Monday 23 October 2017

Joe's focus on discipline pays off

Ireland's discipline was crucial over the course of November and they finished by conceding only three penalties for the game against Australia.

It is something that Joe Schmidt always focuses on and it's a no-brainer really.

You can give teams easy 'ins' into the game if you concede penalties - you allow them to build momentum against you, and then different things like yellow cards can change the flow of a game. It's a huge part of why Ireland have been consistently good.

It's something that is ingrained in me from training and playing under Joe and a really strong part of this Irish team.

It was a very difficult build-up for Ireland: Sean O'Brien picked up an injury on the eve of the game having trained with the team all week. Then they lost three backs by half-time. They coped superbly, given how many guys were playing out of position.

The stand-out was Kieran Marmion, a scrum-half on the wing. He had some great interventions for a player with no experience of the position, the highlight being the pressure he put on No 8 David Pocock to prevent a try after a lovely bit of Australian play.

Irish Independent

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