Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 31 January 2015

Rugby World Cup: Ireland haven’t peaked yet, says Rory Best

Rory Best
Rory Best
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Stephen Ferris of Ireland celebrates victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Ireland's Paul O'Connell celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James O'Connor (R) of the Wallabies walks off dejected with Anthony Fainga'a after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James O'Connor (C) of the Wallabies walks off dejected with team mates during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill (L) and Sekope Kepu of the Wallabies look dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo (R) and Rob Simmons of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland wins the line out ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies drops the ball under pressure from Paul O'Connell of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland celebrates victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Ross of Ireland charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Ross of Ireland charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies walks off dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The rain comes down over the corner flag during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The rain comes down over the corner flag during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tom Court of Ireland and Jamie Heaslip of Ireland celebrate at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies looks dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies drops the high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Australia's Kurtley Beale squares up to Ireland's Conor Murray (left) during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies takes a high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland (C) is congratulated after winning a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland (L) encourages his team during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sekope Kepu of the Wallabies walks off dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Donncha O'Callaghan of Ireland ins the line out ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell, Tom Court and Stephen Ferris of Ireland celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo and Saia Fainga'a of the Wallabies look on dejected adter the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies charges forward with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tom Court (C) of Ireland celebrates victory with team mates during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia and Quade Cooper of the Wallabies look on dejected adter the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies talks to his team as Rocky Elsom looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia (L) of the Wallabies looks dejected with Radike Samo during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll (L) and Keith Earls (R) of Ireland tackle Quade Cooper of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Fainga'a of the Wallabies looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies charges forward past Jonathan Sexton of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ronan O'Gara of Ireland converts a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is tackled by Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Dan Vickerman and Radike Samo of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland kicks a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies (R) looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Eoin Reddan of Ireland passes the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies jumps for a lineout ball with Donncha O'Callaghan of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Dan Vickerman, Sekope Kepu and Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland tries to reach for the ball from Radike Samo of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies jumps for a high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland and Australian Wallabies fans look on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: An Ireland fan looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A Wallabies fan soaks up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Wallabies and Ireland fans soak up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Wallabies fans soak up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans soak up the atmosphere ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A masked Ireland fan looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Jamie Heaslip of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Donncha O'Callaghan (L) and Paul O'Connell of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland gives intructions during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies wins the lineout ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies is tackled by Keith Earls of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
An Ireland fan in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackles Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben McCalman and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackle Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland drives on past Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland tries to reach for the ball from Radike Samo of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies is tackled by Sean O'Brien of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben McCalman and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackle Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben Alexander of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A Wallabies fan looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Keith Earls of Ireland is tackled by Pat McCabe of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell and Mike Ross of Ireland and during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tommy Bowe of Ireland is tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo of the Wallabies is tackled by Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sean O'Brien of Ireland grabs the ball ahead of Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sean O'Brien of Ireland and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies scramble for the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackles Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Ulster hooker Rory Best insists Ireland possess the temperament to deliver on the big occasion but has demanded they raise standards throughout the World Cup.

A brilliant victory over Tri-Nations champions and tournament second favourites Australia indicated the Irish can be major players in New Zealand.

Following on the heels of denying England the Grand Slam in March, it was evidence the team has the ability to significantly lift their game against top opposition.

However, Best insists the challenge now is to improve for the remainder of Pool C as well as the knock-out stages.

“The good thing about this team is that when big games come there are big performances in us,” the Ravenhill favourite said.

“There's no doubt when you look at the calibre of players we have, and you look at what we've achieved in the past, that we have big performances in us.

“The big pressure for us now is to show it consistently. It can't be one big game followed by a couple of mediocre ones.

“From here on it must be big performance after big performance. It's a short tournament and we must raise our game every time.

“It was great to get a win against Australia but now we must make sure it's worth something come the end of the group.

“Our belief was never in doubt, but it's undeniable that beating Australia has given us a great chance to top this pool.

“It's put it all in our hands and it's up to us to take this chance. We need to be ruthless to enable us to kick on from here.”

Four successive defeats in the warm-up games ensured that little hope existed outside the Ireland camp that Australia could be toppled.

But Best insists last month's results had minimal impact on the belief of the team that they could perform at the World Cup.

“We go out to win every game so there's no doubt we were disappointed to lose those matches,” he said.

“But we knew there was a bigger picture. There were aspects of our game we were happy with and there were aspects we needed to work on.”

One of the highlights from Eden Park was the potency of Ireland's scrum, which has now become a key weapon in their arsenal.

The Wallabies conceded five penalties from the set piece, two of which were punished by the boot of Ronan O'Gara.

Best added: “The scrum is a head on head on collision and if you get the upper hand in that arm wrestle... Teams have got on top of us in the past and it is quite tiring mentally. When you concede a penalty at a scrum you feel drained.

“There's no doubt that scrummaging performance took it out of Australia's back five around the pitch.

“Because they're such potent and destructive carriers we knew we needed to zap them a bit there.

“In the past we've been guilty of letting teams off the hook a bit in the scrum, but we were unrelenting and that's something we must keep up.

“We've strived to make the scrum a weapon. It's a good feeling to know that if we get it right, we can have a good day.

“We're starting to gain confidence in the scrum with every game that goes by.”

Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy sustained hamstring strains against the Wallabies, but have yet to be ruled out of Sunday's clash with Russia in Rotorua.

“The progress of both players will be monitored over the coming days,” an Irish Rugby Football Union statement read.

“No decision on their availability for the game against Russia will be made until the team is announced on Friday.”

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