Joe Schmidt – “At This Time Of The Season You Get Some Bizarre Results”

Unacceptable.

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt made a rare Tuesday match week appearance this afternoon following his side’s disappointing record defeat at the hands of England on Saturday.

The New Zealander usually only appears on the Thursday to announce the squad, but sat front and centre this afternoon to dissect what was an “unacceptable” result at Twickenham.

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Schmidt says the performance was “beneath” where Ireland would like to be at this stage, but are still in what he calls a “building phase” for selection. But after this weekend “selections are done.”

“It’s an unacceptable result for us,” Schmidt said today

“It was a performance beneath where we’d like to be. It’s a performance beneath where we need to be. The whole group are very, very conscious that we have a short period of time to make sure we accelerate what is part of our progression.

“We did try and have a very rigorous pre-season and the pre-season really ran up until the Portugal camp. We are still in, what we would determine as a building phase, a clarification phase for selection.”

“Once this weekend is over, effectively selections are done.”

“Sunday will be a day of sitting down and making sure we can get the selection as well-balanced as we can make it to get the right people to springboard into that final game against Wales and then onto the World Cup.”

“To throw everything out would be a mistake.”

“We’ve got a count of 37 missed tackles. For us, to be below 80% in a tackle count when we’re looking for 90%-plus, we know we can’t afford to offer a team the size, the skill and experience of England that amount of latitude. And we gave them way too much latitude.”

Schmidt says the warm-up games ahead of a World Cup tend to throw up some “bizarre results” but made it clear that “nothing mitigates” losing in the fashion Ireland did.

“Nothing mitigates losing the way we did,” Schmidt added

“We’re not going to make excuses for that because we know where we are in our progression and we’ve tried to periodise our lead-in to the World Cup.

“I do think at this time of the cycle every four years, you get some pretty, I wouldn’t say bizarre results, but you get some imbalanced results.

“I’m determined to stay realistic in comparison to our opponents”