Brian O’Driscoll Slams Joe Schmidt’s Conservative Game Approach


Ireland’s reliance on their kicking game and the lack of creativity in their attack has been a huge topic of discussion in recent times.

Many pundits have had their say on it recently with former Ireland and Leinster centre Brian O’Driscoll the latest to criticise during his regular spot on Newstalk’s Off The Ball radio show.

O’Driscoll lamented both the loss of creative players such as Luke Fitzgerald and Keith Earls, and the lack of creativity in Ireland’s backline. He also maintains that Ireland possess too many players who look for contact rather than space, before criticising Joe Schmidt’s attitude towards offloading possession.

I think there is an aspect that players look back on the video or moments in the game and maybe if Joe wasn’t their coach and didn’t know that he would pick them up on certain aspects of the video work or throwing an offload.

O’Driscoll is also of the opinion that risks must be taken in games rather than constantly adapting the conservative approach.

Joe’s philosophy is that it’s the right offload if it goes to hand. Sometimes, that can’t be the way, you’re going to lose a few offloads here and there but high risk, high reward and even risk, even reward.

I feel as though there is definitely scope to throw a few more.

O’Driscoll also questioned the Irish players work ethic and ability to read line-breaks.

I wonder as well on our line breaks whether we’re expecting players to go through.

Players should interpret that a break is going to happen and get there and if it doesn’t you just back-pedal and realign, and that’s part of working hard.

You don’t stay back.

When a line break is made you have to have the ability to react to that and see it happening in real-time as it transpires.

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