Rugby World Cup 2023 – Andy Farrell (Ireland): “Mentally, we showed great strength”

Irish coach Andy Farrell highlighted the character of his men and their ability to produce quality rugby in the face of adversity as formidable as South Africa, this Saturday, at the Stade de France (13-8).

What makes you most proud at the end of this clash that you won through a tough fight?

What did I like most about our game? I would say our resilience. It was a fantastic match. Everything wasn’t perfect, there were ups and downs, we lacked efficiency in the first half but we managed to keep our heads high. We are happy with this performance.

You send a message to the rugby world through this performance…

Let’s be honest, it’s wonderful to win this match but it’s just a victory. What is important is the feeling of having been able to face such adversity, such commitment and how we were able to demonstrate greater precision in execution. This is what allowed us to find the breach and win. When you like to defend like we did, it also allows you to gain more confidence. As the competition progresses, we will have to continue to improve. We still had some inaccuracies but that’s logical when you face an opponent like South Africa.

Would you say that you also won this tug of war in the head?

Mentally, we showed great strength even though it was a moment full of emotions. In this kind of context, we have to leave them aside to get to the heart of the matter. Our discipline in the second half paid off. This was a crucial question for us to resist. We absorbed the blows and we knew how to move forward while maintaining concentration.

If logic is followed, you should avoid France and face New Zealand in the quarterfinals?

We don’t focus on what will happen later. We only think about Scotland. It is a tough training which will be able to produce a great performance. For the rest, we will see when the moment presents itself. Either way, we will face fantastic teams.

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