Saturday 18 November 2017

Joe Schmidt to ring changes for next week's Romania clash

Rugby World Cup 2015: Paul O'Connell not happy with how Ireland started

19 September 2015; Former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll in conversation with Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the game. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Canada. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
19 September 2015; Former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll in conversation with Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the game. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Canada. Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Barry Lennon

Joe Schmidt intends to make changes to the Ireland team to face Romania in his side's next World Cup clash, despite today's comprehensive win over Canada.

Schmidt, speaking after his side's 50-7 victory, will prepare for an even more physical encounter on Sunday next. 

The Ireland manager acknowledged that Canada put his side under pressure and that Romania will not lie down easily, forcing him to consider fielding fresh legs.

"We look forward to Romania and we hope to get four or five points now," he said.

"I think we'll make a few changes. The guys are a bit tired. The ball was in play for long periods of this game so I don't think guys will have to put too much work in.

"I think the Romanians will be a very physical side so we're going to have to be fresh and ready for them. I think new blood will allow us to do that."  

There will be plenty for the Ireland side to build-on despite seven different players scoring tries today.

Captain Paul O'Connell said that Ireland did not start their opening World Cup game the "way they would have wanted to". 

Ireland's first score against Canada came from a Jonathan Sexton penalty 13 minutes after kick-off.

"I don't think we started like we would've wanted to. Canada played some great rugby in the early part of the game. Once we settled down I thought we handled the ball well and played some good rugby," O'Connell said.

"We want to cut down on errors and not turn over the ball. We did that in those [warm-up] games. I know we did it again at the start of the game today."

O'Connell, who was sin-binned for playing the ball in an offside position, placed importance on discipline.

"I think discipline is important too. You don't want a give teams the access into the game by giving away penalties like that. We did that a bit towards half-time and that's disappointing.

"But we got into a rhythm as well and once we got over that shaky start we played some good rugby."

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