Here we are five days since Ireland were unceremoniously booted out of the World Cup. Are we any wiser why Ireland underperformed so titanically on the biggest stage? While Joe Schmidt's 'one-dimensional' tactics have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the loss to the All-Blacks, we're still at a loss as to why so many key players failed to bring their 'A game' to Japan.
The Ireland rugby team landed in Dublin airport last night. Joe Schmidt stopped for selfies and talked to reporters after grabbing his suitcases. While speaking to RTE, he tried to offer an explanation as to what went wrong over the past two months. Schmidt said he'd like to do some things over again and pondered if Ireland's baggage around the World Cup proved to be a psychological burden.
"I’d just say it’s not for lack of effort. We certainly wanted to play with a fair bit of width.
"Maybe we built [the World Cup] into a self-consuming monster.a
"We didn’t play as well as we could. I have to take responsibility for that. If I had my time over I might do it a little bit differently.
Schmidt also defended his tactics in the tournament.
"If you have a look back at that first half [against New Zealand] we go through some phases in the lead up to them kind of knocking the ball down and getting a five-metre lineout.
"We’ve created a really good overlap and I think we’ve done it using the ball really effectively.
"We created plenty of chances. Even in the Six Nations we scored more tries than the winner.
Schmidt also said he'd been 'blown away' by some of the job offers he's received. However Schmidt said he won't be considering any job opportunities until next summer.
"I’ve been blown away by some of the approaches and incredibly humbled by them. I made a commitment that I’m going to absolutely stick to, through to at least June or July of next year."
Schmidt lost two World Cup quarterfinals by an aggregate score of 89-34 during his time as Ireland manager. He said he received a lot of communication from ex-players thanking him for his contribution to Irish rugby since the defeat on Saturday.
"Some of the high points are probably some of the messages I’ve received from in the last 48 hours just from ex-players, or people who’ve said there was a real impact during the 6 ½ years," said Schmidt.