Ritchie: Ireland “not unbeatable”

 

 

Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie admitted Ireland will be a “tough” test for Scotland but aren’t “unbeatable” in tomorrow’s Six Nations clash at BT Murrayfield

Ritchie made his Six Nations debut in last week’s 33-20 victory over Italy and keeps his place as Scotland look to keep up their unbeaten record at home.

Ireland, the second best team in the world rankings, will pose a “different challenge” than Italy did, but Ritchie argues their defeat at home to England last weekend fills Scotland with great confidence.

“On paper they [Ireland] are the second-best team in the world. It is a different challenge and it’s going to be a tough one but as we saw at the weekend, they are not unbeatable,” Ritchie said.

“We will look at that game this week and there are opportunities we’ll look to exploit.

“We are very confident. It is likely that the result on Saturday will be based on our defence. If we can get the physicality right, we saw last weekend from the English that they can be put under pressure.”

The 22-year-old has been hailed as one of the stand-out performers in Scotland’s 33-20 win over Italy last weekend in a result that saw them go top of the table.

“We’re really glad we got the win [against Italy] and it builds us up well for the week coming up.”

He admits it was “special” to make his debut for Scotland and hopes he can produce another strong performance against Ireland.

“It was awesome,” he said.

“I had to prepare for this slightly differently than how I prepared for the Autumn tests, but I’m so pleased we could get the win on Saturday and hopefully it will build us up well for the week ahead.

“There’s so much more pressure in the build-up to these games and a lot more media hype surrounding it. For me it almost seemed like a bigger deal, not to downplay the other competitions but this is the Six Nations, it’s the big time.

“I was chuffed, throughout the game I was just trying to get involved wherever I could. Similar to any game really, you always want to influence the match and play well. It was a fantastic experience and I am happy we got the win.”

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