Ireland Springboks

Ireland celebrate their win over the Springboks. Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Ireland camp denies World Cup ‘match-fixing’ conspiracy theory

“We’re not going to go into cahoots with Scotland” – Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt dismisses idea of a ‘match-fixing’ conspiracy.

Ireland Springboks

Ireland celebrate their win over the Springboks. Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Mike Catt dismissed suggestions of Ireland conspiring with Scotland out of hand, saying they will do everything in their power to win their final game against Scotland and top Pool B.

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With Ireland, South Africa and Scotland all still in the quarter-final race, one of those teams is set to drop out of the competition at the conclusion of the pool stages.

The Springboks – who beat Tonga by 49-18 – currently lead Pool B with 15 points, although they’ve played one more match than Ireland (in second place with 14 points) and Scotland (in third place with 10 points), with those teams yet to face one another in their final pool match on Saturday, 7 October.

If all of Scotland, South Africa and Ireland finish level on log points, points difference will only be used to determine the group winner, with head-to-head determining positions two and three.

If the Scots were to finish top due to a superior points difference, Ireland would finish second ahead of South Africa because they beat the Springboks 13-8 in pool play.

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This has led to talk that Ireland and Scotland could arrange the result to ensure the Springboks’ elimination. But Catt laughed off the suggestion.

“Yeah 100 percent, that stuff is just white noise in the background. No, we’re not going to go in cahoots with Scotland,” Ireland assistant coach Catt said.

“Firstly I’d ask you, would we want Scotland to beat us by 21 points? If you asked any player in this room, any of us would they want Scotland to beat you by 21 points?” he added with a dismissive laugh.

“No, sorry.”

“I’m just focusing on our performance and the preparation of the players. But as a group of coaches, Andy [Farrell] is fully aware of what’s going and what needs to happen,” he said.

“Ultimately, both teams need to win the game. If you do that then you put yourself in a good position. That’s what we will try and achieve.”

ALSO READ: All Rugby World Cup pool permutations — How the quarter-finals will be decided

South Africa's Rugby team to replay Ireland.
South Africa has a high chance to play Ireland in the Rugby competitions. Image by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP