Ronan O’Gara was on Off The Ball and was impressed by what he saw as Ireland beat Scotland by 24 points in their opening World Cup game.
Joe Schmidt’s side put in an excellent all-round performance as they earned a bonus-point victory against the Scots to take control of Pool A.
O’Gara was quick to praise the side after they put in their best performance for some time in Yokohama.
“The performance was really exciting. I think it shows a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of spark.
“You look at the coaching, even from an outside backs point of view… Their body language was exceptional. They looked hungry.
“Sometimes at the start of big competitions it can bog you down but these guys played with huge enthusiasm and huge desire. You can see they really enjoyed it,” O’Gara commented.
There were plenty of good individual performances on display in this morning’s match and O’Gara singled out Iain Henderson as one of the top performers.
“He had an unbelievable game. Starting off with that break he just ripped through two Scottish defenders.
“They were in place to make tackles but he just had that extra acceleration. He’s very dynamic. We saw that on the Lions tour… But he seemed to take his game to a new level today.
Openside flanker Van der Flier was also impressive today and while he may not have been as explosive as the Ulster lock he made a big difference around the pitch.
“He knows not to waste himself in the defensive line, which was really interesting to watch, because there’s a lot of skill involved in the understanding of the game," O'Gara said.
Ireland can take plenty of confidence from this performance and it now looks likely that they will meet South Africa in the quarter-finals.
The team themselves certainly won’t be thinking that far ahead, however, with Japan up next in Shizuoka on Saturday September 28th at 8.15am Irish time.
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