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Monday 24 September 2018

O'Connell: We're too slow for Joe

CAPTAIN Paul O'Connell admits Ireland have been far too slow to adapt to Joe Schmidt's coaching methods.

The 34-year-old lock also believes that new head coach Schmidt's emphasis on technical know-how has been tough to master.

Schmidt's highly-successful Leinster tenure centred around supreme accuracy, while Munster typically build their game on passion and fire.

O'Connell knows Ireland have yet to strike a healthy balance between the two approaches under Schmidt.

He said: "Joe talks about the inches in rugby matches, and I think Australia won a lot of them. They got a few scrum turnovers, and a few at the breakdown too.

"I suppose for a few of us we've a little bit to learn under Joe, there's a lot of technical stuff we need to get right.

"The two tries they scored in the first half, they went width to width and it was disappointing how tight we got there.

"It was something we discussed in the week that we needed to hold width if we were going to take line speed.

"So I think some things are easily rectifiable."

O'Connell believes Australia are far more developed under new head coach Ewen McKenzie than Ireland are under Schmidt – but he will not accept that as an excuse for a lack of precision.

He continued: "The accuracy we talked about in the week, and since we've come into camp, it wasn't there."

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