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Kiss eyes less penalties

After Declan Kidney's explosive outburst in Maynooth last weekend, there may be decent money to be had on a penalty count spread of between three and six in Cardiff tomorrow.

The discipline problems still linger, despite Kidney's attempts to draw a line in the sand on the issue by upbraiding his recidivist players, with Welsh coach Warren Gatland asserting his right to bend referee Jonathan Kaplan's ear on the topic before kick-off.

"It is something we will talk to the referee about," said Gatland when pressed on the issue of Ireland's penalty concession rate (34), although ironically it lags behind Wales (36).

"I know Andy Robinson made a big deal about it after their game," Gatland said. "It is something we'll talk to the referee about at the breakdown.

"With someone like Jonathan Kaplan, he is a world-class referee, so we just hope he allows us the opportunity to get quick ball. We need to be accurate at the breakdown ourselves in attack, but if we do get our chance to get quick ball, it gives us a chance to play some attacking rugby.

"That will be a key focus for us and ... hopefully getting his (Kaplan's) co-operation in that area."

For his part, Irish coach Les Kiss --backs coach Alan Gaffney has not appeared before the media this week after his controversial comments a fortnight ago -- believes his players are more appreciative of the tortuous tackle interpretations than critics suggest.

"They are critical of themselves, they have a variety of ways they can actually put pressure on the tackle and the breakdown," said Kiss.

"They trust themselves and each other. I have complete trust in how they're going about the job.

"Obviously, we would like to knock a penalty off here and there."

Kiss appreciates that the Welsh eagerness for quick ball is reflected in their team selection.

"It's an interesting selection. They've stuck with Jones, Roberts and Hook. I figured they might put Jonathan Davies back in, he's a good player. The guys have a lot of respect for him, they've put a leap of faith in Hook to take control of that 10 channel," said Kiss.