Keith Wood was on Off The Ball and insisted that Ireland cannot become reliant on Johnny Sexton, despite a fantastic performance from the fly-half today.
Ireland recorded a 42-point win over Samoa in their final pool-stage match and Sexton was instrumental, scoring two tries and controlling the game excellently.
While Wood was impressed he wasn’t overly complimentary of Sexton and was happy to see him stay mostly out of danger.
“I don’t know if he was at his very best today. I thought he was incredibly sensible today.
“For me, he was really good to watch because he was outside of danger and risk for nearly the whole game. I thought he pulled the strings and pulled them well.
“I thought he played very, very mature, which is a good thing for Ireland. But this is not the Johnny Sexton show and it can’t ever be.
“We can’t ever have it reliant on that fact. Because if Johnny gets injured is that it? Are we gone then?” Wood said.
The Leinster fly-half wasn’t the only Irish player to up his game significantly which gave Wood great relief with the quarter-finals now on the horizon.
“The most encouraging thing today is that Rory Best led from the front and got a try. Tadhg Furlong has come back into form.
“CJ Stander came back into form. I thought he played very well. I thought nine and 10 played very well and actually I thought Larmour had a really fine game.
“A lot of the older guys put their hands up and said, “Ok, maybe we need to share some of this weight as well and not just leave it on one guy’s shoulders. That’s the most encouraging part of today,” Wood commented.
Ireland now must wait on the result of the Japan-Scotland game (if it goes ahead) to learn whether they will face either New Zealand or South Africa in the quarter-finals.
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