Sunday 11 December 2016

Ian Madigan: I'd like to ask pundits 'what is game management?'

Published 18/08/2015 | 21:35

Ian Madigan, Ireland, kicks crossfield to setup Luke Fitzgerald for Ireland's fourth try against Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Ian Madigan, Ireland, kicks crossfield to setup Luke Fitzgerald for Ireland's fourth try against Scotland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Ian Madigan appears to be getting fed up of the 'game management' issue which seems to follow him around wherever he goes.

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The Leinster and Ireland flyhalf was in fine form in the weekend as he helped orchestrate a 28-22 victory over Scotland at the Aviva.

On the hour mark of the game, Madigan cut a pass that allowed replacement Dave Kearney to hare into the Scottish 22 before the Leinster man got back in possession and stuck a lovely inside ball to Simon Zebo on the angle to give the hosts a 21-15 lead after the conversion.

Just 10 minutes later Madigan produced the moment of the match with an inch-perfect, cross-field kick to Luke Fitzgerald, who grabbed only his third try for Ireland.

There is a perception floating around that Madigan is an off-the-cuff attacker who can't be trusted to make the right calls.

The 26-year-old is aware of it and it's something he clearly contests.

"They always talk in the media and 'game management' is something I've certainly been branded with," he told Off The Ball on Newstalk.

"I'd love to ask some of the guys 'what is game management?'.

"To me, it's making the right decisions at the right times and if that means you run the ball from your own five metre line, that could be the right decision at that time.

"But if you throw out a pass and it doesn't work out then that's bad 'game management' but if you throw out a pass and you make a break and you're suddenly at the halfway line then that's the right thing.

"In Ireland, because Ronan O'Gara played outhalf and played so well, a massive part of his game was putting the ball behind teams and keeping his pack moving forward.

"He was the master at that style of game management but there are other styles that are very effective. You can still run the ball and keep teams under pressure.

"I think a massive part of game management is trusting your instincts, if I go out on the pitch and trust my instincts and that I'll do the right thing at the right time, I think I'll have a good game.

"When I'm doing things blindly that's when things go bad for me."

Madigan revealed how Joe Schmidt approaches the handling of mistakes on his video sessions.

"If you go for a big pass and it gets intercepted because the pass didn't come out of your hands cleanly, he'll ask 'what did you see there?' and if you say 'I thought their winger was too narrow and I thought we could send our winger down the touchline but what happened was the ball slipped in my hand slightly'... he'll say 'I like your thought process but you need to go  away and work harder on that skill'," he added

"He's always demanding more."

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