Friday 20 October 2017

WATCH - 'Incredibly disappointed' Joe Schmidt laments 'frustrating' failure to score tries

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the Autumn International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

David Smith

Joe Schmidt admitted it was "incredibly disappointing" to fall short against New Zealand today in Dublin.

Schmidt's side failed to convert a host of half-chances to add to their historic 40-29 win over New Zealand in Chicago, letting the All Blacks off the hook at the Aviva Stadium.

New Zealand had Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa sin-binned while conceding 14 penalties but still managed to escape with the win.

The Kiwi believes the 21-9 defeat was "a true Test match", and claims that Ireland will learn from the match.

"Look it's incredibly disappointing. I think we created enough to actually score," he told RTE.

"You know Seanie (Sean O'Brien) went incredibly close in the first half, Jamie went close in the first half.

"It was frustrating, and then both of them went close in the second half. I think if Seanie holds on to the ball off the back of the line-out, I think he's going to score.

"We'd a couple of really good platforms to work from, and we didn't finish them off, and that's incredibly frustrating.

"We will learn from this, and to be able to put the All Blacks under as much pressure as we did...

"You know a lot of people were suggesting that they'd come back with a backlash that would put us out of the game early on, and I thought we fought our way back into the game and it was a true competition, and a true Test match".

The Ireland boss also admitted it was difficult to lose Robbie Henshaw, Johnny Sexton and CJ Stander to injury.

"One of the reasons you don't score is when you've lost your hub, your organization, and we lost some shape out there as a result.

"Paddy hasn't had that much time with us because we've had Joey Carbery in there as well. We didn't anticipate that (Sexton's injury), but you've always got to adapt when those things happen.

A few of those things we'll look back at. We've certainly seen some clear images that we'll have another look at.

"We'll try to build from this into next week". 

Schmidt was also asked about the controversial nature of two of New Zealand's tries.

"I can harbour those frustrations, and they are very real. But at the same time, we can't control those decisions."

He also addressed the physicality of the game. Two New Zealand players were sin-binned, and there were several high tackles throughout the match.

"Look, it's one of the things that's been targeted in the game. I think it's the second time in this calendar year that we've had the same sort of frustrations, but we don't control that. We've just got to forge ahead with who we had left once once those guys had been knocked around. That's all we can do."

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