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07th Oct 2023

“It was absolute rubbish” – Matt Williams hits out at Ringrose’s critics as Irish centre goes to to town

Niall McIntyre

Garry Ringrose scored one try and had a hand in a number of others as Ireland defeated Scotland 36-14 to qualify for the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup.

James Lowe opened the scoring after 62 seconds with the quickest try Ireland have ever scored in a World Cup game and from there, Ireland kicked on.

Hugo Keenan followed Lowe over the try-line with two of his own, Dan Sheehan scored another as did Iain Henderson and Garry Ringrose.

Ringrose, the Ireland centre, latched onto a tremendous Jack Crowley kick to score the try that put the shine on a tremendous individual display.

The 28-year-old set the tone for his performance in the very first minute with his blistering line-break setting Lowe free for Ireland’s opening score.

And from there, Scotland had no match for his mix of speed and directness. There was even a first touch in there that will have Stephen Kenny on red-alert.

Garry Ringrose

Ringrose had been criticised in some quarters coming into the tournament but with this performance backing up an impressive showing against South Africa, Matt Williams took aim at those critics on Virgin Media.

“So many people, before the tournament, people were saying he’s not playing well, he’s not great, we should replace him,” said Williams, the former Ulster and Scotland coach.

“It was absolute rubbish. Yes his performances were down a little bit but it wasn’t like he was poor. And then you see great player, he got his timing right.”

Williams went onto praise Ireland’s tackling, before sounding a word of warning ahead of their clash with the All Blacks next Saturday.

“This is not the greatest New Zealand side I’ve ever side. But there’s never a bad New Zealand side.

“There are still no guarantees. But Ireland are playing well enough now. And they have a game-plan. But the best thing about this, for me, was the tackling. They tackled Scotland out of it, again.”

Rob Kearney is also excited ahead of the New Zealand clash.

“Every single one of them are at the peak of their powers, and that’s a phenomenal place to be in.

Shane Horgan also praised Ringrose and said that, as a team, they won’t get a better opportunity.

“Every time Ringrose touched the ball, it was complete class, clarity and perfect execution. Both sides of the ball, making brilliant defensive reads, he’s so aggressive in the tackle as well. He’s tough, he’s an all-around phenomenal player,” said Horgan.

“If not now then when. We’re not going to have a better opportunity. This is it. This is it now.”


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