McNaughton: We can upset Australia
Ireland may have made a faltering start to the World Cup but manager Paul McNaughton insists they still have the capacity to stun Australia.
None of the concerns that hang over the Irish squad following a troubled build-up to New Zealand were addressed during Sunday's unconvincing 22-10 victory over the United States. Their Pool C campaign continues with Saturday's critical Test against Tri-Nations champions Australia at Eden Park.
"The guys have played against Australia before. They know them," said McNaughton. "There's a level of confidence that on our day, when we play well and fire on all cylinders, we can beat Australia. We have the ability and the team to beat Australia."
He added: "We have to play very well and better than we have done over the last four or five matches.
"We'll have to improve on what we did yesterday, but do seem to produce our best when our backs are against the wall.
"Underdogs is not a position we'd go looking for. We're clearly underdogs based on the record over the last few games, but that doesn't worry us.
"But there's a strong belief that if we get all parts of our game right, we can provide very fine opposition for Australia."