Kiss has faith in Ireland attack
Published 24/06/2010 | 10:01
Ireland have a final chance to record a tour win when they take on Australia at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night and Ireland defence coach Les Kiss is drawing confidence from the 66-28 loss his side suffered to New Zealand last time out.
While New Zealand side recorded their highest ever points total against Ireland, an optimistic Kiss saw plenty of positives in the attacking potency shown by his side, who were a man short from early in the match.
"We're happy with how our attack's developing, if you look at the All Blacks game we had 14 men who put four tries on," said Kiss.
"People can say they relaxed, but that's the first time they've conceded four tries in a long time.
"I think it'd been 400 minutes since a team had even scored against them, and we did it with 14.
"We were happy with some of the development in the attacking game that we've been trying to put together."
While Ireland have been able to score points - 28 is their second-highest total against New Zealand - it will be their defensive display which must be spot on when they take on the free-running Australians.
Since Kiss came aboard mid-way through 2008, the Irish have shown considerable improvement, but their Australian-born defence coach concedes his side will have to continue to get better, especially as they come to terms with new rule interpretations favouring the attacking side.
"Your initial tackles have to be good, you have to have your head around those sort of things and be better at your one-on-ones," he said.
"Assessing how much you commit to that ruck is a big part of it now.
"I'd hate to see the contest go out of the game, but you have to measure it properly, know when to commit extra numbers, know when not to."
For the Irish, restricting the Wallabies on Saturday night will be largely dependent on their ability to get on top of the Australian Super 14 player of the year, Quade Cooper.
Cooper has been unstoppable in 2010, showing new-found maturity at fly-half, but Kiss backed his players to draw on past experience to keep him quiet.
"The guys aren't too far removed from playing against Quade in November," he said
"There are two games now that they've had a good look at him.
"They handled him pretty well in the first game, they know what to expect.
"It's about controlling the type of ball that they can play from, so if we can control that part of it then we've diluted some of his affect."
Playing their final match of the tour, and last international fixture until November, the Wallabies might be hoping Ireland clock off early, but Kiss insisted the attitude of the players was "faultless" and was relishing the opportunity to play in front of an expected 45,000 crowd at Suncorp Stadium.
He added: "(Suncorp is) what I'd call a place where you just want to get out and play, and our guys love that type of atmosphere as well and the type of vibe that comes with it.
"The Queensland crowd's a unique type of crowd, so it's going to be fantastic.
"Probably the true measure is the morale and spirit of the guys and I can't fault them.
"They're still energised, they still have an appetite, so if that's staying where it needs to, that's the launching pad to get back on track."