Joe Schmidt happy but looks for Irish improvement

reland's Paul O'Connell supported by Iain Henderson
reland's Paul O'Connell supported by Iain Henderson

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was pleased with the way his men fashioned their first ever win in Argentina but believes they will need to step up for the second and concluding test on Saturday.

Schmidt’s men were well worth their 29-17 win in Resistencia when tries from Chris Henry, Jonathan Sexton and Andrew Trimble saw them home.

Schmidt and his men will analyse the individual performances this week but he was pleased with the effort overall.

“It is very hard to say at first glance,” Schmidt said.

“You are more team orientated in your analysis of a game during the match so to really get that individual flavour of delivery, we’ll have to wait until we’ve had bit of a look at it.

“But there were some guys that did some very good things.”

Ulster flanker Robbie Diack made his debut in the back row and the Connacht pair Kieran Marmion and Rodney Ah You made their international bows off the bench.

Schmidt is now turning his attention to the second test in Tucuman on Saturday evening when the Six Nations champions will bring the curtain down on their season.

“I think both teams have real room for improvement some of their young guys really impressed me,” he said.

“There were a few of them who were very gutsy.

“I felt they made things very difficult for us.

“I think we can look forward to a pretty interesting battle at Tucuman in seven days.

“I thought they really got off the line well and put a lot of pressure on us when we had the ball, and they we found it pretty difficult to contain them when they carried it well.

“It was a Test match.”

Meanwhile, Ireland captain Paul O’Connell has predicted another big battle this weekend when his side bids to back up their first ever victory in Argentina by overcoming the Pumas in the second and concluding test.

The 29-17 win at Estadio Centenario was O’Connell’s first time playing in Argentina and the Munster lock was not surprised Ireland were forced to dig deep to achieve the win.

But he believes the Six Nations champions made it difficult for themselves as they were guilty of some basic errors.

“It was very hard going, we knew it was going to be physical which it was. We didn’t know we were going to be as inaccurate as we were. We put a lot of balls down and missed some tackles,” O’Connell said.

“They had some very big men, some really good footwork and they put us under a lot of pressure and it kind of thrived off our mistakes, we were unlucky not to score a try early in the first-half. And 30 seconds later we were lucky not to concede a try.

“So that’s kind of the way they play and we knew that but I suppose we were intent on trying to stop that and we didn’t do that.

“We have something to work to now,” he added.

thing to review over the next few days and knowing Joe Schmidt it will be a very tough review and hopefully our performance will improve next week.”