Andy Nicol and Matt Williams joined Off the Ball to discuss the effect that torrential weather could have on Ireland and Scotland in the opening fixture of the World Cup.
Nicol believes that Scotland would have been hoping for the rain in an Ireland match-up for years. But under Gregor Townsend, they will be thinking differently.
“For years, Scotland would have wanted the rain, without a doubt, but I don’t think so now.”
“I think that every man and their dog knows that the way Gregor Townsend wants to play the game is with tempo, pace and offloading and obviously a dry ball makes that much more likely to happen. Wet ball can be very difficult.”
He also believes that the wet weather would favour the team with the stronger pack, which he believes to be Ireland.
“If it gets wet, very wet, then the strength of the packs is the key determining factor here and I think Ireland are probably stronger, slightly, in a wet game. In a dry game I think they’re evenly matched.”
Injury news and rumours around Kearney also lead Nicol to believe that Scotland could utilise their kicking against Ireland and that the rain could assist with that.
"If it’s wet even more so but even dry, there’ll be a lot of ball kicked in the air from Russel and from Laidlaw and Sam Johnson. They’ll put it up there and test whoever’s in the number 15 green shirt."
Matt Williams, on the other hand, said he thinks the rain could be more beneficial to Scotland.
“I think the rain would suit Scotland a little bit, in that I feel when Scotland got their rush defense against Ireland in the last Six Nations, they really troubled Ireland. Ireland got three breakout tries in that game but for almost the majority of the game the Scots looked more comfortable in their role.”
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