoka has not influenced his robust choice. Ireland solely have to look again to Thursday night, when a second-string France facet survived a significant scare towards Uruguay, for additional proof of the risks posed by rising nations.
Tough begin for Tonga
Tonga have been drawn within the match’s trickiest pool, with the world’s top-ranked nation up first. Toutai Kefu’s facet, who had a weekend off in spherical one, are effectively conscious of their underdog standing. “We’re not delusional to the challenge we face,” stated assistant coach Tyler Bleyendaal. Yet the ranks of the Pacific islanders have been considerably bolstered because of a change of worldwide eligibility guidelines. Former All Blacks Malakai Fekitoa, a World Cup winner in 2015, Charles Piutau, Augustine Pulu and Vaea Fifita are amongst their beginning XV. Bleyendaal anticipates a bodily encounter. “We’re here to really fire some shots,” stated the previous Munster participant.
The warmth is on
Ireland will welcome a big discount in temperature following the scorching situations endured at Stade de Bordeaux. Farrell’s gamers defied warmth of 36 levels Celsius to run in 12 tries towards Romania, whereas it was once more uncomfortably heat on Friday afternoon once they educated at Stade de la Beaujoire. The forecast for Saturday’s 9pm kick-off native time is a extra manageable 22 levels, with mild winds, clear skies and a low probability of precipitation following attainable thundery showers earlier within the day. That stated, humidity is anticipated to be excessive and can add to the depth as Ireland as soon as once more bid to ship beneath strain.