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It Looks Like Ireland's Task Against Romania Could Be Easier Than We Thought

It Looks Like Ireland's Task Against Romania Could Be Easier Than We Thought
By Conor O'Leary
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One of the big aspects of this World Cup is that 18 of the 20 teams will have to play two games in a short space of time. Ireland will be facing one such team, as Romania will have to back up a game on Wednesday with a four-day turnaround.

We've already seen what a short turnaround can do to the likes of Fiji and Japan - who largely kept the same teams from their first game; whilst France made 13 changes and were able to fair much better.

The lesson being that short turnarounds are manageable if you have the depth - which most minnows don't. Knowing this, Romania head coach Lynn Howells has indicated that he is likely to rest the majority of his best players.

Romania are aware that playing their best players again, against the favourites to win the pool might not be fruitful. Howells is aware that Romania's final two games - against Italy and Canada, represent their best chance of recording victories. Should the Romanians win two games - they will finish third in the pool and earn an automatic qualification place for the 2019 World Cup.


Clearly Howell thinks Romania's best chance to do that is to send out his weaker players against Ireland:

It is a fear and I think Ireland are better equipped to play against Romania.Knowing what Irish rugby's like and knowing how physical they can be, which is the one thing that Romania brings to the game. . . they are more equipped to play against that style of rugby than France are.

Out of a squad of 31, we have probably 25 who can compete with the tier one, and you need more than that.

We have a problem because the whole structure of the World Cup is for us to qualify for the next World Cup, and for us to do that we have to win two games and the games we've identified are the last two games.

That could mean a facile victory for Ireland, but we could be going into the Italian game undercooked. The handicap for Sunday's game currently stands at Ireland -42.

Romania announce their team for Sunday's game at noon.


[Irish Independent]

See Also: Ireland's Likely Starting XV Has One Notable Omission

Picture credit: Alex Nicodim / SPORTSFILE

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