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Joe Schmidt Hints At Pre-Match Disruption That Caused Ireland's Poor Start Against Scotland

Joe Schmidt Hints At Pre-Match Disruption That Caused Ireland's Poor Start Against Scotland
By Conall Cahill Updated
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It was an understandably disappointed Joe Schmidt that was interviewed by RTE's Claire McNamara after Ireland lost to Scotland in the opening game of the 2017 Six Nations.

And Schmidt started his interview off on an interesting note, suggesting that a slight disruption in Ireland's pre-match routine may have contributed somewhat to the team's uncharacteristically poor start to the game. This perhaps gives an insight into how strictly precise Schmidt's preparations for a game are. This was the first outing for Ireland under new team manager Paul Dean, who took over from Mick Kearney after Ireland's game with Australia in November.

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Schmidt told McNamara:

It's particularly tough to take. We arrived at the stadium ten or fifteen minutes late and we were late for most things in the first half.

Just really off our game, I think the Scottish attack really took advantage of that. They've got some really sharp players, especially when they gave it some width.

Schmidt admitted that his side had been a lot better in the second half, with Scotland failing to score a try, but said it was "incredibly disappointing to let it slip at the end".

With the bonus point system, at least we've got that. Probably disappointing to get three tries as well, because we're only one away from getting one more - and we did look like getting very close at times.

The New Zealander hinted that the gap between the Autumn Internationals and the Six Nations - with players like Sean O'Brien coming into the side in the interim - could have had an impact on the team's performance.

We haven't played for a long time, and there's a few changes in there as well since last time we played. You're always trying to bed things in as best you can in training, but until you actually get into the match arena with that pressure that comes with it, with that very slow ball we were getting in the first half, it does make things difficult.

SEE ALSO: Ronan O'Gara Leaves No Doubt About What He Thinks Of This Scotland Team

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