MX23RW : Thursday, October 24 05:08:02| >> :600:2910907:2910907:
Sep 22, 2019 at 8.45am UK
Ireland
27-3
Scotland
Ryan (7'), Best (15'), Furlong (25'), Conway (56')
FT

Scotland head coach Townsend: 'We need perfect performance to beat Ireland'

Scotland head coach Townsend: 'We need perfect performance to beat Ireland'
© Reuters
The Scots are outsiders to beat the World number one ranked side.

Gregor Townsend admits it will take a perfect display for Scotland to land a winning blow against Ireland in Sunday's World Cup opener.

The Scots are outsiders to beat the World number one ranked side at Yokohama's International Stadium on Sunday.

Townsend fully believes his team are capable of knocking down Joe Schmidt's side in their first Pool A clash but thinks his team will have to come out on top in every collision and make the most of every opening if they want to leave the Irish sprawling.

Gallery: https://t.co/ovl9OgTWB8 pic.twitter.com/L20ujM6s3B

— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) September 20, 2019

He said: "We have to take our opportunities and we have to limit the opportunities Ireland get.

"Ireland have shown in recent years that they do take their chances and they punish teams.

"They kick it into the opposition 22 and they come away with points.

"We have to win every big moment in the game. Whether that's a ruck, a tackle or the execution of a pass, we have to be there.

"I believe in the team and with the individuals we have in our squad I believe we will create chances. It's about taking them."

Scotland Rugby World Cup Squad Announcement – Linlithgow Palace
Stuart McInally will lead Scotland against Ireland (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Townsend is relying on experience to see the Scots through this weekend. No Dark Blues line-up has ever walked out at a World Cup boasting more caps than the 630 collectively held by the 15 players set to be led by skipper Stuart McInally.

Ireland's gameplan will almost certainly be based on strangling the creative flair Townsend's troops so rely on but the Scotland coach hopes the nous his men have built up will keep them out of trouble.

"We have something like a combined total of 630 caps so that's hugely important," said the coach, who had to leave Blair Kinghorn out of his matchday squad after he suffered a delayed recurrence of his concussion symptoms following a head knock against Georgia a fortnight ago.

"This is the first time this squad has nearly all been fit and available.

Ireland v Scotland – Ireland Captain's Run – Aviva Stadium
Rob Kearney, left, and Keith Earls, second left, will not line up against Scotland (Brian Lawless/PA)

"We're missing probably just two of three players from every available Scotland player so to get a squad that has this kind of experience for this kind of game is a real bonus."

While the Scots are almost at full strength, Ireland will be without Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw.

Jordan Larmour was the surprise pick to start at 15 ahead of Andrew Conway but Townsend is not convinced his selection means there will be an obvious weak spot in Schmidt's back three.

"We have to be aware of who he is as a player and his strengths and areas where we can put him under pressure," he said.

"But he's an excellent player. If you give him space then he'll exploit that.

"We know Rob Kearney is a key player for them and him not being available with Keith Earls means it's a changed Irish team.

"But it's now an opportunity for Jordan Larmour, who is a very exciting talent."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Gregor Townsend

Click here for more stories about Scotland

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Sam Johnson in action for Scotland on February 2, 2019
Read Next:
Sam Johnson "confident" Scotland can topple Ireland
>

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!