Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy gives his thoughts on Sunday’s crunch World Cup showdown with Argentina, his provincial team-mate Felipe Contepomi and how the Irish can score the four tries they need and win by at least eight points to qualify for the tournament’s quarter finals.
ON BEATING ARGENTINA AND SCORING FOUR TRIES IN THE PROCESS:
It’s going to be difficult enough having to beat Argentina without having the added pressure of needing to score four tries. For us, the first thing is to win the match. One of the boys put it pretty well yesterday – he said we are going to get two scoring opportunities in each half and we have to take them.
“Each game we set out with the same goal in mind – to win the game, get a lead up and then put some tries away but it hasn’t gone to plan. It’s even more crucial in this game that it does go to plan.
“The danger is that you go out and try to score four tries from the word go and then end up losing the game. That is not an option. The way you beat Argentina is you put them through the phases and you take your scoring opportunities when they come. They have got a very hard and physical defence. You need to keep turning them around, putting them through the phases and then they start getting a little bit narrow.
“That’s when you have got to take your chances out wide, but if you go out straight away to try and go through or around them, they are very solid off first phase defence like any of the best teams in this competition.”
ON WHETHER HE BELIEVES IRELAND CAN GET THE DESIRED RESULT:
“I think we have got enough game-breakers in this team and enough individuals that can create tries. We have to believe that we can (do it) and we have to train in the knowledge that we need four tries. The big thing is we’re not focusing on the four tries because we are going to fall flat on our faces if we do that. The big thing is to go out and perform, get the set piece right, attack and hold onto the ball.
“We haven’t played well as a team. It’s a group responsibility and it’s something we will have to look at because the chances are getting fewer and fewer so it’s becoming more and more important.”
ON ARGENTINA’S FELIPE CONTEPOMI, HIS TEAM-MATE AT LEINSTER:
“Felipe is one of their three massive players, along with (Juan Martin) Hernandez and (Agustin) Pichot. Pretty much any game he plays in he either has something good or bad to do with it so let’s hope he has the latter one at the weekend.”
ON THE CRITICISM OF COACH EDDIE O’SULLIVAN:
“I have always said I would never envy a coach no matter what job he is in – soccer, rugby or Gaelic football, I don’t envy their jobs at all. The only thing Eddie wants to hear from us is that we’re 100 per cent behind him and every decision he makes is the right one as far as we are concerned. We’re all behind Eddie.”
ON HIS OWN FORM AT THE WORLD CUP:
“I don’t know how you would judge my form. I suppose you can judge it on the Six Nations and I’m not making clean breaks. I’m not getting the yards that I normally do. I don’t know where that is coming from. Is it coming from defence? It just doesn’t seem to be clicking for me or us at the moment. I just need to really pull one out of the bag this weekend.”
ON THE TEAM’S PERFORMANCES AND THE PRESSURE ON THEM:
“It’s very frustrating. It’s frustrating for everybody. A lot of people aren’t happy with how they played at the weekend. The excuses are running out and, more importantly, time is running out as well.
“I don’t feel under any extra pressure. Making line-breaks is part of my job and it’s usually what I am very good at so I have to get back to basics, really do my homework this week and work with Brian (O’Driscoll) and Ronan (O’Gara) to find those extra yards and those little half breaks.”
ON ARGENTINA’S DEFENCE AND ATTACK:
“The Argentinian defence hasn’t really changed, it has always been good. In previous years what they have probably lacked is being a little more clinical in attack but they have that now. (Juan Martin) Hernandez coming in at number 10 has brought another dimension to their game.
“They are just very, very aggressive. They have a lot of line speed and come up in your face very quickly. With that, if you make a bust you can get in behind them very quickly. That’s what we will look for this weekend – when they get that line speed to get some evasion and to get behind the gain line.
“One you get in behind them you have to be clinical with the passes because they scramble in behind very quickly as well. The main thing is once we make a bust and get in behind them, that we don’t panic and are clinical and put the ball through the phases or just put it over the line.”