Schmidt challenging Ireland to improve

Date published: March 13 2016

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was delighted to see his side throw off their shackles for a huge win over Italy in Dublin. 

Nine tries allowed Ireland to rack up an enormous 58-15 win to the delight of their supporters at the Aviva Stadium.

Schmidt admitted there had been some soul searching within the group after a draw with Wales and losses to France and England earlier in the Six Nations.

“We finally released the pressure valve, which was important,” said Schmidt.

“I know that people question decisions I might make or the way we might play: but I guarantee I question that more.

“I’m always trying to think about how best we can utilise the resources we have, how we can best exert pressure on the opponents we have.

“And that’s the challenge for coaches, also to keep things fresh, to challenge players. When you’ve got a squad of 34 in camp you’ve got 34 individuals to try make sure they are as collective as they can be. They are all questions you ask yourself.

“I rely a huge amount on the leadership group, the players with experience, to give a bit of feedback, even on other players, how they are adapting and fitting in.

“They might speak to them more often than I do, because I don’t want to intimidate players or annoy them by talking to them all the time.

“It’s always something you’re looking back at, trying to reflect on and raise the bar if you can.”

Ireland round off their campaign against Scotland next weekend.