Joe Schmidt praises CJ Stander's "fantastic engine"

Ireland head coach reacts to Six Nations victory over Italy

BY Raf Diallo 16:44 Saturday 11 February 2017, 16:44 11 Feb 2017

Ireland's CJ Stander scores their fifth try despite Tommaso Benvenuti and Angelo Esposito of Italy ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Joe Schmidt has praised CJ Stander's "fantastic engine" as Ireland got their first win of the 2017 Six Nations.

A dominant performance saw Ireland enjoy a comfortable afternoon in Rome with a 63-10 victory that also yields a winning bonus point and sees Schmidt's side bounce back from the opening weekend defeat in Scotland.

The Ireland head coach was satisfied with the overall performance from his team.

"If you get the performance, you're always much more likely to get the result and I felt that we looked after the ball well, we asked a fair bit of the Italians defensively and I thought young Paddy Jackson varied the game up really well as well," he said at full time when speaking to ITV.

Stander stood out individually as he scored three tries in a strong performance.

Ireland's Jame Heaslip and Niall Scannell during the National Anthem ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Schmidt was quick to praise the Munster back row as well as joking about Stander's ability with the boot.

"He's got a fantastic engine. He just keeps working away and you also saw a few of his other skills of which kicking is not one. His kick did work out for Craig Gilroy. But it probably isn't something he's going to pull out of the locker too often," he said. 

Meanwhile, Jamie Heaslip said their more spirited second half showing against Scotland provided a platform for the Rome clash.

"We showed in that second half last week what we can do. So we took a lot of belief from that, corrected what we did wrong in the first half and at the tail end of the second half and just focus on what we can do," he said.

"I thought we really stayed in the moment and had a moment by moment focus and we got the outcome." 

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week