VIDEO: Furlong quashes Grand Slam hype

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 10:21

SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: Grand Slam – the two words that are not being uttered around Ireland’s training base.

Nonetheless, it does hinder the media to talk about the fact that Ireland are the only side left in this year’s Six Nations that can achieve this accolade.

However, in every interview Ireland try to play it down. It does, of course, come from the top – head coach Joe Schmidt.

After last weekend's win over Wales at the Aviva, the Ireland head coach played down the feat and has remained adamant that they treat every match the same and try to 'break from rugby with family time'.

A sentiment, Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong echoed to the journalists at the press conference after training ahead of their fixture against Scotland this weekend.

The Leinster prop was asked whether the word "Championship" was banned in the camp.

"I wouldn’t say it’s banned," Furlong said, adding: "It’s just not talked about.

"It’s no different to any other week – where you can’t start looking ahead at if’s, but’s or maybe’s – you’re very much task orientated at the game ahead.

"How do you eat an elephant? You eat it bite by bite, don’t you? So it really is game-on-game for us and we have a massive one this weekend,"

Scotland have been in good form since their opening defeat to Wales, the side have produced two wins which includes an impressive  25-13 win over England.

Thus heading into this weekend's fixture Furlong realized the huge threat Scotland posses in their pursuit of a Grand Slam - especially with a 22-27 defeat to Scotland on the opening day of last year’s Six Nations.

"We gave them a huge head start which in the Six Nations is never easy to claw back. We’ve learned a lot from that loss, you have to start well and we have to be able to defend our wide attacking game.

"They’re playing really good rugby at the minute, they’re a massive threat both over the ball and in attack," he added.

Ireland's scrumhalf Connor Murray also talked up Scotland’s in-form attack and the virtues of his opposite number Greig Laidlaw.

"Laidlaw doesn’t miss really, particularly inside our 10-metre line. Like any international kicker if you cough up penalties on the bounce he’s going to make it 3, 6, 9 and then the game might get away from you,"

"While, out wide with the likes of [Stuart] Hogg, [Tommy] Seymour, [Sean] Maitland and Huw Jones, all these guys are really fizzing at the moment, you’ve got to be ready for their threats,"

Source: Rugbypass

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