Assistant coach Mike Catt dismissed suggestions Ireland could collude with Scotland in Saturday’s pivotal Rugby World Cup clash in Paris in order to send home South Africa.
Complex permutations may come into play if Andy Farrell’s men do not win or draw the crunch Pool B clash at Stade de France.
A bonus-point victory for the Scots by a margin of 21 points or more combined with Ireland collecting a losing bonus point for scoring at least four tries would put both nations in the quarter-finals while eliminating the reigning champions.
Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber insisted rugby is “clean” as he brushed off a potential “match-fixing” conspiracy after being asked about the situation on Sunday following his side’s 49-18 win over Tonga.
Catt says Ireland’s coaches are fully aware of the permutations but, unsurprisingly, gave short shrift to the notion his side are in “cahoots” with the Scots.
“I don’t know what to say about that,” he replied, when asked about Nienaber’s match-fixing comment.
“I think he was asked the question, wasn’t he? He didn’t actually say it was match-fixing, did he?
“That stuff is just white noise in the background. No, we’re not going to go in cahoots with Scotland.
“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? No, sorry.
“Andy is fully aware of what’s going and what needs to happen.
“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.”