April 15, 2021, 7:18

Joe Schmidt admits he was ‘really worried’ ahead of the Springboks Test

Joe Schmidt admits he was ‘really worried’ ahead of the Springboks Test

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt insists he had fretted before yesterday’s Test that his would face the same level of Springboks performance that forced a 25-24 defeat to New Zealand last month.

Ireland emerged from their 38-3 record win over the Springboks with just one injury issue, a torn ear for Peter O’Mahony.

Andrew Conway, Rhys Ruddock, Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale all crossed as Ireland racked up their biggest win over sorry South Africa.

“I was really worried before the game, just because of that last game South Africa had played, and the quality of their players and coaches,” said Schmidt.

“It is incredibly satisfying to go out, watch the players bring the energy and accuracy, most of the time, that they did.

“I grew up watching South Africa teams pretty dominant when they were at their peak.

“I don’t actually think this Springbok team is very far away from that. It’s satisfying, it’s a relief.”

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, right, with South Africa assistant coach Johan van Graan before yesterday’s match between Ireland and South Africa. Pic: Sportsfile

Allister Coetzee has admitted to mounting pressure for his future as South Africa head coach after the loss.

Coetzee insisted he is ready to axe players after his team leaked four tries in a shoddy performance at the Aviva Stadium.

Rassie Erasmus has traded Munster for the Springboks’ rugby director role, and Coetzee’s days as head coach appear numbered.

Asked if he felt his job is under threat, Coetzee replied: “You’re always under pressure at Test level.

“Our inconsistency for me is something I’d like to see improve in a big way.

“The Jekyll and Hyde element, at times we play well.

“I cannot see anything like this changing in a short space of time.

“It’s difficult to explain (the defeat); there are no positives from our side to be honest.

“It’s a disappointing defeat, as a group we take full responsibility, we let ourselves down and our support back home.

“We just have to fight our way back from this one.

“I have to give credit to Ireland, they played tactically very, very well.

“We lacked patience in our kicking game, and they showed us that you have to have patience, build from penalty.

“We got off to a terrible start. The big things for me were the scrum, set-piece, and breakdown, and our discipline too. That all let us down.

“You fall behind (and) you want to play a bit, instead of having patience.

“We didn’t get any reward, but that’s a big lesson. Ireland were very clinical.

“Funnily enough we had a great week’s preparation, but that didn’t translate onto the field today.

“The players are working hard, the coaches are giving their all. No positives, we’ve got to go back and work smartly.

“Actually one has to go and have a look again, and see whether there would be value-added to the team to making changes to the team and squad.

“But I have to have a look and see, at those players who can add value to the team.”

Source: breakingnews.ie

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