Wednesday 23 October 2019

Schmidt 'really happy' despite Russia struggle

 

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt reacts after the final whistle. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt reacts after the final whistle. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Joe Schmidt declared himself "really happy" with Ireland's performance in their 35-0 win over Russia, despite the display in Kobe drawing widespread criticism.

The five-try victory keeps Ireland on track for a quarter-final against New Zealand or South Africa, but their below-par performance against the team who came into this tournament as the lowest-ranked team suggests they'll struggle.

The coach will give his players the weekend off after they travel to Fukuoka overnight, before the clash with Samoa tomorrow week.

His main concern is over the health of Jordi Murphy, who suffered a rib injury, but he was upbeat on the health of Johnny Sexton and Rob Kearney, who were taken off, and Joey Carbery, who was withdrawn before kick-off with an ankle issue.

Despite labouring to a win that left former Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll "worried", Schmidt remained positive.

"We made 11 changes today and we got the performance that we needed and people will maybe have expected more of the performance," he said.

"But when you look at the stats I am really happy with the performance and the outcome that we got. Yes, there were a number of errors but we created a number of pressure points that we'd be pretty happy with."

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