Finn Russell lays out Scotland blueprint for victory against Ireland

Adam Kyriacou
Scotland's Finn Russell after a Rugby World Cup game.

Scotland's Finn Russell after a Rugby World Cup game.

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell admits it would be “frustrating” if his side were to come up short in the race for a quarter-final spot at the Rugby World Cup.

The Scots require either a bonus-point win or must deny Ireland a losing bonus point in their clash on Saturday, with South Africa watching on with interest.

They will need their star playmaker Russell to be firing on all cylinders in Paris this weekend, with their defence also having to be rock solid against the Irish.

Tall order

Scotland will be underdogs in the fixture but writing them off would be foolish as the side ranked fifth in the world have been a joy to watch at times recently.

“What we’ve done as a team over the past 12 to 18 months, to get ourselves into this position, it would be so frustrating and disappointing if we don’t manage to get out of the group,” said Russell, who is in a determined mood.

“There’s a lot on the line for both teams but the message I’ll be driving us not to think too much about the outcome.

“Just stick to the process, be ourselves, be confident, and play to our strengths and take our chances.

“It will be tough to beat Ireland by eight points. They obviously don’t concede any soft tries and they’re very disciplined.

“It will potentially be down to our defence to hold them out whilst also taking our chances.”

As mentioned, Russell will be imperative to Scotland’s hopes as if he can shine with ball in hand and unlock Ireland‘s stingy defence, they have a good chance.

The fly-half was asked by the media if he feels he’s currently in the best form of his career, to which the 31-year-old Bath-bound player gave a comical response.

“I’m going to have to be this weekend!” he quipped.

Great form

“I don’t know. I think I had a good couple of years, then a year where I was a bit off after the Lions tour in 2021, but I think I’ve come back from that now.

“Gregor thinks I’m coming into my peak as a 10. I think this is a good age to be at where I’m still young enough but I’ve got a lot of experience behind me, so that bodes well for a 10.

“I think I’m playing some decent rugby just now and I just need to make sure I’m ready for what comes at the weekend.

“I’m against Johnny Sexton, one of the best 10s in the world as well, so it’s going to be tough.”

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