Sunday 25 February 2018

Joe Schmidt: 'We arrived at the stadium late and we were late for everything in the first half'

Ireland players, including Robbie Henshaw, centre, following their side's defeat
Ireland players, including Robbie Henshaw, centre, following their side's defeat
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Joe Schmidt could not hide his bitter disappointment following Ireland's poor start to the Six Nations.

A lacklustre Ireland went down 27-22 to Scotland at Murrayfield to end any hopes of a Triple Crown or Grand Slam at the very first hurdle.

Ireland were well out of sorts in the first half, uncharacteristically conceding three tries as the Scots cut Schmidt's men wide open.

After the game, Schmidt admitted the team's preparations were slightly hindered when the team bus was delayed en route to the stadium.

"We arrived at the stadium about 10 or 15 minutes late and we were late for most things in the first half," Schmidt told RTE.

"We were really well off our game and the Scottish attack really took advantage of that and they have some pretty sharp players, especially when they gave it some width.

"I thought we clawed our way back in the second half, I thought we shut down some of that attack, they didn't score in the second half. As much as we clawed our way back, it was incredibly disappointing to let it slip at the end.

"We let slip chances. Rob just put a foot in touch, Jamie almost got to the line. It's incredibly disappointing."

Schmidt did take one positive as his men took a bonus point home with them,

"We were very, very passive, we were very slow to get ourselves set. It was incredibly disappointing because it is something we worked very hard on. It will be a tough reflection on Monday. We are not out of it yet, we did get a point out of the game with the bonus point system, at least we got that.

"We missed our timing. We haven't played for a long time and there was a few changes since the last time we played. You are always trying to bed things in as best you can in training but until you actually get into the playing arena, with that pressure that comes with it, it does make it very difficult.

"We will have a look on Monday. The priority is to get recovered because we can't change the result. What we can do is try to work towards a much better performance the next time."

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