Rugby

Stephen Ferris Believes Joe Schmidt Is Responsible For Ireland's Lack Of Dynamism

Stephen Ferris Believes Joe Schmidt Is Responsible For Ireland's Lack Of Dynamism

Ireland may have got a win over Russia, but their performance did little to restore the public confidence that had been lost after the defeat to Japan. It was a laboured performance, similar to the one against the Japanese, only against an opposition with far less quality.

Ireland may still be on course for a quarter final, with a win against Samoa all but guaranteeing that Ireland progress from their pool. What happens beyond that stage is anybody's guess.

It would seem that a major upturn in performance levels will be required to even give themselves a chance of overcoming South Africa or New Zealand. In many ways, it seems things have just gone a bit stale.

On The Buildup podcast this week, this was the topic of conversation. Former Ireland international Stephen Ferris admitted that Ireland lacked any sort of dynamism on the pitch, something that ultimately must fall at the feet of Joe Schmidt and his coaching staff.

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I think I said on RTÉ at the weekend, I was sent a tweet and it said that all of the analysis Ireland do during the week and game plan they have for the game, if that doesn't work they have no plan B.

They can't adapt, there's nothing else to come with them. Against Scotland they get off to a great start, the game plan was working, they stuck to it and that was happy days.

But if that doesn't work, then it's 'oh dear, what are we going to do'. I think that's what everybody's bugbear is at the minute, that when Ireland get into a sticky patch in games they can't adapt to it.

To be honest, that's not just the players' fault. That has to be the coaching staff, whether that's attack or defence guys. Ireland's defence hasn't changed since the 2015 World Cup. They're still very vulnerable on the outside channels.

Nobody has talked about that. There might be a lot of talking about it after a quarter final if they're going to play New Zealand because they will definitely exploit you.

I think responsibility has to be taken onboard by Joe. With his post-match interviews, his demeanour, and the way he came across after the Japan defeat would kind of suggest he is feeling it and maybe he did get a few things wrong.

He's a bloody good coach, so maybe he'll learn a few lessons out of it also.

Food for thought.

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Gary Connaughton

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