YOKOHAMA – Ireland came to the World Cup with their deepest ever squad and coach Joe Schmidt was pleased with how his already stretched panel cruised through Sunday's opening 27-3 victory over main Pool A rivals Scotland.
Centre Robbie Henshaw was ruled out for much of the pool stage at least with an injury this week, and Ireland had to mine the depth of their playing resources even further after fellow backs Keith Earls, Rob Kearney and Joey Carbery ran out of time to prove their fitness for Yokohama.
When flanker Peter O'Mahony and centre Bundee Aki left with head injuries early on during Sunday's encounter, Chris Farrell and Jack Conan were called upon sooner than expected. Conan topped the tackle count for an Irish side that missed just eight all game and Farrell made more metres than anyone on the team bar fullback Jordan Larmour.
"I was delighted with all 23... it was very much a collective performance," Schmidt told a news conference.
"I think one of the things that sometimes happens is you build a lead and then you lose a bit of cohesion when guys start filtering in and out. I didn't really detect that that happened."