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13th Oct 2023

Dan Sheehan brilliantly handles question about Scotland ‘wrestling’ incident

Lee Costello

“Obviously don’t get thrown over [the hoarding] first.”

During Ireland’s World Cup victory over Scotland, Dan Sheehan was involved in a ‘wrestling’ incident with Scotland’s prop, but when asked about it he handled it brilliantly.

It all kicked off when Ollie Smith tripped Johnny Sexton resulting in a scuffle breaking out, and Pierre Schoeman ended up shoving Sheehan over an advertising board.

Smith was given a yellow card for his offence on Sexton, but Schoeman went unpunished, by the referee at least, because the Ireland star served up some punishment of his own by scoring a try soon after the ‘wrestling match’, as the commentators described it.

Dan Sheehan brilliantly handles question about Scotland ‘wrestling’ incident.

Speaking at Ireland’s Captains Run, Sheehan was asked about the incident and how he was able to reset from it, and just like he did in that match, he handled it brilliantly.

“It’s something we put a lot of focus on. Obviously don’t get thrown over [the hoarding] first. We talk about re-setting, getting back to neutral zone.

“That’s been a big part of the squad, when anything unexpected happens, if we score a try or they score a try, making sure we are straight back in the moment. We always talk about winning the next moment.

“That’s something that maybe wasn’t exactly like that case [against Scotland]. But it’s something we put a massive focus on as you can let things slip, momentum builds and all of a sudden two or three tries might slip in.

“If we can limit it to just the one mistake then get back on top, that’s what it’s about.”

Dan Sheehan on mindset needed to get over ‘quarter-final hoodoo’.

This strong mentality is a key attribute of what makes this Ireland team so successful, but they will need to keep this mindset if they are going to get over the ‘quarter-final hoodoo’ that has been daunting them for so long.

Despite past failures at this stage of the competition, Sheehan says that there is no mental block or ghosts from the past that need to be banished, as they prepare to face New Zealand on Saturday.

“It’s a completely new squad. Our mindset is different. I have no experience of earlier squads. You treat it like another game. It’s knock-out rugby.

“You can build these games up as much as you want but it can end up affecting you if it creates too much tension. We need to stick to our preparation.

“We have been doing it for the last three years, pretty consistently at a good level.

“In my head, and most of the squad’s head, it’s going to be same old test rugby. You’re in an Irish jersey, you’ve got to go on.”

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