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Ireland iron out lineout issues but bigger tests await

You won't get far against South Africa without a lineout, and the fear in recent months was that Ireland were struggling to get that setpiece going.

To look back across the summer and the World Cup opener against Romania there were plenty of issues.

Frustratingly, the virus that had infected their lineout had multiple symptoms.

Sometimes it was the throwing, other times they would mistime the lift and on some occasions they were simply too easy to read.

Winning the lineout wasn't the only issue.

In the warm-up games against Italy, England and Samoa they were struggling to use the lineout to launch attacks, with their mauls consistently either being held up or penalised for obstruction.

Saturday's eight-try win against Tonga in Nantes would indicate that Ireland have straightened out their lineout issues, albeit against a limited opposition.

With 21 lineouts out of 23 won on their own throw and the two errant restarts coming with the game long won, it was a sharp and snappy effort from the pack, while they even showed some innovation in their maul as they shifted the point of the attack for Caelan Doris's score in the opening half.

"Sometimes you don't know exactly how it’s going to go, those little trick plays, but we drilled it well all week and it worked, so we’re happy enough with that," lineout caller James Ryan said after the game.

"There was good variation as well. We had a couple of drives and peel, and obviously played off the top as well. It was good, so we’re happy enough with it.

"It was good tonight. We got a little unlucky with a couple of things last week, so we didn't re-invent the wheel or anything this week, we just trusted what we do well and it came off tonight. We're delighted.

"We love getting a maul try, we