Liam Toland: Clinical Ireland do their job with distinction

Scotland were firstly not allowed to play but also, worryingly for them, failed to perform

Ireland put aside their stuttering 2019 form with a clinical 27-3 victory over their main Pool A rivals Scotland to open their World Cup campaign in convincing style. Video: Reuters

For me, Gregor Townsend’s pre-match interview was fascinating. When the Scottish coach was asked what he said to his team before leaving them on the pitch, he responded: “Deliver your best performance”.

No, no, no, no not your best? Ireland didn’t win their opening Rugby World Cup by doing their best, but by doing their job – the difference in elite sport.

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