Murphy: We can beat the Wallabies
September 13, 2011
Geordan Murphy is wrapped up during Sunday's win over the Eagles © Getty Images
Geordan Murphy is in no doubt that Ireland are capable of upsetting the Wallabies in their pivotal Rugby World Cup Pool C clash in Auckland on Saturday.
The Irish arrived in New Zealand on a low having lost all four of their warm-up games and spirits were not exactly lifted by the lacklustre nature of their 22-10 victory over the United States in their tournament opener in New Plymouth on Sunday.
However, Murphy believes that Ireland have the talent and indeed the belief to defeat Tri-Nations champions Australia, who opened their campaign with an impressive 32-6 victory over Italy in North Shore City.
"It feels like there's a big performance in the team," the Leicester captain said. "We have some fantastically talented players, some guys who can play really good rugby. We can take it on another gear or two against Australia.
"We'll be up against it as we're playing one of the best sides in the world, but there's the belief that we can win this. The guys are all confident."
Murphy, though, is well aware of the enormity of the task that Ireland are facing, having watched the Wallabies closely during their victorious Tri-Nations campaign.
"The Australian backline are awesome across the board. Australian rugby for many years has produced fantastic backs," he said. "They're tremendously talented and are great at breaking teams down. They're not a bad bunch to boot either, so they're thoroughly unlikeable!
"They're probably the most potent attacking backline in the world. They have pace, power and are intelligent players to boot."
Ireland backs coach Alan Gaffney is in complete agreement with Murphy regarding the potency of the Wallabies back-line, singling half-back duo Quade Cooper and Will Genia out for special praise.
"Quade is a player who's developed very well over the past 18 months," the Australian said. "He has a lot more maturity in the way he plays the game. He's got exceptional skill levels and has fantastic vision. He's world class and is very difficult to handle.
"Will Genia is in absolutely outstanding form. He is some player, as he's shown right through the Tri Nations and over the last two years. But Australia have so much potency that we can not afford to concentrate on one or two players. We've got trouble across the board.
"Australia are very exciting, there's no doubt about that. We know the enormity of the task, but we believe we're up to it if we play our very, very best. In recent times we haven't been there and have been disappointing in what we've done, but we can challenge them. We know the performance is within us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker