Paul O’Connell Explains What Went Wrong For Ireland In The First-Half Against Scotland

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Ireland went at half-time against Scotland today absolutely blown away.

The Scots took a 21-8 lead into the break, with three tries on the board, leaving the Irish team stunned.

Ireland’s lineout was compromised on several occasions and they were left chasing in defence out wide multiple times, with Stuart Hogg carving up the back three almost at will.

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On BBC, former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell felt that three aspects of Ireland’s game, in particular, failed them in the first half.

Ireland have a plan that they haven’t really stuck to. One of the big things that has been successful for Ireland in the last few years has been the set piece, the lineout has been excellent and they’ve always been disciplined. They generally win that penalty count. They don’t give away silly penalties.

You look at the lineout that was turned over for the first [Scotland try], you look at Simon Zebo going to the floor and not rolling and rotating and not doing his best to get the ball out.

The other thing is the five-metre drives. Ireland have been very good at defending five metre drives and they’ve been very good at converting.

Today has been the opposite in many respects in the lineout, discipline and five-metre drives.

A tough day at the office no doubt. Joe Schmidt will not be a happy man this evening.