RWC 2023: Ireland thrash Scotland to set up All Black showdown, while Boks-France quarterfinal confirmed

RWC 2023: Ireland thrash Scotland to set up All Black showdown, while Boks-France quarterfinal confirmed

Ireland 36 (26) Scotland 14 (0)

Ireland flexed their considerable muscles at the Stade de France on Saturday, with another reminder that they are the team to beat at Rugby World Cup 2023, by smashing Scotland 36-14.

As the now familiar strains of the song “Zombie” blared out at the end of the match, it was Scotland who looked like they’d seen the living dead. 

They were crushed and now have failed to make it out of the Pool phase at the last two World Cups. Ireland are into familiar territory by making the quarterfinals. Their challenge now is to go further.

Ireland’s clinical dissection of Scotland was frightening for future opponents – in this case the All Blacks in next week’s quarterfinal – as they appear to have no weaknesses.

The comfortable victory means Ireland topped Pool B and will face the All Blacks back at the Stade de France in a week. The Springboks were confirmed as runners-up in the same Pool and will play hosts France in Sunday night’s blockbuster in Saint-Denis. 

Impressive Ireland centre Garry Ringrose scores his side’s sixth try. Ireland topped Pool B with a 36-14 win over Scotland at Stade de France on Saturday. (Photo: Craig Mercer / MB Media / Getty Images)

Garry Ringrose of Ireland celebrates scoring his team’s sixth try with teammates Bundee Aki and Josh van der Flier at Stade de France on 7 October 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo: Stu Forster / Getty Images)


Ireland will start next week’s quarterfinal against New Zealand as favourites whether they like it or not. The way they simply picked Scotland apart, off the back of their brutal defence, was mightily impressive. 

The All Blacks are a better team than Scotland, and there is mental baggage for the Irish to overcome having never gone past the last eight at the World Cup, but an All Black win would be a surprise based on current form. 

Ireland have now won their last 17 Tests in a row and 29 of the last 31 they have played. Their last defeat was the first Test of a three-Test series in New Zealand against the All Blacks in July 2022. They rallied to win that series 2-1 and haven’t looked back since. 

Scotland threw everything at Ireland in the opening quarter,

…. to be continued
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