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Ireland full of confidence - Schmidt

08th February 2014 19:49

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Joe Schmidt Ireland boss 2014

Delighted: Joe Schmidt

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt believes his side's win over Wales in Dublin will boost their confidence during the rest of the tournament.

Schmidt's charges delivered a masterful allround display and got the better of the defending champions in the forward exchanges, especially at the breakdown where Peter O'Mahony outplayed Sam Warburton.

Ireland are now unbeaten from two matches and although Schmidt feels his side cannot target winning the title outright just yet, he admits they will be brimming with confidence when they face England at Twickenham on February 22.

"I'm not going to think too far ahead," said Schmidt.

"But it's certainly a gathering of confidence for us. The big, powerful team Wales brought today were always going to be tough opponents.

"They never quite got into the game really, they were perhaps not entirely match-fit some of them so in that respect I would suggest we were fortunate in some areas, and definitely benefited from that.

"We'll get together again after a couple of days, review what we've done, take stock and work out how we can keep getting better. Then we'll plot some sort of course forward going to Twickenham.

"That's a massive game for us now; I think they were very unlucky against France and are an extremely powerful side."

Wales coach Warren Gatland admitted their loss in Dublin was one of his worst during his coaching tenure.

"It's tough for us but I think it's one step at a time: and the first step is to improve on what we've done here," said Gatland.

"We won't be thinking in terms of retaining the Six Nations, we'll be thinking about improving for our next game against France."

Gatland admitted Ireland's direct approach caught his side by surprise and he criticised his troops for conceding 17 penalties.

"Possibly there was surprise, I think it was effective," said Gatland of Ireland's brutal game-plan.

"I can't remember any occasion when they moved the ball through the back-line to go at us.

"They dominated us up front and caused us a lot of problems. It's just going back and having a look at those penalties we've given away, where we can improve.

"We have a target of 10 or less, so to give 17 away from our point of view was simply unacceptable."

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PosTeamPPts
1Ireland58
2England58
3Wales56
4France56
5Scotland52
6Italy50