Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Good Ireland win but performance fell short of Joe Schmidt's standards

Joe Schmidt has brought huge success to the Irish rugby team GETTY IMAGESJoe Schmidt has brought huge success to the Irish rugby team
Shannon Reynolds | 14 November, 2018, 06:30

"If I did have some advice for him, I wouldn't be telling him through the media", Hansen began.

This will be just the third time the Irish have played New Zealand in the six seasons that Schmidt has been in charge and is the best barometer of their progress according to Sexton.

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma predicted Ireland could push New Zealand next weekend.

"It's not the injury, it is really how he is and how fit he is", said the 53-year-old New Zealander.

"Sean's gutted, I'm gutted for him and the team are too", said Schmidt.

"So that will bring a lot more intensity to the game and I am picking it will be fast and the physical side of the game will be tough as will the mental side".

Ireland win it 28-17!

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"I thought he was just getting into his rhythm".

"I'm going to chat to Conor and see how he is and it will really be Conor's call", Schmidt told a news conference. "And two, it's always hard if you've got to substitute someone five minutes into a Test match".

Aki and scrum-halves Marmion and Luke McGrath bagged Ireland's tries, with Will Addison making a reasonable fist of his full debut as a last-minute replacement for Henshaw in the centres. You look through the Rugby Championship, the amount of times you think Australia and South Africa have them under the pump and next thing they're underneath their own posts.

"They're probably fitter and aligned in how they want to play and as I said before, they've a great spine that goes through the team, they have world class players and that's why I believe Murray will play", he said. He will be monitored in the coming days but Schmidt was hopeful of his availability.

The All Blacks needed a converted try in injury time to claim a 24-22 triumph in Dublin five years ago, before Ireland ended a 111-year losing streak to New Zealand in 2016 when they ran in five tries to secure a remarkable 40-29 win in Chicago.

Former school teacher Schmidt, who has proved masterful in rebuilding the side since the 2015 World Cup uncovering young talent such as James Ryan and Garry Ringrose, is due to announce his decision by the end of this month as to whether he leaves after his current contract ends at the 2019 World Cup.

He also played just six games for the Blues and was under scrutiny for underperforming when he did take to the field, although Hansen added that he was the type of player whose form improves with matches.

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