Sunday 22 September 2019

Joe Schmidt hails Jacob Stockdale but highlights areas Ulster man needs to improve

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores his side's first try
Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores his side's first try
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Joe Schmidt hailed Jacob Stockdale's two-try performance but was quick to dampen expectations surrounding the electric 21-year old.

The Ulster winger's double saw him take his try tally to four in the four caps that he has won as Ireland rounded off their November series with a "mixed-bag" win over Argentina.

Stockdale was outstanding yet again and was named man of the match as he moved to ensure that he will start in the Six Nations opener in Paris.

While Schmidt was suitably impressed he did warn that Stockdale is not yet the finished article.

"He's a kid who's learning fast, and willing to learn," Schmidt said.

"He's got some great athleticism, very big power and he's a young lad.

"He finished that second try really impressively, because it wasn't just the flat line, it was the fact he could arc around someone as impressive as Tuculet.

Read more here:

"So there were some impressive aspects but at the same time he was a little bit hesitant defensively at times, and trying to win the aerial battles were a battle for him.

"He'll get some real confidence from it I hope, but also he'll get motivation to try to improve on what he delivered tonight.

"I'm delighted that he's had the chance in Japan and the way he's building.

"It's a position where he's a natural left-footer, he put in a great left-foot kick early in the second-half to carve up a bit of territory.

"And I think there are many aspects of his game that can help us, so it's a position that we cast the net.

"I thought Darren Sweetnam did really well last week, his run down the touchline where he bashed through a few men.

And his late entry into South Africa where he managed to get to a Joey Carbery cross-field kick that really contributed to the Stockdale try on the other side of the pitch.

"So that's what we want, we want people working for each other, so that others get opportunity.

Schmidt reserved special praise for Chris Farrell with the Kiwi describing the Munster centre as having a "super game."

Farrell was forced off on the hour mark with a leg injury but Schmidt doesn't believe that it is serious.

"Hopefully Chris is alright, he's walking around okay," the Kiwi added.

"I don't know if it's an impact or a twist in the knee. Apart from Chris the rest were bumps, bruises, and a bit of fatigue.

"The ball was in play for quite a long time, neither team were very interested in kicking the ball into touch."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport