'You Would Be Hugely Worried If You Are Joe Schmidt'

'You Would Be Hugely Worried If You Are Joe Schmidt'

Ireland suffered a humiliating and record-breaking defeat to England at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon. Joe Schmidt's lost 57-15 in their second warm-up game ahead of next month's World Cup.

Ireland's set pieces - in particular the lineout - were a major problem. They lost six of their own lineout throws.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, England World Cup-winning head coach Clive Woodward called Ireland's lineout a "shambles".

"Scrum, lineout, unless you get that right at this level against a side like England, you can't win," said Woodward.

A top international team has to be winning 85 per cent of their own lineouts. If you do that, you have a chance.

Ireland's will be down to 30/40 per cent. It was a shambles at the end.

It's not like you've got a rookie team. You've got [Rory] Best and you've got some serious players in there. It's not like it's a new team. You've got a very experienced coaching team.

You would be hugely worried if you are Joe Schmidt. They'll go into the World Cup with huge question marks over winning their set piece which is not a good place to be.

You don't rip it up and start again but you've got to go back and say, 'We can do all this training, all this fitness stuff but unless we win our lineouts and scrums, we can't win'.

They need some serious time on absolute basics in terms of how they're playing, how they're coaching and most importantly how you are selecting your team.

There were lots of chats before about the second row in this Irish team, what I'm saying is that you win games and lose games more on your selection [than other factors]. Get your selection right - especially your scrums and lineouts and go from there.

Woodward added that the England team which started Saturday's game is the one he would select for a World Cup quarter-final in two months time.


"That was really tough viewing," added former Ireland international backrow Stephen Ferris.

"You mentioned the ambush in February, there was no ambush here today. Ireland had their noses in front in this game, they had a bit of momentum and then everything started to fall apart.

"The lineout, it was embarrassing at times. Guys didn't stand up to the plate. They seemed to lack leadership. Everytime there was a try scored, behind the posts they were all just looking around, looking for someone to take ownership.

"Ireland are running out of time. They need to put in two good performances against Wales. Today has taken the wind out of every Irish fan."

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PJ Browne
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