Thursday 18 January 2018

Ireland want to right wrongs

Schmidt's unlikely to pursue 'death by a thousand carries'

Ireland’s Conor Murray surfing in Jeffreys Bay during the team’s down day ahead of their third test against the Springboks. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland’s Conor Murray surfing in Jeffreys Bay during the team’s down day ahead of their third test against the Springboks. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leinster's Kiwi lock Hayden Triggs has spoken about the difficult-to-understand emphasis in the northern hemisphere on the collision, not the contact.

The subtle difference between the two is anything but that on the field of play.

South Africa are the only one of 'The Big Three' down south who may shelve their proposal to pursue a wide game-plan in favour of retaining their traditional status as 'Kings of the Collision'.

Where New Zealand and Australia seek out space, the Springboks look for body-on-body because they trade on superior physicality.

They always have.

When the wide game didn't work in the first test in Newlands and wasn't working for an hour of the second in Bloemfontein, they simply reverted to what comes most natural to them.

"In the second half, we were just taking a lot of heat and a lot of punishment," said Andrew Trimble.

"Physically, we were, by a long way, second best during that second half.

"We didn't win any collisions and a few boys are still feeling a few of those. We're licking our wounds a little bit

"But, we're looking forward to getting back out there and putting a few of those wrongs right."


The Ireland wing placed a heavy accent on winning the muscle match after the pre-tour proposition of taking on South Africa where they are strongest was portrayed as a death by a thousand carries.

"Really, we've got to start winning the collisions," said the Ulsterman.

"We've got to start getting our spacing right and getting into position earlier so we can get more organised.

"We were taught a lesson in the last 20 minutes and it's important that we take that on board and, hopefully, learn a few things for the weekend."

Ireland have to move the ball and the point of contact to keep the Springboks on their feet for longer.

They cannot afford any long, loose kicks to Willie le Roux and company.

Before South Africa started rolling in the second test, Ireland had stopped playing.

They had retreated into their shells and chose to defend their lead rather than keep doing what had got them into position in the first place.

They mentally opted to hold onto the lead rather than hold onto the ball.

Once they became reactive rather than pro-active, it invited a turning of the tide.

And they were washed away.

The importance of impact off the bench has been duly noted for the last quarter.

The perception of Ultan Dillane as an explosive athlete may just harm his claims to start again.

"We'd be here all day if we talked through everything we should have learned or we could learn from the last 20 minutes of the game," said Trimble.

"It's important that we get an impact from the bench as well," he said.

"It's important to put pressure on ourselves to get to that level of performance that we were at for 55/60 minutes last week."

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