Tuesday 24 April 2018

'We had a scrum-half on the wing for 40 minutes': Joe Schmidt's post-match comments perfectly sum up Ireland's guts

David Smith

Joe Schmidt says he "couldn't have asked for much more" from his players after their stunning 27-24 victory over Australia.

A raft of injuries meant that Ireland were without Johnny Sexton, Sean O'Brien and Robbie Henshaw from the off, while Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble and Rob Kearney had to leave the field during the bruising encounter.

As a result, scrum-half Kieran Marmion had to play 40 minutes on the wing, something that Schmidt paid tribute to after the game.

"To be honest, I couldn't have asked for much more than what the players delivered out there today," he told RTE Sport.

"We had a scrum half on the wing for 40 minutes.

"We had some young guys making their debuts, against some very very big strong players, and athletic players, and they hung on. We got a bit of luck at times".

Schmidt also revealed he "thought it was going to be really tough" when Australia took the lead in the second half, but reserved special praise for the performances of his young players, saying they did "a fantastic job" defensively.

"There were all sorts of highlights for a whole lot of young players," he said.

The New Zealand native was also reluctant to get carried away, despite Ireland's historic win.

"There's things we know we've to get better at."

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