Sport Six Nations

Saturday 18 November 2017

'Our work-rate was very poor' - Keith Wood questions Ireland's attitude in defence

The Ireland team look on after conceding a late penalty during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The Ireland team look on after conceding a late penalty during the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Scotland and Ireland at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland legend Keith Wood has claimed that Ireland's attitude in the 27-22 defeat to Scotland was off and blamed the player's work ethic for our defensive woes.

Joe Schmidt's men conceded three first half tries in the defeat at Murrayfield and although they forced their way back in front, two late penalties from Greig Laidlaw ended Ireland's Grand Slam chances.

Speaking tonight on Off The Ball on Newstalk, Keith Wood questioned the aggression levels and called for Donnacha Ryan to be reinstated into team for this weekend's clash with Italy in Rome.

"Whether it's attitude.... It's a frustrating conversation to be honest, the idea that we wouldn't be up for a game but we seemed to be quite flat. It looked flat," he said.

"The only team bringing anything to the party were Scotland."

Wood explained where he felt Ireland's defensive effort in teh first half was falling short. Positioning and work-rate.

"There is two parts, yes the spacing was wrong and players were not readjusting to get into the right position," he added

"What you are hoping for in the ideal world is to have a front rwo forward on the pillar, which is closest to the ruck, followed by a second row or back row and backs then afterwards.

"For Some of Scotland's tries there was a hit up the middle and then you had a total disjoint.

"You had Garry Ringrose standing one out from pillar and you don't want a fast guy in that position. You want him on the outside when the spacing is more vulnerable.

"I would say the work-rate to get to the other side for an awful lot of the game was very poor. We didn't mark up well on the blind side.

"We often had four or five guys opposite one or two guys which means it doesn't matter what you do with spacing, the amount of work that the guys when they are outnumbered have to do is hard.

"When you have the wrong guys in the wrong place and the spacing isn't right and you don't have the work ethic to get from the blindside to the openside then you're going to suffer and suffer is what we did."

Speaking earlier this week, Robbie Henshaw claimed the absence of experienced players like Johnny Sexton and Jared Payne meant that there was a communication deficit in defence.

"The attitude was off. The level of aggression and dog was not there and that translate and communicates far more than one person talking."

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