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Thursday 26 April 2018

Madigan: It will take time to click

Ian Madigan, Ireland, is tackled by Will Genia, Australia
Ian Madigan, Ireland, is tackled by Will Genia, Australia

IRELAND out-half Ian Madigan knows it will be "a tight call" to see whether coach Joe Schmidt goes for Paddy Jackson or the Leinster man to play against New Zealand next Sunday.

The distraught face of Jonathan Sexton from his hamstring tear told a story. He knows his body well enough to realise he won't get a crack at New Zealand.

It will come down to Madigan or Jackson, the odds stacked in favour of a return for the Ulsterman, although Madigan did what he could to spark a reversal of fortune in trying circumstances on Saturday.

"If the opportunity presents itself I'd be delighted to grasp it with both hands," enthused Madigan.

"As a professional sportsperson you want to play in the top level games. That is certainly one that you want to be playing in.

"There's an eight-day turnaround now so it's back to the drawing board get the information in and try and bounce back."

"We prepped a game plan during the week with Joe.

"He had made it very clear from the beginning of the week what to expect from the Australians, both in attack and defence.

"Unfortunately, we didn't produce what we had practiced in training during the week, so leading into the New Zealand game whatever 15 is picked will certainly be going out to win the game and Joe will have formulated a game plan to beat them.

"We're not going to go out there just to contain them. This is a setback. But, with a new coach coming in, it's going to take time for things to click."

Neither Madigan or Sexton were able to launch attacks from many set-piece situations as the scrum came under pressure and the lineout was not where it has to be.

"It's small margins. If you're setting up a play and the first person on the ball gets a good carry you get good go-forward ball and that opens up the options to you to run it or pass the ball wide off it.

"If they shut us down early, like they did, it reduces your options greatly and you go into a default mode, go back to what the Irish team has done for years which is box kicking and that didn't work for us."

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