Onus on Ireland to register a comprehensive victory this time

Tight group could come down to points’ difference in the end

Ireland’s Claire Molloy takes on Australia’s Katrina Barker  and Liz Patu.   Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Ireland’s Claire Molloy takes on Australia’s Katrina Barker and Liz Patu. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

 

Ireland v Japan

Sunday, UCD Bowl, 5.15pm – Live RTÉ and eir Sport

Australia could conceivably beat France on Sunday night (kick-off straight after Ireland almost certainly beat Japan). If all that occurs then Pool C could end up being decided by points’ difference.

France put 12 tries on Japan, which compels Claire Molloy’s women to open up their attacking strategy against a side they already beat in warm-up matches before the tournament.

“No, one game at a time,” said Tom Tierney. “We had a plan to beat Australia. Thankfully we got the win. It didn’t go to plan as much as we wanted to. The only thing I care about against the Japanese is that we win.

“Hopefully the girls will learn from that tonight and kick on but we are just taking it one game at a time,” Tierney repeated, “and hopefully the third game will look after itself.”

Of course Tierney would be foolish to purely focus on one game at a time with the next game four days later. And while not the most forthcoming coach with the media, he’s clearly no fool.

He would also know to get out of his squad’s way in the next 24 hours.

“They are a very tight group of players. The squad cohesion is second to none. They fight for each other. They realise they didn’t play well. But they never panicked.

“Great credit to them, in the last play of the game they held onto the ball for over two minutes. Going nowhere but going nowhere on our terms.”

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