Saturday 25 March 2017

Joe Schmidt explains how he is planning to cope with an almighty All Blacks backlash

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

With the formality of the clash with Canada out of the way, attention can now turn to next weekend's mouthwatering contest between Ireland and the All Blacks, where the two teams will face each other on a far more equal footing than seemed imaginable at the start of the month.

Ireland's historic 40-29 triumph over the world champions in Chicago not only consigned the 111 year wait to beat New Zealand to history, it also once again brought into focus just how much the men in green can achieve with Joe Schmidt at the helm.

The Kiwi has almost always produced a detailed and effective plan to combat every opponent, and most importantly, has shown an ability to learn from his mistakes and tweak elements of Ireland's strategy when required.

However, despite Schmidt's brilliance and his players' stellar form, many fear that Ireland's win in America will rouse an almighty response out of the All Blacks when they come to Dublin.

After last night's victory against Canada, Joe Schmidt was asked about the idea that no matter what Ireland do next weekend, they will be unable to withstand the fury of a wounded New Zealand.

The Ireland boss gave an interesting insight into the team's preparation as he outlined how he hopes to overcome his native country once again.

"One of the things that we just do is say 'right, this is what we believe might work, let's commit to this' and try to put it together as best we can," he said.

"Probably get distracted about what our opponents are doing and what they might bring. There will be an awareness of that but a focus on what we're doing because in the end, it is quite an intense preparation period.

"We have a light training on Monday to get ourselves organised, train Tuesday, then have our team training on Thursday when everyone knows what they are doing. Then you are into the game after the captain's run on a Friday.

"If you spend too much time distracted looking externally then you miss a little bit of the precious time you've got together to just focus on what needs to be done with an awareness of what they're likely to bring."

Ireland take on New Zealand at 5.30pm next Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.

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