Joe Schmidt Reveals Signs That Indicated Ireland Weren’t Themselves Before England Clash


Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has revealed he spotted some ominous signs for his Ireland team ahead of their shock 32-20 defeat to England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The men in green were beaten, and beaten well by a fired up England side who dominated them both tactically and physically in a bruising encounter in Dublin.

Schmidt says before the game he didn’t feel the same kind of “energy levels” that he’s seen in the past with this current crop of players.

“There is always a risk of having slow starts when you first get guys together because it is never quite as cohesive as you would like it to be,”said Schmidt.

“I thought our tight five did well today, we have got a loose forward trio that know each other well enough. The only significant change was Robbie [Henhaw to fullback].

“It was more around… we were very quiet before the game. I didn’t sense the same kind of energy levels that I would have noticed in November when the All Blacks came.

“And if you don’t have those energy levels and have that mental preparation done, it is pretty difficult to get a foothold back into the game.

“I didn’t sense it, I didn’t feel it… you almost get this vibrancy from the group and we didn’t quite have it tonight. It’s disappointing and difficult to put your finger on exactly what it was, but you are talking about human beings here.”

Schmidt will be hoping Ireland can once again find that energy when they take on Scotland in a must win game this weekend.


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