Friday 15 December 2017

Trimble urges Irish to sustain attacking ambition

Hugh Farrelly

ANDREW TRIMBLE believes Ireland need to build on their "proud" performance against the All Blacks and bring the same attacking approach and level of intensity to Sunday's clash with Argentina.

The Ulster winger was in the Lansdowne Road stands when Ireland went down 18-38 to New Zealand on Saturday and was impressed with Ireland's attacking play, which he hopes will be replicated against the Pumas.

"The All Blacks are an unbelievable side," said Trimble. "We put some class rugby together, and I think we really need to be proud of ourselves. We really took it to them. We had a lapse in concentration and, the sort of team the All Blacks are, they'll put you away.

"But we played with a fair bit of ambition and that's the sort of rugby that I want to play, that's when we play our best rugby."

Ireland have lost three of their last four meetings with the Pumas, including the pool game that sent Eddie O'Sullivan's side crashing out of the World Cup in 2007. The Irish victory came in the most recent meeting at Croke Park two years ago, a brutal encounter which Declan Kidney's side had to win to preserve their eighth-place world ranking ahead of the World Cup draw. Trimble was not playing that day and has only faced the Pumas once -- the 22-20 defeat in Santa Fe four months before the last World Cup.

"Traditionally, Argentina is a very physical game but they do have the ability to play with plenty of width," said Trimble. "That's the way we want to play. We want to play with pace and a fair bit of physicality but a good bit of width as well.

"Argentina are fairly competent in that sort of game as well so if we take them on there we won't be taking on a weakness of Argentina. When you play a team like Argentina you have to bring physicality and you have to be direct but, ultimately, we want to play the way that suits us."

Trimble paid tribute to Ulster colleague David Pollock, the flanker who was forced to retire from the game due to injury yesterday, and admitted it has made him think about the attritional nature of the modern game.

"Dave's a great guy, a class rugby player and he's someone that we all look up to, even though he's a young member of the squad. Everybody is devastated for him," said Trimble.

"I think he's going to get back into his medicine. The boys are winding him up, saying he's going to be a nurse. I've just turned 26 and you've got to take everything in your stride after that. If you're still playing at 30 you're doing well nowadays.

"There are a lot of guys who've suffered career-ending injuries, so you enjoy your career while you can."

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