Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson believes New Zealand will steam role Ireland in their expected meeting in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Ireland need just one more bonus point victory to secure their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals and should they progress, they will potentially face defending champions New Zealand or South Africa.
Ireland sealed a 35-0 bonus point win over Russia earlier today in Kobe and ran in five tries, but failed to impress Dawson in their attempt to rebuild their campaign after a devastating loss to Japan five days ago.
However, should Joe Schmidt’s side repeat the feat and get the five points against Samoa on October 12, they will progress from the pool.
Dawson was not hesitant in crowning the All Blacks as victors should the two rugby powerhouses meet in the quarter-finals.
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“I don’t think Ireland will win in the quarter-finals, but it sharpens the mind when you’re playing against the top teams,” said Dawson, per theweek.co.uk.
I can’t see the conditions being quite as bad as they were in Kobe, but Ireland have no chance against New Zealand at the moment.
“If you put yourselves in the All Blacks’ shoes, they will be massively focused after what Ireland did to them last year.”
Johnny Sexton was certainly encouraged by his team’s display against Russia, however, and was happy they bounced back with a shut-out performance.
He said: “We are delighted to get a good win and get back on the horse. We got the bonus point which was what were were looking for.
“They are a well organised team and made it difficult for us at times. The ball was very slippy and there is lots to work on, but we are onto the next one against Samoa.”