IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt was refusing to get too downhearted following Ireland’s heartbreaking Six Nations loss against England at Twickenham today.
Speaking to RTE, when asked what went wrong, Schmidt responded: “I could probably pinpoint a number of things that went right.
“Off the set pieces was very good, but where we probably weren’t good enough was cleaning out their fringes at ruck time. It made it very difficult to play a constructive game. Their line speed was really effective and we didn’t play as we needed to through that line speed.”
And the New Zealand-born coach singled out one England player for particular praise.
“There was some unbelievable fielding from Mike Brown. There was a goalkeeper save at one stage, another one bounced up that he got really well as a last defender. What went wrong is one linebreak that Brown made.”
Schmidt says the team are determined to remain positive despite this setback, adding:
“We’ll take a couple of positives from this, because we’re very disappointed. There was a maul where we were going towards the line and they took it to ground and we didn’t get any result from that — and that could have been the difference.
“You’re just trying to construct an opportunity at the end of the game and we constructed a couple not too badly, we just couldn’t finish them off.”
He also praised their opponents and insisted they would remain optimistic in their bid for Six Nations glory.
“England did well, they stayed in the fight, they got back to their feet and got in the defensive line very well.
“A lot of people were saying we wouldn’t get a result here and you can’t get much closer than a one-score loss.
“[The Six Nations title] is the piece of silverware you want to get your hands on. Our points differential still puts us in a strong position, so we’ve got to make sure we go forward to Italy, as opposed to looking back to this game, and we’ve got to take some positives from it.”