Thursday 18 December 2014

Joe Schmidt: I had palpitations and a bad sense of déjà vu

Published 16/03/2014 | 11:45

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted to having a sinking feeling before the end of the whistle.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted to having a sinking feeling before the end of the whistle.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt admitted that he had a bad sense of déjà vu yesterday evening in Paris before France’s late try was disallowed for a forward pass.

In November Ireland were denied a first ever victory over the All Blacks when Ryan Crotty stole over the line at the death to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and Schmidt feared the same thing was about to happen when Damien Chouly touched down with just a minute left on the clock.

Thankfully from an Irish perspective TMO Gareth Simmonds rightfully called Pascal Pape’s pass as forward and Ireland held on to claim a famous victory, but it was nerve jangling for the coach.

“It was very, very tense,” he admitted this morning.

“I had palpitations.”

“After the heartbreak of the All Black defeat, I had a bad sense of déjà vu.”

“Thankfully it didn’t hold up.”

When asked on his emotions after the final, he said it probably differed for the players and management.

“Post-game, it was elation for the team, but for the staff, it was absolute relief.”

Schmidt reiterated that the challenge of replacing the O’Driscoll is going to be a very tall order.

“Drico will leave very big shoes to fill and will probably be replaced with smaller feet.”

Declan Whooley

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