Ireland laugh off idea of collusion to knock out Springboks

The idea that Scotland and Ireland might have conspired to advance both sides to the World Cup quarterfinals at the expense of the defending champions South Africa has been dismissed by Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt.

The Springboks have finished their four Pool B matches, and on Saturday, Ireland and Scotland will face off in a matchup in Paris, leaving all three sides still in the running for a knockout position.

Scotland and Ireland would progress and eliminate South Africa if Scotland wins by a score of at least 21 points and the Irish receive a bonus point.

On Sunday, Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said that collusion would amount to “match-fixing,” but Catt flatly rejected the notion.

“That noise is little more than background noise. We won’t be working together with Scotland, he assured reporters in Tours on Tuesday.

Would we prefer a 21-point defeat by Scotland? Would you like to lose against Scotland by 21 points?

Ireland is the clear favorite to advance after their thrilling 13-8 victory against the Springboks at Stade de France two weeks ago. Ireland has won their past eight tests against Scotland dating back to 2017 and are strong favorites to advance.

The fact that Scotland has only defeated Ireland six times in 30 tests this century should soothe South African fans. The last time Scotland defeated Ireland by 21 or more points was in the 2001 Six Nations, a 32-10 triumph.

Scotland also has a chance to advance against South Africa on Saturday if they win by eight points or more and deny the Irish, who are now placed first, a bonus point.

Even that has proven to be above the Scots’ capabilities during the past 22 years; the last time they triumphed by more than seven points was in a pre-World Cup match in 2007.

Catt, an England World Cup champion from 2003, said he would leave all permutations to head coach Andy Farrell.

“Andy is fully aware of what needs to happen,” he declared. “Ultimately, the game must be won by both teams. We’ll endeavor to do that, and if you do, you’ll place yourself in a good position.

As they pursue a 17th straight test victory, Catt stated that Ireland would be trying to improve even further on their performance against the Springboks.

We’ve done a good job of preparing for this game, he remarked. “After that South Africa game, we had the weekend free, and now we need to reach our full potential. We must ensure that our performance against South Africa is improved.


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