It was very much a case of 'job done' for Ireland against Fiji this afternoon, with Andy Farrell’s side running out as 35-17 winners at the Aviva Stadium.
This was always a game that the home side were expected to win, with the focus largely being on how they would perform over the course of the 80 minutes. It was somewhat of a mixed bag, with the red card given to the visitors just after the interval killing off the match as a contest.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 12, 2022
Ireland probably didn't rack up the score that would have been expected considering the lead they had at halftime and the fact that they were playing against 14 men. There is certainly plenty to work on ahead of next week.
As for the visitors, some of those associated with the team were too happy with their performance.
Nicky Little hammers Fiji for Ireland performance
Fiji legend Nicky Little was on punditry duties for Amazon Prime at the game and he was not happy with what he saw from his old side in the first half.
Speaking at halftime, he tore into the effort levels he was from the Pacific Island nation as they fell behind in the game, even if they were beginning to tire.
I may be a grinch before Christmas, but I don't care (about the fact they were tired). I don't care.
We need to get our energy from cues, and that's running with the ball. If you are running with the ball, no matter how much you're running, you don't get tired. We need to keep the ball and attack more. It's too structured for Fiji...
I don't care. These boys are being paid a lot of money to play in France with all these big teams. Obviously they have driving mauls in France, and they don't give away every penalty in France. How come they do it here?
I'm happily retired, but it's the simple things. Back when we built Fiji rugby, we looked at what was right and what was wrong. No excuses, just do it. I had a couple of grumpy old coaches and they didn't take any excuses.
I'm not here to say who should be coaching Fiji, but whoever coaches Fiji has to get the truth out of the boys...
I think they're better than what we were as old boys, but they need to find a way and be all together.
At the moment we've got forward thinking 'do I really want to stop the driving maul', back going 'do I really want to tackle because I might make a mistake'. Just go for it...
Imagine if the Fijian forwards could play a little bit like the Ireland forwards, but not as structured. Imagine the ball the Fiji back would have, just imagine.
He was a bit happier with Fiji's effort in the second half, believing that the way they kept in the game after going down to 14 men (and 13 at one point) was evidence that something was lacking in the opening 40 minutes.
The touring side would lost to Scotland last weekend, while they will now face into a game against the French Barbarians on Saturday.
As for Ireland, they will host Australia a week from today, with The Wallabies coming off the back of a shock loss in Italy.