Former Irish rugby player Tommy Bowe has said the current team are like "robots", which could help them in their match against Scotland tonight.
Ireland will play against Scotland at 8pm tonight at the Stade de France in a match that will determine which teams move beyond the group stage of the Rugby World Cup.
The team have to win, draw or not lose by more than eight points to progress to the next round.
Former rugby player Tommy Bowe said there is “a lot of optimism” among the Irish – but it’s still a “two-horse race”.
“We've crumbled at knockout matches in the past and Scotland will be using that for their advantage today,” he told The Anton Savage Show.
“There's a huge potential banana skin there, if you look at it logically and look at the two teams.”
Several psychologists have noted the importance of a team’s “flow”, and Anton suggested this could be something Ireland loses tonight at such a high-stakes game.
Mr Bowe argued that the flow “is great until it all goes wrong”.
“The flow is all great whenever you're doing yoga and bits and pieces like that, but for an international match when you know what's on the line, that can go very much out the window,” he said.
'No inspirational speeches'
Mr Bowe said what really defines the current Irish team and its prospects is its differences from previous teams.
“The way we got to the top of our pool was that we pulled out these big performances,” he said.
“Back then, the team very much relied on emotion and relied on a Paul O’Connell speech - Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara talking about going to the well, leaving nothing behind, thinking about your families.
“The Irish team nowadays don't do that – [they don't] have to give inspirational speeches anymore because the players just don't respond to it.
“They sit there on their phones five minutes before going out to play the match and it's totally different to what I remember.”
Mr Bowe said, however, it is this “robot-like” attitude that could get the current rugby team into a “flow”.
“We were able to pull out the master performances, but then completely fall off the edge of the cliff the following week because we relied hugely on that motivation,” he said.
“This team is on a different level – they're these young guys who have been coming through academies.
“If you’re talking about relying on emotion, that’s probably where Scotland is at the moment.
“Ireland has now progressed, and Scotland and a lot of the teams are trying to catch up.”
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