Scotland ready for ‘do or die’ game at Rugby World Cup

Scotland ready for ‘do or die’ game at Rugby World Cup

Scotland flyer Darcy Graham said the are ready to “go to a dark place” as they bid to defy recent history in their highly anticipated encounter against Ireland in Paris.

The Scots secured the bonus-point victory they needed against Romania as they cruised to a 12-try, 84-0 triumph against the eastern European minnows.

To advance to the quarter-finals Gregor Townsend’s troops must beat Ireland in next Saturday’s last Pool B match, either with a bonus point or by denying the world’s top-ranked side a losing bonus.

Poor record against Ireland
It’s a tough ask for Scotland as they have won only one of the last 13 meetings between the sides and have lost the last eight, but Graham is adamant his side – ranked fifth in the world – are ready to dig deep for what would be one of the biggest victories in their history.

“It’s winner takes all, we want to get out of the group and they want to get out of the group so both teams will be going for it,” said Graham, who scored four tries against Romania. “It’s going to be a hell of a game.

“It’s do or die now, it’s pretty much a World Cup final for us. We’ll take huge confidence from Romania and now we need to get our preparation right.

“We’re going to have to go to a dark place but the boys are up for it. It’s an exciting week. There’s going to be massive support from Scotland and Ireland fans so there’s going to be a real buzz going into this game.”

In their previous encounter in the Six Nations in March, Scotland led briefly early on and were within a point of their opponents until Ireland took control of proceedings and eventually clinched a 22-7 win at Murrayfield.

The Scots have shown for long periods of their three matches against France this year that they can compete with the world’s leading sides.

“We’ve got the capabilities to beat any team in the world but we have to get things right not just for 40 minutes or 60 minutes, but for 80 minutes,” Graham said.

“We have to take our opportunities when they come. We might only get two or three opportunities and we have to nail them.”

Graham’s try-scoring feat against Romania pushed him from sixth to joint-second on Scotland’s all-time try-scoring list. The Edinburgh wing moved ahead of Duhan van der Merwe and Chris Paterson and is now level with Ian Smith and Tony Stanger on 24, just three shy of record-holder Stuart Hogg, who retired earlier this year.

“Yeah, I’m closing in on it but I’ll get there when I get there,” he said. “I’ve added four on to my tally so I’m happy.”

Grant Gilchrist – who skippered Scotland against the Oaks – is confident his long-time Edinburgh club-mate will soon break the record.

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