Ireland knock England down to third in world rankings

Lynette Rowe
March 13, 2018

Memorable defeats to Australia in 2013, Argentina in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final and Scotland in 2017 are examples of this, but each time he has learned from losses and developed stronger teams. Or could it have a more tangible legacy?

Ireland can win their third Grand Slam if they beat England on Saturday.

Kinsella said winning the Grand Slam "would sear Schmidt into the Irish sporting consciousness forever, if he has not already left an imprint".

"We won thanks to our defence", said scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, who converted his four penalties.

Perhaps the most significant achievement of the likes of O'Gara, Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell are the players now seeking to match them.

Having studiously avoided talk of a possible Grand Slam over the last month, Murray says there is no longer any point denying the magnitude of what is at stake on St Patrick's Day on Saturday.

"I am sure on Saturday we will put in a fantastic performance".

"I think it was just small errors by individuals in the last few games that gave them (Italy and Wales) tries".

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And Murray believes that the visiting team will have to go up a gear to finish the job.

"I'm well aware that I'm lucky, the fact there were injuries that have allowed me to get this opportunity". If you think this is abnormal, I think that thinking is abnormal. We've lost two games of rugby.

"They need to understand that this doesn't happen very often". This is incredibly tough to do. Today we just wanted to go out there and show that we can defend how we want to.

"On the other side, there's always something with every team, you never play the ideal game, maybe you're trying to do that so there's always fixes - definitely with this group, with the experience, the new guys coming in, the younger generation that have added so much, there's something there, there's another level that we're striving towards".

"The learnings we'll get from this, albeit very painful, are absolutely crucial going forward because it is about how we respond".

Just weeks after they were described as the best team in the world, it appears the tide has quickly turned on the England rugby side.

England, Schmidt has noted, are at their most unsafe when they have something to prove.

New Zealand remain well clear at top of the rankings.

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