DUBLIN – Ireland and Wales are both satisfied with their World Cup preparations despite a mixed month of warm-up games, their coaches said on Saturday after Ireland got the better of the Six Nations champions for the second successive week.
For Ireland, the 19-10 win and performance meant more than a victory might have for Wales, after the disappointing defence of their 2018 Six Nations title and a brutal hammering by England last month that set alarm bells ringing.
"The lads last week put a bit of a marker down as to where we expect the physicality to be. We knew we needed to improve, take another step and that was another step today in the aspects that we pride ourselves on," Ireland captain Rory Best told a news conference, referring to their 22-17 win in Cardiff.
"Certainly in Twickenham and in bits of the Six Nations, we didn't feel we were good enough in (those aspects). We know we have a lot more in us and are going to have to produce a lot more but in terms of steps in the right direction, we can get on the plane on Wednesday with a bit of confidence."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said that with teams trying out different things and gearing up at different times, his side were not alone in suffering a setback along the way.