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South Africa Star Reveals ‘Arrogant’ Comments From Ireland Players After World Cup Meeting | Balls.ie

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While Ireland would redeem themselves somewhat after winning the Six Nations earlier this year, there is no doubt that the disappointment from last autumn’s Rugby World Cup is still fresh for those in the squad.

Andy Farrell’s men were the form side in the tournament during the pool stages, defeating South Africa and hammering Scotland in order to finish top of their group. However, they would underperform against New Zealand in the quarter-finals as they once again fell at the first knockout hurdle.

There is certainly no shame in losing to the All Blacks, although some comments apparently made by Ireland players after their win over South Africa game might bring into question their focus ahead of that game.

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South Africa star reveals ‘arrogant’ Ireland comments at Rugby World Cup

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Heading into the World Cup, there was a sense that Ireland and South Africa were the two best teams in world rugby. Having been drawn in the same pool, many felt that the pair could end up meeting for second time in the final.

It seems the Ireland players themselves paid heed to those claims, if comments from Eben Etzebeth are to be believed.

Speaking on The Rugby Pod, he revealed that a number of Ireland players told the Springboks that they would ‘see them in the final’. The 32-year old was taken aback by their arrogance at the time.

The thing was obviously you shake the guy’s hands and probably 12 out of the 23 when I shook the hands told me, ‘See you guys in the final’.

Because the way the logs worked out we were going to play France and they were going to play New Zealand and my immediate thought was, ‘Are these guys seriously not even thinking about the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter-final playing against them?’

So that remark they made, ‘See you guys in the final’, I was just like these guys are making a big mistake to look past probably one of the most dominant teams, or probably the most dominant team in the last 20 to 30 years of Test rugby.

I was just like, ‘Surely they can’t!’ I mean we would never say that because we knew we had the host nation and we knew we had to pitch up to beat France in their backyard. Yeah, it just felt like they were just so, so confident saying things like that, ‘See you in the final’, when you knew you had got the mighty All Blacks coming in a World Cup quarter-final.

It’s good to be confident but you can never be arrogant in this game because that’s the thing about rugby, you can have the best season and you can have one slip-up or one missed tackle and a guy puts you on your arse. That is the beauty of this game – you are never on top forever.

Those comments were certainly bizarre, especially when you consider that Ireland knew they would be facing New Zealand in a World Cup quarter-final.

Considering how slowly they started that game against the All Blacks, it is fair to wonder if they underestimated the challenge that would be posed to them in that game.

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