Monday 19 August 2019

'Schmidt's game plan is borrowed from the Mickey Harte coaching template' - Pat Spillane not a fan of 'safety-first' Ireland

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland are getting a lot of plaudits after completing a November series clean sweep last night but Pat Spillane is one observer who hasn't been overly pleased by the team's autumn displays.

Ireland comfortably saw off Argentina 28-19 at the Aviva Stadium yesterdau to add to wins against South Africa and Fiji this month, with Joe Schmidt's side now heading into the Six Nations brimming with confidence.

Ireland are second favourites to land the 2018 championship behind England, but GAA pundit Spillane says the side have a 'safety-first' game plan that will come unstuck at the 2019 World Cup.

Writing in his Sunday World column today, Spillane touched on the November series before tackling Ireland's International Rules defeat - and he had some choice words for Schmidt and his team's style of play.

"Rugby gets extensive TV coverage for what are essentially friendly games against tired teams from the southern hemisphere," Spillane wrote.

"Granted, Ireland keep winning, but every time I look at Joe Schmidt's team I can't help but think his game plan is borrowed from the Mickey Harte coaching template.

"Ireland play a safety-first, percentage game. Though it makes them very competitive, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of them winning a World Cup playing that brand of rugby."

Read Pat Spillane's full column in today's Sunday World.

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