Ireland coach Joe Schmidt says it does ‘hurt’ to have suffered a whopping 57-15 loss to England in a World Cup warm-up game on Saturday.
Ireland conceded eight tries on their way to their heaviest ever loss to England as Eddie Jones’ side ran rampant in the World Cup warm-up match.
It was Ireland’s second loss this year to England after they were beaten 32-20 in the Six Nations in February. With less than a month to go until the World Cup, Ireland have plenty to fix in a short space of time.
Speaking after the match, Schmidt lamented his side’s poor defence but said he expected them to be slightly jaded after a heavy workload during their preparations during the World Cup.
‘There are some elements of the process that we know really weren’t good enough,’ Schmidt said. ‘To miss 34 tackles, to be sluggish in getting ourselves organised as we were. I knew we’d be heavy-legged and I knew we wouldn’t be perfect today because we had had a big workload.
‘We didn’t get our set-piece going, didn’t really scavenge as well as we would have liked. We fell off 34 tackles, 21 in the first half. We were underdone, a bit heavy-legged. It doesn’t have to be too much of a margin between two teams for one to be a bit sluggish and the other to be on the top of their game. I know we can get better than that, I know we have to.’
Ireland are in Pool A with World Cup hosts Japan as well as Scotland, Russia and Samoa. While they would be expected to top the pool, one of either the All Blacks or Springboks would be waiting in the quarter-finals.
Schmidt added that he did not think Saturday’s defeat would affect their confidence going into the World Cup.
‘I don’t think so,’ Schmidt said. ‘But inevitably it hurts right now. That’s a big score to offer up. The players will take responsibility to do everything they can to turn it around next week and build from that. Because what really matters is in four weeks’ time, for the World Cup opener against Scotland.
‘You do get some disproportionate scores in World Cup warm-up matches. But we still have to accept we weren’t nearly good enough today and we’ve got to be a lot better the next time out.’
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