Eben Etzebeth reveals “arrogant” Ireland comments after World Cup pool win

Not impressed.

Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth has revealed what some of the Irish players said to him and his teammates following their pool match win over South Africa at the Rugby World Cup last year.

Ireland arrived in France as the number one team in the world, with many pipping them to go all the way and win their first-ever Webb Ellis trophy.

Andy Farrell’s side went unbeaten in the pool stage, overcoming eventual champions South Africa along the way, but were once again stopped at the quarter-final stages, beaten by three-time winners New Zealand who went on to meet the Springboks in the final.

Etzebeth says several of the Ireland players told him “See you guys in the final” after their win and the Sharks lock was not impressed.

“The thing was obviously you shake the guy’s hands and probably 12 out of the 23 when I shook the hands told me, ‘See you guys in the final’,” Etzebeth said on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod

“Because the way the logs worked out we were going to play France and they were going to play New Zealand and my immediate thought was, ‘Are these guys seriously not even thinking about the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter-final playing against them?’

“So that remark they made, ‘See you guys in the final’, I was just like these guys are making a big mistake to look past probably one of the most dominant teams, or probably the most dominant team in the last 20 to 30 years of Test rugby.

“I was just like, ‘Surely they can’t!’ I mean we would never say that because we knew we had the host nation and we knew we had to pitch up to beat France in their backyard. Yeah, it just felt like they were just so, so confident saying things like that, ‘See you in the final’, when you knew you had got the mighty All Blacks coming in a World Cup quarter-final.

“It’s good to be confident but you can never be arrogant in this game because that’s the thing about rugby, you can have the best season and you can have one slip-up or one missed tackle and a guy puts you on your arse. That is the beauty of this game – you are never on top forever.

Follow Me