Joe Schmidt On Ireland’s Crushing Defeat To England – “It’s A Reality Check”

Physical.

Defending Six Nations champions Ireland were stunned at the Aviva Stadium last night by England last night. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. The physicality and intensity brought by England in the 30-22 defeat was incredible.

The men in green arrived at the Aviva last night not only favourites for the game, but overwhelming favourites for the entire tournament. A second successive Grand Slam is off the cards after just one game, as Ireland look to recover well ahead of next weekend’s clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.

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Incredibly Ireland dominated much of the stats after the game. The had more possession, more carries, more passes, more rucks won and made almost twice the metres England made. But they were still well beaten in the end.

Looking ahead to the rest of the Six Nations, and even the World Cup, Schmidt says it’s a huge “reality check” for his team and a sign of things to come. Ireland must learn to deal with the kind of physicality and intensity brought by England in Dublin.

“Yeah, that is a reality check, that’s how it’s going to be,” Schmidt said

“That’s why England are such a, literally, a big team. They did really well tonight. it’s hard to take anything away from England. The intensity they brought to the game, it was more a simmering physical intensity that they collectively delivered that made it a suffocating place to be out on the pitch.”