Monday 17 December 2018

'Let's hope that furnace develops diamonds' - Schmidt hoping third test cauldron is the making of Irish youngsters

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the victory at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the victory at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Sam Roberts

Joe Schmidt says the 'furnace' of Ireland's series-deciding test with Australia could prove to be a turning point in the development of some of their younger and less-experienced players.

Ireland clinched the three-match series with a thrilling 20-16 victory in the final test in Sydney this morning.

A CJ Stander try and five penalties from the boot of Johnny Sexton were enough to give Ireland victory, and with it their first series win in Australia for nearly 40 years.

A second-half try from Marika Koroibete appeared to swing the momentum in Australia's favour, but a Sexton penalty two minutes from time was enough to give the men in green a famous victory.

Schmidt praised the impact of his bench, and said some of Ireland's less-experienced players will have learned a huge amount from a game of this magnitude.

"The Wallabies came back and they came back in waves," Schmidt told Sky Sports.

"I think it's a credit to guys, young Jordan Larmour on again and having to work really hard, Jordi Murphy coming off the bench, Tadhg Beirne.

"Those guys having to come into what was a real furnace and they came out the other side, and let's hope that furnace develops the diamonds we need."

The Ireland team bus was late to arrive at the stadium ahead of the game, but Schmidt said his side dealt with the disruption well.

"Logistics were great apart from the bus, which we couldn't do much about tonight.

"Took 13 minutes to get here yesterday, took over 30 minutes to get here tonight so we were a little bit behind the eight-ball.

"But we didn't look ruffled, when we started we got straight into the game. It's the first of the three games where we went 3-0 up, it's the first time we scored first, that gives a little bit of confidence.

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