Rugby World Cup 2011

Kiss can't pick a winner

2011-10-07 09:48
Les Kiss (Getty Images)

Wellington - Ireland and Wales were so evenly matched in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final it was difficult to pick a winner, Ireland defence coach Les Kiss said on Friday.

Kiss said the match in Wellington was a huge opportunity for both teams, with Ireland eyeing its maiden semi-final at the tournament and Wales its first since the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

"It's absolutely massive for both unions, we are going to a place we have never been before," Kiss, who represented Australia in rugby league and previously helped organise the Wallabies' defence, said.

He expected a close contest between the northern hemisphere rivals, who are familiar with each others' key players and game plans.

"We've played each other so much in recent times that it's a fairly reasonable thing to say that it's going to be 50-50," he said.

"There will be some critical pressure moments in this game. We need to be there or thereabouts in the last 20 minutes."

Online bookmaker Centrebet has Ireland slightly ahead of Wales to win the match, paying NZ$1.75 for every dollar placed on them, with Wales paying $2.10.

Kiss also confirmed Ireland hooker Rory Best was fully recovered from a dislocated shoulder and would start the match.

"Rory has come up great. We obviously had some precautions in place ready to cover him, but he's in tip top shape. He's fine to start," he said.

Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip said Best's return was a huge boost for the team.

"He's very experienced, a key member of this side," he said.

Heaslip said the entire Ireland team had gained valuable experience from the fact Irish clubs had won four out of the last six European Cups and Saturday's match was a chance to display that knowledge on the world stage.

"It's a real opportunity to do what no Irish team has done before and reach the semi-finals," he said.

"It's an opportunity we wantto take advantage of with both hands," he said.

"We've had the experience of playing against them every year and playing against them at club level.

"Sometimes the best teams don't win - it's the team that knows how to win."



15 Robert Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best/Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin/Damien Varley, 17 Tom Court, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Andrew Trimble


15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Substitutes: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Paul James, 18 Bradley Davies, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 James Hook, 22 Scott Williams

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Pool A


Pool B


Pool C


Pool D

Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45

A few vital life lessons from Tank Lanning's recent trip to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup quarter and semi-finals. Read More

Rugby World Cup Wallpapers

Download your favourite RWC wallpaper here



Current Conditions

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.