Schmidt glad to be tested by Scots

Date published: August 16 2015

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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was happy to see his side tested in several areas during their 28-22 win over Scotland.

The Six Nations champions made 14 changes to the side that defeated Wales a week ago and had to battle to make it two victories in a row.

Schmidt revealed there were no injuries, welcome news after the loss of Tommy O'Donnell last week, and was pleased on a number of levels.

"We have started 29 players and capped two players for the first time so with two wins, that gives confidence to the group," Schmidt told reporters.

"The real positive is that we were tested at a number of levels from the very first lineout. The scrum went really well. We were tested on the scoreboard and we had to show character to come back.

"We were tested in defence and we fell off a number of tackles. But the most important thing is we had a clean bill of health, apart from cramp which is not unusual at this stage of the season.

"We only had a few sessions together with this team. The lads last week had a full week to prepare but were not put under he same amount of pressure as we were today against Scotland.

Schmidt also singled out fly-half Ian Madigan and winger Luke Fitzgerald for their contributions with measured praise, with Fitzgerald's try proving to be the winning score.

"[Madigan] demonstrated he could play the position. His line-kicking is good and so as his place-kicking, although we could have done with his last one," Schmidt added.

"He had a crucial involvement twice in the third try and an absolutely crucial element to play for his schoolmate Luke Fitzgerald to score the fourth try. He had a few issues with tackling and he will have a few ideas of how he can do better.

"As for Luke, a couple of things slipped out of his hands, from one they went up the field and scored. He looked. strong in the air and the ground, some great acceleration and footwork. And he finished that try superbly with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne coming across.

"He made something very difficult to do look very easy."

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