Schmidt: Ireland’s energy was back but best is still to come

Ireland were back to something approaching their best on Saturday according to head coach Joe Schmidt.

Ireland were back to something approaching their best on Saturday according to head coach Joe Schmidt.

But they will need to be even better in the final three rounds if they are to have any chance of defending their Championship.

Ireland were knocked off their perch in the opening round of this year’s Guinness Six Nations as England came to Dublin and dominated them in a bonus-point victory.

But the men in green overcame a number of injuries – both before and during the game – to see off Scotland at BT Murrayfield.

“It’s not something you want to be able to say. But there was definitely a rise in temperature, there was definitely an increase in energy (from last weekend),” admitted Schmidt.

“It is hard to put your finger on why we just lacked a bit of energy last week.

“But you have got to have a lot of energy when you make as many tackles as we did in the first half against Scotland.

“We have to make sure we kick on from here.

“We are relying on other people from here (to win the Championship), but we don’t have to rely on anyone else for how we play in our next game and the weeks after that.”

Ireland’s injuries are unfortunately all occurring in the same positions this Championship.


Centres Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose were both missing while Devin Toner, Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson in the second row are also absent.

And when Jonathan Sexton went off in the first half, Ireland had to dig deep but the likes of Quinn Roux, Chris Farrell and Joey Carbery have stood tall and impressed Schmidt.

“There are a lot of guys on their way back, and a lot of guys changing and coming in,” added the head coach.

“I thought Chris (Farrell) did really well, and I know a few things went awry around Chris but I felt he did incredibly well. He had to step in at really short notice and did a sterling job.

“That gives us huge confidence and the players around him.

“Quinn Roux stepped in, called the lineout with 100 percent accuracy, Ultan Dillane got a super steal as well.

“We are missing Dev, Hendy, Tadhg but other guys are stepping up and that is the confidence we have to have in the squad.

“That is the reality, that is what can happen. Murphy’s law, if you get an injury in one position your next will be in the same position and very quickly you have to get other guys involved.

“Quinn was unlucky not to get in the squad initially and then he is out there calling the lineout, it is a big transformation.”