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Sunday 19 August 2018

Jennings: Let's drive on from Aussies

IRELAND openside flanker Shane Jennings says that Ireland have the potential to challenge for the Webb Ellis trophy following their victory over the Wallabies.

With a quarter-final against Wales looking most likely if there are no slip-ups in Ireland's concluding two pool games, this team has a great chance of advancing further than any Irish side.

Jennings acknowledges the enormity of beating the Tri-Nations champions 15-6 in Auckland but insists that the result has been consigned to the past and it's onwards and upwards.

"It's a pool game and that's all it was," said the Leinster openside. "We're in this to win trophies.

"That's the beauty of this squad. There are a lot of players who have been successful at provincial and international level.

"I'm not playing it down. It was a brilliant and massive win for Ireland. But it was just a pool game.

"The senior players did a lot of talking during the build-up and they backed that up by playing well.

"Because of the quality of player in the squad we're always capable of producing results like that.

"But it's gone now and people have to get over that because there's no point getting two wins and then falling over your next two opponents."

Ireland have shown a propensity to deliver in big games despite indifferent form this season, following their demolition of England in the Six Nations at the Aviva.

Four successive defeats during the warm-up games and an unconvincing display against the USA proved no barrier to seeing off the Wallabies.

Jennings believes the Irish squad must now deliver big performances consistently to make an even bigger impact on the competition.

"Nobody in the squad wants to be known as hit and miss, producing one good performance and then failing to follow it up," he said. "We always felt we could compete with anyone in the world but this has definitely given us extra belief. It gives you confidence and is reassuring you're on the right track.

"We definitely have the ability to reproduce that performance. But if we talk about it, we have to back it up."

Flying winger Tommy Bowe suffered a bump on his calf against Australia and underwent a scan today.

Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy were continuing to receive treatment on their hamstring injuries, while Stephen Ferris sat out training in order to manage his workload.

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