Sport

Irish are a car in need of fine-tuning, says Schmidt

Irish are a car in need of fine-tuning, says Schmidt”

"He carried down the left wing a couple of times, he carried through the middle a few times, defensively he was strong and got some good pressure on the ball and that's what you want from a seven". "We could have tried to see how he went on the pitch but it was right towards the end of warm-up and we just felt that it would be a two-fold risk: one, would he do more damage?"

Schmidt, who prior to taking the Ireland job guided Irish province Leinster to successive European Cups, said the players needed to blast out of the blocks next Saturday.

Sexton said the players were determined to create another piece of history for themselves as they look to topple the number one side in the world.

"I thought he had a pretty good start to the game".

"You can't say it's just another game", he told reporters on Monday.

The circumstances were far from ideal but Dan Leavy's contribution to Ireland's 28-17 win over Argentina was all the more impressive given his preparation for the game.

In fact, the Ireland out-half has played them 11 times in his career, eight for Ireland and three for the British and Irish Lions.

"Sean O'Brien has broken his right arm, so he obviously won't be available for the rest of the series", said Ireland boss Schmidt.

"I think we won in 2013 after the bell and then in Chicago, they won, and we had to work really hard the next time".

"As physical as it was against Argentina, playing against New Zealand has been a step up".

Schmidt noted how narrow the recent points differential has been against his native country, with a 21-9 loss last time out and an agonising last-gasp 24-22 defeat in 2013 bookending the famous 40-29 victory in Chicago.

"He may be (out) for a week, maybe two".

Former school teacher Schmidt, who has proved masterful in rebuilding the side since the 2015 World Cup uncovering young talent such as James Ryan and Garry Ringrose, is due to announce his decision by the end of this month as to whether he leaves after his current contract ends at the 2019 World Cup.

Williams has had wrist, knee and shoulder problems, and played just five Tests this year, lasting the full 80 minutes in just one of them.

"It's the top-ranked team versus the second-ranked team so I'd love to play", he added.

CONOR Murray will decide on whether he is fit to face the All-Blacks in next Saturday's glamour autumn worldwide with New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium, 7pm.



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