Gert Smal believes that Ireland are on the brink of “something special” as they count down the days until they begin their World Cup campaign against America this coming Sunday.
The forwards coach, who was part of the successful South African team in 2007, maintains that Ireland are not far off from clicking and that the four defeats in the run up to the World Cup will stand the team in good stead.
“There’s something special in these players and we believe that can be transferred onto the field. We just have to put it together now.
“We didn’t get the results we wanted in the warm-up games, but in terms of the planning we were absolutely spot on.
“We still have a lot of confidence in the players, they know what they have inside them and what they can do as a team.
We’d like to have had a couple of wins behind us, but that’s not the be-all and end-all. If you look at Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Leo Cullen, we have a lot of leadership.”
Smal also believes that the planning and preparation by Declan Kidney and the rest of the backroom staff has been exactly what is needed for a successful campaign. He said “”The key to a successful World Cup is planning. I have to compliment Declan, he’s done an outstanding job up until now,
“Another crucial element is that it doesn’t matter where you are ranked in the world, on the day you have to perform.
“You can only look at the next game. You pick the games off one by one and then after the pool matches you look at where you are. That’s the approach we took in 2007.
“In terms of the pre-season, organising game-time and getting to where we are at the moment, the whole preparation has been spot on. Now we must start producing.”