Ireland back-rower Edel McMahon Ready For Scotland Showdown

Ireland rugby

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Ireland back-rower Edel McMahon is confident heading into the final round of fixtures of the Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifier.

The national side beat Italy by eight points on Sunday to keep their qualification hopes alive after a shock loss to Spain in the opening round.

McMahon has confidence in the game plan that Griggs and co. have worked with them after the side were able to deal with the pressure on them following the defeat to Spain, who qualified for the tournament through their 2019-20 Rugby Europe Championship win.

“We knew what pressure was on us last week, it’s part of elite sport, international rugby,” McMahon said. “I thought everybody dealt with the pressure well, we challenged it and used it as a catalyst to make us better.”

Ireland produced a much-improved performance against hosts Italy than they did against the Spaniards and reaped the rewards for their work in the week in between the two fixtures.

Defence coach Kieran Hallett helped the side to fix the issues that were evident in their first fixture and Ireland were able to keep Italy scoreless when 15 women in green were on the pitch.

The Wasps star felt that the team dealt with the pressure well and overcame it by using it to fuel themselves.

“We didn’t go into our shells or hide from it and that’s what will help us this weekend.

“We’ve held our hands up when the game-plan didn’t work or we made errors, and though it wasn’t perfect against Italy, we saw we got a reward for our effort.

Their opponents this weekend, Scotland, made sure that everyone had something to play for in the final round after a 27-22 win over Spain.

Spain, who were physically dominant against Ireland, were matched by the Scots and ultimately beaten via a driving maul that led to the winning try.

In attack, Ireland have shown glimpses of their attacking quality, with winger Beibhinn Parsons shining the brightest in the two games so far but the side is yet to get up to speed, with only three tries to their name in two games.

“Like us, Scotland didn’t reflect what they could do against Italy and you saw how they came out of the blocks against Spain and it’s all to play for both of us this weekend.

“They want this as much as we do and they will be just as physical in defence. We just need to get our clinical edge in attack spot on and if we do that can take us over the line.”

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